Keshawn Martin had his best game as a pro in the Houston Texans' wild, 43-37 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He returned five kickoffs for 162 yards, added a 71-yard punt return and scored his first career NFL touchdown to boot (on a 9-yard reception).
And he got ran down by the punter.
That last little fact is threatening to overshadow all else for the rookie from Michigan State.
"That's the fastest punter I've ever seen in my life."
Kick returners — typically the fastest players on an NFL team — are not supposed to be caught from behind by punters — always the most mocked players on a team. Martin himself ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
And it's not like Martin doesn't know how to take one to the house. He returned three kicks for touchdowns at Michigan State (including the one highlighted in the video above).
But there was Jaguars punter Bryan Anger chasing down Martin from behind and getting him to the ground, preventing that 71-yard return from being the touchdown it should have been. Martin was well clear of Anger by midfield, but the punter made up the ground in the next 25 yards.
"I was mad," Martin says. "I was mad the punter got me. That's the fastest punter I've ever seen in my life."
Martin could feel his nightmare playing out even before ignominy hit.
"As I was running I told myself I could not let the punter catch me, but he tripped me up . . . " he says. "It's over now."
Maybe. The rookie getting run down by the punter is sure to bring some laughs when the Texans review the Jacksonville game tape as a team. It's already been getting plenty of attention on national highlight shows.
But publicly the Texans have Martin's punter-tracked-down back. Sort of. Quarterback Matt Schaub said that Anger must have had "fresh legs" in his weekly radio appearance on 610 AM Monday morning.
See that's the ticket: Fresh legs and a Super Punter. What could Martin be expected to do?