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Detroit Lions’ All-Time Passing Leaders (Yardage)

Updated on October 29, 2008

Bobby Layne

Scott Mitchell

Greg Landry


The Detroit Lions have been around since 1930, and in my lifetime at least, have not been very competitive. It's hard to believe this franchise has never even sniffed the Super Bowl, which has been around since the late 1960's. But they have definitely fielded some great players and especially quarterbacks. Here is a list of the Lions' all-time Top 10 in passing yards:

Bobby Layne (15,710)-Bobby Layne has the distinction of leading the Lions to their last championship, which was in 1957 over the Cleveland Browns. Layne played for the Lions from 1950 to 1958 and ranks first in franchise history with 15,710 passing yards. Layne's best season in Detroit was 1951 when he passed for 2403 yards with a career high 26 touchdown passes. Of course, he also had a career worst 23 interceptions that season as well.

Scott Mitchell (12,647)-Scott Mitchell was a backup in Miami before coming over to the Lions, who he started 57 games for between 1994 and 1998. Mitchell had a 27-30 record as the team's QB, which isn't bad considering the losing tradition of the franchise. He also ranks second in team history with 12,647 passing yards. Mitchell's best season was 1995, which is also one of the best single season performances for any QB: career highs of 4338 passing yards and 32 TD passes with just 12 interceptions.

Greg Landry (12,451)-Greg Landry played for the Lions from 1968 to 1978 and in that time threw for more interceptions (81) than touchdowns (80). Still, Landry ranks third in Lions' history with 12,451 passing yards. His best season in Detroit was 1976, with 2191 passing yards, 17 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions.

Gary Danielson (11,885)-Gary Danielson began his career with Detroit and played there from 1976 to 1984 before finishing his career with the Cleveland Browns. Danielson ranks fourth in Lions' history with 11,885 passing yards, and his best season was 1980. That year, Danielson threw for a career best 3223 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 picks.

Eric Hipple (10,711)-Eric Hipple was with Detroit his entire career, spanning from 1980 to 1989. He ranks fifth in team history with 10,711 passing yards. Hipple had his best season in 1985-despite 18 interceptions, he threw for career highs in yards (2952) and TD passes (17).

Joey Harrington (10,242)-Joey Harrington played just four seasons in Detroit, but made them count by throwing for 10,242 yards, which ranks him sixth in franchise history. Harrington had his best season in 2004 for the Lions, with career best numbers in passing yards (3047) and touchdowns (19) with 12 interceptions.

Jon Kitna (9034)-Jon Kitna has been the Lions' starting QB since 2006, and he stands to climb high on this list if he stays in Detroit. Kitna already ranks seventh in Lions' history with 9034 passing yards, and his best season was 2006. That year, despite 22 picks, Kitna threw for a career best 4208 yards with 21 TD passes.

Charlie Batch (9016)-Charlie Batch played for the Lions from 1998 to 2001 and led them to their last playoff appearance in 1999. Batch ranks eighth in franchise history with 9016 passing yards and had a career high of 2489 yards in 2000. But his best season might have been 1998, when he passed for 2178 yards with 11 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions.

Milt Plum (8536)-Milt Plum played for Detroit from 1962 to 1967 and ranks ninth in team history with 8536 passing yards. His best season in Detroit was 1962. That year, despite 20 picks, Plum passed for 2378 yards and 15 TDs.

Bill Munson (8461)-Bill Munson started 47 games for the Lions between 1968 and 1975 and ranks tenth in franchise history with 8461 passing yards. He had his best season in 1968 when he threw for career highs in yardage (2311) and touchdowns (15), with just 8 interceptions.


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