1980 Detroit Lions season

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1980 Detroit Lions season
Head coach Monte Clark
Home field Pontiac Silverdome
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 2nd NFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers RB Billy Sims
DE Al Baker
K Eddie Murray

The 1980 Detroit Lions season was the 51st season in franchise history. As the result of their 2–14 1979 season, the Lions were able to select Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma Sooner halfback Billy Sims with the first pick in the NFL draft. In his rookie season, Sims rushed his way to the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award while carrying the Lions back to respectability. After winning their first four games, the Lions stumbled down the stretch including costly 1-point losses to the Colts and lowly Cardinals. While they vastly improved overall, finishing 9–7, the Lions narrowly lost the NFC Central Division title to the Minnesota Vikings by virtue of a conference record tiebreaker. The Lions won nine NFC games to the Vikings’ eight, but Minnesota had a better winning percentage,[1] as the Lions’ 1979 fifth place meant they played two extra NFC games.[2]

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position School
1 1 Billy Sims [3] Running back University of Oklahoma

Roster[edit]

1980 Detroit Lions roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

In his NFL debut, Billy Sims had three touchdowns.[4]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1980 at Los Angeles Rams W 41–20
64,892
2 September 14, 1980 at Green Bay Packers W 29–7
53,099
3 September 21, 1980 St. Louis Cardinals W 20–7
80,027
4 September 28, 1980 Minnesota Vikings W 27–7
80,291
5 October 5, 1980 at Atlanta Falcons L 43–28
57,652
6 October 12, 1980 New Orleans Saints W 24–13
78,147
7 October 19, 1980 at Chicago Bears L 24–7
58,508
8 October 26, 1980 at Kansas City Chiefs L 20–17
59,391
9 November 2, 1980 San Francisco 49ers W 17–13
78,845
10 November 9, 1980 at Minnesota Vikings L 34–0
46,264
11 November 16, 1980 Baltimore Colts L 10–9
77,677
12 November 23, 1980 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–10
64,976
13 November 27, 1980 Chicago Bears L 23–17 OT
75,397
14 December 7, 1980 at St. Louis Cardinals L 24–23
46,966
15 December 14, 1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–14
77,098
16 December 21, 1980 Green Bay Packers W 24–3
75,111

Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings(3) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 8–4 317 308 L1
Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 5–3 9–5 334 272 W2
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 5–3 7–5 304 264 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 10 1 .344 1–6–1 4–7–1 271 341 L3
Green Bay Packers 5 10 1 .344 3–4–1 4–7–1 231 371 L4

Game Summaries[edit]

Week 2: at Green Bay Packers[edit]

1 2 34Total
Lions 3 13 6729
Packers 0 7 007

at Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee

  • Date: September 14
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 64 °F (17.8 °C), wind 14 miles per hour (23 km/h; 12 kn)
  • Box Score

Week 5: at Atlanta Falcons[edit]

1 2 34Total
Lions 3 3 02228
Falcons 17 17 2743

at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta

  • Date: October 5
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 61 °F (16.1 °C), wind 12 miles per hour (19 km/h; 10 kn)
  • Box Score

Awards and records[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season summary and stats at Sports E Cyclopedia
  2. ^ Urena, Ivan; Pro Football Schedules: A Complete Historical Guide from 1933 to the Present, p. 85 ISBN 0786473517
  3. ^ Billy Sims, 1978 Heisman Trophy winner as a junior "Heisman Trophy". Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  4. ^ a b Sports Illustrated, Oct. 27, 2008, p.24, Vol. 109, No. 16

External links[edit]