The 2017 Cleveland Browns are about to make NFL history. No, not in a good way — they’re on track to become one of the few teams to ever rack up a completely winless season.
In 2016, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers ended a nearly 50-year sports championship drought in Cleveland. In football, however, the Cleveland Browns remain a stranger to the Super Bowl. Before the NFL and AFL merged in the late 1960s, the Browns amassed four NFL championships. Post-merger, they’ve never gone to the big game at all, and they certainly won’t be going in 2018. The Browns are about to set a record for the worst two-season performance in modern NFL history. In the 2016 season, the Browns went 1-15, and didn’t get that first win until the second-to-last game of the year (played on Christmas Eve). Right now the Browns boast a 0-15 record. Should they hold out and not win this weekend, they’ll be 1-31 for these two seasons.
So far, only one other team in the NFL’s current era of a 16 game season has lost every single one they played: the 2008 Detroit Lions. Oddly, the Lions are like the Browns in that they were a four-time NFL champion in the pre-merger days, but have never made it to a Super Bowl and rarely make the playoffs. In 2008, they were the worst they’d ever been, allowing opponents to score an average of 32.31 points per game, the third-highest ever. There weren’t even many nail-biters. Almost every single one of those 16 losses was a blowout, except for a couple of four-pointer deficits, and a game against the Vikings with a score of 12 to 10.
Expansion teams almost always have a hard time during their first few years of existence, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no exception. In 1976, the team entered the NFL and didn’t challenge the status quo much at all. The team’s first-year record: 0 wins and 14 losses. In 1977, things didn’t improve much at all. The Bucs lost the first 12 games of that season, before going on a “hot streak” in which they won their last two games of the year.