The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular professional sports leagues today. And like any sport, the ultimate goal that competing teams aim for is the championship, which means victory. Even so, the goddess of success did not smile at all franchises. There will be teams with illustrious achievements, but teams will also receive humiliation.
Who’s the worst team in the NFL record? With a record of 288–438–1, Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the lowest win rate (.397). The Arizona Cardinals have the most loss rate (780).
In addition to the general stats, let’s take a closer look at each team’s performance over the years with Langley Rams.
Worst Team In NFL: Who Is The Worst NFL Team?
No dynasty lasts forever. Along the way of franchise history, there will be times when they stumble and fail. We have compiled a list that includes the top 10 worst NFL teams of all time.
Remember, this record is only accurate for one particular year of their competition. It cannot speak to the success or strength of the entire franchise. And we will start from the last position.
(Dis)Honorable Mentions: 1949 Green Bay Packers, 1954 Washington Redskins, 1965 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1966 New York Giants, 1980 New Orleans Saints.
#10. 2009 St. Louis Rams
2009 St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams is a strong team. They made remarkable changes when they moved to Los Angeles. The Rams were the winners of Super Bowl XXXIV and made it to the biggest stage of professional football two years later.
Even so, the team had a bad season with the worst record. The tenth place on this list of worst NFL teams only got 175 points for the whole 2009 season. This result is only better than the 1992 Seattle Seahawks, with a gap of 32 points.
The 2009 Rams are one of only four teams to have won by a single game or less since 2002. All they have done is 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. They have been knocked down more than twice, scored ten or less on nine occasions, and suffered over 261 points.
The Rams won seven games in 2010 but quickly fell apart the following year.
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#9. 1973 Houston Oilers
The 1973 Houston Oilers are ninth on this list because they have such a terrible defense. In a 17-match season, they let their opponents score 447 points.
This result was not positive even when they received the advice and management of eight-time Pro Bowler and Pro Football Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea.
Despite going 1-13 for several years in a row, the Oilers failed to win a single pick in the first three rounds of the 1974 Draft. They traded first and third choices for two unhelpful players, Tody Smith and Billy Parks. They missed Ed “Too Tall” Jones, a three-time Pro Bowlers.
#8. 1981 Baltimore Colts
Owner irresponsibility, internal strife, and the end of former MVP Bert Jones’ era foreshadowed the Colts’ failures. Although they had a not so bad 1980 season with a 7-9 record, the team slipped the following year, allowing 533 points.
This 8th worst NFL team has lost 14 consecutive games and won only two games in Week 1 and Week 16. Now the Baltimore Ravens have set a record with just 13 sacks. Sadly, the Colts just had the worst record. Their negative 274 spread is still an all-time second.
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#7. 2001 Carolina Panthers
Number seven on the list of worst teams in the NFL is the 2001 Carolina Panthers under head coach George Seifert.
One of the rookie quarterbacks lineup pioneers, Chris Weinke, has had a not-so-comfortable season. The Panthers selected him in round 4 of the Draft and put him in charge of leading their offensive plans. This decision is wrong.
This rookie quarterback makes an average of 36 passes per game but has a completion rate of only 55%. He also has only 19 interceptions and 11 touchdowns.
#6. 2017 Cleveland Browns
2017 Cleveland Browns
One of the two teams that own the “0-16 winless season” would be remiss if we did not mention the 2017 Cleveland Browns in this list. However, they will still be behind a team, thanks to better results.
In fact, before losing to the Steelers at week 17, the Browns had a chance to win. The stats of this squad are not too bad. Their rushing defensive unit ranked 7th overall and second in terms of yards allowed per shot. Their hasty moves and passes were impressive at 208.9 yards per game, placing them 24th overall.
The factor that made the team slide long was the poor interception that created a lot of space for the opponent to pass.
#5. 1996 New York Jets
In 1996, the New York Jets took a big gamble. They spent $70 million just recruiting free agents. One of them is Keyshawn Johnson.
All hopes and excitement were quickly extinguished when the Jets took home a 0-6 record. The franchise even lost quarterback Neil O’ Donnell. They fired head coach Rich Kotite with the worst season 1-15 to welcome Bill Parcells.
More than 20 years later, the New York Jets saw a crisis in their roster. They only won 2 games in the 2020 season. Both of these victories belong to the playoff teams.
This result is on par with the 2016 San Francisco 49ers and 2008 Kansas City Chiefs.
#4. 2000 Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns is the only franchise to appear twice on this list, an achievement no one wanted. This worst NFL team ever scored the lowest in the 21st century with 161 points. Soon after, the team fired head coach Chris Palmer.
It looks like their overall #1 pick, defensive end Courtney Brown, couldn’t salvage the Browns’ poor performance either.
Couch’s injury forced Doug Pederson to start four times. Here is the difference. While Couch scored seven touchdowns at seven starts, Pederson scored just two. The team also encountered four shutouts, a result that forced them to hide in the locker room.
#3. 2008 Detroit Lions
The 2008 Detroit Lions were the first team to be beaten comprehensively since the NFL’s regular-season tally increased to 16 games. This worst football team came in last on many metrics like points (32.3 ppg) and yards allowed (404.4 ypg). There seems to be no other way to save them with four interceptions.
The offensive line of Head coach Rod Marinelli’s team is also not excellent. They ranked 30th in total fouls, 7th in the league in scoring (16.8 ppg), and 52 sacks.
This season is also the worst season in the history of the team.
#2. 1990 New England Patriots
The Patriots were once a powerful reigning dynasty led by Bill Belichick and Hall of Famer Tom Brady. But they also had a miserable season in franchise history.
The second longest-running QB in Patriots history, Steve Grogan, was unlucky to end his career in this 1-15 lineup. Head coach Rod Rust made his debut and lost the remaining 15 games all season. With that result, the Patriots finished with the third-worst mark (minus 265) ever.
#1. 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ opening lineup has had a rough season. More than two months of intense training by the former USC coach twice a day has not yielded positive results.
Continuity of injury problems late into the season has undermined one of the worst teams in the NFL’s modern era.
Team 0-14 Bucs with minus 287 is the worst team ever. They had a winless season, two draws, and five losses. The Bucs didn’t get their first win until Week 13, 1977.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will help you answer more questions about the worst NFL teams.
Who Is The Worst Team In The NFL Regular Season?
The 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns are the two worst teams in the regular season based on 43-year win rates. Their record is 0-16.
Who Was Undefeated In League History?
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team with a 19-0 record to have a perfect season. They are still an inspiration to many teams to learn from to this day.
Who Has Lost The Most Super Bowls?
The Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots are the two NFL teams that have lost the most Super Bowls with five games.
Sports often have winners and losers, and no team can win forever. Their forgettable milestones can be the impetus for growth and strong counterattacks in the future.
The Buccaneers were once the worst NFL team in history, but they just won the Super Bowl. It was the unexpected and unpredictable that created the attraction for the tournament.