Top 50 Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions may never have won a Super Bowl Championship but the reality is that this is a franchise with a long history with previous NFL titles that could possibly turn everything around and explore the history of the team.

The Detroit Lions first came into the NFL in 1930 and to date have won four NFL Championships, although the last one occurred in 1957, with three title occurring in the 1950’s.

While this has been an organization that has not had a lot of success, this is still a respected National Football League Team and worth our time when considering the team’s entire history.

This list is up to the end of the 2021 regular season.

Note: Football lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
Nowadays football players are retiring early, but the retirement of Barry Sanders caught everyone completely off-guard as he retired while still an elite player and less than 1,500 Yards from breaking the rushing record, which he had he continued to play would have likely set a mark that would have been unattainable.
Easily the best defensive player the Detroit Lions have ever had, Joe Schmidt was a dominating Middle Linebacker who would become the defensive captain of the team in 1956 and continue in that role for nine years.
Bobby Layne was an absolute beast at the University of Texas but it took a few years, a few stops, and engineering a trade to the Detroit Lions before he was allowed to truly showcase his skills.
You definitely can’t go by the statistics on this one.
Coming out of Jackson State, Cornerback, Lem Barney made an immediate impact for the Lions winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and leading the NFL in Interceptions.  He wouldn’t duplicate that feat as opposing offensive coordinators knew to avoid him like the plague but he was still a seven-time Pro Bowler with 56 total picks and over 1,000…
What is it about the Detroit Lions and their star players retiring early?  Doak Walker did just that as after six seasons he called it a career, but really, and as he stated after he retired, what else had he left to prove?
With the exception of two years serving his country, the multi-tasking Yale Lary played for the Detroit Lions from 1952 to 1964 and was a large part of the success of the organization’s success in the 1950s.  The three-time NFL Champion was a five time First Team All-Pro who was not just a Safety, a Punter and a Returner, he…
Jack Christiansen was a game-changing Defensive Back who altered how people viewed the Safety position.  A major part of the Lions two early 1950’s NFL Championships, Christiansen was one of the game’s first true ball hawks, twice leading the National Football League in picks and earning six nods as a First Team All-Pro.


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An integral part of the Lions three NFL Championships in the 1950s, Offensive Lineman, Lou Creekmur was one of the most durable and versatile players in the history of the National Football League.  Creekmur was an eight-time Pro Bowler who was also a six-time First Team All-Pro.  He would enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.  Thirteen years…
“Never mind that shit.  Here comes Mongo!”Alex Karras may not have been the best defensive player to ever suit up for the Detroit Lions, but there was no denying that he was the most popular and was in many ways iconic.
“Megatron” changed the culture of football in Detroit and made the team a must-watch in the NFL Package.  Calvin Johnson was not just an acrobatic receiver, he was an expert route runner who forced constant double teams and nightmares for defenses across the league.
Considered one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL coaching history, Dick LeBeau was quite the player in his own right and was a three-time Pro Bowler in the 1960s.  Spending his entire playing career with the Detroit Lions, LeBeau would pick off 62 balls, which as of this writing puts him tenth all-time.  LeBeau was elected into the Pro…
While the legendary Dick “Night Train” Lane did not arrive in Detroit until he was 32, the future Hall of Famer still had a lot left in the tank.  The man who set a sixty-year record for single-season Interceptions was known for a ferocious hitting style that would have had him permanently suspended today.  Lane may have debuted as a…
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, Charlie Sanders might very well be the greatest Tight End in Detroit Lions history.  An adept blocker as he was a receiver, Sanders was named to seven Pro Bowls and three First Team All-Pros and was close to 5,000 Yards Receiving.  Sanders was part of Detroit's first Pride of the…
Out of the state of Idaho, Wayne Walker would spend all of his fifteen seasons in the NFL as a Detroit Lion and was a very rare dual threat as a Linebacker and Place Kicker.  Walker was a three-time Pro Bowl selection who would be named the team’s Defensive MVP in 1968.  Walker had 14 career Interceptions.
A great offensive weapon for the Lions in the 1990s, Herman Moore would twice lead the National Football League in Receptions.  Moore may have been overshadowed by Barry Sanders, but Moore was a four-time Pro Bowl selection who had over 1,000 Yards in each of those campaigns.  He held all of the major franchise receiving records until they were broken…
Before he would join the Rams “Fearsome Foursome”, he was already well established as a star Defensive Tackle with the Detroit Lions.  Brown was a Pro Bowl Selection in each of his final five seasons with Detroit and would also be named to a pair of First Season All-Pros.  Allegedly, Brown was the first player to weigh in at over…
From the University of Georgia, Matthew Stafford was the Lions' Quarterback from 2009 to 2020, starting every game he appeared in.  The Lions had Calvin Johnson for the first part of Stafford's Detroit run, but he did not have much more help, and the defense was generally poor.  Stafford was considered to be an above-average QB, but his record was…
The answer to the not often asked question of who is the player who played the most years for only one franchise is Place Kicker, Jason Hanson, who was a Detroit Lion for 21 seasons.