After celebrating the Lions by highlighting their gamers who sometime might be enshrined within the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we flip the script to present you Detroit’s Corridor of Disgrace.
Worst breakup: Barry Sanders
With the Lions in a near-constant state of rebuild, Sanders stunningly retired in his prime earlier than coaching camp in 1999. He dedicated his life to ventures off the sphere as a substitute of sacrificing his physique for a Detroit franchise missing route.
All through his decade with the crew, the Lions didn’t encompass Sanders with the items to win and appeared unmotivated to take action. A few of Sanders’ former teammates, together with receiver Herman Moore, mentioned the Lions did the Corridor of Fame again a “disservice” and robbed him of a larger legacy.
Years later, Sanders mentioned he had no regrets about leaving soccer after solely 10 seasons, however we’re left to surprise what he may have achieved if the Lions had extra expertise, particularly at quarterback.
Worst draft choose: Andre Ware
Selecting seventh within the 1990 NFL Draft, Detroit chosen Ware, a no brainer alternative on the time. He stood out at Houston, turning into the primary Black quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and incomes the Davey O’Brien Award as greatest faculty QB.
After wowing within the Cougars’ fast-paced offense, Ware fell flat within the NFL, and Detroit’s hopes of making a dynamic duo of Ware and Sanders by no means got here to fruition. He went 3-3 in six begins from 1990-1993, finishing 51.6 p.c of his passes and throwing for a measly 1,112 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Launched forward of the 1994 NFL season, Ware briefly joined the Los Angeles Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars however by no means performed one other NFL sport.
Worst free-agency signing: Scott Mitchell
After shining in a small pattern dimension with the Miami Dolphins, Mitchell gladly accepted a three-year, $11.5 million free-agent contract from the Lions in 1994. Mitchell was in no way the worst quarterback within the league throughout his time in Detroit. Nonetheless, regardless of having a number of the greatest offensive weapons within the franchise’s historical past to that time — together with Sanders, Moore and Brett Perriman — Mitchell could not get the Lions over the hump.
Mitchell got here up woefully quick within the playoffs for the Lions, calling into query the crew’s determination to go along with him over a extra confirmed title. He went 0-2 in two postseason begins, throwing 5 interceptions to just one landing go.
Lengthy after his flop in Detroit, Mitchell blamed the Lions for not giving the crew sufficient time to develop. He said the Lions may’ve gained the Tremendous Bowl had the franchise saved the crew collectively longer.
Worst loss: Packers 31, Lions 21, Dec. 28, 2008
For many NFL groups, the record of all-time devastating losses normally contains convention title video games or Tremendous Bowl appearances. Nonetheless, within the case of the Lions, a 31-21 loss to the rival Packers in Week 17 of the 2008 marketing campaign stands out.
On a 22-degree day at Lambeau Subject, the Lions made doubtful historical past, turning into the primary NFL crew to complete 0-16 and first to go winless because the enlargement Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went 0-14 in 1976.
The Lions had been already the doormat of the league, ending third or worse within the NFC North in 5 straight seasons heading into 2008.