|2015 Detroit Lions season|
|Head coach||Jim Caldwell|
|General manager||Martin Mayhew (fired Nov. 5)|
Sheldon White (interim)
|Owner||Martha Firestone Ford|
|Home field||Ford Field|
|Division place||3rd NFC North|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||Ezekiel Ansah, DE|
Calvin Johnson, WR
The 2015 Detroit Lions season was the franchise's 86th season in the National Football League, their 82nd as the Detroit Lions and the second under Head Coach Jim Caldwell. By Week 7 of the season, the Lions had already lost six games, more than they did in the entire 2014 season. This led to the firing of Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi and two other coaches. After falling to 1-7 the following week, the team fired President Tom Lewand and General Manager Martin Mayhew. On November 19, the Lions named Rod Wood as team President. The Lions were eliminated from playoff contention after their loss to St. Louis in week 14. The team had a 6-2 record in the second half of the season to finish at 7-9, good for third place in the NFC North. One highlight of the season was the Lions first win in Green Bay since 1991.
|February 27||Don Muhlbach||Long snapper||1 year / $1.05 million|||
|March 2||Dan Orlovsky||Quarterback||1 year / $1.05 million|||
|Darryl Tapp||Defensive end||1 year / $950,000|||
|March 6||Matt Prater||Placekicker||3 years / $9 million|||
|Kellen Moore||Quarterback||2 years / $1.825 million|||
|March 10||Josh Bynes||Linebacker||2 years / $1.81 million|||
|March 11||Isa Abdul-Quddus||Safety||1 year / $1.5 million|||
|March 19||Rashean Mathis||Cornerback||2 years / $3.5 million|||
|April 20||Jeremy Ross||Return specialist||1 year / $585,000|||
|August 5||DeAndre Levy||Linebacker||4 years / $33.72 million|||
|February 27||Phillip Hunt||Defensive end||Indianapolis Colts||1 year / $585,000|||
|March 12||Tyrunn Walker||Defensive end||New Orleans Saints||1 year / $1.75 million|||
|April 3||Josh Wilson||Cornerback||Atlanta Falcons||1 year / $950,000|||
|April 7||Brandon Copeland||Linebacker||Tennessee Titans||1 year / $460,000|||
|May 2||Al Bond||Guard||Memphis|||
|Kyle Brindza||Placekicker||Notre Dame|
|Isaiah Johnson||Safety||Georgia Tech|
|Vernon Johnson||Wide receiver||Texas A&M|
|Desmond Lawrence||Wide receiver||North Carolina A&T|
|Casey Pierce||Tight end||Kent State|
|Brian Suite||Safety||Utah State|
|Rasheed Williams||Running back||Alfred State|
|Torrian Wilson||Offensive lineman||Central Florida|
|Zach Zenner||Running back||South Dakota State|
|May 8||Alex Carter||Cornerback||Stanford||4 years / $3.058 million|||
|Gabe Wright||Defensive tackle||Auburn||4 years / $2.801 million|
|Michael Burton||Fullback||Rutgers||4 years / $2.46 million|
|Quandre Diggs||Cornerback||Texas||4 years / $2.395 million|
|Corey Robinson||Offensive tackle||South Carolina||4 years / $2.338 million|
|May 11||Jarred Haggins||Wide receiver||Florida State||3 years / $1.575 million|||
|Nathan Lindsey||Safety||Fort Hays State||1 year / -|
|Erik Lora||Wide receiver||Eastern Illinois||1 year / -|
|May 12||Desmond Martin||Running back||Wayne State||3 years / $1.575 million|||
|Lance Moore||Wide receiver||Pittsburgh Steelers||1 year / $1.05 million|||
|May 13||Greg Salas||Wide receiver||New York Jets||1 year / $745,000|||
|Chris Owens||Cornerback||Kansas City Chiefs||1 year / -|
|Ameer Abdullah||Running back||Nebraska||4 years / $4.156 million|||
|June 10||David Ausberry||Tight end||Oakland Raiders||1 year / $660,000|||
|June 11||Laken Tomlinson||Guard||Duke||4 years / $8.55 million|||
|June 15||Garrett Gilbert||Quarterback||New England Patriots||1 year / -|||
|June 22||Taylor Mays||Safety||Minnesota Vikings||1 year / $745,000|||
|July 28||R. J. Stanford||Cornerback||Miami Dolphins||1 year / -|||
|August 4||Ethan Davis||Cornerback||Troy||1 year / -|||
|February 25||Reggie Bush||Running back||Released||San Francisco 49ers|||
|March 11||Ndamukong Suh||Defensive tackle||UFA||Miami Dolphins|||
|March 12||Jed Collins||Fullback||UFA||Dallas Cowboys|||
