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|
|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.