Fourth-year punter Sam Martin is already the Lions best punter in the history of the franchise. Martin finished the 2016 season ranking third all-time in NFL history for net punting average (44.2). Martin has been in the league for four years yet holds the four top spots in the Lions net punting record book. You can’t forget the solid coverage from guys like Don Carey and Johnson Bademosi in order to attain that gaudy record.
During the regular season, kicker Matt Prater was 31 for 36 on field goal attempts and more impressively was 7 for 7 on kicks of 50-yards or more. He also was the first kicker in the NFL to ever make two field goals of at least 50-yards in a postseason game. If you include the two FGs against the Seattle Seahawks, Prater fell just one short of tying Jason Hanson‘s single-season franchise record for most field goals in one year(34).
To get nitpicky, Prater did miss two extra-points which can be frustrating. Even with those mishaps, he still fell right in the middle of the pack for league percentage on PAT attempts. If there was a ranking for clutch, Prater would be number one. None of the kicks he missed really impacted the final outcome of the game which made the errors a bit more tolerable.
Returner Andre Roberts was boom or bust… mostly bust. His inability to ever get to the 25-yard line made him an easy target amongst Lions fans. He did have the 4th most kickoff return yards of any player, yet his average was 20th overall for any returner with at least ten attempts. On a positive note, his two touchdowns on punt returns were tied for the league lead.
- MID-SEASON GRADE: B+
- FINAL GRADE: A-
That man's got distance.
Matt Prater is the first kicker in postseason history with multiple 50-yard FGs made in a single game. (via ELIAS) pic.twitter.com/Cl0ijmskVC
— ESPN (@espn) January 8, 2017