Patriots punter Ryan Allen could be an X-factor in Super Bowl LII

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Ryan Allen /

The New England Patriots will be up against a tough Philadelphia Eagles defense. When they’re forced to punt, Ryan Allen could become an x-factor.

Patriots punter Ryan Allen started the 2017 season off slowly, but he ended the season on a high-note in week 17 and carried that success into the playoffs. In the right situation, he is among the best in the NFL.

Against the Jets in the final regular season game of the season, Allen was spectacular. The Patriots were forced to punt 8 times, and 5 of those ended up inside the 20-yard line. That day, it seemed like Allen finally got back on track after a strange season for the left-footed punter.

"“There were multiple punts and stuff I would’ve liked to have back or hit cleaner, but this game, and surviving and playing through a whole season, you’ve got to put your nose down and grind it out and go to work each day and work on your certain things.”"

Following the week 17 win over the Jets, head coach Bill Belichick had some praise for his punter as well.

"“Punting is such a situational play; it’s not just standing there and kicking it as far as you can,” Belichick said in his weekly conference call.  “It’s making the right kick in the right situation.  Sometimes part of that is the rush, sometimes part of it is the coverage, sometimes part of it is the field position and game situation, time left and so forth, and certainly the elements and field condition come in to play.”"

Bill Belichick is a special teams guru, so earning praise from him is the holy grail for a Patriots special teams player. Belichick, and smart Patriots fans, know that the play from Ryan Allen can be a factor in big-time games. He can truly become an X-factor in Super Bowl LII if he is able to pin the Eagles offense back deep in their own zone.

Allen has performed well in playoff games in his Patriots career, including the Super Bowl last season and in the AFC Championship Game this year against the Jaguars.

Super Bowl LI

4 punts, 41.5-yard average, long of 51-yards

Ryan Allen only had to punt four times in Super Bowl LI, and while he didn’t do anything spectacular, but he also didn’t do a single thing to ruin the game for the Patriots. In a punter or any special teams player, that is really all you can ask for.

2017 AFC Championship Game

6 punts, 41.7-yard average, long of 53-yards

Allen punted six times a week ago against Jacksonville, and his final three were perfect. It’s strange because all three of his punts in the second half went for less than 40-yards. They were flawless though, as Allen pinned the Jaguars each and every time. The first was fair caught at the 10-yard line, the second at the 9, and the third at the 10 again. Those punts forced the Jaguars to have to drive if they wanted to score. They had a three-and-out and two field goals on those drives, allowing New England the chance to claw their way back into the game.

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If Allen can play as well as he did in the AFC Championship Game, his left foot can be a factor in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles offense, led by Nick Foles, may not be able to move the ball against the Patriots defense if they start inside their own 10-yard line. The pressure could really build up and New England would surely take advantage. Ryan Allen won’t win a Super Bowl MVP Award, but he can be one of many players that come up clutch to help the Patriots win a sixth Super Bowl title.