Statistically Speaking: Reggie Hodges' Outstanding Season

How did punter Reggie Hodges fare this season?

While the season is still somewhat fresh in our minds, during the rest of January, I will be sprinkling in some posts that are subtitled, "Statistically Speaking," highlighting interesting statistical notes and comparisons regarding individual Browns players, or the team as a whole.

Today, I'm starting with the tremendous season that punter Reggie Hodges had. Despite Hodges' breakout season and drastic turnaround from a year ago, it didn't seem like he was even considered for the Pro Bowl. Let's take a look at how Hodges' performance improved from a year ago, and how he compared to the rest of the punters in the NFL.

The best thing about Hodges' performance for me during the 2010 campaign was the fact that he did not shank any punts -- there were no "Derrick Frost" moments. Hodges' punt average in 2009 over 8 games was 39.8 yards per punt. If he would have done that in 2010, that mark would have ranked worst in the league. Instead, Hodges improved his average to 43.9 yards per punt, an improvement by 4.1 yards per punt. That average was good for 14th in the NFL, and 7th in the AFC. Here are some other statistics for Hodges this year:

Punts Inside the 20 yard line: 29 out of 78 (37% of the time), good for 8th in the NFL and 5th in the AFC.
Punts Inside the 10 yard line: 15 out of 78 (19% of the time), good for 3rd in the NFL and 3rd in the AFC.
Number of Touchbacks: 5 for the season, and he didn't have a single touchback after Week 5.

The key statistic here is the number of punts inside the 10. Consider that many of Hodges' punts came when he was a little more backed up, meaning he had less opportunities to punt the ball from near mid-field. When he did have the chance to pin a team back, he executed -- hence the lack of touchbacks after Week 5.

Hodges' contributions go beyond punting. He ran a beautiful 68-yard run on a fake punt against the New Orleans Saints, and he also grabbed two high snaps from Ryan Pontbriand on field goal attempts for Phil Dawson during the regular season.

The Raiders' Shane Lechler was voted to the Pro Bowl from the AFC. Lechler had a higher punt average than Hodges (47 yards per punt). However, despite Lechler having 27 punts inside the 20, only 8 of those punts fell inside the 10. Again, other variables come into factor (i.e. maybe the Raiders always punted from a little further back, or maybe the coverage units had a harder time chasing down returners since the kicks were longer), but the Pro Bowl nomination can be attributed to Lechler having more experience as a starting punter.

In the end, it's difficult to argue that Hodges should have gotten the Pro Bowl nomination over Lechler. Not only are Lechler's statistics at least somewhat comparable to Hodges, but two other punters from the AFC -- the Jets' Steve Weatherford and the Ravens' Sam Koch -- both had slightly better numbers than Hodges.

It was a great season for Hodges, a 6th round pick by the St. Louis Rams back in 2005, but he doesn't need the Pro Bowl nomination -- all that counts is that he became a reliable punter this year who can help us pin opponents back in the future. Maybe next year our defense will actually capitalize on Hodges' "greatness" so he won't need a 68-yard run to be recognized by others around the league.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Dawgs By Nature

You must be a member of Dawgs By Nature to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Dawgs By Nature. You should read them.

Join Dawgs By Nature

You must be a member of Dawgs By Nature to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Dawgs By Nature. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker