Detroit Lions: Top 5 Players to Watch in Second Half of 2014

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Oct 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks a field goal as punter Sam Martin (6) holds the ball during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

1. Matt Prater

If Detroit Lions fans have learned one thing this season, it’s the importance of a consistent kicker in the NFL. The team started the year with the rookie, Nate Freese out of Boston College. Freese struggled during training camp, however the coaching staff decided to go with him heading into the regular season.

Things didn’t get any better for the rookie. He ended up being cut after only three weeks.

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After Freese came former Philadelphia Eagle, Alex Henery.

Henery’s tenure in the motor city would prove to be even shorter than his predecessor. After just two games, Henery found himself once again unemployed.

Next — Matt Prater.

Prater was instantly thought to be the kicking savoir for Detroit Lions fans. Last season he set the NFL record for the longest field goal in NFL history, a 64-yarder. He was cut by the Denver Broncos early on in the season for off the field issues, giving the Lions the ability to pick up a Pro Bowl kicker mid-season.

Once Prater joined the Lions, it wasn’t automatically smooth sailing. On the season he is 5-for-7 with two kicks good from 50-yards or more. In week nine, he missed his first attempt at the game winner, only to receive a shot at redemption due to a delay-of-game penalty.

He made the second attempt.

By doing so he may have received a bit of acceptance from Lions fans. As the rest of the season progresses it is detrimental to the team that Prater continues to improve. Keep an eye on him as well, as we all hope that he really is the long-term solution in Detroit.

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