There was a brief moment in Week 7 when the Detroit Lions didn’t have a punter on their roster. Back on October 24, the Lions released Jeff Locke, who had been their emergency punter after Sam Martin was placed on the Non-Football Injury list and Kasey Redfern had injured himself one half into the season.
Of course, the Lions ended up activating Sam Martin from the NFI list later in the week and he would make his first appearance against the Steelers last week, but it turns out the Lions could have gone without a punter on Monday.
For the first time since 1971, the Detroit Lions finished an entire game without punting a single time, according to the ESPN broadcast on “Monday Night Football.”
The Lions offense still had some red zone troubles, but gone seem to be the days of three-and-outs on every other possession. Here’s an abbreviated look at the Lions’ possessions against the Green Bay Packers.
Possession 1: 9 plays, 71 yards, TD
Possession 2: 8 plays, 34 yards, Missed FG
Possession 3: 13 plays, 91 yards, TD
Possession 4: 11 plays, 50 yards, FG
Possession 5: 4 plays, 20 yards, Fumble
Possession 6: 12 plays, 63 yards, FG
Possession 7: 4 plays, 75 yards, TD
Possession 8: 10 plays, 33 yards, FG
Those are more field goals than you’d like to have, but giving your punter the day off is truly remarkable.
But it’s not just today. Going back to the second half against the Steelers, the Lions have punted just once in their past 16 possessions. This offense is starting to come on, even if the red zone struggles are still there.
Sam Martin and his teammates had some fun with it after the game.
Yeah we coulda had great conversation, both not punting— Sam (@SamMartin_6) November 7, 2017
I love you, Sam. But I love you on the bench even more.