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Top 10 Detroit Lions wins of all time

Top 10 Detroit Lions wins of all time
Calvin Johnson caught two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lift the Lions to a big 34-30 victory over the Cowboys on Oct. 2, 2011 at Dallas. (Credit: Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Jacob Ellis

DETROIT (BVM) — The Detroit Lions have notched a number of major wins since they started out in 1934. These are the top 10 victories in team history.

10. Oct. 2, 2011: Lions 34, Cowboys 30

“We work against better receivers with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant,” Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan declared. “They are probably two of the premier receivers in football, but this guy [Calvin Johnson] is right there. He’s almost that good. He’s excellent.” Megatron made Ryan eat his words. Johnson caught two touchdown passes in the 4th quarter — one against triple coverage — as the Lions sent Ryan and company on their way.

9. Nov. 22, 1962: Lions 26, Packers 14

NFL champion Green Bay entered the Week 11 date in Detroit undefeated at 10-0. The Packers were loaded with talents such as All-Pro halfback Paul Hornung and franchise QB Bart Starr. The Lions dropped a close game on the road in Green Bay, 9-7 only six weeks earlier. It was time for revenge. Defensive tackle Roger Brown feasted on Green Bay’s front line, sacking Starr six times. This came to be known as the Thanksgiving Day Massacre.

8. Nov. 28, 1935: Lions 14, Bears 2

A landmark week for the Lions on their first-ever title chase. Chicago was runner-up for the NFL championship a year prior. The Bears held Detroit to a tie in the last meeting at home. The pride showed their class here in a decisive win. It pushed them to greater heights, as they went on to seize the first league crown in team history.

7. Dec. 22, 1991: Lions 17, Bills 14, OT

This turned out to be a key victory for Detroit in their epic 1991 run. AFC king Buffalo finished 13-3, with a second straight Super Bowl appearance coming just weeks later. All-time great Barry Sanders raced for 108 yards and a score as the Lions triumphed in overtime. This fueled the Motor City’s historic playoff drive.  

6. Jan. 5, 1992: Lions 38, Cowboys 6

Detroit’s high water mark over the past 30 years. It all came together for the 12-4 Lions in a Divisional Round playoff drubbing of Dallas. A wave of hysteria swept across the city. All-NFL running back Barry Sanders topped 100 all-purpose yards and rushed for a TD. Detroit was delirious with joy. The Lions moved on to play in the NFC title game.

5. Dec. 21, 1952: Lions 31, Rams 21

In a postseason duel, Detroit faced off with the defending league champion L.A. Rams. The pride jumped ahead and led for the duration. Lions back “Hunchy” Hoernschemeyer shut the door as he rushed for a nine-yard score. The Rams had no choice but to pass the torch.

4. Dec. 29, 1957: Lions 59, Browns 14

Detroit hosted the Cleveland Browns at Briggs Stadium for the 1957 league crown. The Lions’ defense didn’t show any love as they tallied 5 INTs vs. the visitors. The Honolulu Blue bagged their fourth NFL title, the club’s third in six seasons.

3. Dec. 27, 1953: Lions 17, Browns 16

The 1953 championship game set up as a sequel to the previous final. The Lions played host to their rivals from across Lake Erie for the league’s top prize. Detroit’s star halfback Doak Walker ran for a TD and kicked a 23-yard field goal, as they downed the Browns by a single point. That gave them two consecutive NFL crowns.

2. Dec. 28, 1952: Lions 17, Browns 7

The Lions traveled away to play the Browns for 1952 NFL supremacy. Coach Buddy Parker’s pride would prevail as Walker scored on a 67-yard rush. Detroit QB Bobby Layne bested rival field general Otto Graham, as the big cats claimed their second championship in club history.

1. Dec. 15, 1935: Lions 26, Giants 7

Smack in the middle of the Great Depression, Detroit had reason to cheer. The Lions owned New York and seized their first-ever league prize. They rushed for 246 yards and 4 TD in the process. Buddy Parker ran in a 4-yard TD and recorded a pick on defense as well.