Football is a game that's filled with roles and statistics. There's many that people don't realize or notice. In Sunday's win over the Browns, one person who played a helpful role was Ravens' punter Sam Koch.
He's been a consistent punter with the Ravens throughout his NFL career and came through again in the 25-15 victory, but in a bit of a different way. The Ravens struggled on offense during the middle part of the game, where they couldn't hold a 14-0 lead and let the Browns slowly work their way back.
A big reason for that was how the offense, so effective in the first quarter, simply ran out of gas. The Ravens kept getting pinned in their own territory -- very deeply -- and going three-and-out. But Koch then helped out.
Late in the second quarter, Koch boomed a 45-yard punt on a fourth down from the Ravens' 25. The second half saw more of the same. He added 48-yard punts from the Baltimore 10 and 21 on the next two possessions. After that came kicks of 44 and 54 yards.
Those five good punts played a big role in helping the defense. Cleveland still had good field position on most of those drives, but instead of getting the ball 10 yards outside of field-goal range, the Browns needed to drive at least 30 yards most of the time to get a shot at three points.
Koch finished the day with an average 44.7 yards per punt on his seven kicks. Again, that's a statistic that many people won't know or look for, but Koch's been consistent with that throughout his Ravens' career.
One bad punt during that stretch could have turned a field goal into a touchdown for the Browns, and that would have changed what the Ravens had to do on offense to rally themselves. Again, people don't often look at the numbers for punting, but Koch and his stats really helped the Ravens in this win.