Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and called the Portsmouth Spartans, the team formally joined the NFL in 1930 and began play in the 1930 season. Despite success within the NFL, they could not survive in Portsmouth, which was then the NFL's smallest city. The team was purchased and relocated to Detroit for the 1934 season. The Lions are one of four current teams and the only NFC team to have not yet played in the Super Bowl, and also haven't won their division since 1993.
The Lions went 9-7 last season, but went home early in the playoffs. Although the Lions have been a good team for the last few seasons, they need to push on and become a great team if they are going to make any noise in the playoffs. Detroit play in one of the toughest divisions in the league in the NFC North. It seems like the Packers have dominated the division in recent years under Aaron Rodgers. Could the Lions be the team to dethrone the Packers this time?
Head Coach: Jim Caldwell
The Lions are teetering on the precipice of becoming a very good team or a poor one. Last year's eight fourth-quarter comeback victories set an NFL record. The team backed into the playoffs after losing its final four contests. However, Detroit features quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has MVP potential, and multiple talented targets. Issues at left tackle and an inability to generate a pass rush are the two areas that could hold the franchise back.
The Lions always have a lethal pass attack with Matthew Stafford running the show. They have some nice weapons for Stafford to target in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron. It's the running game that needs to wake up, having finished a poor 30th last year. It will be up to Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick to split the shift at running back, and hopefully become a two-headed monster. The offensive line is another question mark.
Detroit has an above average defence, which showed last year by finishing above the league average in most categories. There's a good mix of youth and experience. Vets like Haloti Ngata, Ziggy Ansah and Glover Quin will be relied upon a lot this year. With rookie Jarrad Davis and up-and-coming lockdown corner Darius Slay Jr breathing new life into this unit. Can they keep up with A-Rod and the Packers in this division though?
Matthew Stafford, QB
Matthew Stafford has bags of talent. He probably has the biggest arm in the NFL right now. With just a flick of his wrist he can throw absolute bombs down the field. The former no.1 overall pick has been playing outstanding since his breakthrough season in 2011. It's criminal to think that Stafford has only been selected to one pro bowl.
Stafford is known for his fourth quarter comeback victories. It seems like every other game he's dragging Detroit out of losing situations. Some have even dubbed him the Motown Miracle Worker because of it. Since his old favourite target Calvin Johnson retired, it's not been as easy for Stafford, but he's definitely proven that he's a top QB in this league. If he stays healthy, Detroit is always in with a chance.
Other notable players: WR - Golden Tate. TE - Eric Ebron. DT - Haloti Ngata. DE - Ezekiel 'Ziggy' Ansah. CB - Darius Slay. S - Glover Quin.
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Ford Field is a multi-purpose domed stadium located in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, and opened in 2002. The stadium's design incorporates a six-story former Hudson's warehouse, which was constructed in the 1920s.
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Detroit is the largest city in the midwestern state of Michigan. Near Downtown, the neoclassical Detroit Institute of Arts is famed for the Detroit Industry Murals painted by Diego Rivera, and inspired by the city’s ties to the auto industry, giving it the nickname "Motor City." Detroit is also the birthplace of Motown Records, whose chart-topping history is on display at their original headquarters, Hitsville U.S.A.
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NFL National - 1
NFL Western - 3
1953, 1954, 1957
NFL West - 1
NFC Central - 3
1983, 1991, 1993
Playoff Appearances - 18
1932, 1935, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2011, 2014, 2016
All Time Record
(Since end of 2016 Season)
Wins: 544 Losses: 631 Ties: 32
Wins: 7 Losses: 13
Wins: 551 Losses: 654 Ties: 32
Hall of Famers - 15
Earl Clark, QB - Class of 1963
Bill Dudley, HB - Class of 1966
Bobby Layne, QB - Class of 1967
Alex Wojciechowicz, C/LB - Class of 1968
Jack Christiansen, DB - Class of 1970
Joe Schmidt, LB - Class of 1973
Dick Lane, CB - Class of 1974
Yale Lary, DB - Class of 1979
Doak Walker, HB - Class of 1986
Lem Barney, CB - Class of 1992
Lou Creekmur, T/G - Class of 1996
Barry Sanders, HB - Class of 2004
Charlie Snaders, TE - Class of 2007
Dick Lebeau, CB - Class of 2010
Dick Stanfel, G - Class of 2016