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Detroit Lions

February 14, 2012 388 No of hits
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Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions franchise began its professional football life in 1929 as the Portsmouth, Ohio Spartans. They were among the many Ohio pro teams. In 1930, the Spartans formally became part of the National Football League (NFL), as other franchises folded due to the Great Depression. But Portsmouth was the smallest city in the league, and the franchise could not survive. So, the team was sold and moved on to Detroit prior to the 1934 season.

The Lions were a successful NFL team before the 1970 merger with the American Football League (AFL), as they earned four NFL titles. However, the last one occurred in 1957, and the Lions are among four current NFL franchises to never reach the Super Bowl. The others are the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. In 2008, the Lions set a record for futility by becoming the only NFL team to go winless during a 16-game regular-season schedule.

The Lions were NFL champions in 1935 by beating the New York Giants, 1952 and '53 with wins against the Browns and 1957 with another victory against the Browns. The Browns actually beat the Lions in the 1954 NFL championship game. But that was about it in the success department for the Lions.

The Lions were placed in the NFC Central Division and went 10-4 in 1970, but they lost in the divisional playoff round to the Dallas Cowboys, 5-0. Yes, 5-0, and the Lions did not return to the post-season until successive appearances in 1982-83. However, they lost opening games both seasons. Then, there was a seven-year playoff drought for the Lions when they averaged about six wins per year from 1984-90.

The new decade brought more success, as the Lions qualified for the post-season six times from 1991-99. They actually won a playoff game in 1991 after a 12-4 regular season, the club's most successful ever, by hammering the Dallas Cowboys, 38-6. The Lions lost in the NFC championship game the next week, 41-10, to the Washington Redskins. They dropped wild-card playoff games from 1993-95 and after the 1997 and '99 seasons as well.

The Lions were 9-7 in 2000, but did not make the playoffs. That was the franchise's last winning season. When the league was realigned before the 2002 season, the Lions were placed in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, the same teams they battled in the NFC Central, and they have not fared well. The Lions were 42-118 from 2000-2009, but improved to 6-10 in 2010 and opened 2011 with their best start in years.

With several high draft picks in the fold, especially on defense, the future is now for the Lions in the NFL.

Tags:   Detroit Lions   The Lions   NFC North  

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The Detroit Lions franchise began its professional football life in 1929 as the Portsmouth, Ohio Spartans. They were among the many Ohio pro teams. In 1930, the Spartans formally became part of the National Football League (NFL), as other franchises folded due to the Great Depression. But...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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