Raiola is in his 14th season in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, and his 13th as the starting center. Utilizes tremendous quickness, tenacity and intelligence to anchor the team’s offensive front.
- Pronunciation: rye-OH-la
- Made a special visit to University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital to visit patients during the 2006 season.
- Donated home game tickets to the Children’s Center through CATS (Caring Athletes Ticket Service) for Kids program.
- Attended the 13th annual Detroit Lions Courage House Dinner to help benefit HAVEN, Oakland County’s premier center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
- Re-signed by the Detroit Lions to a one-year contract extension (through 2014) on February 7, 2014.
- Re-signed by the Detroit Lions to a four-year contract extension (through 2013) on June 25, 2009.
- Re-signed by the Detroit Lions to a five-year contract extension on March 13, 2005.
- Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round (50th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Raiola is in his 14th season in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, and his 13th as the starting center. Utilizes tremendous quickness, tenacity and intelligence to anchor the team’s offensive front.
- Named team captain six-straight seasons (2006-11).
- Voted by his teammates for the Eric Andolsek Top Offensive Lineman Award (2006-11, 2013) and for the Joe Schmidt Leadership Award (2013).
- Has played in 204 career games (188 starts). He is the third player in Lions history to play 200 games for the club. With the retirement of K Jason Hanson (327), Raiola is the only player on the Lions active roster who has played 200 career games for the club.
- With a start at Philadelphia (12/8), Raiola played in his 201st career game with Detroit and moved past LB Wayne Walker (200) for the second-most career games played in franchise history.
- To date, Raiola has played in 204 of a possible 208 games during his 13-year career. The only games he missed occurred during a stretch of four games during the 2008 season.
- Raiola played in his 192nd career game vs. Chicago (9/29), setting a new franchise record for the most games played by a Lions offensive player and the most games played by a Lions interior (offensive or defensive) lineman. Lions T Jeff Backus (191) held the previous record.
- In the 2013 home opener vs. Minnesota (9/8), Raiola became the eighth player in Lions history to play 13 seasons with the franchise. His 13 seasons are tied for the fourth-most in team history.
- With the Lions starting lineup of Raiola, LT Jeff Backus, LG Rob Sims, RG Stephen Peterman and RT Gosder Cherilus in the team’s 2012 season opener 27-23 win over St. Louis (9/9), the offensive line became the unit that marked the first time a Lions team has started the same offensive line combination for three consecutive years since 1980-82 (LT Karl Baldischeiler, LG Homer Elias, C Amos Fowler, RG Russ Bolinger and RT Keith Dorne). With starts by all five offensive linemen, they moved their collective total of regular season starts with the Lions to 494, the most starts by an offensive line unit with one team in the NFL.
2013: Long-tenured starting center who started in all 16 games and helped pave the way for the Lions to average 392.1 net yards per game, the sixth-best mark in the league, and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2013. Part of unit that ranked second in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play (3.5-percent).
- Part of the Lions offensive line in Week 1 vs. Minnesota (9/8) that helped Detroit’s offense gain 469 yards and score four touchdowns against the Vikings while not allowing sack.
- Played in his 190th career game in Week 2 at Arizona (9/15). He became just the fourth player in team history to play in 190 career games. Was part of an offensive line that allowed for 87 rushing yards on 25 carries, while helping the Lions offense accumulate 327 net yards of offense.
- Appeared in his 191st career game in Week 3 at Washington (9/22) and tied T Jeff Backus for the third-most in team history. Part of the Lions offensive line that helped Detroit’s offense gain 448 yards and score three touchdowns against the Redskins while allowing just one sack.
- With a start in Week 4 vs. Chicago (9/29), Raiola played in his 192nd career game and moved past T Jeff Backus for the third-most career games played in team history. Contributed to an offensive line effort that helped Detroit’s offense gain 118 yards on the ground and allowed just one sack in Week 6 at Cleveland (10/13).
- In Week 7 vs. Cincinnati (10/20), added to an offensive line effort that helped Detroit’s offense gain 434 yards and score three touchdowns against the Bengals while not allowing a sack.
