Sam Koch Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week After Perfect Fake Punt Throw


It's hard to say whether Sam Koch was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 12 more for his leg or his arm.

Koch got the job done with both in the Ravens' 23-16 win over the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football.

Koch boomed six punts for an average of 51.3 yards, including five that pinned the Texans inside their 20-yard line. What drew even more attention was his execution of a perfect fake punt in the second quarter, setting up the first of the Ravens' two touchdowns.

For those who missed the fake punt, it came when the Ravens were trailing, 7-0 in the second quarter. Koch took the snap and looked off a couple Texans defenders with a glance to his right. He then lofted a dime down the left sideline to wide receiver Chris Moore for a 22-yard gain.

"I'm like a baseball player. I need to keep my arm warm," Koch added. "I kind of threw a floater out there to a spot where I thought he could get to it, and it ended up working out."

The play brought Koch's career passer stats to a perfect 4-for-4 for 48 yards and a 116.7 quarterback rating. He owns the highest quarterback rating in Ravens history.

It's the second time in three weeks that he threw for a first down on a fake punt. Since 2001, the most completions by a punter in a season is three (Los Angeles Rams' Johnny Hekker in 2012).

"He's an extraordinary athlete. I mean, he's the [locker room] cornhole champion," Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said earlier this month. "His ability to throw the ball is quite extraordinary. Hopefully, he'll never have to be an emergency quarterback, but I think he showed everybody how well he can throw the ball."

Koch has also been punting the ball exceptionally well this season, and especially over the past two weeks. He hit what Harbaugh called the "greatest punt in the history of football" last week in Green Bay, although it was wrongly ruled a touchback.

Koch leads the league with 29 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line and has a 41.5 net punt average that puts him just outside the top 10.

The 2015 Pro Bowler is making a strong case to make another All-Star trip this year. Surprisingly, it's just the second time he's been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and the other one was nine years ago.

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