|March 13||Nick Fairley||Defensive tackle||UFA||St. Louis Rams|||
|April 21||Rodney Austin||Guard||Released|||
|May 11||Desmond Lawrence||Wide receiver||Released|||
|May 12||Rasheed Williams||Running back||Released|||
|May 13||Skye Dawson||Wide receiver||Released||Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)|||
|June 3||Erik Lora||Wide receiver||Released|||
|June 10||Nathan Lindsey||Defensive back||Released|||
|June 12||Anthony Boone||Quarterback||Released||Montreal Alouettes (CFL)|||
|June 17||Rasheed Williams||Running back||Released|||
|August 4||Jerrell Harris||Linebacker||Released|||
|August 8||Ethan Davis||Cornerback||Waived|||
|7||240||Corey Robinson||OT||South Carolina|
|1||August 13||New York Jets||W 23-3||1-0||Ford Field||Recap|
|2||August 20||at Washington Redskins||L 17-21||1-1||FedExField||Recap|
|3||August 28||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 22-17||2-1||EverBank Field||Recap|
|4||September 3||Buffalo Bills||W 17-10||3-1||Ford Field||Recap|
|1||September 13||at San Diego Chargers||L 28-33||0-1||Qualcomm Stadium||Recap|
|2||September 20||at Minnesota Vikings||L 16-26||0-2||TCF Bank Stadium||Recap|
|3||September 27||Denver Broncos||L 12-24||0-3||Ford Field||Recap|
|4||October 5||at Seattle Seahawks||L 10-13||0-4||CenturyLink Field||Recap|
|5||October 11||Arizona Cardinals||L 17-42||0-5||Ford Field||Recap|
|6||October 18||Chicago Bears||W 37-34 (OT)||1-5||Ford Field||Recap|
|7||October 25||Minnesota Vikings||L 19-28||1-6||Ford Field||Recap|
|8||November 1||at Kansas City Chiefs||L 10-45||1-7||Wembley Stadium||Recap|
|10||November 15||at Green Bay Packers||W 18-16||2-7||Lambeau Field||Recap|
|11||November 22||Oakland Raiders||W 18-13||3-7||Ford Field||Recap|
|12||November 26||Philadelphia Eagles||W 45-14||4-7||Ford Field||Recap|
|13||December 3||Green Bay Packers||L 23-27||4-8||Ford Field||Recap|
|14||December 13||at St. Louis Rams||L 14-21||4-9||Edward Jones Dome||Recap|
|15||December 21||at New Orleans Saints||W 35-27||5-9||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
|16||December 27||San Francisco 49ers||W 32-17||6-9||Ford Field||Recap|
|17||January 3||at Chicago Bears||W 24-20||7-9||Soldier Field||Recap|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
The visiting Lions opened the 2015 season at San Diego. Detroit held a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter, only to see the Chargers reel off 30 unanswered points on their way to a 33-28 victory.
The Vikings took an early 14-0 lead on the visiting Lions and never looked back, as Detroit struggled to find any offensive consistency, especially in the running game. (Quarterback Matthew Stafford was the leading rusher with only 20 yards.)
Playing in their home debut, the 0-2 Lions closed the game to 14-12 in the third quarter, but a two-point conversion to tie the score failed. Denver then scored the final 10 points for a 24-12 victory.
Playing on Monday Night, the Lions had a chance to upset last year's NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Late in the fourth quarter, Calvin Johnson caught a pass from Matthew Stafford and was headed for a go-ahead touchdown until Kam Chancellor punched the ball from his hands at Seattle's 1-yard line. As the ball bounded into the end zone, K. J. Wright batted the ball across the end line. By NFL rules, the intentional guiding of the ball across the end line should have resulted in a penalty, giving the ball back to the Lions at the spot of the fumble. But the back judge ruled that Wright's act was not blatant, and Seattle was given the ball at their own 20-yard line, after which they proceeded to run out the clock.
Dean Blandino, NFL VP of Officiating, stated after the game that the on-field officials made a mistake, and Detroit should have regained possession at the 1-yard line.
With the loss, the Lions are 0-4, their worst start since 2010. With the Saints' win over the Cowboys on Sunday Night, the Lions are the league's only winless team.
