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1963 Detroit Lions season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1963 Detroit Lions season
Head coachGeorge Wilson
Home fieldTiger Stadium
Division place4th NFL Western
Playoff finishDid not qualify

The 1963 Detroit Lions season was their thirtieth in Detroit and 34th overall. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle indefinitely suspended Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras and Packers' halfback Paul Hornung for placing bets on NFL teams. Five other Lions players were fined $2,000 each for betting on games that they did not play in. The Lions franchise was fined $2,000 each on two counts for failure to report information promptly and for lack of sideline supervision.[1] The gambling controversy proved to be a big distraction on the field as well, as the Lions could not build on the success of the previous season, finishing 5–8–1.

On Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, the Lions met the Packers for the thirteenth consecutive season. The game ended in a tie, the first for the Packers in five years,[2] and it was the end of the holiday series for Green Bay. Their visit to Tiger Stadium the following year was on a Monday night in late September, and the visiting opponent for Thanksgiving was rotated, starting with the Chicago Bears.


NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 12 Daryl Sanders Offensive Tackle Ohio State


Paper Lion

Paper Lion, published in 1966, is a non-fiction book by prominent American writer George Plimpton. Plimpton pitched to a lineup of baseball stars in an All-Star exhibition, presumably to answer the question, "How would the average man off of the street fare in an attempt to compete with the stars of professional sports?" He chronicled this experience in his book, Out of My League. In Paper Lion, Plimpton joins the training camp of the 1963 Detroit Lions on the premise of trying out to be the team's third-string quarterback. (The coaches were aware of the deception; the players were not until it became apparent that Plimpton did not really know how to receive the snap from center.) Plimpton, then thirty-six, showed how unlikely it would be for an "average" person to succeed as a professional athlete. When finally inserted at quarterback for a series in a scrimmage conducted in Pontiac, Michigan, Plimpton managed to lose yardage on each play, convincing many in the crowd that he was a professional sports clown inserted for amusement purposes, not someone who was genuinely giving his best effort.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 September 14 at Los Angeles Rams W 23–2 1–0
2 September 22 at Green Bay Packers L 10–31 1–1
3 September 29 Chicago Bears L 21–37 1–2
4 October 6 San Francisco 49ers W 26–3 2–2
5 October 13 at Dallas Cowboys L 14–17 2–3
6 October 20 Baltimore Colts L 21–25 2–4
7 October 27 Minnesota Vikings W 28–10 3–4
8 November 3 at San Francisco 49ers W 45–7 4–4
9 November 10 at Baltimore Colts L 21–24 4–5
10 November 17 Los Angeles Rams L 21–28 4–6
11 November 24 at Minnesota Vikings L 31–34 4–7
12 November 28 Green Bay Packers T 13–13 4–7–1
13 December 8 Cleveland Browns W 38–10 5–7–1
14 December 15 at Chicago Bears L 14–24 5–8–1

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
• Lions 10 1003 23
Rams 0 020 2



NFL Western Conference
Chicago Bears 11 1 2 .917 10–1–1 301 144 W2
Green Bay Packers 11 2 1 .846 9–2–1 369 206 W2
Baltimore Colts 8 6 0 .571 7–5 316 285 W3
Detroit Lions 5 8 1 .385 4–7–1 326 265 L1
Minnesota Vikings 5 8 1 .385 4–7–1 309 390 W1
Los Angeles Rams 5 9 0 .357 5–7 210 350 L2
San Francisco 49ers 2 12 0 .143 1–11 198 391 L5

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 honors

Notes and references

  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.282
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Chuck (November 29, 1963). "Lions tie Packers, 13 to 13". Milwaukee Journal. p. 22, part 2.
  3. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 395
  4. ^ "Lions flatten Rams, 23-2". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. September 15, 1963. p. 1B.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2015-May-22.
This page was last edited on 9 July 2020, at 01:54
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