The Worst NFL Teams

Let’s talk about some NFL teams that fell far short of expectations. 


The 2017 Browns were bad, but they weren’t expected to be passable. (NFL)

Isaac Fishman, Managing Editor

This year my favorite football team, the Detroit Lions, have been awful. Historically awful. At the start of the season, they had the worst roster talent-wise in the league, and now almost every star on that roster is either playing at a level far below where they should be or is injured. But not all things are bad, this isn’t the worst team ever, right? They knew they weren’t winning this season, but what about teams that had high expectations and fell far short of them? Or teams that were so bad they broke records? Let’s talk about some NFL teams that fell far short of expectations. 


  1. 1977 Atlanta Falcons

When you think of the best defenses of all time, you think of the 85’ Bears, 00’ Ravens and ‘14 Seahawks. What if I told you that this team outperformed all of them and didn’t even finish above .500? The ‘77 Atlanta Falcons allowed the least amount of points in an NFL season ever, with only 129. The offense was abysmal, however. In the fourteen game season, the team only managed to score more than seventeen points twice. In a game against the Detroit Lions, the Falcons managed to win 17-6 despite scoring less points on offense than the Lions, and the points that were scored by the offense were set up by the defense on a fumble recovery! My Lions can’t get a break.


  1. 2010 Chargers

There is only one team in NFL history to have both the #1 offense and #1 defense in the same season, and that’s the ‘10 Chargers. This team ended up going 9-7 and missing the playoffs. How did this happen? How were they so good in two phases of the game but… Oh wait, there’s three phases. The Chargers lost five one score games to special teams mistakes. In all the games where they won, however, they blew out their opponents, constantly putting up 30+ points and allowing only fourteen at a time. With a loaded offense including the broken duo of Antonio Gates and Phillip Rivers, it’s a collapse that could only happen to the Chargers, the worst special teams team in the league. 


  1. 1941 Steelers/Cardinals

This is a unique one because it wasn’t exactly the fault of either of these teams. In WW2, because so many football players had enlisted, NFL teams were left scrambling for players. This lack of talent made some teams unable to field enough players to actually finish a season, and as a result ugly, talentless hybrid teams were formed, such as the Pittcard. This team broke double digit scoring four times in a eleven game season as well as allowing more than 20 points in eight of eleven games, a lot for the time, as well as for the talent they were facing. The only game they won in their 1-9-1 campaign was a 14-7 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers, another team gutted by players leaving for war. Two weeks later, they lost to Brooklyn 35-7. The teams split up after that year, and the Steelers joined the Eagles to make the Steagles, and that was the last Frankenstein team to exist in the NFL.