The Arizona Cardinals defense has gained most of the credit for the team’s perfect record. However, lost in the accolades is the fact that their punter, Dave Zastudil, and their field goal kicker, Jay Feely, have both been superb.
Punters are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL — they get no respect. But let’s give a little credit where credit is due. Zastudil has punted 26 times, and 9 of those kicks have landed inside the 20-yard line. He’s forced 9 fair catches, and when opponents do rerturn a punt, the yardage gained has usually been minimal because his punts are high. He’s averaging a solid 47.5 yards per kick, forcing Cardinals opponents to start with poor field position almost every time he punts. He was particularly good in the Cardinals last game against the Dolphins.
Kicker Jay Feely has been perfect in his seven field goal tries this season. In fact, he has nailed 18 in a row going back to last season. He hasn’t tried any 50-plus yard field goal this year, but he has kicked several 40-plus yarders through the uprights. And he also has been perfect on his extra point tries.
It’s nice to have a punter and a field goal kicker that are both so consistent and reliable.