Last season in a questionable move the Patriots brought in then rookie punter, Ryan Allen, who beat out Zoltan Mesko in training camp to win the punter job. Many fans thought it was a very risky move to bring in someone who has never punter in the NFL in his life. How would he hold up in the playoffs?
Kicker has been a pretty strong spot on the Patriots since the Adam Vinatieri ERA. Gostowski is one of the most accurate kickers and he has one hell of a leg.
Will both these special teamers just walk onto the roster? We will see. So let’s dive into the Patriots kicker and punter depth heading into the 2014 season.
Punter) Ryan Allen
Allen did a very good job during his rookie year last year. He has a very unique punting motion being a lefty and his kicks are very hard to return. Allen’s punts only averaged 7.6 yards per return which is exceptional. But some of that is due to the great Pro-Bowler, Matthew Slater, who holds down punt and kick returns.
My 2014 Ryan Allen Projection:
71(down 5) punts, 47.82(up 1.92) gross punting average, 3,395(down 96) gross punting yards, 11(down 1) touchbacks and 219(down 2) total punt return yards
Kicker) Stephen Gostowski
Gostowski has an absolute huge leg. He ranked tie atop the NFL with 38 field goals made. Gostowski’s 92.7% kicking field goal ranked sixth in the NFL this year while he smashed in 22-of-22 field goal from 39 yards and under. Gostowksi hit 5-of-6 from 50+ yards which really helped the Patriots struggling offense at the beginning of the year.
My 2014 Stephen Gostowski Projection:
39(up 1) field goals made, 42(up 1) field goals attempted, 92.9(up.2) percentage of field goals made, 56(up 2) longest field goal made, 51(up 7) extra points made, 51(up 7) extra point attempted and 168(up 10) points
Note: He will also be a Pro-Bowler
LS) Danny Aiken
Did a pretty good last season during his first go around long snapping for the Patriots. Will have to beat out rookie, Tyler Ott though.
My 2014 Danny Aiken Projection:
Patriots K/P Depth Chart Grade and Reason: B+
The Patriots have a very solid special teams unit top to bottom. Gostowski is one of the best kickers in the game and is extremely accurate. Allen’s long tricky kicking makes for some very tough returns for teams. He is very good at placing punts as well.