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SI's Punter Ratings

As the booming 55-yard punt that rolls into the end zone illustrates, raw numbers don't always tell the story of a punter's effectiveness. So to quantify a punter's value to his team, SI adapted the quarterback rating. For completions, we substituted fair catches, downed punts and punts out-of-bounds. Incompletions we replaced with returns and touchbacks. Instead of passing yards and touchdowns, we plugged in net yards and punts downed inside the 20. Assuming a 99-yarder with no return as the best outcome and one returned for 109 yards and a TD as the worst, we used a series of multipliers to arrive at a perfect punter rating of 100 and a lowest possible rating of -68.1. Like the quarterback rating, this isn't a perfect system—it doesn't take into account factors such as outkicking your coverage (see Shane Lechler, who leads the league with a 51.4 gross average)—but it shows who consistently combines the elements of effective punting. Here, then, are SI's inaugural punter ratings, for the 2009 NFL season through Dec. 7 (minimum 40 punts).

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Punter, Team

Rating

MAT MCBRIAR(above), Cowboys

41.24

BEN GRAHAM,Cardinals

39.76

DUSTIN COLQUITT,Chiefs

39.22

MIKE SCIFRES,Chargers

38.90

DAVE ZASTUDIL,Browns

37.80

BRAD MAYNARD,Bears

36.98

DANIEL SEPULVEDA,Steelers

36.34

JEFF FEAGLES,Giants

36.15

DONNIE JONES,Rams

35.79

SAV ROCCA,Eagles

35.70

MICHAEL KOENEN,Falcons

35.19

BRANDON FIELDS,Dolphins

34.80

MATT TURK,Texans

34.52

SHANE LECHLER,Raiders

34.13

ANDY LEE,49ers

34.02

JON RYAN,Seahawks

33.74

JASON BAKER,Panthers

33.55

PAT MCAFEE,Colts

33.43

SAM KOCH,Ravens

33.20

ADAM PODLESH,Jaguars

32.89

CHRIS KLUWE,Vikings

32.74

KEVIN HUBER,Bengals

32.55

NICK HARRIS,Lions

32.40

BRIAN MOORMAN,Bills

32.07

STEVEN WEATHERFORD,Jets

31.79

DIRK JOHNSON,Buccaneers

31.67

CHRIS HANSON,Patriots

31.60

THOMAS MORSTEAD,Saints

29.99

JEREMY KAPINOS,Packers

25.98

PHOTO

ERIC GAY/AP