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Lions 2014-2015 Outlook
As talented as Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford were on offense last season, the Detroit Lions needed more weapons. With the addition of Golden Tate and rookie tight end Eric Ebron, Stafford will have more weapons, and Johnson should have more room to roam.
There are legitimate concerns about the defense with the lack of depth in the secondary, but the team has all preseason to make moves or even sign a free agent. Unsigned Asante Samuel should keep his phone with him at all times.
All Detroit Lions football games can be seen on one of the following television broadcasts depending on the team they are playing: Fox Sports, CBS, or ESPN. Tune into the Detroit Lions flagship station WKRK 97.1 on your FM dial to catch each Detroit Lions football game on the radio.
The Detroit Lions have played in 5 different stadiums during their existence. Currently, the Detroit Lions play in Ford Field which recently opened for play on August 24, 2002. In an effort to replace the 2 older homes for Detroit’s MLB and NFL teams (the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, respectively), the city took part in a large public project to build new stadiums at the early part of the 21st century. Comerica Park replaced the Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium when it opened in April 2000. A little over 2 years later, Ford Field opened right across the street from Comerica Park creating a great mecca for Detroit sports fans. Ford Field has a capacity of up to 70,000 fans for NFL games, but can expand to a capacity of 80,000 fans for basketball sporting events. It is an indoor stadium with FieldTurf for its surface.
Before the move to Ford Field, the Detroit Lions called the Pontiac Silverdome their home. The Pontiac Silverdome was a domed stadium located in Pontiac, Michigan, a nearby suburb outside of Detroit. In addition to hosting the Detroit Lions for over 25 years, the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the NBA’s Detroit Pistons from 1978 through 1988, numerous college football bowl games, international soccer matches for the 1994 World Cup, Super Bowl XVI in 1982, the 1979 NBA All-Star game and Pope John Paul II for a mass in 1987. The Pontiac Silverdome is currently still standing, but it will likely be demolished in the near future.
Despite the great new facilities for its NFL and MLB franchises, Detroit fans still hold Tiger Stadium close to their hearts. The Detroit Lions played all of their games in Tiger Stadium from 1937 through 1974 and the Detroit Tigers played all of their home games in Tiger Stadium for almost a full century. Since the Detroit Tigers moved to the Comerica Park in 2000, the city of Detroit spent a significant amount of money for Tiger Stadium’s upkeep. In the summer of 2000, producers for the HBO movie “61” used Tiger Stadium to film all of its scenes for Roger Maris’ chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record. Who would have thought that Tiger Stadium would last be remembered as Yankee Stadium. In 2006, the city of Detroit announced plans to demolish Tiger Stadium and to develop the site into a public park surrounded by new condominiums and shops.
2000 Brush Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226
The Detroit Lions are a professional football team in the National Football League (the NFL). The Detroit Lions play in the National Football Conference (NFC) North Division with three other teams: the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The Detroit Lions have won 4 NFL Championships. Ford Field, located in Detroit, Michigan, hosts all Detroit Lions home games.
Before the team now known as the Detroit Lions became a member of the NFL in 1930, the city of Detroit actually had 4 other professional football teams play in the great city. The Detroit Heralds played football in the NFL in 1920 and the Detroit Tigers played football in the NFL in 1921. After a 3-year absence of professional football in Detroit, the Detroit Panthers played football in the NFL for 2 years from 1925 through 1926. That team soon also collapsed, until a city owned franchise called the Detroit Wolverines played in the NFL for only one season in 1928. The city of Detroit was once again without a professional football team until the Portsmouth Spartans moved its franchise from the State of Ohio to the State of Michigan in 1934. The franchise settled on the city of Detroit, changed the name to the Detroit Lions and won the NFL Championship in 1935, the franchise’s first championship.
The 1940’s did not treat the Detroit Lions well. The Detroit Lions won only 35 games the entire decade, and the franchise hit an all-time low in 1943 when the Detroit Lions tied the New York Giants in a 0-0 game. This was the last time an NFL game ended in a tie where neither team scored a single point. The trials and tribulations of the 1940’s led to success and prosperity in the 1950’s. During that decade, the Detroit Lions won 3 NFL Championships. In 1952, the Detroit Lions finished 1st in the NFL West with a 9-3 record. After beating the Los Angeles Rams in the National Conference Playoff Game, the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-7 in the NFL Championship Game to win the franchise’s 2nd NFL Championship. In 1953, the Detroit Lions finished 1st in the NFL West with a 10-2 record. Once again, the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-16 in the NFL Championship Game to win the franchise’s 2nd consecutive NFL Championship. In 1954, the Detroit Lions finished 1st in the NFL West for the 3rd consecutive win with a 9-2-1 record. Once again, the Detroit Lions faced the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game, but this time, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Detroit Lions 56-10 denying the Detroit Lions their 3rd consecutive NFL Championship Game victory.
After a 2-year post-season absence, the Detroit Lions finished 1st in the NFL West with an 8-4 record in 1957. In the National Conference Playoff Game, the Detroit Lions overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-27 to advance to the NFL Championship Game. And once again, the Detroit Lions captured its 4th and final franchise NFL Championship by defeating the Cleveland Browns 59-14. From 1958 through 1990, the Detroit Lions were one of the worst teams in the NFL. During that 32 year span, the Detroit Lions had a winning record only 10 times and only made the playoffs 3 times. One of those playoff appearances came during the 1982 strike-shortened season when the Detroit Lions finished with a losing 4-5 record. Ultimately, all 3 playoff appearances ended in 1st round losses.
Barry Sanders livened up professional football in Detroit in the 1990’s. In his first season in the NFL, Barry Sanders just missed winning the NFL rushing title when he decided not to re-enter the game in the 4th quarter simply to win the rushing title – he only needed 10 yards to win the rushing title. During his reign as the NFL’s most exciting rusher in the 1990’s, the Detroit Lions made the playoffs 6 of out 10 years, but could never make it through the playoffs to the Super Bowl. Only once did they even win a playoff game, in 1991, when the Detroit Lions defeated the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 behind a 3-touchdown passing performance by Quarterback Erik Kramer and a solid rushing performance by Barry Sanders. The Detroit Lions ultimately lost to the Washington Redskins 41-10 in the NFC Conference Championship game. The Detroit Lions were outscored 24-0 in the 2nd half and the Washington Redskins defense held Barry Sanders to just 44 yards rushing. Barry Sanders surprisingly retired from football after the 1999-2000 NFL season, and the Detroit Lions have not returned to post-season play since his departure. Barry Sanders rushed for over 2,000 yards in 1997, only the 3rd player in NFL history to eclipse that mark in a single season and he is the only NFL player to rush for at least 1,500 yards in 4 consecutive years. That same year, he shared the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honor with legendary Green Bay Quarterback Brett Favre. Barry Sanders was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Detroit Lions' struggles in the 21st century continued during the 2006-7 NFL season as the team one only 3 games en route to a 6th consecutive losing season. During the 2007-2008 NFL season, the Detroit Lions finished 3rd in the NFC North with a 7-9 record and did not qualify for post-season play. The 7 wins was the most wins recorded by the Lions since 2000 when the Lions won 9 games. The Detroit Lions have not qualified for post-season play since the 1999-2000 NFL season, and the Lions have not recorded a playoff win since 1991.