Its the worst a team could possibly go in the NFL 0-16. The 2008 Detroit Lions were the first team in league history to accomplish that feat, and now they have company. The Cleveland Browns are now part of history.
Now that the Browns have also gone 0-16, the question is, which team was worse? Out of the 2008 Lions and the 2017 Browns, which was the worst team in league history?
Lets start with the Lions. This team was actually primed to make a possible playoff run at the beginning of the season, after a building block 2007 season. There was an obvious quarterback problem, and five Lions ultimately took snaps under center throughout the season.
Speaking of the quarterback position, the lowlight for that season was made by Lions qb Dan Orlovsky scrambling out of the end zone for a safety in Minnesota.
The only real star power that the Lions had on the offensive side of the ball was second year receiver Calvin Johnson. 2008 was the only season where Johnson led the league in touchdowns. The rest of the offense was dismal, ranking 27th in the NFL in total offense, 30th in rushing, and 24th in passing.
Defense, surprisingly, was also a struggle. For the average football fan, I dare you to name one player on the Lions defense that season. They were last in the league in total defense, giving up 517 points in 2008. In fact, many people regard this defense as one of the worst in league history. They gave up 6.4 yards a play, and had only four interceptions. FOUR!
Three times the Lions allowed more than 40 points, including an embarrassing 10-47 thrashing against the Titans on Thanksgiving. To be fair, they deserved to go winless.
Now to the Browns. The Browns have been bad for a long time, going 4-25 the previous two seasons. So it wasn’t a huge shock to see the Browns struggle in 2017. Their 1-31 mark the last two seasons is the worst in NFL history. The Browns haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.
The Browns lost by double digits nine times, and lost twice in overtime. For 15 of 16 games, Cleveland went with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. Kizer struggled immensely throughout the season, throwing 22 interceptions.
On offense, the Browns are 27th in the NFL, 26th in rushing, averaging just 14 points a game. Six times throughout the season, the Browns scored 10 points or fewer.
Interestingly enough, the Browns didn’t have a horrible defense, ranking 12th in the country. Five times in the season, the Browns defense held their opponents to 20 points or fewer, but obviously losing.
In debating the worst team of all time, they’re both tough, or in this case, extremely bad. However, I do believe the Lions take the honor in this discussion, due to the fact of their defense. So there ya have it, cheers to you Lions.