Oakland Raiders Week 14 Game Balls

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Marquette King

Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King (7) punts in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Punters are people too. The adage coined by Rich Eisen had a particular meaning to Marquette King on Sunday, because he came up huge for Oakland just about every time his name was called. The offense was historically horrific in the first half, making King a very busy man. The defense of course gets much of the credit for keeping the team in the game, and deservedly so, but that makes King an unsung hero of sorts. King was forced to punt 10 times in this one, with an average of 46 yards per punt. Not a huge number, but it’s good enough to be right around the top ten amongst NFL averages. Where King really shined was with his accuracy. Five times, he was able to pin the Broncos inside their own 20-yard line. He also had zero touchbacks.

More specifically, four of those punts were inside the 15-yard line. One of them was downed at the 2-yard line, and Khalil Mack subsequently forced a fumble that led to a safety.

Another one of King’s booming punts was muffed by Emmanuel Sanders, and that led to Carr to Rivera’s go-ahead TD. So King may not get the recognition of some of the bigger names, but his teammates and coaches recognize how important he was in Sunday’s victory. Just ask Charles Woodson.

"“If Mack doesn’t get five, or six or whatever it was, Marquette’s the player of the game. To pin them down there again and again, that’s huge and then he had the knuckleball that they fumbled”"

Or ask Jack Del Rio.

"“He was excellent, excellent. Field position is so important in a game that turns into a defensive struggle. So, really happy with the way he kicked the ball today.”"

Next: Game Ball #2: Derek Carr