Zastudil shares punter of the week honors


TEMPE, Ariz. -- It’s hard to compete with 50,000 career yards, but Arizona Cardinals punter Dave Zastudil gave it his best shot Sunday against the Houston Texans.

While Texans punter Shane Lechler was across the field booming kicks, averaging almost 59 yards per punt and soaring past the 50,000-yard mark for his career, Zastudil was punting with the precision of a heart surgeon. He had two punts downed at the 1-yard-line.

And for that, Zastudil and Lechler were named co-punters of the week by ESPN Stats & Information.

Lechler, in his 14th season, is the all-time leader in punting average with 47.6 yards per kick but has been even better this year, averaging 48.7 yards per kick. Even Zastudil had to salute Lechler for his seven-punt day.

But as much respect as Lechler received this week for surpassing 50,000 yards, Zastudil was equally praised.

Downing one punt at the 1-yard-line is hard enough. But doing it twice? On Monday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians compared it to hitting a hole-in-one. A punter has downed the ball at the 1 just three times in the past five seasons. Zastudil is responsible for two of them.

When ESPN Stats & Information debated between Lechler and Zastudil this week, the input from New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford swayed the decision to split the honor. Weatherford, via Twitter, threw his support behind Zastudil because two punts inside the 1 “will impact the game greater.”