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Year-End Superlatives: Special Teams MVP

January 4th, 2012

Very little attention is paid to special teams generally speaking. The only time this unit gets much pub is when your fat Polish kicker booms a 60-yard field goal, or some team is foolish enough to kick/punt the ball to your game-breaking returner. The Falcons did not have any of those moments this year.

At the midpoint, Matt Bryant was the pick. Bryant had been solid up to that point, but really he stood out because the other best options: Matt Bosher and Eric Weems had really have undistinguished years.

But that changed in the second half, particularly with Bosher. In the first half of the season, you had to go out of your way to make a case that Bosher was not the worst punter in the league. But in the latter half of the season, he was consistently kicking at a high level. Almost all of his kickoffs went into the endzone, and he was consistently making big 50 yard punts every game and pinning teams deep in their own territory. Early in the year, he was struggling just to kick the ball 40 yards.

Weems had high expectations going into this year because of his Pro Bowl status last year. And while he was solid this year, without the big plays, he just didn’t really have a good enough year to deserve much credit here. Bryant’s second half of the season wasn’t particularly stand-out. He was still his usual solid self, but there weren’t the clutch last minute kicks that we had been so accustomed to seeing earlier this year and in 2010.

So in the end the award goes to Bosher, who went from zero to hero.

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