Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Lions history by the numbers: 90-81
By Michael Rothstein
We'll be looking at the history of the Detroit Lions from a little bit different perspective -- history through the numbers. Each weekday will feature a set of numbers counting down from 100.
The series continues with Nos. 90-81. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.
90: Selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, Ndamukong Suh has worn No. 90 his whole career and has turned into not only the Lions' best current defensive player, but one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He is one of the current faces of the franchise.
89: He never played a regular season game for Detroit, but the Lions would have been glad to have the man they selected with the No. 89 pick in the 1964 draft eventually coach them. That never happened, as Bill Parcells instead won Super Bowls with the New York Giants and also led three other NFL franchises. Not the Lions, though, who released him before the 1964 season -- starting his coaching career early.
88: The age of owner William Clay Ford Sr. when he died on March 9, 2014 after a half-century of owning the Lions. Ford Sr. was the last living grandson of Henry Ford, who created Ford Motor Company.
87: Yards for Eddie Payton during his punt return touchdown against Minnesota on Dec. 17, 1977, the longest Lions punt return ever against the Vikings. In that same game, he also returned a kick 98 yards for a touchdown as part of a day where he had 289 return yards. He is one of two Lions, along with Jeremy Ross, to return a kick and punt for a touchdown in the same game.
86: Games coached by Potsy Clark -- the first coach of the Lions when they moved to Detroit. He initially took over when the team was still in Portsmouth, Ohio, but also coached the team when they made the transition to Detroit. Clark had a 54-25-7 record in seven seasons and a .684 winning percentage.
85: Chuck Hughes' jersey number. Hughes collapsed on the field while heading back to the huddle during a play with a little more than a minute remaining against Chicago on Oct. 24, 1971. Doctors attempted to revive Hughes on the field unsuccessfully after he suffered a heart attack. He was transported to Henry Ford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 50 minutes after the game ended, according to a story from UPI. Hughes played two seasons for the Lions, where he caught nine passes for 194 yards according to Pro Football Reference.
84: For many years the man who wore No. 84 for the Detroit Lions was widely considered the best receiver in team history. Herman Moore, the No. 10 pick out of Virginia in the 1991 NFL draft, set almost all the records Calvin Johnson has broken. In 11 seasons with the Lions, Moore caught 670 passes for 9,174 yards and 62 touchdowns. He went to the Pro Bowl four times and was first-team NFL All-Pro thrice.
83: Career passer rating for Matthew Stafford, the highest of any Lions quarterback. In his career, he has completed 1,485 of 2,497 passes for 17,457 yards, 109 touchdowns and 73 interceptions with a 59.5 percent completion percentage. He is on pace to hold every major passing record for the team.
82: The career field goal percentage for Jason Hanson (82.4 percent). He made 495 of 601 field goals in a career that spanned from 1992 until 2012. He is the only Lions kicker who lasted more than a season who finished with more than an 80 percent field goal percentage. The next highest was Eddie Murray -- the player Hanson replaced -- with 75.1 percent from 1980 to 1991.
81: If the Lions ever take another number out of circulation, it'll be this one. Johnson has become synonymous with No. 81 since he was taken with the No. 2 pick in 2007. Called Megatron, Johnson has turned into the top receiver in the NFL and possibly the best wideout in the history of the league. In his first seven years in the league, he has caught 572 passes for 9,328 yards and 66 touchdowns. His 1,964-yard season in 2012 is an NFL record for most receiving yards in a season.