Steelers Need Even Better Performance From Daniel Sepulveda

NASHVILLE TN - SEPTEMBER 19: Punter Daniel Sepulveda #9 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a touchdown-saving tackle on Marc Mariani #81 of the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field on September 19 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Before anybody accuses me of being unduly critical, let me start by saying that I've been more or less impressed by Pittsburgh Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda the first two weeks of the season. He certainly was solid in Week 1, and he was hardly awful last Week 2. That said, if the Steelers hope to remain undefeated this next two weeks, they'll need Robo-punter to be better than he has been. Let's take a look at how he fared last week during the Steelers' 19-11 win over the Tennessee Titans.


8 punts, 43.5 yards per punt, Long 59, 0 Inside 20

Again, on the surface, not bad numbers. Sepulveda's career average is right around 42.5 yards

Here were the game situations of all eight of his punts.

Punt No. Yard Line Yards Net Yards Opp. start
1 PIT 31 47 9 PIT 40
2 PIT 18 45 45 TEN 37
3 TEN 38 38 18 PIT 20
4 TEN 46 25 25 PIT 21
5 PIT 13 40 40 TEN 47
6 PIT 17 44 39 TEN 42
7 50 50 30 TEN 20
8 PIT 41 59 39 TEN 20

 

Again, not terrible. Punt Nos. 2, 5, and 6 were all solid -  decent yardage, minimal return yardage. The other five though left something to be desired, particularly Nos. 2, 4, 7, and 8. It's not easy pinning teams inside the 5 or 10 yard line consistently. But you've got to convert on at least two of those opportunities to make the opposition go 90-plus yards. Sepulveda has actually been pretty darn good at doing just that in his short two-season career with the Steelers. But he wasn't last Sunday on a day when the offense contributed next to nothing to the winning effort. Thankfully other facets of the special teams picked up the slack and helped compliment the incredible performance of the defense.

 

Obviously the Steelers won't be able to count on forcing seven turnovers and returning a kickoff for a score in the weeks to come. And until Ben Roethlisberger comes back in Week 6 following the team's off week, all signs point towards the offense struggling to put up points. That creates an opportunity for Sepulveda to bolster his team's chances by ensuring they are competitive each week in the field-position battle.

P.S. To close on a positive note, great work yet again by Sepulveda making a big tackle on coverage units. Beastly.

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