Detroit Lions coach not buying "Curse of Bobby Layne"

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Four NFL championship banners were hanging from the Detroit Lions' indoor practice facility on Friday as the current team worked to snap a five-game losing skid on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

The Lions (1-6) haven't celebrated a title since 1957, the NFL's second-longest drought without a championship. They also hold the longest active streak without a playoff victory, having not won in the postseason since 1992.

There's been so many dramatic losses and lack of success through the years that speculation remains on whether or not the Curse of Bobby Layne lingers over the organization.

In the 1950s, the Lions dominated the decade. With Layne, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, at quarterback, Detroit won NFL titles in 1952 and 1953.

However, Layne suffered a broken leg, opening the door for backup Tobin Rote to lead the squad to the 1957 title. The next year, two games into the 1958 season, Lions coach George Wilson shockingly traded Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Earl Morrall and two draft picks.

Layne was bitter and supposedly said the Lions wouldn't win a championship for another 50 years. Sure enough, 64 years later, the franchise has not come close to winning again.

Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning explored "The Curse of Bobby Layne" on a recent episode of "Peyton's Places." Manning was joined by die-hard Lions fans Keegan-Michael Key and Jeff Daniels on the show as they tried to exorcise the curse.

Coach Dan Campbell says he refuses to believe that they're jinxed in the Motor City.

"No, I don't. I do not. I can't go there. I'm not going to allow myself to go there because I just feel like for me, as a coach or for us as players, that's an excuse," Campbell said during Friday's practice. "And I think you create your own vibe, your own mojo. You create your own energy and I think the more you buy into that and believe that, that's what you become so no, I'm not buying that."

Although Lions rookie Aidan Hutchinson is a Michigan native who attended nearby Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan, and the University of Michigan, he wasn't aware of the curse until "a couple weeks ago." Detroit's No. 2 overall pick called it interesting and says, "hopefully we can break that sometime soon."

"It's a great opportunity. I mean, hopefully Peyton exorcised it," Hutchinson told ESPN. "Hopefully we can move on now. It'll be cool if we can start winning ballgames now that Peyton came down here and got rid of it."

Campbell said he hadn't watched the episode as they're trying to write a new narrative.

"It has to be it. There is a curse," Daniels told Manning on the ESPN+ show. "If you take the curse out of there, we have to accept the fact that we're this bad. It's easier for us, who are die-hard Lions fans to go, 'yes, there is a curse.' We hit bottom and then we hit bottom again and then we got a hammer out and hit ourselves in the head a few more times and then we hit bottom again.

"Down in the deep darkness of my Lions fan's soul, there is hope."