1970 Detroit Lions season

The 1970 Detroit Lions season was the 41st season in franchise history. With a record of 10–4, the Lions finished in second place in the NFC Central and qualified for the postseason for the first time since their championship season in 1957. The Lions fell 5–0 to the Dallas Cowboys in the lowest scoring game in NFL playoff history. One unusual loss during the regular season was to the New Orleans Saints on Week 8. The Lions had a 17–16 lead with only 2 seconds left, but Saints kicker Tom Dempsey booted a then-record 63-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints a 19–17 win.[1]

1970 Detroit Lions season
Head coachJoe Schmidt
Home fieldTiger Stadium
Division place2nd NFC Central
Playoff finishLost Divisional Playoffs (at Cowboys) 0–5

NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position Team
1 19 Steve Owens Running back Oklahoma
2 45 Ray Parson Tackle Minnesota
3 71 Jim H. Mitchell Defensive end Virginia State
5 123 Bob Parker Guard Memphis
6 149 Tony Terry Defensive tackle Southern California
7 175 Ken Geddes Linebacker Nebraska
9 227 Herman Weaver Punter Tennessee
10 253 Bruce Maxwell Running back Arkansas
11 279 Roger Laird Defensive back Kentucky State
12 305 Emanuel Murrell Defensive back California Polytechnic State
13 331 Dave Haverdick Defensive tackle Morehead State
14 357 Charlie K. Brown Wide receiver Northern Arizona
15 383 Bob Haney Tackle Idaho
16 409 Jerry Todd Defensive back Memphis
17 435 Jesse Marshall Defensive tackle Centenary



Detroit Lions roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 20, 1970 at Green Bay Packers W 40–0
2 September 27, 1970 Cincinnati Bengals W 38–3
3 October 5, 1970 Chicago Bears W 28–14
4 October 11, 1970 at Washington Redskins L 31–10
5 October 18, 1970 at Cleveland Browns W 41–24
6 October 25, 1970 at Chicago Bears W 16–10
7 November 1, 1970 Minnesota Vikings L 30–17
8 November 8, 1970 at New Orleans Saints L 19–17
9 November 15, 1970 at Minnesota Vikings L 24–20
10 November 22, 1970 San Francisco 49ers W 28–7
11 November 26, 1970 Oakland Raiders W 28–14
12 December 6, 1970 St. Louis Cardinals W 16–3
13 December 14, 1970 at Los Angeles Rams W 28–23
14 December 20, 1970 Green Bay Packers W 20–0

Season summary

Week 3

1 234Total
Bears 7 007 14
Lions 0 0217 28



NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings 12 2 0 .857 5–1 10–1 335 143 W3
Detroit Lions 10 4 0 .714 4–2 7–4 347 202 W5
Green Bay Packers 6 8 0 .429 2–4 4–7 196 293 L2
Chicago Bears 6 8 0 .429 1–5 5–6 256 261 W2

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


  1. ^ "Detroit Lions (1934-Present)". www.sportsecyclopedia.com.
  2. ^ "1970 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. ^ "Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions - October 5th, 1970 - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
1970 in Michigan

Events from the year 1970 in Michigan.

The Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) each selected the state's top news stories as follows:

The controversy over public funding to parochial schools, including the Michigan Legislature's enacting of a measure granting state aid and a subsequent petition drive and constitutional amendment prohibiting such aid (AP-1, UPI-1);

Contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and automobile manufacturers and a 67-day strike against General Motors that causes widespread layoffs and budget cuts (AP-2 [strike], AP-7 [effects of strike on state economy], UPI-2 [new contracts and GM strike];

The trial and conviction of John Norman Collins for killing Eastern Michigan University student Karen Sue Beineman, one of the Michigan murders (AP-3, UPI-3);

The death of Walter Reuther and his wife in a plane crash on May 9 at Pellston, Michigan (AP-4, UPI-5);

The November 1970 elections in which William Milliken was elected Governor and Philip Hart was re-elected as U.S. Senator (AP-5, UPI-4);

The multiple suspensions of Denny McLain and his later trade to the Washington Senators (AP-6, UPI-7);

The discovery of mercury in Lake St. Clair fish and the Michigan Legislature's passage of a law allowing private citizens to sue polluters (AP-8 [mercury], AP-12 [legislation], UPI-6 [both]);

The Goose Lake International Music Festival held from August 7 to 9 with widespread drug use (AP-9, UPI-8);

A Supreme Court decision requiring public schools to provide free textbooks (AP-11, UPI-9); and

(tie) The kidnap and murder of Laurie Murningham and austerity measures adopted by the Michigan Legislature (UPI-10).The AP and UPI also selected the state's top sports stories as follows:

Denny McLain who was suspended in connection with a gambling controversy and then traded to the Washington Senators on October 9 (AP-1 [suspension], AP-8 [trade], UPI-1 [both]);

The Detroit Tigers replacing Mayo Smith with Billy Martin as the team's manager (AP-6, UPI-2);

The 1969 Michigan Wolverines football team's 10–3 loss to USC in the 1970 Rose Bowl, head coach Bo Schembechler's heart attack prior to the game, and his recovery from the heart attack (AP-3, UPI-3 [Rose Bowl] and UPI-8 [recovery from heart attack]);

The 1970 Detroit Lions' finishing their season with five consecutive victories and their best record (10–4) since 1962 (AP-2, UPI-4);

The 1970 Michigan Wolverines football team's winning its first nine games before losing to Ohio State, 20–9, on November 21 (AP-5, UPI-5);

The Detroit Pistons' signing of their No. 1 draft pick Bob Lanier and then starting their 1970–71 season with a 12–1 record and 26–14 at the end of 1970 (AP-4 [both], UPI-7 [signing Lanier] and UPI-9 [fast start]);

Ralph Simpson's decision to quit the Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team to play professional basketball for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association (AP-7, UPI-6);

The 1970 Detroit Tigers' collapse during the last part of the season, compiling a 9–26 record from August 25 to September 29 (AP-9);

The Detroit Titans men's basketball team staging a preseason boycott to protest the coaching policies of Jim Harding (AP-10); and

The arrests of 11 men in connection with a Detroit-based sports national betting ring on New Year's Day (UPI-10).

Scoring summary
1CHIDick Gordon 20-yard pass from Jack Concannon (Mac Percival kick)Bears 7–0
3DETMel Farr 3-yard run (Errol Mann kick)Tie 7–7
3DETAltie Taylor 7-yard run (Errol Mann kick)Lions 14–7
3DETLarry Walton 13-yard pass from Bill Munson (Errol Mann kick)Lions 21–7
3CHIDick Gordon 60-yard pass from Jack Concannon (Mac Percival kick)Lions 21–14
4DETMel Farr 20-yard run (Errol Mann kick)Lions 28–14
Game information
  • Scoring
    • DAL – field goal Clark 26 DAL 3–0
    • DAL – Safety, Andrie tackled Landry in end zone DAL 5–0
Notable people
Division championships (4)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (90)

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