Sports

The Best Tacklers in the NFL Are Punters and Wide Receivers Are the Best Quarterbacks

That’s just how it is now.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 23: David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a 32 yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 in the first half of the NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
This pass was thrown by a wide receiver. You can tell because it’s a great pass. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Let’s say you want your team to stop a returner running in the open field. Who are you going to ask to administer the hit? A middle linebacker? A free safety? Wrong and wrong. The person for the job is the punter. Just look at Matt Bosher of the Atlanta Falcons, who body-slammed the Panthers’ Kenjon Barner on Sunday.

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Bosher is a punter who is also tasked with kickoffs for Atlanta, and he seems to be processing some aggression. Perhaps he’s overworked? It’s a lot to ask someone to kick and punt the ball, and so the Hulk-like flex over Barner is understandable.

Bosher wasn’t the only punter to drop the hammer on Sunday. The Dolphins’ Matthew Haack wrapped up Dede Westbrook of the Jaguars and stopped him in his tracks.

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That’s textbook (except for the part where the punter is the one who makes the touchdown-saving tackle).

If punters are tough-as-nails enforcers, what does that make wide receivers? Are they pancake-blocking linemen? Ferocious goal-line backs? Of course not. Wide receivers are great quarterbacks now. Just look at this 32-yard bomb from the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald.

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Fitzgerald is in his 15th NFL season and that was his first touchdown throw. Maybe Arizona should have called more pass plays for him? He’s rather good at them.

As nice as it may have been, Fitzgerald’s effort wasn’t even the best throw made by a wide receiver on Sunday. That honor goes to the Browns’ Jarvis Landry, who dropped a beautiful 63-yard pass into the arms of Breshad Perriman.

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That’s not an easy throw! The Bengals put Landry under some pressure and the coverage was decent, but he still managed to hit Perriman in stride on a deep route. Compare that throw to this attempt by professional NFL quarterback Cody Kessler, for the Jaguars.

That’s what you get for having your quarterback play quarterback.

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