Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend has won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.
The Kansas City Chiefs roster continues to rack up the hardware in recent days (with seven Pro Bowl nods), and this time, their rookie punter is getting in on the action. Tommy Townsend was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints.
Townsend and the Chiefs went into New Orleans and came away with their eighth road win of the season, a 32-29 victory that clinched the team’s fifth consecutive AFC West crown. During the win, Townsend was much, much busier than normal as the Chiefs offense stalled on multiple drives against a tough Saints defense that refused to allow downfield heroics from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
On the night, Townsend finished with six punts, double his weekly average of 3. Townsend’s previous high was five punts, which happened in two different games earlier this season. In Week 15, Townsend dropped three of his punts inside the 20-yard line of the Saints and averaged 40.5 yards per punt on the night—but he also added a booming 61 yard punt when the Chiefs needed distance.
Townsend came to the Chiefs as an acclaimed rookie free agent from the University of Florida. The Chiefs gave him a decent signing bonus in order to join the roster, and the Chiefs gave him the job outright after flirting with fellow punting prospect Tyler Newsome (Notre Dame). The team was trying to replace longtime punter Dustin Colquitt this offseason, but a lack of preseason games wouldn’t allow for competition that Dave Toub was hoping for.
In the end, Townsend has done an admirable job filling in for Colquitt, who is currently on the the Buccaneers practice squad as of a few days ago. On the year, he’s punted 46 times with an average of 45.5 yards and a longest punt of 67 yards.