Since taking over in Week 2, Brad Maynard has done an admirable job filling in for punter Reggie Hodges. Maynard's strategy this season has been to consistently push the ball toward the sideline (side note: I know that Patrick Peterson had a big return to help give Arizona the win, but our coverage ran by him). I noticed an interesting fact last week though, and it continued after this past Sunday's game: did you know that Maynard does not have a single touchback this season?
That's right -- not one of Maynard's punts has gone into the end zone. Part of that surely has to do with the fact that he doesn't have a lot of depth on his kicks, but he does have 27 punts inside the 20, which is good for 3rd best in the NFL. You would think that one of Maynard's punts would take a bad bounce and scoot into the end zone, but so far, that hasn't happened. Maynard is the only regular punter in the NFL this year without a touchback. To compare, Hodges had five touchbacks in 2010.
Maynard has two more games to go to accomplish a 15-game feat of recording no touchbacks (hoo-ray, right -_-?). If Hodges is recovered by next season though, I would anticipate him easily reclaiming the starting spot. For as good as Maynard has been at kicking team's short, when our offense needs to be dug out of a hole, we need a guy like Hodges who can minimize the damage by booming the ball down the field.