- Led the offensive line to help the Lions set a franchise single-game record by accumulating 638 total offensive yards (143 rushing, 480 passing) in Week 8 vs. Dallas (10/27). They broke the previous record of 591 yards vs. New York Yanks November 23, 1950. It was the first time in team history that the Lions offense accumulated over 600 total yards in a game.
- Helped the Lions rush for 145 yards while not allowing a sack in Week 10 at Chicago (11/10).
- Contributed to an offensive line that helped Detroit gained 241 yards on the ground vs. Green Bay (11/28) on Thanksgiving. This was the team’s highest rushing output since the Lions gained 249 yards vs. Indianapolis November 23, 1997.
- The 241 rushing yards vs. Green Bay (11/28) marked the first time the Lions gained 200+ rushing yards since they chewed up 215 yards vs. Arizona December 5, 2004.
- Helped the Lions ground game to rushing touchdowns from RBs Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, respectively, in Week 16 vs. New York Giants (12/22).
2012: Played and started in all 16 games and helped pave the way for 17 rushing touchdowns and almost 5,000 yards passing from QB Matthew Stafford. Part of unit that ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play.
- With the Lions starting lineup of Raiola, LT Jeff Backus, LG Rob Sims, RG Stephen Peterman, and RT Gosder Gosder in the team’s season opener win against St. Louis (9/9), the offensive line became the unit that marked the first time a Lions team has started the same offensive line combination for three consecutive years since 1980-82 (LT Karl Baldischeiler, LG Homer Elias, C Amos Fowler, RG Russ Bolinger and RT Keith Dorne). With starts by all five offensive linemen, they moved their collective total of regular season starts with the Lions to 494, the most starts by an offensive line unit with one team in the NFL.
- Part of the Lions offensive line in Week 3 at Tennessee (9/23) that helped Detroit’s offense gain 583 yards against the Titans, the third-highest total in team history.
- On the ground, the Lions chewed up 141 yards rushing along with 11 rushing first downs (tied for most by Lions since 2002). Also helped RB Mikel Leshoure become the Lions first rusher to gain 100 yards in an NFL debut since rookie RB Billy Sims in 1980.
- Helped the Lions’ offensive line hold the Eagles’ defense to no sacks on the day in the Lions’ comeback 26-23 overtime win at Philadelphia in Week 6 (10/14). Team also had 138 yards on the ground with only three rushes for loss (4 yards) on 28 attempts). Moved past Kevin Glover (177) for second-most games by an Lions offensive lineman in team history and seventh overall.
- The offensive line saw their best game of the season in Week 9 at Jacksonville (11/4), helping RBs Mikel Lehsoure and Joique Bell combine for four rushing touchdowns against the Jaguars and tally 149 yards on the ground in the Lions’ 31-14 win.
- Helped the Lions ground game to two rushing touchdowns from RBs Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell, respectively, in Week 12 vs. Houston on Thanksgiving Day (11/22).
- Contributed to an offensive line effort that allowed zero sacks against the Colts’ pass rush in Week 13 vs. Indianapolis (12/2).
2011: Team’s starting center and offensive captain for sixth consecutive year. Offense is 10th in NFL is sacks per pass play (5.1 pct) yielding 36 sacks on 702 pass plays.
- Centered offensive line that allowed no sacks and garnered 126 rushing yards in the team’s opening day win at Tampa Bay (9/11).
- The Lions’ season opener at Tampa Bay marked the first time since 1981-82 that the Lions have started the same offensive line (same personnel at same positions) in consecutive years on opening day. Raiola, LT Jeff Backus, LB Rob Sims, G Stephen Peterman and T Gosder Cherilus was the team’s regular starting offensive line last year for the Lions, including on opening day. The last offensive group to start in consecutive years was LT Karl Baldischeiler, LG Homer Elias, C Amos Fowler, RG Russ Bolinger and RT Keith Dorne. That group started on opening day in that lineup three consecutive years (1980-92).
