1962 Detroit Lions season

The 1962 Detroit Lions season was the 33rd season in franchise history. In one of the best regular seasons in their history, the Lions posted an 11–3 record (.786), but finished two games behind the eventual NFL champion Packers in the NFL Western Conference. It was third straight season the Lions finished as runner-up to the Packers in the West.

As conference runner-up, Detroit won their third consecutive Playoff Bowl game over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17–10.[1] The third place game was played at the Orange Bowl in Miami on January 6, three weeks after the end of the regular season.[2]

The Lions never trailed by more than seven points at any point in any game during the season, a feat that was not repeated for 48 years. Their 26–14 win over the Packers on Thanksgiving Day in Week 11 denied defending champion Green Bay the NFL's first true perfect season.[3] The Lions were up 26–0 in the fourth quarter before Green Bay scored two touchdowns;[4] the Packers had won the first meeting 9–7 in the mud in Green Bay with a late field goal on October 7.[5][6]

1962 Detroit Lions season
Head coachGeorge Wilson
Home fieldTiger Stadium
Division place2nd NFL Western
Playoff finishWon NFL Playoff Bowl (3rd place) (vs. Steelers) 17-10


NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 10 [7] John Hadl [8] Back Kansas

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 16, 1962 Pittsburgh Steelers W 45–7
2 September 23, 1962 San Francisco 49ers W 45–24
3 September 30, 1962 at Baltimore Colts W 29–20
4 October 7, 1962 at Green Bay Packers L 9–7
5 October 14, 1962 Los Angeles Rams W 13–10
6 October 21, 1962 at New York Giants L 17–14
7 October 28, 1962 Chicago Bears W 11–3
8 November 4, 1962 at Los Angeles Rams W 12–3
9 November 11, 1962 at San Francisco 49ers W 38–24
10 November 18, 1962 at Minnesota Vikings W 17–6
11 November 22, 1962 Green Bay Packers W 26–14
12 December 2, 1962 Baltimore Colts W 21–14
13 December 9, 1962 Minnesota Vikings W 37–23
14 December 16, 1962 at Chicago Bears L 3–0

Season summary

Week 4 at Packers

Alex Karras reportedly threw a helmet at Milt Plum in the locker after the game for throwing the late interception that led to the Lions' defeat.

Week 11 vs. Packers

Thanksgiving Day game


NFL Western Conference
Green Bay Packers 13 1 0 .929 11–1 415 148 W3
Detroit Lions 11 3 0 .786 10–2 315 177 L1
Chicago Bears 9 5 0 .643 8–4 321 287 W2
Baltimore Colts 7 7 0 .500 5–7 293 288 W2
San Francisco 49ers 6 8 0 .429 5–7 282 331 L2
Minnesota Vikings 2 11 1 .154 1–10–1 254 410 L3
Los Angeles Rams 1 12 1 .077 1–10–1 220 334 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


Detroit Lions roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • None - vacant

Practice/Taxi Squad

  • None - vacant

'Note: Rookies in italics

Playoff Bowl

The game matched the conference runners-up for third place in the league and was played three weeks after the end of the regular season (and a week after the championship game). The ten editions of the Playoff Bowl, all held at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, are now considered exhibition games by the NFL, not post-season contests.

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Playoff Bowl January 6, 1963 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers W 17–10 Orange Bowl


Awards and records

  • The Lions were only the third NFL team since 1940 that never trailed by more than 7 points at any time during the season. This feat would not be repeated again until the Green Bay Packers did so in their Super Bowl-winning 2010 season.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ "Plum, Webb host Lions to 17-10 win". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. January 7, 1963. p. 4, part 2.
  2. ^ "Lions turns back Pittsburgh in NFL Play-off Bowl, 17-10". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. January 7, 1963. p. 12, part 2.
  3. ^ Lea, Bud (November 23, 1962). "Lions shatter Packers' streak". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 4, part 2.
  4. ^ "Lions hand Packers first loss, 26 to 14". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 24.
  5. ^ Lea, Bud. "Packers nip Lions at wire, 9-7". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  6. ^ Johnson, Chuck (October 8, 1962). "Lions dare Packers to intercept; they do". Milwaukee Journal. p. 10, part 2.
  7. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 395
  8. ^ John Hadl Signed with the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League
  9. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 369
  10. ^ Stuart, Chase (January 26, 2011). "Super Bowl notes: Stat of the Year and Updated SRS Standings". Pro Football Reference Blog. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  11. ^ Associated Press (February 6, 2011). "Aaron Rodgers tosses 3 TD passes as Packers drop Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2011. See especially the "Scoring Summary" section, which shows that the Packers never trailed in the game.

External links

1962 in Michigan

Events from the year 1962 in Michigan.

