Detroit Lions

 

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The Detroit Lions debuted in 1928 as the Portsmouth Spartans, as was the norm in regarding the NFL and “small town” teams. The Spartans, then an independent team, joined the NFL in 1930 and took part in the league’s first playoff game in a 9-0 loss to the Chicago Bears.

The Spartans played one more game in 1933 before moving to Detroit in 1934 due to revenue struggles small town teams were starting to face as Portsmouth was the second smallest market in the NFL at the time, next to Green Bay, Wisconsin. However, while Green Bay has since grown into a budding metropolis, Portsmouth’s residency remains roughly 20,000, down from 42,000 at the time of the Spartans’ day.

The Lions took the NFL by storm, winning the NFL Championship in 1935 over the New York Giants.

Calvin Johnson had been one of the Lions’ few bright spots since 1957.

While the Lions wouldn’t see another NFL Title until 1952, they became one the teams of the decade, winning another NFL Title in 1953 and 1957, all against the Cleveland Browns. The Lions would also lose to the Browns in the 1954 NFL Championship, which budded a small rivalry between the two clubs in the 1950s with both winning three championships in that era. Ironically, the Lions and Browns are the only two pre-1970 AFL-NFL merger teams to have never played in the Super Bowl.

The Lions’ last NFL Championship came in 1957, and since then they’ve had arguably the worst stretch of any team in NFL history.

Since 1957, the Lions have won only two Division Championship, both as members of the NFC Central in 1991 and 1993. They have never been to a Super Bowl, have made just one NFC Championship appearance, and are currently 1-12 in the playoffs, having last won a playoff game in 1991.

They were also the first NFL team to complete an 0-16 season in 2008. Ironically, only the Cleveland Browns have “accomplished” the same infamous task, running the table in reverse in 2017. The Lions finished with an overall record of 2-30 between 2008 and 2009. This record stood as the worst stretch in NFL history until the Browns “topped” it in 2017, finishing the 2016 and 2017 seasons with a combined record of 1-31.

 

Detroit Lions Quick Hits

Founded

1928

Home Field

Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Colors

Honolulu blue, silver

Mascot

Roary the Lion

Championships

4

NFC Championships

0

Notable Players

Bobby Layne, Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson

Worth Mentioning

Won their first playoff game in Super Era in 38-6 route over the Dallas Cowboys in 1991.

Played in the first ever NFL playoff game in 1932.

Notable Helmets

Main Article: The Detroit Lions Helmet History

 

1961-1969

Detroit Lions 1961-1969 helmet

1983-2002

Detroit Lions 1983 to 2002 helmet.

2009-2016

Detroit Lions 2009 to 2016 Helmet

 

Notable Jerseys

Main Article: History of the Detroit Lions Jersey

 

1938-1960

Detroit Lions 1938-1960 Throwback

 

1982-1983

Lions 1982-1983 Home Jersey

 

1984-1998

Lions 1984-1998 home jersey

 

Lions 1984-1998 Road Jersey

 

2009-2016

Lions 2009-2016 Home Jersey

 

Lions 2009-2016 Road Jersey

 

Lions 2016 Unused Color Rush

 

Current

Lions current home jersey

 

Lions current road jersey

 

Lions current color rush