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Buccaneers-Packers matchup of the day: Saturday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 19, 2011 @ 11:05 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Buccaneers P Michael Koenen vs. Packers RS Randall Cobb

in the Packers' last game, Cobb quickly got the opposition back on its heels with an eye-popping return for a TD. In addition to his 80-yard punt return for a score this past Monday evening that allowed Green Bay to get off to an instant 7-0 lead over the Vikings and never look back, he just as instantly displayed his ability to go the distance every time he touches the ball with a spectacular 108-yard kickoff return for a score in the season-opening win over the Saints.

But for the second time in three games, Cobb muffed a punt that led to a TD for the opposition, dropping a ball to set up Minnesota's only score of the game. He quickly made amends with a 55-yard kickoff return two plays later, but as obviously explosive as he is, he must correct his bad habit of starting to make his returns before actually securing the ball. 

Cobb, who ranks second in the NFL in kickoff-return average (30.0 yards) and 11th in punt return average (11.1 yards), will be matched up this Sunday against one of the league's more solid punters in Koenen, who also kicks off for the Bucs. Koenen, who left Atlanta for a six-year, $19 million deal with Tampa Bay, ranks fifth in the league in net average (41.7 yards) and second in punts inside the 20 with 18 (he has 44 total punts). In his last game against the Texans, he limited Jacoby Jones, who is ranked fourth in the AFC in PR average (11.4 yards), to four punt returns for 10 yards. Due in great part to Koenen's strong leg, Tampa Bay's kick-coverage units are above average, ranked fifth in kickoff-return differential and 12th in punt-return differential.

 

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