The 1983Detroit Lionsseason was the 54th season in franchise history. Despite an awful 1-4 start, the Lions rallied to finish with a 9-7 record. They were able to rise to the top of a weak NFC Central, to claim their first division championship since 1957 and the first time the team had made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since making it three straight years from 1960-1962. The Lions would not return to the postseason for another eight years.
The offense ranked 15th in the NFL in points scored, leaving the defense to carry the load. The Lions’ defense turned out to be the second-best in the league in points allowed, keyed defensive tackle Doug English and his 13 sacks. English was the team’s only Pro Bowler, though he also got some help from defensive end William Gay, who registered 13 ½ sacks of his own. In the NFC playoffs, the Lions lead the San Francisco 49ers late into the 4th Quarter, until Joe Montana drove the 49ers down the field for a 14-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Solomon to give the 49ers a 24–23 lead. The Lions would have a chance to win the game, as Gary Danielson drove them into field goal range, but placekicker Eddie Murray missed a 44-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.