As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2014. To conclude the series, let's take a look at the Detroit Lions' special teams players. (Note: Stats are from regular-season games only.)
Matt Prater - 11 games | 21-26 FG (long of 52) | 21-21 XP
After things didn't work out with Nate Freese and Alex Henery, Prater joined the Lions following his release from the Denver Broncos. Prater had to shake off some rust early on, but he settled in as a pretty reliable kicker as the season progressed. He's already made it known that he wants to return to the Lions next season, and given what happened at kicker in 2014, they would be wise to re-sign him.
Sam Martin - 16 games | 68 punts, 46.1 avg., 40.1 net avg. | 75 kickoffs, 53 touchbacks
Martin was a busy man on special teams in 2014. His season will likely be remembered for his shanked punt in the playoffs, but he was quite good in the regular season as a punter and kickoff specialist. He also got a chance to show off his arm by going 2-for-2 for 27 yards against the Miami Dolphins. Both passes came on fake punts, although only one of them actually moved the chains.
Don Muhlbach - 16 games
There's really not much to say about Muhlbach. He completed another season as the Lions' long snapper, and there were no moments in 2014 that jumped out as being obvious mistakes on his part. That's always a good thing for a long snapper.