Lions history by the numbers: 50-41

June, 30, 2014
Jun 30
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The series continues with Nos. 50-41. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions' website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.

The series continues with Nos. 50-41. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions' website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.

50: Years that William Clay Ford Sr., who bought the Detroit Lions on Nov. 22, 1963 -- the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated -- had control of the franchise. Ford Sr. died on March 9, 2014 and control of the Lions was given to his wife, Martha, with his son, William Clay Ford Jr., also having a major role in the franchise. In Ford Sr.’s tenure as owner, the Lions only made the playoffs 10 times and had 14 winning seasons.

49:The longest field goal made against New England came from Jason Hanson on Dec. 3, 2006 -- the last time the Lions played in New England before this season, when the team travels to Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Lions lost that game, 28-21. In a common theme against the AFC East, the longest field goal made by the Lions against the New York Jets is also 49 yards by Hanson on Dec. 10, 1994.

48: Penalties by the Lions in 1972, the fewest the team had in franchise history. The Lions had 417 penalty yards in those 14 games, also a franchise low. The lack of penalties helped Detroit, as it went 8-5-1 that season, but failed to make the playoffs.

47: The longest playoff run by Barry Sanders, which was also one of the best runs he had in his career. Sanders scored a 47-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter during a 38-6 thrashing of Dallas in the 1991 divisional playoff game. Sanders’ run in the fourth quarter is considered one of the top plays in franchise history as he ran through the bulk of the Cowboys’ defense on the way to a touchdown that put the game away.

46: Pass attempts by Gus Frerotte in the Lions’ 1999 first-round playoff loss to Washington on Jan. 8, 2000. Detroit lost the game, 27-13, after being shut out for the first three quarters. Frerotte completed 21 of 46 passes for 251 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the game.

45: He didn’t do much for the Lions on the field, but the No. 45 pick in the 1952 draft to the Lions became a legend calling football games. The team selected Pat Summerall out of Arkansas with the selection (then a fourth-round pick). He played two games for Detroit his rookie year and then broke his arm. The next season he was traded just before the start of the regular season to the Chicago Cardinals.

44: Points scored by the Tennessee Titans in 2012 during a 44-41 overtime win against Detroit. This is on here because the Lions scored two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime. Detroit then lost the game after backup quarterback Shaun Hill was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak on the Lions' first drive of overtime. Tennessee had made a 26-yard field goal on its first overtime possession and the Lions coach called the one-yard failed sneak a “miscommunication” when a field goal would have kept the game going.

43: Passes completed by Detroit on Sept. 23, 2012 at Tennessee, a franchise record. That game was bad for the Lions on multiple levels. Matthew Stafford left the game with a leg injury -- but ended up able to make the team’s next start. He completed 33 of 42 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown. Backup Shaun Hill came in and completed 10 of 13 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, but the Lions lost to the Titans in overtime, 44-41. Hill threw his two touchdown passes -- one to Calvin Johnson and one to Titus Young -- in the final 18 seconds of regulation.

42: The age of kicker Jason Hanson when he retired after the 2012 season. He made 32 of 36 field goals that season -- the most points he had scored in his career. The 88.9 field goal percentage he posted that season was the fourth-highest in his 20-year career and third straight season over 80 percent field goals made at his retirement.

41: Number of passing touchdowns for Matthew Stafford during the 2011 regular season -- a franchise record. Stafford, who was 23 years old at the time, completed 63.5 percent of his passes that season for 5,038 yards and a touchdown percentage of 6.2 percent. More important for Detroit, his effort that season led the Lions to their only winning season this century.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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