By Ashley Dunkak
Even those most critical of the idea of drafting a punter had to appreciate Sam Martin’s performance Sunday.
The Detroit Lions took Martin, an Appalachian State grad, in the fifth round this year, and against Washington he proved a capable asset, booming punts of 53, 54, 51, 35, 72 and 50 yards, three of which resulted in touchbacks.
As a result, the Redskins had an average starting field position of the 22.5-yard line following punts. When the Lions offense failed to score, Martin’s punts provided a consistent and effective reset button, helping the defense immeasurably.
Martin’s 72-yarder was the longest by a Lion since Tom Skladany booted one for 74 yards in 1981.