The highlight of the game was when Calvin Johnson caught his 671st pass with the Lions, breaking Herman Moore's franchise record. Inconsistent play by Matthew Stafford, including throwing 3 interceptions, forced him to the sidelines for the game's remainder. With the blowout loss, the Lions remained winless at 0-5.
This marks the first time the Lions have started a season 0-5 since 2008 (when they went 0-16).
With an overtime victory over the visiting Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions are no longer winless, improving to 1-5. A 57-yard bomb from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson with under three minutes to play in overtime set up Matt Prater for the game-winning 27-yard field goal.
Despite leading 17-15 at halftime, the Lions only managed to score 2 more points the rest of the game on an intentional safety taken by the Vikings in the closing seconds, losing 28-19 and dropping to 1-6. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was hit 13 times and sacked 7 times. The next day, the Lions fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn and assistant offensive line coach Terry Heffernan. Quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter will take over as offensive coordinator, tight ends coach Ron Prince takes over for Washburn, and special teams assistant Devin Fitzsimmons takes over as the new tight ends coach.
After the blowout overseas loss, the Lions entered their bye week at 1-7, the NFL's worst record so far this season. Despite the changeover in offensive coaches, Matthew Stafford was sacked six more times. On November 5, the Lions fired President Tom Lewand and General Manager Martin Mayhew. Former vice president of pro personnel Sheldon White will serve as the team's interim general manager.
The 1-7 Lions withstood a late rally to earn an upset win over the 6-2 Packers. This was the first Lions win over Green Bay in Wisconsin since 1991. Ameer Abdullah set up the Lions first touchdown when he returned a kickoff 104 yards, and was stopped at the one-yard line. This tied the record set by Percy Harvin in 2011 for the longest non-scoring play in NFL history.
The 18-13 win over the visiting Raiders gave the Lions their first back-to-back victories of the season. The Lions became the first team in NFL history to score exactly 18 points in consecutive games.
Celebrating their 76th Thanksgiving Day game, the Lions routed the Eagles for their third consecutive win. Matthew Stafford threw five touchdown passes, three of them to Calvin Johnson. Having lost at Ford Field for the first time, the Eagles dropped to 6-1 when playing on Thanksgiving.
Despite the Lions leading the entire game, the Packers won the game after the official clock expired when a controversial facemask penalty against Devin Taylor gave them one extra untimed play. On that play, Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers for the winning touchdown. The play was later dubbed the "Miracle in Motown".
After a scoreless first quarter against the Rams in St. Louis, the Lions' attempt at a comeback in the second half fell short. The ninth loss guaranteed a losing season, the team's third in the last four years, and officially eliminated the Lions from playoff contention.
The Lions defeated the Saints 35-27, as Matthew Stafford posted a single-game career high in passer rating (148.6), and broke Jon Kitna's single-game franchise record with an 88.0 completion percentage (22-for-25). It was the team's first road win over the Saints since 2005.
After multiple lead changes and a close halftime score, the Lions pulled away and won their last home game of the season, keeping the 49ers scoreless for the entire second half. Theo Riddick caught 7 passes for 63 yards, giving him 668 receiving yards on the season, a Lions franchise record for a running back.
The Lions completed a season sweep of their division rival Chicago Bears with a 24-20 win. The loss sunk the Bears to last place in the NFC North, with the Lions finishing third. Matthew Stafford completed 28 of 39 passes, giving him a season completion percentage of 67.2, the best for a quarterback in franchise history. Theo Riddick caught 4 passes for 29 yards, giving him season totals of 80 receptions and 697 yards, both franchise records for a running back. The Lions finished the season with three players catching 80 passes or more - Golden Tate (90), Calvin Johnson (88) and Riddick (80) - a first for any Lions team. Matt Prater kicked a 59-yard field goal in the game, the longest in Lions franchise history and the longest ever kicked at Soldier Field.
|(5)Green Bay Packers||10||6||0||.625||3-3||7-5||368||323||L2|
|5[a]||Green Bay Packers||North||10||6||0||.625||3-3||7-5||.531||.450||L2|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|8[b]||St. Louis Rams||West||7||9||0||.438||4-2||6-6||.527||.482||L1|
|11[b]||New Orleans Saints||South||7||9||0||.438||3-3||5-7||.504||.402||W2|
|12[c]||New York Giants||East||6||10||0||.375||2-4||4-8||.500||.396||L3|
|14[c]||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||6||10||0||.375||3-3||5-7||.484||.406||L4|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||West||5||11||0||.313||1-5||4-8||.539||.463||W1|