Detroit Lions Top 50: #14-10 with VIDEO

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11. Jack Christiansen CB, 1951-1958

Jack Christiansen was a sixth round draft pick of the Lions in 1951 and the namesake of “Chris’ Crew,” the name for the Lions defensive backfield during their collective dominance in the 1950s.

As strong as his defense was, Christiansen also developed a well-deserved reputation as the most dangerous return man in the game, returning eight punts for touchdowns during his career. In both situations, opponents changed their strategy to avoid either throwing near or kicking toward him.

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In both 1952 and 1953, Christiansen helped the Lions to an NFL championship, leading the league in interceptions with 12 during the latter season. He continued this high standard of play, tying for the interception lead with 10 pickoffs in 1957 to help the Lions win their third title in six years, then retired after the conclusion of the 1958 NFL season.

His 46 career interceptions ranks fourth on the Lions’ all-time list. As a punt returner, he had 85 returns for 1,084 yards, and his 12.8 average still stands as a Detroit record and is third all-time in NFL history. His 21.5 average for the 1952 season (15 for 322) is second all-time to Herb Rich‘s 1950 mark of 23.0 yards for the Baltimore Colts.

He is tied with Lem Barney at 11 for the most return touchdowns in Detroit history.