SI PLAYERS POLL

[Based on a survey of 354 players]
January 10, 2005

For complete results and a breakdown of the poll go to SI.com/scorecard.

Which NFL punter has the most impact on a game?

Todd Sauerbrun 22%
Panthers (above)

Shane Lechler 18%
Raiders

Darren Bennett 15%
Vikings

Craig Hentrich 14%
Titans

Who is the NFL's best defensive special teams player?

Adalius Thomas 15%
Ravens LB (above, right)

Larry Izzo 13%
Patriots LB

Alex Bannister 12%
Seahawks WR

Ian Gold 8%
Bucs LB

FAST FACTS: Lechler led the NFL with a 46.7-yard gross punting average.... Bennett was next-to-last at 39.3, but he is the only one of the top five vote-getters to reach the playoffs.... Among the top special teams defenders, Thomas's teammate, safety Ed Reed, was seventh at 5%.... Gold and Bannister were the only NFC players in the top eight.

COLOR PHOTOROBERT B. STANTON/WIREIMAGE.COM (SAUERBRUN) COLOR PHOTOCRAIG MELVIN/US PRESSWIRE (THOMAS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)