Worst NFL team of all time

The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are historically the worst team in the NFL
The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are historically the worst team in the NFL
Walter Sharp
Modified 23 Nov 2020

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been a successful NFL franchise. They won a Super Bowl championship in the 2002 season, and in 2020 the Bucs are a serious title contender thanks in part to the arrival of Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also experienced the lowest of low points.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the distinction of fielding the worst NFL team of all time. The 1976 Bucs went 0-14 in Tampa Bay's first season as an expansion franchise.

When the Buccaneers fan base is asked about the worst time in franchise history, they would quickly answer with the 1976 season when they went 0-14. (This was before the NFL moved to a 16-game regular season schedule.) Those Buccaneers would be at the bottom of the NFL in a lot of the statistical categories.

1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Breakdown

The Buccaneers knew after Week 1 that they were in for a long season. Let's take a look at how things went for the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

First half of the season:

The Buccaneers would lose their first two games as a franchise, 20-0 to the Houston Oilers and 23-0 to the San Diego Chargers, in back-to-back shutouts.

Tampa Bay was shut out again in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals, 21-0.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would give up a total of 156 points in the first seven games of the season. Tampa Bay would only score 56 points in their first seven games, this added to their misery being outscored 100 points by opposing teams.

Second half of the season:

The second half of the 1976 NFL season would not get much better for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They were shut out two more times, in Week 10 against the New York Jets (34-0) and Week 13 against the Pittsburgh Steelers (42-0).

During the second half of the season the Buccaneers defense would give up 30 or more points five different times.

The Buccaneers would not be competitive in the second half of their schedule. They were outscored by opponents 257-69. Tampa Bay would give up 36.7 points per game. They would only score 9.8 points per game during the second half of the season.

A 31-14 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 14 sealed the Bucs' fate as the first winless team in NFL history at 0-14 for the season.

1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stats

The 1976 Buccaneers would be shut out five different times during the season. They would only score 125 total points and would give up 412 points to opponents. The Buccaneers would rush for 1,503 yards and score five rushing touchdowns.

Tampa Bay's offense would only pass for 1,926 yards during the 1976 season. The Buccaneers would only throw 6 passing touchdowns. The key to their unsuccessful season were the turnovers by quarterback Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier would throw 20 interceptions in just 14 games. The Buccaneers quarterback would throw 11 more interceptions than touchdowns.

Looking at the statistics from the 1976 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it's clear that they're the worst NFL team of all time. This season was a low point to their franchise. Since going winless, however, the Buccaneers turned things around and have become Super Bowl contenders once again.

Published 23 Nov 2020
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