Worst team of Super Bowl era?1976 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Taken from USA Today....who is the worst?
AP photo Quarterback Steve Spurrier and the '76 Bucs failed to win a game in their inaugural season. Record: 0-14
Lowlights: Only team in Super Bowl era to lose every game. Points scored: 125, points allowed: 412. Off. rank: 28/28; Def. rank: 24/28.
Why they deserve the title: The expansion Buccaneers perfected the art of losing spectacularly.
Shut out in its first two games, Tampa Bay would fail to score in five contests that season. The Bucs averaged just 8.9 points per game (fourth-worst in the Super Bowl era), and lost by nine points or more in 11 contests.
The winless season was the start of an 0-26 run to begin the franchise before the Bucs won their final two games of 1977.
Asked about his team's execution during the inaugural season, coach John McKay quipped, "I'm in favor of it."
1973 HOUSTON OILERS Record: 1-13
Lowlights: Was second consecutive 1-13 season. Points scored: 199, points allowed 447. Off rank: 24/26; Def. rank: 24/26
Why they deserve the title: The bad got worse in 1973 when the Oilers achieved the distinction of being the only team in the Super Bowl era to have back-to-back one-win seasons.
When the team fired coach Bill Peterson in mid-October, he had a two-year record of 1-18. Their two quarterbacks, Dan Pastorini and Lynn Dickey combined to throw 11 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions, and their rushing offense finished last in the league.
Outscored 447-199 by their opponents, the Oilers lost often and by large margins. Outside of their lone win, they came within three points of their opponents in just one game — a 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the finale.
1990 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Lowlights: Lost its final 14 games. Points scored: 181, points allowed: 446. Offensive rank: 26/28; Defensive rank: 27/28.
Why they deserve the title: New head coach Rod Rust didn't have the magic Patriots owner Victor Kiam expected. This team failed to score more than 10 points in 10 games — including the final five.
Things were bad on the field and off. Following the Patriots' lone victory in Week 2, tight end Zeke Mowatt verbally assaulted reporter Lisa Olson after a Monday practice. Olson charged that Mowatt exposed himself to her. Kiam's reaction: "I can't disagree with the players' actions. Your paper's asking for trouble sending a female reporter to cover the team. Why not stand in front of her if she's an intruder?' " The team and several players were fined.
Shortly before Rust was fired following the season, CEO Sam Jankovic said, "We just have to get this year over with, and when January comes, start putting all the pieces together."
1991 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
By Stephen Dunn, Getty Images One season removed from being the No. 1 overall pick, Jeff George and the Colts were 1-15. Record: 1-15
Lowlights: Went five consecutive games without a touchdown at one point. Points scored: 143, points allowed: 381. Off. rank: 28/28; Def. rank: 20/28
Why they deserve the title: Offense was a problem. Despite the presence of second-year quarterback Jeff George, drafted No. 1 overall the previous year, the Colts averaged less than nine points per game.
Their 143 total points were the fewest in the era of the 16-game schedule at that point.
After five losses to open the season, the Colts fired head coach Ron Meyer and handed the keys to defensive coordinator Rick Venturi. Four losses later, he suspended the team's leading rusher, Eric Dickerson, for four weeks for refusing to practice.
It temporarily lit a fire because the Colts defeated the Jets, 28-27, that week for their sole win.
1980 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Lowlights: Lost first 14 games, and lone victory came by one point. Points scored: 291, points allowed: 487. Off. rank: 17/28; Def. rank: 28/28.
Why they deserve the title: A razor-thin 21-20 win against the nearly inept New York Jets (they'd finish 4-12) in Week 15 prevented the Saints from marching into history as the NFL's only 0-16 team. New Orleans couldn't stop anyone, ceding a league-worst 487 points while surrendering at least 30 points in half its games.
Quarterback Archie Manning established franchise records with 3,716 passing yards and 23 TD passes (both since surpassed), but he didn't get any help on the ground since the Saints were constantly playing from behind. Coach Dick Nolan lasted 12 games before getting the pink slip.
