The Chiefs hardly used their punter in the playoffs before Sunday.
Tommy Townsend appeared to be shaking off that rust early in Super Bowl 2021.
After punting just once in two postseason games entering Sunday, Townsend was forced into action often in the first half against the Buccaneers, with three first-half punts going for just 101 yards.
The long-haired punter’s first punt of the night, a 51-yarder, went for a touchback, but his next two were short ones that opened the door for the Buccaneers to get going. Early in the second quarter, Townsend booted a 27-yard punt out of bounds to the Tampa 30-yard line, giving way to a long Buccaneers drive that ended at Kansas City’s 1-yard line.
The Chiefs took over pinned in their own end and soon had to punt, but Townsend didn’t help their cause. His punt went just 29 yards, letting the Bucs start their next drive at the Chiefs’ own 38-yard line. It resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski.
Before Sunday, Townsend’s only playoff punt was a 44-yarder against the Bills in the AFC Championship. He was not used in the Chiefs’ 22-17 win over the Browns in the divisional round.
Townsend averaged 45 yards per punt during the regular season.
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