The Detroit Lions have certainly had some great players in their long history, and some duds who didn't meet expectations for whatever reason. But somewhere in between, there have been players who popped up with one great season, then faded back into obscurity.
In music, a "one-hit wonder" is just what it sounds like. An artist had one big hit song, then a whole lot of nothing anyone knows. Think along the lines of Tommy Tutone and the song "867-5309" back in the 1980's.
With that "one-hit wonder" aspect in mind, someone like James Stewart, who had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons as Lion, doesn't quite qualify.
An honorable mention here goes to Jamaal Williams, who had a Lions' franchise record 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022 before signing with the New Orleans Saints this offseason. Another honorable mention goes to Charles Harris, who led the Lions with 7.5 sacks in 2021. Harris has a chance to reverse his "one-hit wonder" narrative this year, so we'll allow for that opportunity before putting him on this list.
Without further ado, here are the five biggest one-hit wonder seasons in Lions history.
5 greatest one-hit wonder seasons in Detroit Lions history
5. TE Joseph Fauria (2007)
Fauria did not have nearly as long an NFL career as his uncle Christian did, playing just two seasons–both with the Lions.
As a rookie in 2013, Fauria had 18 catches for 207 yards and seven touchdowns. That touchdown mark was second on the team, behind only Calvin Johnson.
Fauria’s random seven-touchdown rookie season feels a lot like what the Lions got from their tight ends last year. Shane Zylstra and Brock Wright led the way to a franchise single-season record for touchdowns by the position, after the midseason trade of T.J. Hockenson.