The Detroit Lions have the best punter in the entire NFL early on this season
The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Ray Guy back in 2014. The first-round selection by the Oakland Raiders in 1973 became the first and only punter ever allowed a coveted spot in the Hall.
That’s to say over the long and storied history of the NFL, the position of punter is the Rodney Dangerfield of the league. No respect, no respect at all. Yet, the contributions of punters undoubtedly impact the game. A game that’s very foundation is based on field position.
Following their first victory of the young NFL season, the Detroit Lions‘ special teams unit is receiving a lot of praise as one of the best in the league through Week Three. And that’s largely based on the play of both kicker Matt Prater and punter Jack Fox.
The 36-year old Prater has connected on all seven of his field-goal attempts of 49 yards or less in 2020. His two misses this season have come from the 50-yard line or beyond.
Prater was pivotal in the Lions getting their first victory of the season against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He went a perfect 4 for 4 on field-goal attempts and hit both of his extra-point attempts. Prater was responsible for 14 of the 26 points scored by Detroit in the three-point win.
But it was Fox who earned NFC Special Teams Player of the month honors for his play in September. The second-year pro boomed his four punts against the Cards for a whopping 222 yards, averaging an incredible 55.5 yards per punt. His longest punt in Arizona was a 65-yarder. Fox knocked one for 67 yards the week before against the Green Bay Packers.
The 24-year old Jack Fox currently leads the NFL with a gross average 53.1 yards per punt and a net of 51.1 yards per through the first three games of the 2020 regular season. Fox has had seven of his 13 punts land inside the 20-yard line, which is tied for second-most in the league. This special teams unit for the Detroit Lions has truly been special so far this year.