During their 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the New England Patriots relied on Jake Bailey in more than one way. Not only was he called upon to punt the football eight times — the second-highest total of the his young career — but also to kick off on and to hold on Nick Folk’s three field goal attempts. And whenever the rookie was on the field, he helped the Patriots either add to their point total or flip the field position in their favor.
On the day, Bailey averaged 47.6 yards per punt with a net gain of 46.0 yards. He furthermore registered touchbacks on two of his five kickoffs, while the other three were returned only 20 yards on average. Add it all up, and you can quickly see why the Patriots won the field position battle in a highly contested game: while New England started its average drive on its own 31-yard line, the Eagles had to travel 14 more yards on average.
As a result of his magnificent outing, Bailey was now named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week. It is the second time in only ten games this season that the Stanford product earned an individual award in the NFL since New England drafted him in the fifth round earlier this year: he was also named as the conference’s best kicking game performer after the Patriots’ Week 3 victory against the New York Jets.
In total, the organization has now been honored five times in 2019. In addition to Bailey’s two awards, New England also took home the trophies for AFC Defensive Player of Week 4 (linebacker Kyle Van Noy) and for Defensive Player of the Month in both September (safety Devin McCourty) and October (cornerback Stephon Gilmore). As for the team’s punter, he continues to show why the team went with him this summer over incumbent Ryan Allen.