On Sunday, the Lions won in Chicago for the first time since 2007. That six-year wait doesn’t really compare to the franchise’s other road losing streaks.
Detroit hasn’t won at Green Bay since 1991. Likewise, the Lions hadn’t beaten Washington on the road since Washington was in Boston, way back in 1935. Detroit ended that 78-year rut earlier this year.
And as the Lions prepare to return to Pittsburgh, they’ll be trying to end a streak that just celebrated its 58-year anniversary: November 13, 1955.
Bobby Layne (pictured), who’d later apply a curse to the Lions after being traded to Pittsburgh, served as quarterback for the Lions that day. But Ted Marchibroda nearly led the Steelers back from a 17-point deficit, trimming the score from 31-14 to 31-28.
Dick LeBeau, now the defensive coordinator for the Steelers, wouldn’t arrive in Detroit as a player for four more years. In his rookie year of 1959, the Lions and Steelers played to a 10-10 tie in Pittsburgh.
Since then, the Steelers lead the overall series, 11-3. The Lions won by the score of 45-7 in 1962 in Detroit, 45-3 in 1983 in Detroit, and 19-16 in overtime on Thanksgiving Day in 1998, thanks to Phil Luckett’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose coin flip call.
This year, the Lions have a far superior team. But the Steelers have shown that they still have plenty of pride, and LeBeau could have a little extra motivation when facing perhaps for the last time the team with which he spent 14 seasons as a player.