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1999 Detroit Lions season

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Title: 1999 Detroit Lions season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: 1982–83 NFL playoffs, NFC North, Gus Frerotte, 1999 NFL season, 1999 NFL Draft, Jim Schwartz, 1999 Chicago Bears season, Corwin Brown, 1999 Green Bay Packers season, 1999 Minnesota Vikings season
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1999 Detroit Lions season

1999 Detroit Lions season
Head coach Bobby Ross
General manager Chuck Schmidt
Owner William Clay Ford, Sr.
Home field Pontiac Silverdome
Record 8–8
Division place 3rd NFC Central
Playoff finish L NFC Wild Card
(Redskins) 13–27
Previous season Next season
< 1998 2000 >

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, where they lost to the Washington Redskins in the Wild Card round.[1] This was their last playoff appearance until the 2011 season.

In 2004, Football Outsiders' Mike Tanier named the 1999 Lions as one of the "worst playoff teams ever":[2]

The Lions had just lost Barry Sanders and were starting second-year pro Charlie Batch at quarterback. They were coming off a 5–11 season. Hopes weren't high, but a 6–2 start made the Lions a surprise contender at the midway point in the season. Reality soon set in, however, and the Lions lost their last four straight. Two other NFC teams finished 8–8, but the Lions beat the Panthers during the season and held the tiebreaker over the Packers. The Redskins beat them 27–13 in the opening round of the playoffs.



Regular season

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, Coach Ross made a questionable decision to go for a failed two-point conversion after a touchdown against Arizona. The game ended with Detroit in the red zone trying to score a game-winning touchdown. After defeating the Redskins in Week 13 for the franchise's first win vs. Washington since 1965, the Lions had an 8–4 record and were the second seed in the NFC. Subsequently, the Lions lost their last four regular season games and backed into the 6th playoff seed.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 12, 1999 at Seattle Seahawks W 28–20
2 September 19, 1999 Green Bay Packers W 23–15
3 September 26, 1999 at Kansas City Chiefs L 31–21
4 Bye
5 October 10, 1999 San Diego Chargers L 20–10
6 October 17, 1999 Minnesota Vikings W 25–23
7 October 24, 1999 at Carolina Panthers W 24–9
8 October 31, 1999 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20–3
9 November 7, 1999 St. Louis Rams W 31–27
10 November 14, 1999 at Arizona Cardinals L 23–19
11 November 21, 1999 at Green Bay Packers L 26–17
12 November 25, 1999 Chicago Bears W 21–17
13 December 5, 1999 Washington Redskins W 33–17
14 December 12, 1999 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 23–16
15 December 19, 1999 at Chicago Bears L 28–10
16 December 25, 1999 Denver Broncos L 17–7
17 January 2, 2000 at Minnesota Vikings L 24–17


NFC Central
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 0 .688 270 235 W-2
Minnesota Vikings 10 6 0 .625 399 335 W-3
Detroit Lions 8 8 0 .500 322 323 L-4
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 357 341 W-1
Chicago Bears 6 10 0 .375 272 341 L-2


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


  1. ^ 1999 Detroit Lions
  2. ^ Football Outsiders: Skin of the Teeth: The Worst Playoff Teams Ever

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