- In the home opener vs. Kansas City (9/18), was part of an offensive line that allowed no sacks for the second consecutive game. The Lions offense generated 48 points in the victory over the Chiefs, the most points scored by the Lions since they garnered 55 points in a Thanksgiving Day 55-20 win over Chicago (11/27/97). That game was also the last time the team scored 6 offensive touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in a single game. The last time the Lions scored 6 offensive touchdowns in a game of which at least 4 were via the pass was a 48-17 win over Chicago (10/19/81).
- Part of an offensive line that did not allow a sack at Dallas (10/2) in the team’s 24-point comeback 34-30 win.
- Offensive line was instrumental in the Lions 24-13 win over Chicago on Monday Night Football as the line paved the way for 181 rushing yards, including 163 from RB Jahvid Best. Raiola opened a huge seem in the middle on Best’s 88-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, which was the second longest in team history.
- Helped allow 104 yards rushing vs. Atlanta (10/23) who’s defense is ranked sixth in the league in rushing yards per game. Maurice Morris finished with 9 carries for 50 yards (5.6 avg.) and Keiland Williams finished with 9 carries for 44 yards (4.9 avg.).
- Helped protect Matthew Stafford in order for him to set a new franchise record 63 passing attempts vs. Chicago (11/13).
- He made his 150th career start at center for the Lions game vs. Carolina (11/20). He has now started the past 150-of-154 games dating back to the beginning of the 2002 season.
- Overall, he has now played in 166 career games, which is 12th most in team history.
- In his 150th career start, he was part of an offensive line that paved the way for running back Kevin Smith to rush for 140 yards vs. Carolina (11/20). They also gave QB Matthew Stafford enough time to throw 5 touchdown passes in the game. Offensive line helped produce 169 rushing yards, second-highest total on the season, and 495 total yards, the most for the Lions since 1997.
2010: Team captain for fifth consecutive season and starting center. Leader along offensive line unit that ranked fifth in NFL in Sacks per Pass Play (4.09 pct.), giving up just 27 sacks this year on 660 pass plays.
- Started in season opener at Chicago (9/12).
- Part of an offensive line against Philadelphia (9/19) that helped the team rush for 115 yards, including 78 and 2 touchdowns from rookie Jahvid Best.
- In the Lions 44-6 win vs. St. Louis (10/10), Raiola led an offensive line unit that allowed just 1 sack on 33 pass plays.
- Center of offensive line that allowed a single sack on 46 pass attempts against Washington (10/31).
- Played in 150th career game at Dallas (11/21).
- Centered offensive line unit that was key in the offense rushing for 190 yards (season-high). It was the most by the Lions since the team had 193 rushing yards at Green Bay December 12, 2004.
- Manned middle of offensive line unit that led the way for the team to gain 181 yards on the ground while allowing no sacks in the Lions 23-20 overtime win on the road at Tampa Bay (12/20).
- The 181 rushing yards, which included 109 by RB Maurice Morris, was the second consecutive game that the offensive line helped produce 180 rushing yards. It was the first back-to-back 180-yard team rushing tallies since December 2004 (215 vs. Arizona 12/5/10 and 193 at Green Bay 12/12/10).
- Perhaps highlight of the game on the ground was the team opening overtime with runs of 26 and 14 yards on the first two plays that put the team in position for a game-winning kick. 49 of the team’s 63 yards in overtime occurred on the ground.
2009: Named team captain for fourth-straight season.
- Started at center in season opener at New Orleans (9/13).
- Was part of an offensive line that allowed 129 rushing yards on 34 carries vs. Minnesota (9/20).
- Started at center vs. Washington (9/27) and was part of an offensive line that helped produce 154 yards on the ground, including Kevin Smith’s 101 rushing yards.
- Started at center and filled in at long snapper after Don Muhlbach was injured at Baltimore (12/13). Made first tackle of the season on special teams.
- Started at center vs. Arizona (12/20) and was part of an offensive line that gained 161 yards on the ground, including Maurice Morris’ 126 rushing yards.
