Punter No. 4 (76.1), 106 snaps (49.8 percent)
- 8 games: 28 punts, 45.0 avg., 41.9 net avg., long-60, 12 inside-20, 13 returned for 66 yards (5.1 avg.), 1 touchback, 7 fair caught, 4.36 avg. hangtime
Sanchez’s punting numbers aren’t near the top of the league, but when it comes to overall punting, PFF has Sanchez listed fourth. So, what is Sanchez’s criteria for successful punting if it’s not all hung up on yards per punt and net average?
“I definitely feel like where I can become effective — and as a whole unit obviously when everybody’s blocking and the gunners are doing their job, (because) obviously coverage is big — keeping the ball away from the returner is probably the most important thing,” Sanchez told Colts.com.
In that area, Sanchez and the Colts are near the top of the league, ranking sixth in yards per punt return allowed (5.1 avg.). They are also tied for 10th in total punts returned by the opponent (13), but only two of those other punter kicked fewer times than he has. Sanchez is also one of only 11 punters who have done at least 50 percent of their team’s punting who have one or fewer touchbacks.
“Obviously they’re gonna study and they’re gonna know which way I’m gonna go, but sometimes I give this offset where it makes it a little harder for them. It’s kinda like an offset facing like I’m going right, but I kinda just wrap around where I kick the ball going left,” Sanchez said. “Just little things like that. And obviously helping myself with the direction and the hangtime for guys to call a fair catch, and the gunner getting down there in time to cause that. It’s obviously not just me, it’s my whole team, so those things for sure.”
Sanchez also handles kickoff duties for the Colts. He has 42 kickoffs with 28 touchbacks, and 14 have been returned for 311 yards (22.2 avg.). The opponent’s average starting field position is the 24.8 yard line.