The Oakland Raiders have new faces throughout the roster but the biggest change has to be the presence of Marquette King as the Raiders punter. For over a decade, the Raider Nation has been used to seeing Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler booting the ball over the field. A lot has been expected of King this year because of his powerful leg. Anybody who has seen King punt knows that he will have a few 70+ yard punts this season.
King finished his first professional football game with 2 punts that went 50.5 yards a punt. On King’s first punt, the ball was nearly blocked but he got it away anyways for a nice 48 yard bouncing punt. King showed great composure punting the ball even though the rush nearly got to him.
King’s second punt really showed how far King has come as a punter. The Raiders were forced to punt at their 47 yard line which forced King to take a little off on his punt to try and keep the ball within the 20 yard line. While King’s punt did sail into the end zone, he put the ball right on the money but DJ Hayden was not able to down the ball.
The biggest issue with King will be how well he builds rapport with Janikowski as his holder on field goals. King was never a holder in college so he must learn to become an effective holder as soon as possible. Although Janikowski missed his field goal attempt at the end of the first half, it wasn’t because of King’s hold.
Last season, King was too inconsistent to be considered an NFL punter. However, there has not been one bad kick by King throughout the preseason or his first game against the Colts. It looks as though King will fall in line behind Ray Guy and Shane Lechler as the next great punter in Raiders history.