There is a lot to highlight from the Vikings exciting 30-23 win over Green Bay on Monday night – everything from QB Brett Favre’s brilliant performance to Jared Allen and the defense’s dominant effort.
But there other areas of positivity for the Vikings, not the least of which was Chris Kluwe and the punting game. Kluwe had 5 punts on the evening for 212 yards (42.4-yard average), and he and the punt coverage team held Green Bay to 0 punt return yards.
Forcing a team to punt is important because it gives you a chance to flip the field position battle with an explosive return up the field. Kluwe, however, didn’t allow Green Bay to flip the field with returns.
Of Kluwe’s 5 punts, 4 were downed or went out of bounds inside the 20-yardline and 2 ended up inside the 5-yardline. Here’s a breakdown of Kluwe’s 5 punts:
– The 1st punt had such great hang time that CB Karl Paymah was able to tackle returner Will Blackmon immediately, resulting in no gain. On their ensuing drive, Green Bay turned the ball over via an interception.
– On the 2nd punt, Kluwe forced Blackmon to call a fair catch at the Green Bay 15-yardline. Three plays later, the Packers were punting the ball back to Minnesota.
– Kluwe was as precise as possible on his 3rd punt, landing it inside the 5-yardline where S Eric Frampton downed it at the 1-yardline. Three plays later, QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked in the endzone by DE Jared Allen for a safety.
– The 4th punt was perfectly guided to the sidelines by Kluwe, where it went out of bounds at the 4-yardline. Green Bay managed to drive the field and score a TD.
– Kluwe’s 5th and final punt was another beauty. It was kicked sky-high and returner Jordy Nelson actually muffed it. But Green Bay was able to recover and eventually drove the field for a FG.
All-in-all, it was a great game for Kluwe, who has had his fair share of great games over his Vikings career. Since entering the league in 2005, Kluwe has pinned opponents inside the 20-yardline 112 times, a total that ranks him 11th during that span. In 2007, Kluwe left opponents inside the 20-yard line 34 times, which ranked 3rd in the NFL and was a Vikings record.
Kluwe also had a long punt of 50 yards on Monday night, another area he specializes in. He owns the top 3 spots in most 50+ yard punts in season, with 22 in 2006, 29 in 2007 and 33 in 2008.
Tags: Chris Kluwe
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