Colts punter and onside kick specialist Pat McAfee has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. This comes after he received the same award for the month of September.
Against the Texans last Thursday, McAfee recovered his own onside kick and had six touchbacks on the other six kickoffs. He also averaged just under 40 yards on his four punts. Three of his punts pinned the Texans inside the 20-yard line.
It is the first time in his career that he has won the weekly award.
Thanks to the advanced stats at Pro Football Focus we can see just how impressive a year McAfee is having. He is one of the rare players who not only punts for his team but also does kickoffs and holds on field goals for Adam Vinatieri. McAfee is also the team’s emergency field goal option if the team needs a 60-plus yarder to win a game. He nearly hit one in the preseason and was regularly able to hit in training camp.
The Colts have recovered all three of their onside kick attempts this season while the rest of the NFL is a collective 1-for-13. The surprise onside kicks have become a dangerous weapon for the Colts that ultimately improves kickoff coverage and limits return opportunities for opponents.
McAfee leads the NFL in touchbacks on kickoffs with 33 (five more than the next closest kicker) on his 37 attempts. Only 10-percent of his kickoffs have been returned. PFF has him as the top ranked kicker despite not a single attempting a field goal.
He has punted just 21 times this season but averages 44.8 yards per punt, which is tied for the lead in the NFL. He’s only had one touchback and 13 of his punts have been inside the 20-yard line.
McAfee joins Andrew Luck on the weekly award list for the Colts. Luck was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week back in Week Three for his performance against the Jaguars.