1964 Detroit Lions season

The 1964 Detroit Lions season was the 35th season in franchise history.

1964 Detroit Lions season
Head coachGeorge Wilson
OwnerWilliam Clay Ford, Sr.
Home fieldTiger Stadium
Division place4th NFL Western
Playoff finishdid not qualify


  • On January 21, William Clay Ford, Lions president since 1961 purchased the team.[1]
  • On March 16, Lions Defensive Tackle Alex Karras was reinstated by Pete Rozelle after being suspended for betting.[1]

NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 5 Pete Beathard Quarterback USC
2 20 Matt Snorton Tight End Michigan State


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 13, 1964 at San Francisco 49ers W 26–17
2 September 19, 1964 at Los Angeles Rams T 17–17
3 September 28, 1964 Green Bay Packers L 14–10
4 October 4, 1964 New York Giants W 26–3
5 October 11, 1964 at Minnesota Vikings W 24–20
6 October 18, 1964 at Chicago Bears W 10–0
7 October 25, 1964 Baltimore Colts L 34–0
8 November 1, 1964 Los Angeles Rams W 37–17
9 November 8, 1964 at Green Bay Packers L 30–7
10 November 15, 1964 at Cleveland Browns L 37–21
11 November 22, 1964 Minnesota Vikings T 23–23
12 November 26, 1964 Chicago Bears L 27–24
13 December 6, 1964 at Baltimore Colts W 31–14
14 December 13, 1964 San Francisco 49ers W 24–7

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
• Lions 3 1373 26
49ers 7 0100 17


Week 10: at Cleveland Browns


NFL Western Conference
Baltimore Colts 12 2 0 .857 10–2 428 225 W1
Green Bay Packers 8 5 1 .615 6–5–1 342 245 T1
Minnesota Vikings 8 5 1 .615 6–5–1 355 296 W3
Detroit Lions 7 5 2 .583 6–4–2 280 260 W2
Los Angeles Rams 5 7 2 .417 3–7–2 283 339 T1
Chicago Bears 5 9 0 .357 5–7 260 379 L2
San Francisco 49ers 4 10 0 .286 3–9 236 330 L1

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
  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics

Awards and records

  • Terry Barr, Outstanding Lineman, Pro Bowl [4]


  1. ^ a b NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.282
  2. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/det/1964_draft.htm
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  4. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 368
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.

1964 in Michigan

Events from the year 1964 in Michigan.

The Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) each selected the top 10 news stories in Michigan as follows:

The November 3 re-election of Republican George W. Romney as Governor of Michigan, despite a Democratic landslide in the U.S. Presidential and legislative races (AP-1, UPI-1);

Reapportionment of state and federal legislative districts, requiring districts to be redrawn "as nearly as practicable" equal in population, resulting in Democrats seizing control of both houses of the Michigan Legislature and the Congressional delegation (AP-2, UPI-2 [reapportionment] and UPI-4 [Democratic control of legislature]);

New contracts between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the automobile manufacturers providing a lower retirement age and providing for higher pensions, reached after costly strikes against General Motors and Ford Motor Company (AP-3, UPI-3);

A 134-day newspaper strike called by the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union that shut down both the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News from July 14 until November 25, the longest strike shutdown of metropolitan daily newspapers in American history (AP-5, UPI-5);

A May 8 tornado that struck Chesterfield Township in Macomb County, resulting in 13 deaths, injuries to at least 400 persons, and $14 million in damage (AP-4, UPI-7);

National Guard scandals arising out of questionable land sales at Camp Grayling and alleged mishandling of armory and liquor funds (AP-7, UPI-6);

A strike against Essex Wire Corp. in Hillsdale, Michigan, and the deployment of national guardsman when the company resumed operations with non-union workers (AP-8, UPI-8);

A booming economy in Michigan (AP-6);

Concern over the Great Lakes reaching their lowest water levels in 100 years (AP-9);

Revelation that Daniel West, a successful candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives, had lied about being an honors graduate of Yale Law School and concealed an extensive criminal record (UPI-9);

The success of University of Michigan sports teams with Big Ten Conference championships in football, indoor track, wrestling, and gymnastics, a co-championship in basketball, a national championship in men's ice hockey, and second-place finishes in outdoor track, tennis, and baseball (AP-10); and

The exposure of Thomas M. Novak as a fraud after four year practicing medicine without a license (UPI-10).The United Press International (UPI) picked the state's top sports stories as follows:

The success of the 1964 Michigan Wolverines football team in compiling an 8–1 record in the regular season, winning the Big Ten Conference championship, and receiving a bid to play in the 1965 Rose Bowl;

William Clay Ford Sr.'s firing of the Detroit Lions' five assistant coaches and the resignation two days later of head coach George Wilson;

Michigan athletes winning 11 medals at the Olympics;

The 1963–64 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team's Big Ten championship and advancing to the Final Four at the 1964 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament;

The decision of the University of Detroit to terminate its football program;

Dave DeBusschere serving as player and head coach of the Detroit Pistons;

The return of Ted Lindsay to the Detroit Red Wings at age 39 and after four years of retirement;

The death of Eddie Sachs of Warren, Michigan, in a cash while competing in the Indianapolis 500 on May 30;

The 1963–64 Detroit Red Wings, after a mediocre regular season, advancing to the 1964 Stanley Cup Final and narrowly losing in seven games to the Toronto Maple Leafs; and

The Michigan high school basketball championships won by Benton Harbor (Class A), River Rouge (Class B), Grosse Pointe St. Paul (Class C), and Briton-Macon (Class D).

Scoring summary
1DETWayne Walker 23 yard field goalDET 3–0
1SFBernie Casey 63 yard pass from John Brodie (Tommy Davis kick)SF 7–3
2DETWayne Walker 16 yard field goalSF 7–6
2DETNick Pietrosante 3 yard run (Wayne Walker kick)DET 13–7
2DETWayne Walker 31 yard field goalDET 16–7
3DETNick Pietrosante 1 yard run (Wayne Walker kick)DET 23–7
3SFTommy Davis 41 yard field goalDET 23–10
3SFBernie Casey 7 yard pass from John Brodie (Tommy Davis kick)DET 23–17
4DETWayne Walker 26 yard field goalDET 26–17
Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter
Notable people
Division championships (4)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (90)

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