Detroit Lions Special Teams Not so Special in 2012

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Detroit Lions Special Teams Not so Special in 2012
AP Photo

Just last year, the Detroit Lions were 10-6 and had the city buzzing for the first time in a long while as they made their way into the playoffs. That run was short-lived, but it seemed Detroit built confidence and had something to look forward to for the next season.

Cue this year, and the team is looking as bad as a 1938 Ford in a junkyard.

The offense, which was supposed to be one of the most explosive in the league, has been horrendous. Defensively, the aggressive front four has been subpar and the secondary has been lacking all season. Much like that old Ford, the Detroit Lions just can't seem to shake the rust off.

There are three aspects to every football game, however. We know the offense and defense are playing well below their standards, but let's not forget the 'not so' special teams.

For two weeks in a row, the coverage teams have given up not only a kickoff return for a score in each game, but a punt return for a touchdown as well.

According to NFL.com, the Lions are the first team since 1940 to give up touchdowns on both a kickoff and punt return in consecutive games.

Luckily, the team is heading into its bye week. The coaching staff should use the week to not only show the special teams players what they have done wrong, but also completely replace every single member of the personnel.

The most touchdowns given up on punt returns in a season is four, a record held by both the 1959 New York Giants and 1992 Atlanta Falcons.

The most touchdowns allowed on kickoff returns in a season is also four, with the 1998 Minnesota Vikings holding that record.

Detroit has already given up two each in only four weeks of play, and its special teams is headed into the right direction to destroy each record.

The Lions will look to stay in their lanes and plug the holes as they face Desean Jackson of Philadelphia in Week 6 and Devin Hester of Chicago in Weeks 7 and 16. They also have another nine games on the schedule to consider.

The Lions have to raise the intensity of all three aspects of their game, but the 'not so' special teams can make or break their season.

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