Thomas Morstead had his agent call the Miami Dolphins this past off-season. He needed a job and he knew the Dolphins needed a punter. Miami needs to keep him.
After Sunday’s victory, the Dolphins are not likely going to land many players on a Player of the Week list but Thomas Morstead should absolutely be considered for the weekly award. His role in the Dolphins’ victory on Sunday can’t be downplayed.
The talk of the game, of course, will be the “butt kick” and Trent Sherfield told the world via Twitter that he had a “W imprint on my cheeks” but it wasn’t the butt-kick that defined the Morstead’s contribution on Sunday, it was what he did next that put Miami in a position to win the game.
The broadcast team was saying the Dolphins shouldn’t punt the ball from their own endzone and instead take the safety. The Dolphins opted to let Morsteat kick it. We can’t know how that ball would have flown if it hadn’t hit Sherfield but we can say that the best outcome was the ball going out of the endzone for a safety.
Morestead is an incredibly accurate and consistent punter and when he lined up to punt the ball back to the Bills after the safety, he nailed it.
Punting from the Dolphins 20 yard line, Morstead nailed a 74-yard punt to the Bills’ six-yard line. The Bills managed a 17-yard return that started their final drive at the 23. That punt was so important for the Dolphins that the Bills couldn’t get it downfield quick enough and the clock would expire before the Bills could get into field goal range.
Had Morstead connected on the punt from his own endzone, it is highly unlikely it goes to the Bills’ six but let’s assume he hits it 74 yards and the Bills return it 17. The punt would land around the 30-yard line of the Bills, a 17-yard return would put the ball near the 45, give or take a yard or two. The Bills would only be about 20 yards from a legit field goal attempt with plenty of time.
It doesn’t matter, the ball was knocked out of bounds and Morstead came up big with his next kick and because of that, the Dolphins were able to finish out the game.
From Tua’s big 3rd and 22 pass to Jaylen Waddle, the hard running of Chase Edmonds at the goal line, a stripped TD pass by Keion Crossen, and a defensive effort at the goal line in extreme heat, it was all a true team effort in every sense of the word.
On the day, Morstead averaged 42.5 yards on five punts with two inside the 20.