Koch's numbers slip in post-season

Koch's numbers slip in post-season
February 19, 2013, 4:15 pm

In this stats-crazy world that sports has grown into, there's always numbers there for experts and fans to analyze. Sometimes they really mean something. Often, they don't. 

Some of the numbers show that Ravens punter Sam Koch slipped a bit during the post-season. Koch's been a rock for the Ravens throughout his career but did appear to struggle at times in the playoffs, like when it came to net yardage or putting the ball in places that could pin the opposing offenses into bad spots. 

Koch's net yardage in the regular season was 34.3 yards as the Ravens won the AFC North, and he really helped the defense do it. His good kicks, which were usually well-placed, helped the defense out at times when they really needed it. 

But his numbers slipped in the post-season. His net yardage fell down to 23.0 in the playoffs. Plus, he had seven touchbacks in the entire regular season but four on just 22 playoff punts. Peter King also wondered about Koch's directional punting in one of the Sports Illustrated writings. 

That didn't kill the Ravens in the playoffs, by any stretch of the imagination. Because in the end, Koch still came up with some big plays. His booming free kick with four seconds left in the Super Bowl drove Ted Ginn, Jr. back to the San Francisco 19, and Koch also made a nice tackle on Ginn earlier in the game. Plus, Koch cleverly ate up eight seconds while trying to take a safety right before the free kick.

It seems doubtful the Ravens will be looking at other punters after this. First of all, it's not big, and second, it's rather uncommon when talking about Koch. But it will be interesting to see how he does when taking the field once more.