Lions special teams report card vs Minnesota Vikings, Week 2
For the second week in a row, the special teams units did nothing to directly contribute to the Lions loss but failed to provide any type of spark that is needed when an offense is sputtering. It was interesting to see Lance Moore back to return a punt, as I speculated that he may be an option to return punts for the Lions.
Matt Prater had another easy day on Sunday. Prater was good on his only field goal attempt from 26 yards. He made the only extra point he attempted as well.
Sam Martin had four punts, for an average of 34.5 yards, with a long of 53 yards. Two of his four punts remained behind the Viking 20-yard line.
On the opening kickoff, Martin put the ball eight yards deep, but Cordarrelle Patterson decided to bring it out, and he got to the Vikings 25-yard line. His second kickoff went for a touchback. On his third full kickoff, Patterson returned it to the 22-yard line.
The onside-kick attempt was struck well, but Vikings TE Rhett Ellison expertly fielded the kick on the bounce. The kick easily went past the 10-yard neutral zone but didn’t go the Lions way.
KICKOFF RETURNS: B
Ameer Abdullah again was asked to return kickoffs, and he did well. He returned three kickoffs, averaging 28 yards, with a long of 32 yards. Solid but unspectacular.
PUNT RETURNS: C
Golden Tate had one “return” for two yards. Lance Moore was also sent back to return a punt. He called for and made a fair catch. Lions TE Tim Wright was called for a holding penalty on one punt.
KICKOFF COVERAGE: B-
Patterson took some chances by returning two kickoffs from deep in the end zone. He never got the ball past the 25-yard line.
PUNT COVERAGE: C
Minnesota’s Marcus Sherels returned three punts for an average of 13 yards per return, with a long of 31 yards. On his longest return, the punt coverage team displayed poor outside contain, allowing Sherels to get to the sideline and cut upfield.