Lions have won four NFL championships. The 1950s and early 1960s were a prosperous time for the Lions. Lions have had several Hall of Fame players on its roster. Lions have made up for their lean years by drafting some of the best young talent in football. Here is the list of top 10 best Detroit lions of all time
Top 10 Best Detroit Lions of All Time
10. Jason Hanson
Jason Hanson was born on June 17, 1970. He is a retired football placekicker who spent his entire 21-year career playing for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Hanson was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September 2011 after kicking a perfect 8 of 8 field goals. It was his fifth-career Special Teams Player of the Month award and his first since November 2003. Hanson holds the NFL record for the most seasons played with one team, as well as multiple kicking and scoring records. On April 4, 2013, Hanson announced his retirement. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest active player in the NFL, the last player to have played for the same team he played for prior to the advent of free agency, and the last active player to play at Milwaukee County Stadium. He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time
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9. Chris Spielman
Charles Christopher “Chris” Spielman was born on October 11, 1965. He is a former American football player and one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. He is currently an analyst for the Fox NFL. He is best known for having played linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he was a two-time All-American, and for the Detroit Lions in the NFL, where he was a three-time All-Pro. Spielman played eight seasons with the Lions (1988–95), where he was a defensive stalwart during the team’s run to four playoff appearances, two NFC Central titles, and a berth in the 1991 NFC Championship Game. He was the first Lion to lead the team in tackles seven consecutive seasons since 1973, including the team’s highest single-season tally of 148 tackles in 1993. In April 2009 Spielman was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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8. Dick LeBeau
Charles Richard LeBeau was born on September 9, 1937. He is an American football coach and former cornerback, who was last being an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. LeBeau was also one of the most durable players in the league. In 14 years, he played 185 games – placing him fourth on Detroit’s all-time list. He is considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time. On February 6, 2010, LeBeau was selected into the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The entire 2010 Steelers team attended the induction ceremony.
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7. Billy Sims
Billy Ray Sims was born on September 18, 1955. He is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons during the 1980s. He was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. He was given the nickname “Kung Fu Billy Sims” by ESPN’s Chris Berman, after a game where the Detroit Lions played the Houston Oilers. Sims remains a beloved former sports figure in Detroit. His number “20” would go on to be worn five years after his retirement by Barry Sanders, and is currently retired as an unofficial “Triumvirate” of the greatest Lions in the modern era to ever wear the number, which also includes Hall of Fame defensive back Lem Barney.
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6. Bobby Layne
Robert Lawrence Layne was born on December 19, 1926. He was an American football quarterback who played for 15 seasons in the National Football League. Layne was selected by the Bears with the third overall pick of the 1948 NFL draft. His number, 22, has been retired by the University of Texas Longhorns and Detroit Lions. He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. During his eight seasons in Detroit, the Lions won three NFL championships and Layne played in four Pro Bowls, made first team All-Pro twice, and at various times led the league in over a dozen single-season statistical categories.
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5. Matthew Stafford
John Matthew Stafford was born on February 7, 1988. He is an American football quarterback for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) and is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. He was raised in Dallas, Texas, and attended Highland Park High School. Stafford also holds the NFL record for the most comeback wins in a season, recording eight in the 2016 NFL season. In 2017 he signed a $160 million extension with the Lions, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history. On September 10 2017, in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, Stafford finished with 292 passing yards, four touchdowns, and an interception as the Lions rallied and won by a score of 35–23. It was his 27th fourth quarter or overtime comeback since 2011, the most in the league.
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4. Herman Moore
Herman Joseph Moore was born on October 20, 1969. He is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft, and also played for the NFL’s New York Giants. Moore was the Detroit Lions’ first-round draft pick in 1991 and went on to shatter virtually all of Detroit’s receiving records. He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. He played in 145 games during 11 seasons (1991–2001) in Detroit. Moore was a 4 time Pro Bowler.
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3. Dick Lane
Richard Lane was April 16, 1928, he is commonly known as Dick “Night Train” Lane, was an American football player. A native of Austin, Texas, he played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 years as a defensive back for the Los Angeles Rams (1952–1953), Chicago Cardinals (1954–1959), and Detroit Lions (1960–1965). In the Lions’ first win of the 1960 season, a 30-17 victory over the Baltimore Colts, Lane intercepted a Johnny Unitas pass and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown, quickly becoming a fan favorite in Detroit. Dick Lane one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time.
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2. Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson Jr. was born on September 29, 1985. He is a former American football wide receiver. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, second overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, and played for the Lions for all of his professional career before he left us forever. On March 14, 2012, Johnson signed an eight-year, US$132 million contract extension with the Lions, one of the largest sports contracts ever. In 2011, Johnson had his second best statistical season of his NFL career, reaching a career-high 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. In a Week 17 game against the Green Bay Packers, Johnson had a then career-best 244 receiving yards in a 45–41 loss.
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1. Barry Sanders
Barry Sanders was born on July 16, 1968. He is a former American football running back. He played professionally for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). In 2007, he was ranked by NFL Network’s NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and also topped its list of greatest players never to play in a Super Bowl. Sanders joined the Lions in 1989 and had an immediate impact, winning the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award. Through ten seasons in Detroit, he averaged over 1,500 rushing yards per season and just under 100 rushing yards per game. He is one of the best Best Detroit Lions of All Time. His number 20 jersey was retired by the Lions, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
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