Grand Island native Brett Kern is having himself one heck of a season as the Tennessee Titans' punter.
Kern has been booming his kicks this year at a near-record pace. The Pro Bowler entered last week's game with a punting average of 51.6 yards – better than the NFL's all-time record of 51.4, set all the way back in 1940 by Washington's Sammy Baugh.
But Kern had a tough Week 16. He was asked to punt twice from midfield or beyond against the Rams and had a kick partially blocked in the third quarter, which went for only 20 yards. He rebounded from the block with a big 61-yard punt, but the game dropped his average to 50.7 yards, which would be fifth all-time.
Baugh, who was also his team's quarterback, punted 35 times for 1,799 yards in 1940 (including a massive 85-yard punt that is the 12th-longest in NFL history) for an average of 51.400. Kern has an uphill battle to catch him, but could break the mark with several long punts. Here's how many yards he would need to break the record Sunday on any given number of punts.
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Kern graduated from Grand Island High School in 2004 and played at the collegiate level at Toledo. The News named him first-team All-Western New York as a senior in 2003.
Elsewhere in punting records, San Francisco's Andy Lee needs 242 punting yards Sunday to set the all-time record for total punting yardage in a season. Dave Zastudil set the record of 5,209 with the 2012 Cardinals.