The following is a list of the worst quarterbacks in the history of the Detroit Lions. This list has been compiled based on statistics and occurrences. If you notice something you agree with or disagree with, or if you just want to express your thoughts about a certain player or situation, feel free to leave a comment under the post.
When it comes to the worst quarterback, Karl Sweetan, in my opinion, takes the cake. Sweetan was a component starter for the Lions in 1966 and 1967, guiding them to a 6-12-2 record in games in which he appeared. Every fan could see that his main concern was his recklessness with the football.
In Detroit, Sweetan threw an interception every 19 passes, completed only 47.5 percent of his passes, and scored 14 touchdowns. As a result, throughout the course of those two years, he had a 53.1 quarterback rating, one of the lowest among starters in history.
It would be difficult to argue against Joey Harrington for the title of worst Lions letdown of all time. Harrington was selected third overall in 2002 as the Lions’ long-awaited salvation, but he never lived up to the promise. Our good friend Matt Millen and the Detroit Lions front staff completely mishandled Harrington’s development from every angle, instead of giving him the time he needed to develop as a player.
Under Steve Mariucci, he had no aid from any decent picks on the offensive line or at skill positions, and he went through major scheme modifications. He was physically beaten and emotionally devastated by the time he left Detroit.
While some fans may want to label him the lions’ worst because of the suffering he caused, he still showed flashes of ability that will keep him from earning the distinction. Regrettably, he never had the opportunity to put it all together.
During the Lions’ 0-16 season in 2008, Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the end zone may be the single most painful moment in franchise history. When things were at their worst in the middle of an utterly horrible season, Orlovsky, fearful and running for his life from an unfettered Jarred Allen, led the Lions to unknown black matter darkness levels of misery.
He was forever known as ‘Safety Dan,’ and he had a respectable career as Matthew Stafford’s backup quarterback, but that one moment is possibly the worst quarterback blemish in Lions history.