Continuing the countdown of the top 40 players on the Atlanta Falcons, let’s break down the eighth best player in punter Matt Bosher.
To read about the methodology in how these rankings came about, you can click here.
Total Score: 75/100
Last year’s rank: 9th
Player Grade: 69/100
Teams he is starter: 23 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 23 out of 32
Teams he is role player: 23 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +4
Positional Bonus: +2
At first glance, having a punter among a team’s top eight players usually signals a dearth of top-level talent. That could be considered fair when discussing the Falcons, given a relatively small number of “elite” players.
But in the case of Bosher ranking this highly, it’s just as much an indicator of how good a punter he is. He’s one of the top 10 punters in the league and that does carry significant value.
Bosher’s strong leg and ability to drive the ball deep on kickoffs are two of his greatest assets. His ability to flip field position when the Falcons are backed up in their own end zone was instrumental at times in bailing out a weak 2014 defense from giving up easy points.
But Bosher isn’t simply a guy that will kick the crap out of the ball with little to no finesse. Bosher led the NFL in average hangtime last season and was among the league leaders in forced fair catches. That ability to boom sky-high punts and prevent returns is a big part why the Falcons sport one of the league’s best special teams coverage units.
This year the Falcons are hopeful that with improved defensive play, Bosher’s ability to flip field position and pin offenses deep in their own territory will help give the team an added edge. With a defense that can prevent opponents from driving the field, Bosher’s ability to pin teams deep will eventually pay off for the Falcons offense, who should now have a much shorter field to move the ball and put points on the scoreboard.
Kicking in the climate-controlled confines of the Georgia Dome for most of the season certainly enhances Bosher’s ability to nail touchbacks and perfect his hangtime. Not to mention playing against the NFC South where wind, rain and snow are relatively rare, means that at most, Bosher will have to deal with the elements for only a third of his games. That sort of advantage is why Bosher wasn’t rated even more highly in my grading system.
But even still, few punters are tougher than Bosher. Even if he was forced to play in inclement weather more often, he’d be likely to dominate it just as he does returners that happen to try and score on him.