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Which teams have gone winless in the NFL?

The 2017 Cleveland Browns are on a list no NFL teams wants to be on.
The 2017 Cleveland Browns are on a list no NFL teams wants to be on.
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 23 Nov 2020, 01:41 IST
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If there is one list no NFL franchise wants to be on, it's the list of teams that have gone winless over an entire season.

There are three NFL teams on this exclusive list. Each had their own unique struggles during their respective winless seasons, but one thing they have in common is they'll forever be remembered for their futility.

In 2020, there's a chance we could add one more.

The New York Jets are 0-9 heading into Week 11 of the season. The Jets rank near the bottom in a lot of team stat categories. Their head coach, Adam Gase, is on the hot seat in just his second season with the team. Their franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold has been injured, ineffective, and included in trade rumors. They've waived and traded some of their best players, prompting allegations that the Jets are trying to tank the season to get the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Let's take a look at three NFL franchises that went an entire NFL season without a single victory.


2017 Cleveland Browns (0-16)

The 2017 Cleveland Browns are the most recent team to go winless for an NFL season.

The Browns lost six games by a touchdown or less in the 2017 season. They would go to overtime twice during the season, against the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers. Cleveland would score the least amount of points in the NFL with 234 total, averaging a paltry 14.6 points per game.

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The Cleveland Browns would struggle on the defensive side of the ball, where they would give up a total of 410 points during the 2017 NFL season.

The Browns were led by rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. He would struggle during the season, only throwing 11 touchdowns next to 22 interceptions. The Browns had many opportunities to win a game during the season, but would fall short every time.


2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)

The 2008 Detroit Lions would play three different quarterbacks during the season. The Lions would give up 517 points to opponents. Opposing teams would score 32.3 points per game against the Detroit Lions during the 2008 season.

The Lions would lose 11 games by ten points or more. The Lions offense would score only 16.8 points per game. They would score 268 total points in the 2008 NFL season.

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The Lions were last in the NFL in points given up and ranked 27th in the NFL in points scored.

Unlike the 2017 Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions did not take any of their opponents into overtime. The 2008 Detroit Lions will go down in history as one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL.


1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14)

The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first NFL team to go winless, and probably the worst team to ever do it.

In their first-ever season as an expansion franchise, the Buccaneers only scored 8.9 points per game and gave up 29.4 points per game. Tampa Bay would score 125 total points, which was last in the NFL. They would give up 412 points, which ranked them second to last in the NFL.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be shut out a total of five times during the 1976 NFL season. The Buccaneers defense would give up more than 30 points to opposing teams six times during the 1976 NFL season.

Looking at the numbers, this puts the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the driver's seat as possibly the worst NFL team of all time.

Published 23 Nov 2020, 01:41 IST
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