- Ever since suffering an off-field injury last offseason, Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin hasn’t been the same. He had a very disappointing 2017 season, but according to Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano, he’s finally looking like his old self. “He’s crushing the ball,” Marciano told MLive.com. ”He’s hitting five-ohs out of the wazoo.”
- Speaking of special teams, Marciano pulled no punches this week when talking about the team’s kickoff return game last year, which ranked last in the league in yards per return:
Asked #Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano about the new kickoff rules. Got this:— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) May 29, 2018
"We'll be a better return team because they eliminated the wedge. We were the worst wedge in the league last year, so I'm glad. Our wedges were terrible, and we spent the most time on it."
- The Lions barely used any 13 (one back, three tight ends) or 22 personnel on offense last year, but Chris Burke of The Athletic thinks that could change this season (subscription required), and it could give opposing defenses fits.
- In games within a score, no team threw the ball more often on first and second down than the Lions in 2017:
Since I have it open: 2017 pass % on 1st & 2nd down with score within 7 points, excluding 4Q (from Sharp Football Stats) https://t.co/rVNWIwNldm pic.twitter.com/Vsm4GGa0HN— Ben Baldwin (@guga31bb) June 1, 2018
- Lions Wire has some really interesting statistics regarding how the Lions used Ameer Abdullah last season, especially when it comes to shotgun formation. Makes you wonder if Detroit will use him in a very specific way in 2018.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Matthew Stafford is one of the most accurate passers in the league when it comes to passes intended on giving his receivers a horizontal lead (PFF Elite required).
- Former Lions defensive end Robert Porcher will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame later this year.