Arrowhead Pride Bye Week Awards: Special Teams M.V.P

12:46 25/11/2021

At the season’s bye week, we’re awarding two Chiefs as co-special teams MVPs.

There are 11 games in the books — and six more to go. While we may not be right at the halfway mark of the 2021 regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs are taking their bye week in Week 11, so it’s a good time to dish out some awards.

The Arrowhead Pride writing staff members each had one vote for our seven midseason awards. There are 12 contributors, so there will be 12 votes tallied for each award. In this post, we’ll reveal our special teams MVP to this point of the season.

VOTING: Harrison Butker (5), Tommy Townsend (5), Byron Pringle (1), Chris Lammons

Following a 2020 season in which the Chiefs’ special teams unit was around the middle of the pack, it has reclaimed its spot as one of the league’s best. Through 11 weeks of the NFL season, Football Outsiders ranks the Chiefs No. 1 in special teams DVOA (4.8%).

The credit for that starts at the top — with special teams coordinator Dave Toub — and continues to the top special teams contributors: placekicker Harrison Butker and punter Tommy Townsend. They were voted our Bye Week Special Teams co-MVPs.

Butker is 15 of 18 for field goals in 2021 — and he is 4 of 6 on kicks of 50 or more yards. In Week 8, the Chiefs trailed the New York Giants 17-14, and Butker’s two fourth-quarter field goals went for the game-tying and eventual game-winning scores. A week later, Butker made a 55-yarder in a tight game against the Green Bay Packers. Butker showed off his versatility with a successful pooch punt last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

This season, Townsend has punted 26 times, with 15 punts landing inside the 20-yard line (58%). Townsend’s punt average is 48.6 yards. With the Chiefs’ offense struggling against the Packers, Townsend landed five of six punts inside the 20-yard line and three punts inside the 10-yard line. Head coach Andy Reid called it Townsend’s best day as a pro. Two games later, Townsend downed the aforementioned pooch punt against the Cowboys.

Kick returner Byron Pringle (third in the league with 25.4 yards per return) and gunner Chris Lammons — who has been an excellent tackler for Toub’s units — each received a vote.

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