Atlanta landed a great punter midseason.
Usually you don’t upgrade at a position in late November, but the Falcons pulled it off this season. Cameron Nizialek and Dustin Colquitt both delivered solid weeks before stints on injured reserve and the reserve/COVID-list, respectively, ended their time in Atlanta, but Thomas Morstead has been a revelation.
The longtime player for a team we don’t like and short-term Jet was inexplicably let go by New York midseason and wound up signing in Atlanta on November 23. Over the last five weeks, he’s punted 16 times and has shown off his booming leg and ability to pin opposing offenses deep in their own territory, both of which have been welcome for an overtaxed defense. His work over the past four weeks in particular has earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors for December, which feels very deserved.
Thomas Morstead has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 30, 2021
Despite a long layoff, Morstead is 10th in the NFL in terms of punts landed inside the 20, and he’s managed nine of those in the five weeks he’s been in Atlanta, most of which have wound up inside the 10 thanks to good rolls and heads up work by the Falcons special teams unit in general. Morstead is also averaging 48 yards per punt on the year, which is good for seventh in the NFL, and he’s done all that despite a weeks-long layoff in the middle of the season. He has been, in very few words, really great.
I still have no idea why the Jets let Morstead go, but it has been a major boon for the Falcons, so I’m grateful to them. Given Morstead’s success in Atlanta, I’d expect the team to make a big push to re-sign him when the season wraps up in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you should be able to count on Morstead’s leg giving the Bills and Saints long fields the next two Sundays.