What are the five worst teams in NFL history?

It would be an understatement to suggest that the Cincinnati Bengals season hasn’t got off to the best of starts given they’re currently zero from eight and the prospect of a Super Bowl 2020 appearance is nothing more than an out of touch dream. However, their fan base might take comfort from the fact that there have been some pretty shocking showings over the years and, therefore, the Bengals’ poor start might not be etched into the memories for too long.

Here we look at five of the worst teams the NFL has seen over its one-hundred-year history.


If your new to following the NFL then you might not be aware of the St Louis Rams, who are now based in LA, and whilst it might be a stretch too far to suggest their 2009 campaign was a contributing factor to the move, it was certainly woeful. They did manage to win a game but when you average a measly 11 points per game then you know you’re going to have your work cut out. Throughout the entire season they managed just 12 touchdown passes ensuring their fans literally had nothing to cheer.


In most sports, when a team is performing poorly the attendances drop and sometimes fans leave early but imagine how bad the football must have been at the Louisiana Superdome for fans to actually wear paper bags over their heads!! The Saints had lost 14 games in a row until a single point win over a pretty abject New York Jets side, but the campaign still ended with just the solitary victory and that was away from home too meaning the paper bags witnessed nothing but defeat.


To be clear, the only reason this Buccaneers team isn’t higher up the list is because they played two fewer games back in 76 compared to nowadays. If the shortened season was an advantage though then the disadvantage that plagues them is that until 1976 no team had recorded a winless season post World War II. In their defense, it was their first season in the NFL, but it was not a good way to start; they even failed to score in a handful of games. Still, at least the only way was up.


Teams before the Lions had gone through entire seasons without picking up a win, but nobody had ever managed it in a 16-game season so Rod Marinelli’s men really did achieve new levels of sucking. They were pretty atrocious in all areas too as they shipped points at ease conceding over 500 and struggled to score them at the other end. Of course, every cloud has a silver lining and, in the draft, they picked up a certain Matt Stafford who has gone on to prove a pretty tidy acquisition to say the least.


If you thought the Lions fans had it bad then spare a thought for Cleveland followers who, only a few years ago, had to endure the worst two-year run-in NFL history. The 2016 campaign, which was the first under coach Hue Jackson, was hurtling towards being a 0-16 season after 14 losses on the bounce but a narrow 20-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers in the penultimate match of the season ensured that humiliation was avoided. If you thought that a 1-15 record would bring on some changes then think again; the next year the Browns went one better and crashed to 0-16. Throughout it all they stood firm with Jackson at the reigns and he now hold the worst ever start with a 1-27 record across two seasons.

There you have it, five of the worst teams to ever grace the NFL. Surely the Bengals can find a way between now and the end of the season to avoid joining this list…the again, maybe they can’t.

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5 Replies to “What are the five worst teams in NFL history?”

  1. #5 belongs to a team from the first season that I watched football. 1991 Indianapolis Colts.

  2. The Colts games against the Buffalo Bills Super Bowl team were literally a matchup between a NFL team and a college team. The Raiders have never been as bad as a college team

  3. Lists like this are like deciding which turd smells worse, but there’s some teams that really need mentioning here:
    – 1989 Dallas Cowboys
    – 1969 Pittsburgh Steelers
    – 2000 San Diego Chargers
    – 1967 Atlanta Falcons
    – 1996 New York Jets
    – 1966 New York Giants
    – 2001 Carolina Panthers

  4. Looks like Anna got herself some hits with this one.

    Although I’ll tell you, boys, how many teams this year can make this list?

    Dolphins? Falcons? Bengals?

    Those three are pretty damn unwatchable.

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