The Associated Press selected the top news stories of 1962 in Michigan as follows:

George Romney's successful campaign to become Governor of Michigan (AP-1);

The end of the Michigan Constitutional Convention (AP-2);

The January 30 tragedy in which the Wallenda family, performing a high wire pyramid in front of 7,000 spectators at the Shrine Circus at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum, sustained two deaths and three other injuries when their human pyramid collapsed (AP-3);

Record profits and sales in the automobile business (AP-4);

Completion of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge connecting the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (AP-5);

The defeat of proposed tax reform in the Michigan Legislature (AP-6);

An order by the Michigan Supreme Court directing reapportionment (AP-7)

The sinking of the freighter Montrose in the Detroit River after colliding with a barge (AP-8);

The dedication of Michigan's first atomic reactor at the Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant (AP-9); and

John F. Kennedy leading a Democratic onslaught of Cabinet members and party leaders in September (AP-10).The year's sports highlights in Michigan included the Detroit Lions compiling an 11–3 record with the Fearsome Foursome defensive front, the Michigan Wolverines baseball team's victory in the 1962 College World Series, the 1961–62 Michigan Tech Huskies men's ice hockey team winning the national championship, and Gordie Howe scoring his 500th goal for the Detroit Red Wings.

The year's highlights in Michigan music included a week of sold out performances by the Metropolitan Opera at the Detroit Masonic Temple and the development of Motown with hits such as Do You Love Me by The Contours, You've Really Got a Hold on Me by The Miracles, Playboy by The Marvelettes, and Two Lovers by Mary Wells.

1963 in Michigan

Events from the year 1963 in Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press each selected the top 10 news stories in Michigan. The top stories included the following:

The voters' adoption of a new Michigan Constitution (AP-1, DFP-1);

Gov. George W. Romney's fiscal reform campaign, including a proposed state income tax that was defeated by the Legislature (AP-2, DFP-4);

A boom year for the automobile industry (AP-6, DFP-2);

Racial demonstrations, including the June 23 Detroit Walk to Freedom that drew crowds of an estimated 125,000 or more and was known as "the largest civil rights demonstration in the nation's history" up to that date (AP-7, DFP-3);

A botulism outbreak that (i) killed two Grosse Ile women in March tied to canned tun, (ii) resulted in two additional deaths in October tied to smoked whitefish, and (iii) caused five deaths in the south traced to Michigan-packaged smoked chubs; some of the botulism was traced to smoked fish canned in Grand Haven (AP-4, DFP-7);

The ouster of Joe Collins led by former Gov. John Swainson and selection of Zoltan Ferency as chairman of the state Democratic Party at the February convention in Grand Rapids (AP-9, DFP-6);

Detroit's bid to host the 1968 Summer Olympics, ending with the International Olympic Committee's selection of Mexico City on October 18 (AP-8, DFP-8);

The April escape of four prisoners from the Michigan State Prison in Jackson leading to an intensive manhunt (AP-11 [tie], DFP-9);

The disappearance and murder of Joan Watkins, a 28-year-old housewife and mother from Brooklyn, Michigan (AP-11 [tie], DFP-10);

The impact on Michigan of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (AP-3);

Gov. George W. Romney's first year in office (AP-5);

An April election in which Detroit voters rejected school millage and building bonds (a schools only proposal passed in November) (DFP-5); and

The suspension of Alex Karras by the Detroit Lions as a result of a betting scandal (AP-10).The United Press International (UPI) selected the state's top sports stories as follows:

The suspension of Alex Karras by the Detroit Lions;

The June 18 firing of Bob Scheffing as manager of the Detroit Tigers;

Detroit's loss of its bid to host the 1968 Summer Olympics;

Gordie Howe's 545th regular season goal on November 10, breaking the NHL record set by Maurice Richard;

The 1963 Michigan State Spartans football team's unsuccessful bid to play in the 1964 Rose Bowl, losing to Illinois in the final game of the season;

William Clay Ford Sr.'s November 22 purchase of a controlling interest in the Detroit Lions;

The November 18 trade of Rocky Colavito by the Detroit Tigers to the Kansas City Athletics;

The collapse of the 1962 Detroit Lions season after numerous injuries;

The July 27 collapse of a bridge into the Clinton River, causing injury to 48 persons, during a golf tournament at Hillcrest Country Club in Macomb County; and

The 1962–63 Detroit Red Wings playing in the 1963 Stanley Cup Finals.

Game information
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP DET GB
1 Packers 13-yard field goal by Hornung 0 3
2 Lions Lewis 6-yard touchdown run, Walker kick good 7 3
3 Packers 15-yard field goal by Hornung 7 6
4 Packers 26-yard field goal by Hornung 7 9
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 7 9
Game information
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP GB DET
1 Lions Cogdill 33-yard touchdown reception from Plum, Walker kick good 0 7
2 Lions Cogdill 27-yard touchdown reception from Plum, Walker kick good 0 14
2 Lions Fumble recovery returned 6 yards for touchdown by Williams, Walker kick good 0 21
2 Lions Starr tackled in end zone for a safety by Brown 0 23
3 Lions 47-yard field goal by Plum 0 26
4 Packers Fumble recovery in end zone for touchdown by Davis, Kramer kick good 7 26
4 Packers Taylor 4-yard touchdown run, Kramer kick good 14 26
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 14 26
Notable people
Division championships (4)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (90)

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