McAfee, not Luck, is Colts' biggest Pro Bowl snub

December 27, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Sure, there are always beefs about NFL Pro Bowl snubs.

And local scribes and sportscasters who cover their teams are quick to highlight those perceived injustices.

So I wasn’t surprised to see The Indianapolis Star point out that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck got passed over for the Pro Bowl.

But the real snub in Indianapolis isn’t Luck. He’s a year away, maybe two, from being Pro Bowl worthy.

The real stunner to me is the exclusion of Colts punter Pat McAfee. I’m not just being a homer here. You have to watch McAfee play to appreciate what he brings to his team.

Forget for a moment that McAfee’s stats are very close to those of Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, who was voted onto the AFC Pro Bowl team this season.

McAfee averages 48.4 yards per punt compared to Colquitt’s 46.9. McAfee has put 35.3 percent of his punts inside the opponent’s 20 yard line while Colquitt has done that 56 percent of the time. That’s a pretty important statistic in Colquitt’s favor. I give you that.

But if you have someone breaking free on a punt or kick return with only the kicker between the ball carrier and the goal line, who do you want in there? The answer is easy: McAfee. I would argue that the ability to put an open-field runner on the turf is almost as important as any skill in a kicker’s tool box.

The NFL has seldom seen a kicker or punter with the types of tackling skills the 25-year-old McAfee posses. At 6’1, 220, I’m convinced he could play somewhere on the defensive side of the ball if he so desired. The athletic kicker was one of the few bright spots on last year’s team and has saved a handful of touchdowns when the Colts kick coverage broke down this year.

But tackles isn’t a statistic that shows up on a kicker or punter’s stat sheet. So when fans, coaches and players vote for the Pro Bowl roster—many either without having seen that player play or with limited exposure to him, kick coverage and tackling ability isn’t something they consider. You have to actually see McAfee play to realize how valuable he is.

So I guess he’ll continue to be our little secret. And the Colts secret weapon should kick coverage break down.

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Colts are probably glad...
    ...that McAfee isn't headed to the beaches of Hawaii to practice swimming.
  • Disagree
    Job #1 for every punter is to pin the receiving team as far back as possible. Pat is one of the best, but it's hard to compare him with other punters fairly on tackles. What if KC has a great coverage unit and Dustin never gets much chance for tackles?
  • Luck a better pick
    I still think that Luck should have been in the pro bowl he has taken a team that was totally rebuilt from scratch including the regular players playing a different way and is in the post season
  • Neither are snubs
    The fact that McAfee is pinning the punt returner 15% LESS of the time than Colquitt answers your own question. Had he pinned the receiver inside the 20 more times, that's fewer times he would have had to tackle anyone (even when considering ST ability to contain). Punters are not hired for their tackling ability. As far as Luck goes, his TD/INT percentage is what killed his chances when compared to those who were selected (at least to this voter). When all those stat lines are close, you have to break the tie somehow. Compared to those who were selected, Luck's TD/INT ratio isn't even close, nor is his QB rating. Luck 21 TD/ 18 INT, QB rating 75.6. Schaub 22TD / 10 INT, QB rating 92.4 (Flacco and Dalton also had fewer INT's and higher ratings than Luck). As good as Luck was this season, five other guys had more consistent numbers. The selection of Shaub was correct.
  • Touchback %
    Here is something that I should have mentioned in my blog post today: Pat McAfee's punts have a touchback rate of 10.3% this season. Dustin Colquitt's TB rate is 9.3%. That tells me that Colquitt's ability to get a higher (percentage) rate of kicks inside the opponent's 20 yard line (than McAfee) is a result of his kicking in better field position rather than McAfee's inability to pin an opponent deep in their own territory when presented the opportunity. If McAfee was consistently botching those opportunities by booming it through the end zone (and thus had a much higher TB rate than Colquitt), I would be more willing to agree with White Out and other commenters about Colquitt's ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory as the deciding factor. If given the choice of who I'd rather have on my team, I'd take McAfee every time.
  • Defense?
    You don't really believe McAfee could play defense on a regular basis, do you? He is capable of getting in the way when the punt team fails to bring down the returner and then by his own admission he closes is eyes and hopes for the best. Love him as a kicker and personality, not a defender
  • Tackler!
    Pat does a lot more than get in the way. He tackles better than a number of defenders, including Deion Sanders, ever did.
  • What does this tell you?
    That the Colts punt coverage must be really bad if they have to rely on the punter to save their butts. I don't think this is a good stat to have to rely on the last guy to tackle well. Why aren't the other guys doing their jobs better? That should be the bigger concern, not whether your punter tackles well. This is pretty sad when you feel your punter got snubbed for the pro bowl.
  • pat mcafee
    pat mcafees talent is not only great on the field. its off the field when he has funny sense of humour and also serious when he helped out people in my hometown after a tornado hit here in Dec. he has helped other people abroad. For his heart on & off the field - he deserves a vacation in Hawaii! Go Mcafee ! GO COLTS !

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

ADVERTISEMENT