Mike Scifres, San Diego Chargers' Punter, Is the best in the Business

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIAugust 10, 2008

There was a pretty funny quote by Tom Flores when I turned on the Raiders/49ers game for a second. 

"This game features the two best punters in the game."

I had to laugh at that one, because Charger fans know that Mike Scifres is by far–and it is not close—the best punter in the game. At this point, he has transcended the role of special teamer and has become classified as a weapon. 

Scifres is an unselfish player that is less concerned about stats and more concerned with forcing Devin Hester to call three fair catches in last season's opener with another punt downed at the Bears' 12-yard line. Hester exploded for an amazing zero yards on punt returns against the Bolts.

How about the play of the game against the Titans in overtime last season, when Scifres' spectacular punt was downed at the two-yard line? Needless to say, it was game over for the Titans at that point.

Punt returners want no part of Scifres booming punts. While other punters turn the football field into a scene of amazement with booming punts that have a hang-time of five seconds, Mike Scifres has boomed a punt with a hang-time of 5.9 seconds—with Shane Lechler standing on the sideline no less.

No punter has Scifres combination of leg strength, accuracy, hangtime, and unselfishness. 

To top it all off, Scifres learned the feared "Aussie Kick" from the 1990s' All-Decade Team member Darren Bennett. This kick has tormented AFC West foes going on 14 seasons.

The ball spins backwards and when it hits the ground, it is more likely to either bounce straight up in the air or slightly forward then into the end zone.

With Kassim Osgood, Carlos Polk, Antonio Cromartie, and Brandon Siler coming at you while you're trying to catch a punt that is spinning backwards, it is no wonder why Scifres has had fewer punts returned than any punter (with a similar number of punts) in the NFL.


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