1996 Detroit Lions season
OwnerWilliam Clay Ford Sr.
General managerChuck Schmidt
Head coachWayne Fontes
Home fieldPontiac Silverdome
Results
Record5–11
Division place5th NFC Central
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersWR Herman Moore
RB Barry Sanders
AP All-ProsWR Herman Moore (1st team)
RB Barry Sanders (2nd team)
Uniform

The 1996 Detroit Lions season was their 67th in the National Football League (NFL). The team declined severely from their previous season’s output of 10–6. Following a 4–2 start, the Lions would proceed to lose nine of their final ten games to finish 5–11, missing the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.[1]

Following the season, longtime head coach Wayne Fontes was fired and Bobby Ross was hired to be the team's head coach the following season.

Offseason

NFL Draft

Main article: 1996 NFL Draft

1996 Detroit Lions draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 17 Reggie Brown  LB Texas A&M from Seattle
1 23 Jeff Hartings *  G Penn State
3 76 Ryan Stewart  S Georgia Tech from New England
4 129 Brad Ford  CB Alabama compensatory pick
5 158 Kerwin Waldroup  DT Central State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Notes

Personnel

Staff

1996 Detroit Lions staff

Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive coordinator – Jim Eddy
  • Linebackers – Howard Tippett
  • Defensive backs – John Fontes
  • Defensive assistant/lbs and dbs – Don Clemons

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and conditioning/special teams assistant – Bert Hill

Roster

1996 Detroit Lions final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad

53 active, 3 inactive, 2 practice squad
Rookies in italics

Regular season

Schedule

1996 was the first time since 1984 that the Lions played the San Diego Chargers,[2] and the first time they had met the Philadelphia Eagles in the regular season since 1986.[3] The reason for this is that before the admission of the Texans in 2002, NFL scheduling formulas for games outside a team’s division were much more influenced by table position during the previous season.[4]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 September 1 at Minnesota Vikings L 17–13 0–1 52,972
2 September 8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21–6 1–1 54,229
3 September 15 at Philadelphia Eagles L 24–17 1–2 66,007
4 September 22 Chicago Bears W 35–16 2–2 70,022
5 September 29 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–0 3–2 34,961
6 October 6 Atlanta Falcons W 28–24 4–2 58,666
7 October 13 at Oakland Raiders L 37–21 4–3 50,037
8 Bye
9 October 27 New York Giants L 35–7 4–4 63,501
10 November 3 at Green Bay Packers L 28–18 4–5 60,695
11 November 11 at San Diego Chargers L 27–21 4–6 60,425
12 November 17 Seattle Seahawks W 17–16 5–6 51,194
13 November 24 at Chicago Bears L 31–14 5–7 55,864
14 November 28 Kansas City Chiefs L 28–24 5–8 75,079
15 December 8 Minnesota Vikings L 24–22 5–9 46,043
16 December 15 Green Bay Packers L 31–3 5–10 73,214
17 December 23 at San Francisco 49ers L 24–14 5–11 61,921
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Standings

NFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(1) Green Bay Packers 13 3 0 .813 456 210 W5
(6) Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 298 315 L1
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 283 305 L1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 0 .375 221 293 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 302 368 L5

References