On October 28, 1934, the Detroit Lions pitch their 7th consecutive shutout by defeating the Cincinnati Reds 38-0. Let me say that again; in 1934, the Detroit Lions had seven consecutive shutouts. I’m not talking baseball, this is football, ladies and gentleman. That is how good your Lions were at one point in time.
The Lions moved to Detroit for the first time in 1934 after playing their first four seasons as the Portsmouth Spartans in Portsmouth, Ohio. That first year was a great one, as they won their first seven games by shutout, and their first 10 games overall. Unfortunately, they would lose their 11th, 12th and final game of the year to finish at 11-3 and just out of the playoffs.
That 7th consecutive shutout was highlighted by two touchdowns and a field goal for QB Dutch Clark. Backup Quarterback Glenn Presnell also scored two times and kicked a field goal in the victory. Additionally, the defense combined for four interceptions.
The 1934 Lions’ seven consecutive shutouts tied an NFL record originally set by the 1921 Akron Pros. This record still stands, as no team has been able to match it since. It was not the only record that this incarnation of Detroit Lions still holds. In their 8th game of the season, a 40-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Lions rushed for 426 yards as a team. Still a single-game NFL record.
Interestingly enough, the Lions’ first loss of the year came in game 11 to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won that game 3-0. The first meeting between the two teams was also a 3-0 score, but the Lions getting the W in game three.
In today’s game, both the seven consecutive shutouts and the 426 rushing yards, may stand the test of time. As Lions fans, we take for granted that this team, long before most of us were around, was among the elite of the NFL.