FOXBOROUGH -- After weeks of practice in plus-50 attempts, punter Chris Hanson finally received some positive reinforcement.
A plus-50 punt comes when a team is punting from the opposition’s territory, with the intent of pinning them deep. Hanson’s 44-yard punt, which was downed at the 3-yard line by Jonathan Wilhite, was a bright spot in the Patriots’ 30-10 loss to the Chargers last week.
“It was good to get the bounce on that kick, and I’d like to build off that and be a weapon for the team in field position,” Hanson said.
The punt ultimately set up a 47-yard field goal for the Patriots, because the defense forced the Chargers into a three-and-out, giving the offense a short field to work with. Hanson pointed out the sequence as an example of all three phases of the game coming together.
Prior to last Sunday, the Patriots had lost out of some opportunities as Hanson had totaled five touchbacks in four games.
“I haven’t been happy with the touchbacks,” Hanson said. “The touchbacks we’ve had have been from the 2-yard line going in, or 2-3 yards deep (into the end zone), so they’re close. We’ve just been working pretty hard at getting more consistent and getting it to the corners a little bit and trying different kinds of kicks. My job as a punter and as a pro is to work on it in practice and get to where it feels comfortable where I can almost tell you where it’s going to bounce, or hit it where I want it to hit, and our coverage team takes over from there.”
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