A coffin corner refers to the area between the five-yard line and the goal line. Specifically, it refers to punting a ball out of bounds while in this area of the field. This is an incredibly difficult area of the field to hit as a punter though it can give your team a great advantage on the next possession.
Benefits Of A Coffin Corner Punt
This sort of punt works when a punter punts the ball and it goes out of bounds in between the opponents five-yard line and the goal line. The spot on the field in which the ball went out of bounds is where the opposing team will start their next possession.
If the ball were to travel further and into the endzone then the team would be awarded a touchback. This means the opposing team would start at their 25-yard line.
The difference between starting from within your five-yard line and starting on your twenty-five is massive for an offense. Not only are you closer to the endzone but you also no longer have to worry about getting tackled for a safety.
The coffin corner punt also stops the opposing team from getting a punt return. By placing the ball out of bounds you off the other team no chance to field the ball. By kicking it inbounds a punt returner would have an opportunity to catch the ball. They then can advance it for a better field position.
Punt returners are often athletic and quick players like slot receivers. This players can pick up some serious yardage on the field. This makes kicking it out of bounds that much more important.
Where Did The Name Come From?
The name coffin corner was derived from old victorian houses. As you walk down the staircase on many Victorian homes you will notice that their is a large indent into the walls often half way down the staircase.
These indents typically hold items like vases or paintings and act as a place to decorate your house. These little nooks are referred to as coffin corners. The myth regarding the name of these niches states that this were put in place to allow a coffin to be carried down the stairs.
In victorian times it was common to die in your bed. This meant your body would be carried out of yoru house in a coffin. These nooks gave you more room when going down the stairs so you would be able to fit the coffin.
Unfortunately this story is not true. Either way it is still interesting this naming of this feature of Victorian houses found it’s way to the NFL.