Punters don’t normally get a lot of recognition, but Broncos punter Britton Colquitt has earned it with his helmet on and off.
When it’s on, Colquitt is dropping punts on dimes deep in opposing territory. Sunday, he constantly forced the Vikings to drive the length of the field against a stout Broncos defense. On Colquitt’s six punts, the Vikings had an average starting field position of their own 14.5-yard line.
“That was really big with field position all game long,” Head Coach John Fox said after Sunday’s game. “Our coverage teams did a good job.”
When his helmet is off, Colquitt has shown he’s in postseason form with his various forms of facial hair. He went with sideburns transitioning into a handlebar mustache on Sunday. But he wasn’t alone as he was joined by teammates Eric Decker, Adam Weber and Matt Prater as they all found something fitting for Minnesota.
“A lot of us did no-shave November and we wanted to do something else,” Colquitt said. “It was pretty fitting going into Viking territory to do something. I had this going. Willis (McGahee) said I looked like the butcher from ‘Gangs of New York.’”
Colquitt jokingly didn’t speculate on whether his style had a direct correlation with his on-field success Sunday. But there was no doubt that he and the Broncos defense helped an offense that struggled in the first half.
Sunday, Colquitt had one of the statistically best games any punter in the NFL has had all season. He averaged a net of 48.8 yards on his punts, which was the second highest total in the NFL this season — to his 51-yard net average he had in Week 2 (min. 6 punts).
Colquitt’s numbers and efficiency have been noticed and appreciated by his team all season, and he certainly has a case to be included among the league’s top punters.
“Britton Colquitt continues to have a Pro-Bowl season,” Fox said Sunday.
Indeed, as of last week, Colquitt ranked third among all AFC punters in Pro-Bowl voting. If elected, it would be Colquitt’s first Pro Bowl.
It would be a neat accomplishment for the third-year punter, but one that he said is reflective of the play of the entire team.
“It’s a personal goal, sure, but ultimately, it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t win,” Colquitt said. “If I just think about helping the team win, then usually that stuff kind of falls into place as far as individual goals. I just want to give our guys the best chance, and considering that if your stats are good, then you help your team out — they help each other.”
As of now, the NFL doesn’t include facial hair as an attribute for Pro Bowlers. But if it did, Colquitt certainly would have a leg up on the competition.
RE-WATCH THE BRONCOS VICTORY
For fans that missed the Broncos thrilling 35-32 victory Sunday over the Vikings, or for those who simply want to re-live the game, NFL Network is airing a replay of the match Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. MST.
The replay will be condensed into a 90-minute segment with never-before-seen camera angles and coaches’ commentary. The replay will also include sound from the field, locker rooms and sidelines.