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Ranking every Detroit Lions team from the last 25 years (25-21)

Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

A review of the last quarter century of Detroit Lions football, looking back at each Lions season and ranking them from #25 all the way to #1.

My project on here for the next month or so is to rank every Detroit Lions season from the past 25 years, from worst to best. I’ve judged each annual edition of the Lions from 1994 until now, based on four separate categories, added up to equal their final cumulative total and gave them their spot in the rankings pecking order.

Starting at the bottom of the barrel and working my way up, I’ll unveil five new teams each week until finally reaching the greatest Lions season of the last quarter-century (or if you don’t feel like doing all of this, I can just tell you: it’s 2014). For the rest though, who agree that the journey rather than the destination is what’s most important, please continue reading and enjoy.

My scoring system

Here is the criteria I used when putting together these rankings, all scored on a scale of 0 (horrendous) to 10 (amazing):

Final W-L record- this one is easy to judge, the more wins from the season, the higher the score. Zero wins is obviously a zero, a .500 season is a five, and 13 or more wins would be worth ten (so there are no tens in this category).

Achievements- What did this team accomplish once the season is put into perspective among past teams? Post-season appearances and wins, along with championships of any kind, would yield the highest scores. Winning records, streaks, or broken curses would be mid-level. At the lowest end of things, dubious achievements are achievements too.

Star Power- Who were the biggest names and the best players on that team? What type of numbers did they put up.  How close to their prime were they? How well did they complement each other on the field? Any individual awards? What was their reputation like league-wide?

Entertainment Value- From an entertainment perspective, the worst sin an NFL team can commit is to be both boring and bad. This category tracks how ‘watchable’ the Lions were, at both their best and worst moments, and factors in the excitement level from games, both wins and losses. It also leaves room for interesting storylines as well as on-field action.

A perfect score (i.e. the greatest possible season in Detroit Lions history) would get a grand total of 40 points. Since we haven’t yet seen the greatest season in Lions history, every year on here will have somewhere between 0 and 39 total points.

Let’s get started. This week’s entry contains the lowest ranked seasons.

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