In this series I’ll be going over who I think will be the top 20 impact players for the Lions in 2018, next up is Matt Prater.
Good special teams, especially good kickers, win you games in the NFL. They make a good team become a great team. Just ask Seahawks fans their for opinion on Blair Walsh. Matt Prater is one of the elite kickers in the entire NFL, something I fear Lions fans have been taking for granted for a long time. Having Jason Hanson followed by Matt Prater has given fans little appreciation for how important the role is or how gut wrenching it is when you have a kicker step up who won’t make that game winning kick.
Having a career field goal percentage of 83.4% is staggering with the previous few years being even higher. He is also one of the most reliable kickers from 50+ yards, which helps the team keep a rhythm going if the offense stalls. Getting some points on the board can change the outcome of a game as teams will adjust their play style knowing that the Lions getting into Praters exceptionally long field goal range will more than likely end with three points to the Lions.
Having a kicker who can be relied upon to make kicks in clutch situations is something that is hugely undervalued among fans and in the league. I’m not saying fans don’t appreciate Prater but I still believe he is undervalued for what he brings to the team. Prater is one of the most important players on the Lions roster and will show that in the upcoming season.
List so far:
Rick Wagner – #20
Jamal Agnew – #19
Kerry Hyder – #18
Da’Shawn Hand – #17
Taylor Decker – #16
Frank Ragnow – #15