Detroit Lions: Ranking the top 10 quarterbacks in franchise history
By Robert Jones
1.) Bobby Layne
It’s been 61 years since Bobby Layne has worn a Lions uniform, but he still ranks as their best quarterback ever. Layne refused to lose and he conveyed that bitter hatred of losing to all his teammates.
From 1950-1958 Layne was the leader of the Detroit Lions as he led them to three straight championship appearances from 1952-1954. They matched up with the Cleveland Browns each year winning the first two by scores of 17-7 and 17-16 before the Browns were able to get their revenge in 1954 as they crushed the Lions 56-10.
However, the Lions did bounce back to return the favor in 1957 as previously mentioned, 59-14. While Layne was a contributor to that championship team an injury late in the season prevented him from participating in the playoffs.
The charismatic Layne loved a good time off the field as well as on it and the stories of him ‘falling out of a bar and winning a game’ are far too many to share, but it was worth noting that when asked about his performance after their 1954 championship loss he answered, “I slept too much last night.”
Layne used to gather his teammates at a Detroit watering hole after games and built a true camaraderie among his Lions teammates. Plain and simple, when Bobby Layne told his teammates to run through a wall they did without bothering to ask why because of their belief in him which he demonstrated on the field so many times.
Layne was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers two games into the 1958 season and the Lions have been searching for his replacement ever since. Yet all these years later Bobby Layne is still the greatest quarterback in Detroit Lions history.
There you have it. The top 10 quarterbacks this franchise has ever had. This was not an easy list to compile and In some cases, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel, trying to do the best with what this franchise has given me to work with, but after some painstaking decisions, I feel pretty comfortable with my selections overall.
So enough about me, who would your top 10 all-time Detroit Lions quarterbacks be? Let me know in the comment section below.