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Blair Walsh was perfect from 50 yards or further in 2012. He started the 2013 season by keeping that string in tact with a 52-yard field goal against the Lions on Sunday.
That's an incredible start considering he is working with a new holder and was 0-of-2 this preseason on attempts between 40 and 49 yards.
Walsh also put all five of his kickoffs through the end zone for a touchback, not allowing the Lions a chance for any return.
Rookie punter Jeff Locker handled the holder duties well enough, but his punting came up a little bit short. He finished with an average of 34.8 yards on five punts—down almost 10 yards from his average during his four years at UCLA. Hopefully, it's just opening-day jitters, and he will settle down and get a little more distance on his punts.
Punt returner Marcus Sherels only had one return in the game for six yards. Late in the game, he tried to decoy the coverage team on a punt that was downed at the 1-yard line with 4:25 left in the game.
Cordarrelle Patterson's regular-season debut was delayed a bit by Detroit kicker Sam Martin, who put the first four of his kickoffs through the end zone for a touchback. He did return the last two for an average of 27 yards. On his first return, he fielded the ball eight yards deep in the end zone and was one broken tackle away from a huge return before being tripped up at the 22-yard line.
He definitely flashed the potential as a threat to return one for a touchdown.
Grade: B—The long field goal helped, but Locke's average brings the grade down a bit.