Perhaps the ultimate insult came from the fans, who famously wore bags over their heads at the Superdome and referred to the team — then in the midst of its 14th consecutive non-winning season (the Saints wouldn't finish above .500 until 1987) — as the 'Aints.
2001 CAROLINA PANTHERS
Lowlights: Lost final 15 contests to set record for most consecutive losses in one season. Points scored: 253, points allowed: 410. Off rank: 30/31; Def. rank: 31/31.
By Rick Havner, AP George Seifert arrived in Carolina with the highest winning percentage in NFL history.
Why they deserve the title: Although there was talent on the team (Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, Kris Jenkins and Brentson Buckner were among those that would help the Panthers to a Super Bowl two years later), any squad that sets the league record for most consecutive losses must contend for worst ever.
Coach George Seifert committed to a youth movement before the season that had rookie quarterback Chris Weinke guiding the Panthers' offense (his only season as a starter in the NFL). The youth did not mature with nearly enough speed to save his job.
Several players called the season a "nightmare." Buckner said, "It's like you woke up every Sunday for 15 straight weeks and you're going through the same thing every Sunday." Adding to the stress was how maddeningly close the Panthers came to snapping the streak. They lost seven games by four points or less.
Seifert, who arrived in Carolina three years prior with the highest winning percentage in league history, exited after the season with the dubious loss record attached to resume.
1989 DALLAS COWBOYS
Lowlights: No Dallas team lost more games in one season. Points scored: 204, points allowed: 393. Off. rank: 27/28; Def. rank: 20/28.
Getty Images photo Troy Aikman failed to win a game during his rookie year with the Cowboys.
Why they deserve the title: Jerry Jones' first season as the Cowboys' owner was eventful for all the wrong seasons as the franchise endured its worst campaign since its inaugural season in 1960, when Dallas finished 0-11-1.
Jones' decision to dismiss the wildly popular Tom Landry, the only head coach in team history to that point, was the first of many lowlights.
Quarterback Troy Aikman began his Hall-of-Fame career in 1989 and lost all 11 of his starts while suffering numerous beatings behind a leaky line. Running back Herschel Walker, the team's best player, was traded to Minnesota in the middle of the year.
Given that, it's little surprise Dallas averaged 12.8 points per game, worst in the league, and was outscored at a nearly 2-to-1 ratio.
Of course, Aikman improved, the draft picks netted in the Walker deal were used to restock the franchise, and the Cowboys were Super Bowl champions three years later.
1996 NEW YORK JETS
Lowlights: The Jets finished with the league's worst record for the second straight season. Points scored: 279, points allowed: 454. Off. rank: 11/30; Def. rank: 27/30.
By Bill Kostroun, AP Rich Kotite was 4-28 in two seasons with the Jets.
Why they deserve the title: By the time the 1996 season concluded, the Jets had lost 33 of their previous 37 games, one of the worst runs of futility in NFL annals. Along the way, they provided evidence for the maxim that teams are built through the draft, not free agency.
Between 1995 and 1996, New York shelled out $57 million to bring in quarterback Neil O'Donnell, receiver Jeff Graham and tackles Jumbo Elliott and David Williams. By 1998, when the team ran away with the AFC East under coach Bill Parcells, all those players save Elliott had been jettisoned.
The '96 Jets gave up 454 points (28.4 per game), worst in franchise history while leading the NFL in turnovers. And though the offense racked up a fair amount of yards, it averaged only 17.4 points per game, third-worst in the league.
One final piece of hindsight: the Jets made receiver Keyshawn Johnson the first pick of the 1996 draft before the worst season in franchise history. Though Johnson would go on to a productive career, other receivers taken later in that draft — Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Joe Horn — would all make more Pro Bowl appearances than Johnson, who was traded to Tampa Bay after the 1999 season.