Detroit Lions History

The Detroit Lions are in their ninety-third season, playing their home games at Ford Field, in Detroit, Michigan since 2002. The Lions are led by head coach Dan Campbell since 2021.

The Lions have won four championships in their history, most recently in 1957.

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Franchise Award Winners

During their existence, they have had two people win Coach of the Year: Wayne Fontes, (1991); George Wilson, (1957).

During their careers, multiple players have won awards for the team: Greg Landry won the Comeback Player of the Year in 1976; Barry Sanders won the Most Valuable Player in 1997, the AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1994 and 1997, and the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1989; Matthew Stafford won the Comeback Player of the Year in 2011; Ndamukong Suh won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2010; Al Baker won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1978; Lem Barney won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1967; Billy Sims won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1980; Earl McCullouch won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1968; Mel Farr won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1967.

Detroit Lions by the Decades

1930s

The Detroit Lions' inaugural season was 1930 as the Portsmouth Spartans. During the decade, the Spartans had a record of 73-38-9 during the regular season and 1-0 in the playoffs. They played their home games at Universal Stadium (1930-1933), University of Detroit Stadium (1934-1937), and Briggs Stadium (1938-1939). They won zero division titles. The Spartans ranked 3rd in the West division with a win percentage of 65%. They won one league championship in 1935. In 1934, the Spartans moved from Portsmouth, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan and changed their name from the Portsmouth Spartans to Detroit Lions.

1940s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 35-71-4 during the regular season and not a single game in the playoffs. They played their home games at Briggs Stadium. They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 7th in the West division with a win percentage of 34%.

1950s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 68-48-4 during the regular season and 5-1 in the playoffs. They played their home games at Briggs Stadium. They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 2nd in the West division with a win percentage of 57% and ranked 2nd in the National division with a win percentage of 62%. They won three league championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957.

1960s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 66-61-11 during the regular season and not a single game in the playoffs. They played their home games at Tiger Stadium. They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 4th in the West division with a win percentage of 53% and ranked 3rd in the Central division with a win percentage of 49%.

1970s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 66-75-3 during the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs. They played their home games at Tiger Stadium (1970-1974) and Pontiac Silverdome (1975-1979). They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 2nd in the NFC Central division with a win percentage of 47%.

1980s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 61-90-1 during the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs. They played their home games at Pontiac Silverdome. They won one division title. The Lions ranked 4th in the NFC Central division with a win percentage of 40%.

1990s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 79-81-0 during the regular season and 1-5 in the playoffs. In fact, the seventy-nine wins represents the most wins in a decade for the Lions. They played their home games at Pontiac Silverdome. They won two division titles. The Lions ranked 3rd in the NFC Central division with a win percentage of 49%.

2000s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 42-118-0 during the regular season and not a single game in the playoffs. They played their home games at Pontiac Silverdome (2000-2001) and Ford Field (2002-2009). They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 5th in the NFC Central division with a win percentage of 34% and ranked 4th in the NFC North division with a win percentage of 24%.

2010s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 72-87-1 during the regular season and 0-3 in the playoffs. They played their home games at Ford Field. They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 4th in the NFC North division with a win percentage of 45%.

2020s

During the decade, the Lions had a record of 8-24-1 during the regular season and not a single game in the playoffs. They played their home games at Ford Field. They won zero division titles. The Lions ranked 4th in the NFC North division with a win percentage of 26%.

Detroit Lions Head Coaching History

Head Coach Years Record Win percentage Playoff record
Dan Campbell 2021-2022 3-13-1 20.6% 0-0
Matt Patricia 2018-2020 13-29-1 31.4% 0-0
Darrell Bevell 2020 1-4-0 20.0% 0-0
Jim Caldwell 2014-2017 36-28-0 56.3% 0-2
Jim Schwartz 2009-2013 29-51-0 36.3% 0-1
Rod Marinelli 2006-2008 10-38-0 20.8% 0-0
Dick Jauron 2005 5-11-0 31.3% 0-0
Steve Mariucci 2003-2005 16-32-0 33.3% 0-0
Marty Mornhinweg 2001-2002 5-27-0 15.6% 0-0
Gary Moeller 2000 9-7-0 56.3% 0-0
Bobby Ross 1997-2000 31-33-0 48.4% 0-2
Wayne Fontes 1989-1996 64-64-0 50.0% 1-3
Darryl Rogers 1985-1988 20-43-0 31.7% 0-0
Monte Clark 1978-1984 43-61-1 41.4% 0-2
Tommy Hudspeth 1976-1977 12-16-0 42.9% 0-0
Rick Forzano 1974-1976 20-22-0 47.6% 0-0
Don McCafferty 1973 6-7-1 46.4% 0-0
Joe Schmidt 1967-1972 43-34-7 55.4% 0-1
Harry Gilmer 1965-1966 10-16-2 39.3% 0-0
George Wilson 1957-1964 53-45-6 53.8% 2-0
Buddy Parker 1950-1956 53-29-2 64.3% 3-1
Bo McMillin 1948-1950 12-24-0 33.3% 0-0
Gus Dorais 1943-1947 20-31-2 39.6% 0-0
Bill Edwards 1941-1942 4-17-1 20.5% 0-0
Bull Karcis 1942 0-11-0 0.0% 0-0
Potsy Clark 1931-1936, 1940 53-24-7 67.3% 1-0
Gus Henderson 1939 6-5-0 54.5% 0-0
Dutch Clark 1937-1938 14-8-0 63.6% 0-0
Hal Griffen 1930 5-6-3 46.4% 0-0

Franchise history

Franchise history guide

Seasons with a championship win Seasons with a conference championship

Franchise facts