Next up let’s look at the top bobbleheads from the Detroit Lions. One of the oldest NFL franchises, the Lions began in 1930 as the Portsmouth Spartans, before being bought and moved to Detroit in 1934.
While having some success early in the history of the franchise, winning 4 NFL championships, unfortunately, the last one came in 1957, making them the second-longest team without a title, with the Arizona Cardinals not winning one since 1947.
The Lions also face the dubious distinction of being the only NFC team never to have at least played in a Super Bowl, and one of 4 teams overall, and is the only team to have been in operation all 54 years of the Super Bowl without appearing in one.
That being said, there have been some bright spots in the Lions history and some great players. Without further ado, here are the top NFL bobbleheads for the Detroit Lions.
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Barry Sanders – Running Back 1989 – 1998
In the conversation of the greatest running backs of all time, it is a possibility that Sanders could have overtaken Emmitt Smith for the most rushing yards in NFL history had he not retired at the young age of 30. At that time he was 1,457 yards short of the record, then held by Walter Payton.
Barry Sanders was selected to a Pro Bowl in all ten years of his playing career, and was named first-team All-Pro 6 times and second-team the other 4 years. In addition, he was named the NFL MVP in 1997, while also winning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award in that year as well as 1994.
Leading the league in rushing 4 years, no other player in NFL history has more yards in a 10-year span than Sanders. Truly one of the greatest players to ever step on the field.
Matthew Stafford – Quarterback 2009 – present
Matthew Stafford has been able to put up really good numbers in his tenure with the Detroit Lions, including being one of only 4 quarterbacks who has thrown for over 5,000 yards and is the fastest to reach 40,000 yards, in only 147 games. Stafford also holds the record for most comebacks in a season, with 8 in 2016.
Calvin Johnson – Wide Receiver 2007 – 2015
Another all-time great who retired from the Lions early at age 30, Calvin Johnson was almost unstoppable in the passing game. Nicknamed Megatron, Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 yards in 2012.
In addition, he held the record for most consecutive games with 100 yards with 8, which was later tied by Adam Thielen. Calvin Johnson finished with 11-100 yard games that year, tying the record set by Michael Irvin.
Ndamukong Suh – Defensive End 2010 – present
A 5 – time Pro Bowler, Ndamukong Suh has given the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2010 after being selected 2nd overall by the Detroit Lions in 2010. Although he has had some issues with fines for dirty hits, he is undoubtedly one of the best defensive players in the league.
Dre Bly – Defensive Back 1999 – 2009
Dre Bly played for a few different teams but had his best success during his 4 years with the Detroit Lions, including two Pro Bowl years in 2003 and 2004.
The Detroit Lions have had some of the greatest players in NFL history, yet have been unable to put it together and have success in the postseason, at least in the Super Bowl era. Who would you like to see a bobblehead of? Let me know in the comments below!