Texans Top 20 of 2013: #3 Shane Lechler
Patrick D. Starr
In this series, we look at the top 20 Houston Texans of the 2013 season.
Easily the best free agent signing of the offseason in punter Shane Lechler from the Oakland Raiders. The Houston Texans brought in one of the most dominant punters in NFL history and his return to his home state did not disappoint. It is not a bad thing to have a good punter on the team, but to have him this high on the Top 20 Texans of 2013, should be a slight cause for concern.
In this case Lechler proved how valuable he can to be the Texans and his numbers did not lie either in the process.
Key Lechler Stats
47.4 yards a punt (5th in the NFL)
5.3 second average hang time on all 88 punts (8th in the NFL)
23 fair catches forced (7th in the NFL)
34 punts downed inside the 20 (4th in the NFL)
38.6% of Lechler's punts downed inside the 20.
There were plenty of times where Lechler flipped the field this season, and gave the defense plenty of field to stop opposing offenses. Lechler went every game this season but one,that he did not put a punt inside the opponents 20 yard line. He had the highest number of punts inside the 20 for his career.
It was a shame that the defense couldn't have increased Lechler's ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory by getting key stops. Hopefully, Lechler can keep up this streak of solid punting for the remainder of his time in Houston. He can be looked at as a true defensive weapon for the Texans, he just needs help next year to maximize his value.