Bad company: Browns and others who busted long droughts

Baker Mayfield helped rally the Browns from a 14-0 deficit as Cleveland ended its historic skid. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns finally did it.

After an 0-16 season in 2017 and two close calls to open this season, the Browns mercifully have a win under their belt.

Cleveland defeated the New York Jets 21-17 on Thursday night for its first victory since Week 16 of the 2016 season. The Browns went 635 days between wins, but Baker Mayfield came on in relief of Tyrod Taylor to lead the comeback that ended the drought.

The Browns nearly ended their skid in Week 1 before settling for a tie against the Steelers, then suffered a heartbreaking loss at New Orleans in Week 2 that cost kicker Zane Gonzalez his job.

The victory was just the second with Cleveland for head coach Hue Jackson, who went 1-15 in 2016 before his Browns last season became the second team to ever go 0-16. Cleveland had lost 17 consecutive games before its tie against Pittsburgh and had just one victory in its previous 37 games (1-35-1) before Thursday's triumph.

But the Browns aren't the only team to suffer through an extended period without coming out on top. Here are some of the more notable skids other teams have had to endure:


Tampa Bay Buccaneers: After losing the first 26 games of their existence, the Bucs got their first win Dec. 11, 1977, beating the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome 33-14.

Detroit Lions: In 2008, not even Calvin Johnson, who posted 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns in his second season in the league, could get the Lions into the win column. The Lions became the first team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16. Detroit lost its first two games in 2009 -- Matthew Stafford's first season -- before knocking off the Redskins to snap a 19-game slide.


Philadelphia Phillies: The longest MLB losing streak since 1900, the Phillies lost 23 straight games from July 29-Aug. 20, 1961. That streak ended Aug. 20 when the Phils beat the Milwaukee Braves 7-4 in the second game of a doubleheader.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles' 21-game losing streak in 1988 is the longest to start a season in MLB history, lasting from April 4-28 of that season. The O's broke the streak with a 9-0 road win over the White Sox on April 29, 1988.


Philadelphia 76ers: The longest losing streak in NBA history spans two seasons, as the 76ers lost their final 10 games of the 2014-15 season and their first 18 games of 2015-16 (March 27-Nov. 29, 2015). That streak ended with a 103-91 76ers win over the Lakers on Dec. 1, 2015. The 76ers also share the NBA record for longest single-season losing streak, dropping 26 straight from Jan. 31-March 27, 2014. They broke that streak with a 123-98 victory over the Pistons on March 29, 2014.

Cleveland Cavaliers: The 2013-14 Sixers tied the mark of the 2010-11 Cavaliers, who lost 26 in a row from Dec. 20, 2010 through Feb. 9, 2011. The Cavs ended their losing streak with a 126-119 overtime win over the Clippers on Feb. 11, 2011.


Winnipeg Jets: The longest winless streak in NHL history belongs to 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets (the original version, who are now the Arizona Coyotes, not the current Jets franchise). From Oct. 19-Dec. 20, 1980, the Jets went 30 games without a victory (23 losses, seven ties). The Jets ended their record winless streak with a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies (who are now the New Jersey Devils) on Dec. 23, 1980. FYI: Current ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose was with the Jets for part of the streak (he started the 1980-81 season with Winnipeg and then went to Toronto on waivers on Nov. 30, 1980).


Northwestern Wildcats: From Sept. 22, 1979, through Sept. 18, 1982, the Wildcats lost 34 straight games before snapping that skid with a 31-6 win over Northern Illinois on Sept. 25, 1982. Northwestern's head coach when it broke the streak was future Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green.

Prairie View A&M Panthers: From 1989-98, the Panthers lost 80 consecutive games. They ended their streak with a 14-12 victory over Langston on Sept. 26, 1998.

Information courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information.