Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is no easy task to accomplish. From No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players based on their jersey number. This list now continues with my selection for the best at No. 6.
Unquestionably the best punter in Lions history, Jim Arnold was one of the best punters in the NFL in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. For Arnold’s eight seasons in Detroit, he teamed with Eddie Murray and a young Jason Hanson to give the Lions one of the best kicking tandems in all of football. During Arnold’s time in Detroit, the punter averaged 42.7 yards per punt with his longest being a 71-yarder in 1992. Arnold also booted 124 kicks inside the 20-yard line and punted for over 22,000 yards.
Arnold was a two-time Pro Bowler in Detroit, making the trip in 1987 and 1988, and was a key member of Detroit’s 1991 team that made the playoffs. Prior to Detroit, Arnold had a three-year stint in Kansas City and once he was let go by Detroit in 1993, he finished his career with Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins for one season.
The only other primary punter to make the Pro Bowl for Detroit was Tom Skladany in 1981, and since Arnold’s departure, the Lions have struggled mightily at this position.
During his time in the NFL, Arnold was be known as an underrated punter whose clutch kicking changed the field position, which in turn helped the Lions to postseason appearances in 1991 and 1993. While punters get entirely scoffed at in today’s game, the Lions and their fanbase are surely grateful for what Arnold contributed to the Lions during his time in the Motor City.
Other nominees: Dan Orlovsky (2005-2008)
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