2008: Named an offensive team captain for second consecutive year. Had his consecutive games played streak snapped at 104 games due to hand injury. Played in 12 games (12 starts).
- Started his 100th straight game vs. Chicago (10/5).
- Inactive vs. Jacksonville (11/9) due to a broken hand and snapped his 104-game starting streak.
- Inactive the past four games due to a hand injury.
- Re-entered starting lineup vs. Minnesota (12/7).
- Helped engineer an offensive line unit that was stout against the pass rush at Indianapolis (12/14) and did not allow a sack.
2007: NFC Pro Bowl alternate. Named a 2007 offensive team captain and started every single game.
- Started at center at Oakland (9/9), where he helped the offense roll up 392 total yards.
- Against Minnesota (9/16), Raiola started at center and contributed to an offensive output of 415 total yards.
- Starting center at Philadelphia (9/23), where the offense combined for 432 total yards.
- Played in his 100th game (84th start) at center vs. Chicago (9/30).
- Paved the way for a Lions rushing attack that averaged 6.1 yards per carry (147 total rushing yards) against Tampa Bay.
- Part of a Lions line that powered a balanced attack, blocking the way to 246 net yards passing and 119 yards rushing (365 total yards) at Chicago (10/28).
- Paved way for Lions’ ground game that piled up 130 yards on 29 carries (4.5 avg.) against Denver (11/4). Additionally, the line only allowed one sack on the day.
- Helped the Lions total 152 yards rushing, a season high, in addition to a season-high three rushing touchdowns while allowing only one sack against Dallas (12/9).
- Part of an offensive line that did not allow a sack against San Diego (12/16).
- Contributed key blocking from the center spot as the offense totaled 137 yards rushing against Kansas City (12/23) while only allowing two sacks. Among the 137 yards on the ground was a 102-yard performance by T.J. Duckett.
2006: Started his 80th consecutive game as a Lion since 2002 at Dallas (12/31) and has played in all 96 games since being drafted in 2001. He and RT Jeff Backus have started every game together since the beginning of the 2002 season. Raiola had his best season in the NFL and displayed his agility, athleticism, and demonstrated on several occasions his ability to block outside and downfield. Raiola performed amongst the best centers in the league in 2006.
- Helped offense to 251 total yards on offense in the season opener against Seattle (9/10).
- Helped the offense accumulate 424 net yards, including 319 passing yards, against Green Bay (9/24).
- Commanded an offensive line that was critical in the Lions balanced attack in the team’s 20-17 win vs. Buffalo, helping RB Kevin Jones to his first 100-yard rushing game (127 yards) of the season.
- Assisted in limiting the New York Jets defense (10/22) to a season-low one sack while the offense produced 386 total net yards. The offensive line allowed just three negative plays (two rushes for -2 yards and one sack for eight yards) of the offense’s 59 total plays.
- Cleared the way for RB Kevin Jones’ second 100-yard rushing performance of the year (26 carries for 110 yards), while also helping the offense accumulate a season-best 435 net yards vs. Atlanta (11/5).
- Led the offensive line to allow the offense to post 327 total yard of offense vs. Chicago (12/24).
- Helped the offense attain 362 total yards and score a season-high 39 points at Dallas (12/31).
2005: Played and started in all 16 games for the fourth consecutive season.
- Helped the offensive line allow only 10 sacks the second half of the season, including one-or-less in seven of the last eight games, despite going back and forth between starting quarterbacks Joey Harrington (five starts) and Jeff Garcia (three starts).
- His blocking helped the Lions’ ground game rush for four touchdowns against Baltimore (10/9), which is the most rushing touchdowns the Ravens have allowed in a game in franchise history. They also helped spring Shawn Bryson’s career-long 77-yard touchdown run which was the longest run from scrimmage ever yielded by the Baltimore Ravens.
2004: Started all 16 games for the third-straight season.
- Key shield for Joey Harrington as he threw for a career-high 19 touchdowns.
