I have followed the Detroit Lions since I was big enough to know what football was and over the years there have been some great players here are the top 8.

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Detroit Lions

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Robert Riger/Getty Images
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The Detroit Lions are one of the oldest teams in the NFL. The team started off as the Portsmouth Spartans in Ohio when they joined the NFL in 1930 then relocated to Detroit in 1934 when they were officially named the Detroit Lions.

Obviously, the Lions have never won the Super Bowl since its inception in 1967 but they have won 4 National Football League championships. The Lions beat the New York Giants in 1935, and the Cleveland Browns in 1952, 1953, and 1957.

Since 1957, the Lions have only won one playoff game and that was in 1991. So for my lifetime supporting the team, it's been pretty ugly but that doesn't mean they have never had any great players.

Top 8 Detroit Lions of All-Time

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Michael Hickey/Getty Images
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The Lions have had some great players throughout the history of the team so I did some digging and found out who the top 8 players have been for the team.

8. Jason Hanson

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Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Jason Hanson was a placekicker for the Lions and he spent his entire 21-year-career in Detroit. He played 327 games with the team and that is longer than any player in NFL history. Hanson scored 2,150 points making him the team's all-time scoring leader. Over his career as a Lion, he kicked 495 field goals.

7. Billy Sims

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Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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Billy Sims was a running back for the Lions for 5 seasons in the 1980s. Sims made the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981, and 1982. Sims led the Lions to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983.

Sims's career was short due to a knee injury in the 1984 season in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. Sims spent two years trying to rehabilitate the knee before retiring in 1986. Sims held the all-time rushing record for the team with 5,106 yards (a record Barry Sanders now holds) and averaged 4.5 years per rush.

6. Herman Moore

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George Gojkovich/Getty Images
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Herman Moore was a wide receiver for the Lions. When Moore was drafted as a first-round draft pick in 1991, it didn't take long for him to break every receiver record the team had.

Moore was part of the team that won the only playoff game since 1957. Moore caught 6 passes for 87 yards and scored a touchdown in the Lion's 38-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

5. Chris Spielman

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Focus on Sport/Getty Images
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Chris Spielman was a three-time all-pro linebacker. Speilman played 8 seasons with the Lions creating one of the best defenses statistically in the NFL in the mid-90s.  He is Lion's all-time leader in career tackles with 1,020.  He led the lions 7 years straight in tackles. In 1994 Speilman had 195 which is still the team's highest single-season in tackles.

4. Mathew Stafford

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Mathew Stafford/Getty Images
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Mathew Stafford was a first-round draft pick for the Lions in 2009. Stafford is third in all-time passing yards per game and the fastest NFL player to reach 40,000 yards passing.

In 2011 he became the fourth NFL quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season. He took the Lions to the playoffs twice but unfortunately never got the win. He went on to break every record at quarterback in franchise history.

He finally got a Super Bowl victory in his first season playing for the Los Angeles Rams.

3. Dick Lane

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Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
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Known as Dick "Night Train" Lane who played cornerback in the NFL for 13 years. Lane holds the NFL record for most interceptions in one season and ranks second for the most interception in his career with 68.

Lane played his final five seasons with the Lions. He was part of a trade when he played for the Cardinals in exchange for lineman Gerry Perry. Some called this the greatest trade ever made in any sport.

In Lane's first game as a Lion, he intercepted a pass from Johnny Unitas and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. In his first two seasons with the team, he had 11 interceptions and 175 return yards. Lane played 6 seasons with the Lions and played in the Pro Bowl in 1960, 1961, and 1962.

2. Calvin Johnson

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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Calvin Johnson also known as Megatron, is considered to be one of the greatest receivers of all time. Johnson played in 6 consecutive Pro Bowls.

Johnson is tied with Michael Irvin for 100-yard games in a season, tied with Adam Thielen for consecutive 100-yard games, and holds the record for consecutive games with 10 or more catches. If Johnson has not retired early it is unthinkable of all the records he would have broken.

1. Barry Sanders

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Brian Cleary/Getty Images
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Barry Sanders led the league 4 seasons as the leading rusher and for one season led the league in rushing touchdowns. In all 10 seasons as a Lion Sanders went to the Pro Bowl. He was a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the year.

Sanders was ranked number 1 as the most elusive runner in the NFL and the greatest player to never play in a Super Bowl. Sanders averaged 1,527 yards per season and they played fewer games back then.

Sanders holds all the rushing records for the Lions franchise and no one has come close since his retirement.

MORE: The 5 Best Offensive Players in Detroit Lions History

 

SEE MORE: Our Favorite Detroit Lions Memes

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