Everyone who pays attention to the Detroit Lions on a regular basis knows that Jason Hanson is invaluable to the team. There are so many things to praise about Hanson and his career – a 21 year career with the same team, no less – that it might be hard to know where to start.
So let’s start with the game versus the Tennessee Titans.
The Lions are first in something this season, despite being 1 – 2 on the year thus far. Hanson is in first place for having made 10 field goals already! Two of those kicks came in the first half of the game versus the Titans. Add that to the seven point afters kicked and it means he has racked up 37 points. No one else on the Lions offense can claim that!
Then, punter Ben Graham went out with a calf injury midway through the game. Who comes riding in to save the day? Not the Calvary, not a backup punter, but Hanson. Hanson, who is a staple in every game and a household name for everyone who watches football in Michigan.
Hanson had three punts for 118 yards. His longest kick was 46 yards. Not bad for a 42 year old man who is a place kicker.
But this isn’t any place kicker. This kicker is the Lions leading scorer with 2,053 points. That breaks down to 473 field goals made for 1,419 points, plus 634 points after a touchdown. If it wasn’t for him, the Lions would not have as many wins as they do over the last two decades, dismal as the number may seem.
Hanson is the fourth highest scorer of all time. All. Time. The man is a place kicker and only gets one or three points at a time, yet has more points than people who run in the endzone for 6 points at a time!
Hanson has attempted 576 kicks and made 473 in his career. That’s 82% accuracy if you are in to keeping stats.
These are some of the records Hanson holds:
– Most field goals of 50+ yards (51)
– Most career games with one team (314)
– First NFL player to score over 2,000 points with the same team (2,053)
Hanson is responsible for winning 17 games for the Lions by kicking a field goal in the last seconds or overtime. 17. There isn’t any other player in the franchise that has led them to a victory as many times.
Step aside Megatron (Calvin Johnson), it’s time to give some kudos to Legatron. Without having Hanson’s leg this past weekend, that first comeback, or the second one, would not have even been possible. Granted, it didn’t end up in a win, but it wasn’t his fault. He kicked, he scored 15 of the 41 points, and he punted the ball away for an injured teammate. His leg has only missed 9 games in 21 years. That’s reliability at its best.
The man deserves the title of Legatron.