Obscured by more obvious storylines was the play of the punters for both teams. As I watched the game, it occurred to me that neither had been mentioned for anything close to a flub or shank. Since starting field position ended up being a crucial factor, I decided to keep note. Punters rarely get any love anyway, so hopefully my blog entry will allow their exploits to live on in Internet posterity.
Carolina's Brad Nortman had seven punts, averaging 45 yards, six of which were not returned (with one returned by Denver's Jordan Norwood for a Super Bowl record 61 yards only because of inexplicably poor tackling by the Carolina cover team).
47 yards, no return (fair catch)
36 yards (to Denver's 15), no return (fair catch)
28 yards, 61 return
61 yards, no return (touchback)
46 yards, no return (fair catch)
40 yards, no return (fair catch)
57 yards, no return (downed)
Denver's Britton Colquitt had eight punts, averaging 45.9 yards, five of which were not returned, and giving up only 1 total return yard on the other three.
50 yards (to Carolina 16), -1 return.
47 yards, -1 return
43 yards, no return (out of bounds)
53 yards (to Carolina 19), no return (fair catch)
54 yards, 3 return
44 yards, no return (fair catch)
48 yards, no return (out of bounds)
28 yards, no return (out of bounds)
In short, the two punters combined to average a remarkable 45+ yards per kick, with 11 of 15 punts not returned at all. Both men had noteworthy performances that should have been highlighted on the television broadcast.
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