You can’t give your punt team the credit for a win very often, but I think we can make a solid case for today’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers win over the New Orleans Saints. Bryan Anger punted four times, landed two of them inside the 10, one went for 57 yards, and the other produced a touchback for a net gain of 37 yards.
The two punts inside the 10 were crucial for the team’s victory, both of them coming in the fourth quarter with the Bucs holding a very slim lead. And this one was a beauty -- not just the punt, but especially Ryan Smith and Josh Robinson pulling some spectacular moves to keep the ball at the one-yard line.
Those moves gave the Bucs’ defense a lot of room to work with, and they forced the Saints to punt not long after. When the offense stalled a little later, the Bucs punted again — and again pinned New Orleans deep. That forced Drew Brees to march almost the entire length of the field — and instead, he threw a neat interception to Keith Tandy to end the game.
All of that to say: Bryan Anger is a really good punter, and the Bucs’ coverage unit have done a spectacular job this season. Mostly in this game, though.