What’s ailing Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher? That’s a question a lot of you have asked since the offseason began. It’s a fair question, even if asking it may lead to a roundhouse kick to your face, courtesy of Bosher himself.
Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. Bosher’s 2017 production was significantly impacted by an ankle injury. It’s hard to punt effectively when your plant foot in anchored by a bum ankle. He played through the injury, just like he played through a hamstring injury in 2016.
Bosher averaged 44.9 yards/punt in 2017. (That’s not a career low, believe it or not.) The Falcons’ punt average (which is Bosher’s punt average because he did all the punting for Atlanta this season) ranked 18th. Bosher’s net yards/punt average of 41.5 also ranked 18th.
Obviously average yards/punt paints an incomplete picture, so let’s dig deeper. Bosher’s bigger issue, and what’s arguably the primary cause for concern, is his accuracy. The Falcons only dropped 19 punts inside the 20 yard line this season. Atlanta, Green Bay, and New York (Giants) all dropped 19 punts inside the 20, and that paltry total ranked dead last. Bosher’s short field average (punts from at least your own 40, expressed as a percentage of the remaining field covered) was 72.16 percent. (That’s down from 76.46 percent in 2016 and 76.13 percent in 2015.) In short, he isn’t punting as far or as accurately as he typically does.
Bosher has two years remaining on the 5 year extension he signed back in 2014. (He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.)