- Centered an offensive line that developed into one of the top run-blocking lines in the NFL by the end of the season as the offensive line led the way for a rushing attack that ranked second in the NFL over the final seven games of the season.
- Took over long-snapping duties after Jody Littleton sustained a hamstring injury vs. Washington (11/17).
2003: Took over the long-snapping duties for much of the game against San Diego (12/7) after Bradford Banta left the game with a broken clavicle and recorded the first two special teams tackles of his career.
- For the second straight season the Lions’ offensive line led the league in sacks allowed with just 11, nine better than their previous franchise record of 20 set in 2002.
- Key protector of Joey Harrington as he led the league in sacks per pass play ratio among quarterbacks at 1.60 percent (nine sacks/588 attempts), the second straight year he has led in that category.
- The Lions allowed no sacks in seven games--vs. Arizona (9/7), at San Francisco (10/5), at Chicago (10/26), vs. Oakland (11/2), at Minnesota (11/23), vs. San Diego (12/7) and at Kansas City (12/14).
2002: Selected by his teammates as the recipient of the Chuck Hughes Most Improved Player Award.
- Had a strong outing in only his third NFL start against Green Bay (9/22) and made a key block on a screen pass, helping RB James Stewart score a 52-yard touchdown.
- Key contributor to the Lions’ offensive line which allowed only 20 quarterback sacks, the fewest in the NFL in 2002 and a then-franchise record, and helped RB James Stewart rush for over 1,000 yards for the second time in three seasons.
- Played a significant role in helping Joey Harrington finish the season with the league’s lowest sack-per-pass-play ratio among passers (eight sacks/429 attempts for 1.61 percent).
- Offensive line unit allowed no sacks in seven games: vs. New Orleans (9/29), at Buffalo (10/27), at Green Bay (11/10), vs. New York Jets (11/17), vs. New England (11/28), at Arizona (12/8) and vs. Minnesota (12/29); and only one sack in four other contests: vs. Green Bay (9/22), at Minnesota (10/13), vs. Dallas (11/3), vs. Tampa Bay (12/15).
- Helped pave way for James Stewart’s career-high 172-yard rushing effort in Lions’ 23-20 overtime win vs. Chicago (10/20).
2001: Spent majority of rookie season blocking on several special teams units, however was inserted at center at various times during six games near the latter half of the season.
- Selected to the Pro Football Weekly's All-Rookie squad.
- In goal-line situations vs. Cincinnati (10/28), checked into game as eligible receiver at tight end; also returned a kickoff 11 yards in that game along with usual duties on special teams units.
- Saw first action at center at San Francisco (11/4), snapping to rookie QB Mike McMahon in third series of each half.
Turned pro after playing three seasons at Nebraska, but was a four-year collegian (redshirted in 1997).
- Cornhuskers’ first freshman offensive lineman to start a game since Rob Zatechka in 1991.
- The two-time Nebraska Lifter of the Year finalist set a school record with 140 knockdown blocks (11.67 per game) as a sophomore in 1999, only to better that mark as a junior in 2000 with 145 (13.2 per game).
- Besides on-field accolades, he garnered Academic All-Big 12 Conference honors the last two years while making the conference’s honor roll three times.
- In 2000, he was an All-American First Team selection by the Football Writers Association, Walter Camp, Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association, rated the best center in the country by The Sports Xchange, a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top lineman and a consensus All-Big First Team selection.
- Junior year was first full year as starter and was named a consensus All-Big 12 First Team selection, the first sophomore Nebraska offensive lineman to earn such honors since Dave Rimington in 1980 and was a member of Sports Illustrated’s All-Bowl Team.
Three-year starter on the offensive line for St. Louis High School in Honolulu.
- Team went undefeated in each of his last three years and ranked 15th nationally in 1996, winning its 11th straight state championship.
- Earned first-team all-state honors as a junior in 1995 and as a senior in 1996.
- Also a National Honor Society member, a three-year scholar-athlete and ranked sixth in his class of 180.