Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is no easy task to accomplish. From No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players based on their jersey number. This list now continues with my selection for the best at No. 8.
Coming off an impressive run with the Cincinnati Bengals in the mid 2000s, quarterback Jon Kitna was signed by the Lions to be the next franchise quarterback. During his three seasons in Detroit, Kitna threw for over 4,000 yards twice, but in each of his three seasons he threw as many interceptions as touchdowns. Kitna started all 36 games that he appeared in, but in 2008, Kitna was put on injured reserve in Week 5 and the Lions would go on to become the first 0-16 team in NFL history.
Prior to Matthew Stafford‘s arrival in 2009, Kitna’s two 4,000-yard seasons in 2006 and 2007 were the most in franchise history, which is impressive considering the Lions have started a total of 55 quarterbacks in their 70+ years in football. While most of the statistics can be attributed to Mike Martz and his Air Coryell style of offense, Kitna still performed at a good enough level for a Lions team that didn’t win much during the Matt Millen era.
Kitna will mostly be known when all is said and done as a plug-in quarterback who taught the younger players how to play the position. With the Seattle Seahawks he groomed Matt Hasselbeck, and with the Cincinnati Bengals he did the same for Carson Palmer. Kitna is currently serving as one of Tony Romo‘s backup quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys. While Kitna wasn’t one of the best quarterbacks in Lions history, he certainly won’t be ranked among the worst.