- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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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. 40-31. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.
40: The Lions used this selection in 1978 to pick a defensive end from Colorado State named Al Baker. Better known as "Bubba," Baker had 23 sacks his rookie season according to the Lions website, and 75.5 sacks in his five seasons with the Lions in just 67 games. He also made three Pro Bowls during that span. Most of these sacks were never officially recorded by the NFL, though, since the league didn’t start recognizing the stat until 1982. Now, he owns a barbecue business in Ohio and was featured on the show “Shark Tank.”
39: Completions by Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck against the Lions on Nov. 8, 2009, in a 32-20 Seahawks win. Hasselbeck completed 39 of 51 passes for 329 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Detroit with seven of those passes going to former Seahawks and Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson.
38: Interceptions made during the 1953 season by the Lions defense, the most the team has had in a year. Detroit returned two interceptions for touchdowns that year and gained 663 yards on those interceptions for an average of 17.45 yards per INT.
37: The number worn by Doak Walker, the man for whom the trophy for the best running back in college football is named. He had 309 carries for 1,520 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career along with 152 receptions for 2,539 yards and 21 touchdowns as he helped Detroit win two NFL titles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.
36: Carries by Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson, the most ever taken in a game against the Lions. Benson had 110 yards on those carries and did not score. The Lions -- as they did so often in 2009 -- lost, falling to the Bengals, 23-13.
35: The age of the oldest Lions player to score an offensive touchdown in the regular season. Two 35-year-olds actually accomplished this. Quarterback Joe Ferguson had one rushing touchdown during the 1985 season and Jeff Garcia had one rushing score in 2005. Technically, Garcia was the oldest due to an earlier birth date.
34: The number of field goals Jason Hanson made in the 1993 season, the most in his career and the most in one year in Lions history. Hanson made 34 of 43 field goals that season, for a 79.1 field goal percentage. Hanson has the club's top six seasons for field goals made and the top two field goal percentage seasons (among qualifying kickers) in club history.
33: Fullback Nick Pietrosante wore this number during his seven years with the Detroit Lions, when he rushed for 3,933 of his 4,026 career yards and all 28 of his touchdowns. He also caught 134 passes for 1,323 yards and two touchdowns during his time in Detroit after being the No. 6 overall pick of the Lions in the 1959 draft out of Notre Dame.
32: Number of ties in team history -- although none have happened since the Lions tied Philadelphia, 23-23, on Nov. 4, 1984. Seven of the 32 ties in team history came when the Lions were still in Portsmouth with four in 1932 and three in 1930.
31: Points scored against the Lions by Green Bay's Don Hutson on Oct. 7, 1945. Hutson had four receiving touchdowns from Roy McKay and made seven extra points during the Packers' 57-21 win over Detroit. Hutson, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, had six catches for 144 yards in the game.