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Detroit Lions’ top 10 teams of all time
The 2014 Detroit Lions defense ranked second in yards and third in points allowed. (Credit: Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

Detroit Lions’ top 10 teams of all time

DETROIT (BVM) — The Detroit Lions have had a lot of winning years over the past century. These are the top 10 teams in franchise history.

10. 1983 (9-7)

Star running back Billy Sims tallied 1,459 total yards and led the Lions to a division title. The 1983 squad secured a spot in the playoffs and outscored opponents by a 61-point margin.

9. 2014 (11-5)

Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin coached the Lions defense to their best year in decades. The defense ranked second in yards and third in points allowed. Coach Jim Caldwell’s club advanced to the Wild Card round.

8. 1962 (11-3)

Pro Bowl receiver Gail Cogdill paced the pride with nearly 1,000 yards. Detroit’s ferocious defense that fall featured Hall of Famers Richard “Night Train” Lane and Alex Karras. Don Shula served his final year as a Lions assistant before taking the reins of the Baltimore Colts in 1963.

7. 1970 (10-4)

Running back Mel Farr guided the Lions’ attack with 930 total yards and 11 TDs. Detroit made it as far as the Divisional Round. Future Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders wrapped his third season in Motown.

6. 1991 (12-4)

All-time great back Barry Sanders recorded 1,855 yards from scrimmage along with 17 TDs. Sanders added first-team All-Pro honors as well. Detroit trounced Dallas 38-6 in the Divisional Round. That would be the Lions’ greatest win of the past 65 years. They went on to play for the NFC Championship.

5. 1954 (9-2-1)

The 1954 roster included five first-team All-Pro picks. Plus, Detroit topped the league in points scored. They finished as runners-up in the NFL title game that December.

4. 1957 (9-4)

Head coach George Wilson took home the Ed Thorpe Memorial Trophy as Detroit crushed Cleveland in the final,  59-14. All-NFL defensive back Jack Christiansen picked off 10 passes to pace the pack.

3. 1935 (7-3-2)

“Potsy” Clark and his team won the first NFL crown in franchise history. The pride’s defense was rated No.1 in yards allowed. What’s more, Detroit also had the second-highest scoring offense in 1935.

2. 1953 (10-2)

Detroit edged the Cleveland Browns to mark two consecutive NFL crowns. Hall of Famer Doak Walker topped the Lions in all-purpose yards that fall. He teamed with “Hunchy” Hoernschemeyer in the backfield to form a potent one-two punch.

1. 1952 (9-3)

This season signaled the start of a golden age in Detroit. All-Pro signal caller Bobby Layne rushed for a score as the Lions captured their second league championship in team history.