All-22 analysis: Marquez Stevenson’s punt returns

The Buffalo Payments sat some starters towards the New Orleans Saints, presumably to both ship a message about efficiency, try to tinker with issues for a more practical roster, or some mixture of each. One of many extra apparent adjustments was the absence of Isaiah McKenzie, who was changed by rookie Marquez Stevenson as the primary punt returner. Let’s examine in on how that went.

Return 1

It’s arduous to see every part on returns, even with the All-22 angles, however there’s often sufficient to take a look at what lanes may be accessible and what major threats there are to the returner. The Saints have a gunner come free and Marquez Stevenson has run out of time to name for a good catch—not that I feel he would have…or ought to have. However I wouldn’t blame a returner for it on this scenario by any means.

As a substitute, Marquez takes the ball and has to resolve the place to take it. For my part, whereas there’s extra inexperienced to his proper it’s idiot’s gold and reducing straight forward is the wisest selection. This return gained 11 yards.

Return 2

I level out that the choice to name a good catch or not must be made properly earlier than the ball is definitely caught on this punt. There’s lots of info to juggle whereas additionally trying skyward to trace the ball. That is one other case the place I like the choice to discipline the ball and run. Stevenson does just a little minimize to the underside of the display then bursts forward. This return gained ten yards.

Return 3

Much like the final return, you’re calculating the trajectory of the ball whereas additionally attempting to determine who’s being blocked and who isn’t. Stevenson gambles that the two-on-one block to his proper will maintain off the Saints’ gunner. This turned out to be a foul guess. Had the block held he has a little bit of room to achieve greater than the one yard he had right here.

Return 4

It is a lot just like the final return, with a giant distinction that the block goes lots higher. He’s in a position to wiggle by some muddle and achieve 9. It’s much more spectacular, whereas additionally being lots much less spectacular as a result of…

Return 4 (Broadcast view)

He let the ball hit the turf. It’s an ideal restoration from a foul begin.

Return 5

It’s arduous to search out fault with this 18-yard return. So I gained’t.


Except for letting the ball hit the turf it, was a extremely good premiere for Marquez Stevenson. He doesn’t have sufficient returns to qualify for comparative-rate statistics. If he did, his 9.8 yards per return would rank fifth. If we did non-qualifiers, he falls in at 18th, for the document. So the sample-size caveat is a vital one right here. Actually this complete paragraph must be taken with a grain of salt.

Utilizing the attention take a look at, I don’t see any evident points in determination making for Stevenson. To me it appears he’s trusting his teammates to dam for him, and towards the Saints they did an affordable job of it. When offered with a number of potential lanes, I favored the alternatives he made. Stevenson additionally confirmed just a little potential in reducing by visitors to search out just a few additional yards. Once more, the small pattern measurement means that is an opinion that must be thought of fluid. And we will’t ignore that ball hitting the bottom both.

For the sake of comparability, Isaiah McKenzie is averaging 8.7 yards per return, ninth-best out of 20 gamers who qualify. There are solely 4 gamers averaging greater than ten yards per return, which is an efficient minimize off for the elite tier. Will Stevenson push the Payments to that stage? In that case, the swap can be a boon.

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