1999 Detroit Lions season

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1999 Detroit Lions season
Head coachBobby Ross
General managerChuck Schmidt
OwnerWilliam Clay Ford, Sr.
Home fieldPontiac Silverdome
Results
Record8–8
Division place3rd NFC Central
Playoff finishLost Wild Card Playoffs (Redskins) 27–13
Pro Bowlers
Uniform
NFC-Throwback-Uniform-DET.PNG

The 1999 Detroit Lions season was their 70th in the league. The team improved upon their previous season's output of 5–11 and qualified for the playoffs, with a .500 record at 8–8. It would be their sixth playoff appearance of the decade, capping one of the most successful 10-year stretches in franchise history.

In 2004, Football Outsiders’ Mike Tanier named the 1999 Lions as one of the “worst playoff teams ever”:[1]

The Lions had just lost Barry Sanders to an abrupt retirement and started the season with second-year pro Charlie Batch at quarterback before he was lost to an injury and replaced by Gus Frerotte.

The team got out to a 6–2 start, including a win over the eventual Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams, that made the Lions a surprise contender at the midway point in the season. After topping out at 8–4, however, the Lions collapsed and lost their final four games.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

1999 Detroit Lions draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 9 Chris Claiborne  Linebacker USC
1 27 Aaron Gibson  Tackle Wisconsin from San Francisco via Miami
3 70 Jared DeVries  Defensive end Iowa from Detroit via Miami
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1999 Detroit Lions staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Sylvester Croom
  • Quarterbacks – Jim Zorn
  • Running Backs – Frank Falks
  • Wide Receivers – Jerry Sullivan
  • Tight Ends – Danny Smith
  • Offensive Line – Jack Henry
  • Offensive Assistant – Stan Kwan
  • Quality Control–Offense/Administrative Assistant – John Misciagna
Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Larry Peccatiello
  • Defensive Line – Brian Baker
  • Linebackers – Gary Moeller
  • Defensive Backs – Richard Selcer
  • Defensive Assistant – Don Clemons
  • Quality Control–Defense – Dennis Murphy

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Chuck Priefer
  • Special Teams Assistant – Stan Kwan

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Bert Hill
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Rob Graf

Roster[edit]

1999 Detroit Lions final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics
53 Active, 3 Inactive, 4 Practice squad

Regular season[edit]

The season had an inauspicious beginning as future Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders suddenly retired on the eve of training camp. Undaunted, coach Bobby Ross led the Lions to a fast start, highlighted by a Week 9 win over the then 6–1 St. Louis Rams.

The following week, Ross made a questionable decision to go for a failed two-point conversion after a touchdown against Arizona. The game ended with Detroit trailing by four points in the red zone trying to score a game-winning touchdown. The Lions would lose at Green Bay the following week, but defeat Chicago at home to get back on track.

The following week, the Lions picked up the franchise's first win vs. Washington since 1965, putting the team at an 8–4 and in sole possession of the second seed in the NFC. However, the Lions collapsed down the stretch and lost their last four regular season games to finish 8–8.

Two other NFC teams—the Packers and Carolina Panthers—finished 8–8, but the Lions beat the Panthers 24–9 in Week 7 and they held the conference record tiebreaker over the Packers, thus allowing Detroit to make the playoffs as the sixth seed despite losing their final four games.

This would be the Lions' last playoff appearance until the 2011 season.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result TV Attendance
1 September 12, 1999 at Seattle Seahawks W 28–20 FOX
66,238
2 September 19, 1999 Green Bay Packers W 23–15 FOX
76,202
3 September 26, 1999 at Kansas City Chiefs L 31–21 FOX
78,384
4 Bye
5 October 10, 1999 San Diego Chargers L 20–10 CBS
61,481
6 October 17, 1999 Minnesota Vikings W 25–23 FOX
76,516
7 October 24, 1999 at Carolina Panthers W 24–9 FOX
64,322
8 October 31, 1999 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20–3 ESPN
63,135
9 November 7, 1999 St. Louis Rams W 31–27 FOX
73,224
10 November 14, 1999 at Arizona Cardinals L 23–19 FOX
49,600
11 November 21, 1999 at Green Bay Packers L 26–17 FOX
59,869
12 November 25, 1999 Chicago Bears W 21–17 FOX
77,905
13 December 5, 1999 Washington Redskins W 33–17 FOX
77,693
14 December 12, 1999 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 23–16 FOX
65,536
15 December 19, 1999 at Chicago Bears L 28–10 FOX
50,256
16 December 25, 1999 Denver Broncos L 17–7 CBS
73,158
17 January 2, 2000 at Minnesota Vikings L 24–17 FOX
64,103

Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 0 .688 270 235 W2
(4) Minnesota Vikings 10 6 0 .625 399 335 W3
(6) Detroit Lions 8 8 0 .500 322 323 L4
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 357 341 W1
Chicago Bears 6 10 0 .375 272 341 L2

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result
Wild Card January 8, 2000 at Washington Redskins L 27–13

NFC Wild Card Game: At Washington Redskins[edit]

NFC Wild Card Game: Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 0 01313
Redskins 14 13 0027

at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, Washington D.C.

Game information

References[edit]

External links[edit]