1976 Detroit Lions season
OwnerWilliam Clay Ford, Sr.
Head coachRick Forzano and Tommy Hudspeth
General managerRuss Thomas
Home fieldPontiac Metropolitan Stadium[1]
Results
Record6–8
Division place3rd NFC Central
Playoff finishDid not qualify

The 1976 Detroit Lions season was the 47th season in franchise history. After the first four games of the season, Rick Forzano resigned under pressure of owner William Clay Ford, and was replaced by one time Brigham Young University head coach and Lions assistant Tommy Hudspeth.[2] In spite of a stellar season by quarterback Greg Landry, that year's NFL Comeback Player Of The Year, the team was still mired in mediocrity, finishing 6–8.[citation needed]

NFL Draft

Main article: 1976 NFL Draft

1976 Detroit Lions draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 10 James Hunter  CB Grambling State from Chicago
1 16 Lawrence Gaines  RB Wyoming
2 44 Ken Long  G Purdue
2 46 David Hill *  TE Texas A&I from San Diego
3 68 Russ Bolinger  OT Long Beach State from Chicago
3 76 John Woodcock  DT Hawaii
5 145 Steadman Scavella  LB Miami (FL) from Miami
7 198 Garth TenNapel  LB Texas A&M
8 217 Rich Sorenson  K Chico State from New England
8 225 Charles Braswell  DB West Virginia
9 253 Leanell Jones  TE Long Beach State
10 279 Bill Bowerman  DB New Mexico State
11 307 Gary Shugrue  DE Villanova
12 335 Mike McCabe  C South Carolina
13 363 Mel Jacobs  WR San Diego State
14 391 Leonard Elston  WR Kentucky State
15 419 Trent Smock  WR Indiana
16 447 Craig McCurdy  LB William & Mary
17 475 Jim Meeks  DB Boise State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Notes

Roster

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

On November 25, O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills set a record with the most rushing yards in a Thanksgiving Day game, by rushing for 273 yards vs. the Lions.[3]

In spite of their poor overall record the Lions offense set a statistical record for Passer Rating Differential (40.9, 14th best 196—2011). Such a high rating is usually reserved for playoff teams or Super Bowl winners;

Top 25 Teams in Passer Rating Differential (1960–present)

Ranking Team OPR DPR Differential Record Won title

Note: The 1963 Giants, 2007 Patriots and 1984 Dolphins lost in their respective title games.[4]

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 12 at Chicago Bears L 10–3
54,125
2 September 19 Atlanta Falcons W 24–10
50,840
3 September 26 Minnesota Vikings L 10–9
77,292
4 October 3 at Green Bay Packers L 24–14
55,041
5 October 10 New England Patriots W 30–10
60,174
6 October 17 at Washington Redskins L 20–7
45,908
7 October 24 at Seattle Seahawks W 41–14
61,280
8 October 31 Green Bay Packers W 27–6
74,992
9 November 7 at Minnesota Vikings L 31–23
46,735
10 November 14 at New Orleans Saints L 17–16
42,048
11 November 21 Chicago Bears W 14–10
78,042
12 November 25 Buffalo Bills W 27–14
66,875
13 December 5 at New York Giants L 24–10
66,069
14 December 11 Los Angeles Rams L 20–17
73,470

Season summary

Week 1 at Bears

See also: 1976 Chicago Bears season and Bears–Lions rivalry

Week One: Detroit Lions (0–0) at Chicago Bears (0–0)
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 3 003
Bears 0 0 7310

at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

  • Date: September 12, 1976
  • Game time: 2:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 69 °F (21 °C) • Wind 12 miles per hour (19 km/h; 10 kn)
  • Game attendance: 54,125
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com

Week 2 vs Falcons

See also: 1976 Atlanta Falcons season

Week Two: Atlanta Falcons (0–1) at Detroit Lions (0–1)
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 7 3010
Lions 0 0 02424

at Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium, Pontiac, Michigan

  • Date: September 19, 1976
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: Indoors (dome)
  • Game attendance: 50,840
  • Box Score

Week 4 at Packers

Week Four: Detroit Lions (1–2) at Green Bay Packers (0–3)
1 2 34Total
Lions 0 14 0014
Packers 10 0 01424

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Date: October 3
  • Game time: 2:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 60 °F (16 °C)
  • Game attendance: 55,041
  • Box Score

Standings

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings(1) 11 2 1 .821 5–1 9–2 305 176 W2
Chicago Bears 7 7 0 .500 4–2 7–5 253 216 L1
Detroit Lions 6 8 0 .429 2–4 4–8 262 220 L2
Green Bay Packers 5 9 0 .357 1–5 5–8 218 299 W1

Awards and records

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)

References

  1. ^ "The Argus-Press - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  2. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 114.
  3. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 377
  4. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/kerry_byrne/06/23/most.important.stat.passer.rating.differential/index.html[dead link]