Photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions
The Lions’ teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s featured one of the strongest punters in the league - Jim Arnold. From 1986-93, he punted his way to the top of several Lions punting records. During his eight seasons, he punted more times (536) and for more yards (22,893) than any other punter in team history. He ended his career with an average of 42.71. In 1976, net punting became an official NFL statistic and since that time, Arnold has the highest net punting average for a season with 39.6 in 1987.
Arnold is the franchise’s only player to earn trips to the Pro Bowl twice (1988-89) as a primary punter. In 1988, his first Pro Bowl season, Arnold finished first in the NFC (third in NFL) with a net punting average of 35.9 and his gross punting average of 42.4 was first in the NFC (sixth in NFL). In his second Pro Bowl trip, Arnold finished third in the NFC (fourth in NFL) with a 36.0 net punting average, and he was second in the NFC (3rd in NFL) with a 43.1 gross punting average. In 1991, Arnold punted for the Lions as the team finished with a 12-4 record, won the NFC Central title and played their way into the NFC Championship game.
In Arnold’s final year in Detroit, 1993, he had his best year in terms of gross punting (44.5) and his second-best year in net punting (36.8) as the team won the NFC Central title. Arnold’s career-long punt was a 71-yarder at San Francisco December 28, 1992. He also has the team record for punts in a season (97) in 1988 and is tied for third with punts in a game when he had 10 at Green Bay December 15, 1991.
Arnold's Career Lions' Stats