2012 was a rough year for the Detroit Lions both on and off the field. On the field, they had a dismal 4-12 record, and off the field, they had to deal with the distraction of seven offseason arrests. It was just a bad year in general for the Lions.
The good news for the Lions is that 2012 has been an outlier, at least from an arrests standpoint. Generally speaking, the Lions have been a pretty well-behaved football team over the years. Don't believe me? Just look at the numbers that Bleeding Green Nation compiled from U-T San Diego's NFL arrests database. BGN ranked the NFL teams by how many arrests they've had since 2000, and with a total of 17 in that time, the Lions came in a tie for 19th with the Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens.
Here's the year-by-year breakdown for the Lions going back to 2000:
2014: 0 so far (knock on wood)
If not for all of the trouble in 2012, the Lions would be among the very best in the NFL at staying out of trouble since 2000. The St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans are at the very bottom of the NFL with only nine arrests each, meaning that the Lions would have been pretty close to them with normal numbers a couple years ago.
The Minnesota Vikings, by the way, are the NFL leader in arrests since 2000 with 44. The Lions and Packers together have only combined for 34 arrests in that time, so the Vikings have really seemed to struggle with player behavior over the years.