The worst NFL teams ever for all 32 franchises

Browns have a tough choice with top pick (0:59)

Now that the Browns have the first pick in the NFL draft, Cleveland will have to decide between several college stars. (0:59)

The Cleveland Browns are on the cusp of making NFL history.

With a loss in their season finale, they would become just the second 0-16 team since the schedule was expanded to 16 games in 1978 and just the fourth winless team in league history.

NFL Nation reporters identified the worst seasons ever for all 32 teams, making their selections based on a number of factors -- from overall record to how many points a team would be expected to lose by when playing a league-average opponent, and more.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

Worst season: 1971 | Record: 1-13

Contemporary reporters believe the 1971 Bills are the worst in franchise history. Their .071 winning percentage was the worst in team history, as was their minus-210 point differential. Their 21 touchdowns scored were the third-fewest. Quarterback Dennis Shaw led the league with 26 interceptions, and he threw only 11 touchdown passes. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Worst season: 2007 | Record: 1-15

This is the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Dolphins, who nearly became the first team in NFL history to go 0-16. A Greg Camarillo touchdown catch in overtime against the Ravens in Week 15 saved Miami from the dubious record, which was set by the Lions one year later. The Dolphins finished with the worst record of the season and took offensive tackle Jake Long at No. 1 in the 2008 draft. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Worst season: 1990 | Record: 1-15

The 1990 Patriots' finish remains the worst record in franchise history, as their minus-265 point differential was the worst for any team in the entire 1990s. The issues weren't restricted to the field, either, as tight end Zeke Mowatt, wide receiver Michael Timpson and running back Robert Perryman were accused of sexually harassing Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson in the locker room. All three players were fined for their behavior, and the Patriots were fined $50,000. It turned out to be Rod Rust's only season as the team's coach. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Worst season: 1996 | Record: 1-15

The 1996 Jets had one of the highest payrolls in the league, but they opened with eight straight losses and ended up with just one win for the worst record in franchise history. Coached by Rich Kotite, who was booted at the end of the season, the Jets were a disorganized mess. The low point occurred when quarterback Neil O'Donnell, their prized free agent, tore a calf muscle in the pregame warm-ups of a midseason game. The field was wet, and he slipped on a Jets logo that was painted in one of the end zones. Lousy luck for a lousy team. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Worst season: 2007 | Record: 5-11

The 2007 Ravens were so bad that they got Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick fired one season removed from going 13-3. In 2007, the Ravens lost a franchise-record nine straight games, which included two of the most humiliating defeats in team history. Baltimore got blown out by Indianapolis on Monday Night Football (the Ravens trailed 37-7 at halftime) and fell to the 0-14 Dolphins (and quarterback Cleo Lemon). The Ravens did nearly upset the undefeated Patriots, but even that was marred by Bart Scott throwing the official's flag into the stands. Baltimore finished 5-11, which ended the Billick era and ushered in John Harbaugh. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Worst season: 2002 | Record: 2-14

The 2002 Bengals extended a streak of 12 non-winning seasons, resulting in Dick LeBeau's firing and ultimately the hiring of Marvin Lewis. The Bengals had the worst defense in the league, allowing 28.5 points a game. They couldn't figure out their quarterback situation and went through three starters during the season. Ultimately, their futility earned them the No. 1 pick in the draft the next year, when they selected Carson Palmer and kicked off a new era for the franchise. -- Katherine Terrell

Cleveland Browns

Worst season: 1990 | Record: 3-13

The misery of being winless in 2017 only makes a miserable 1990 seem further away. But that was the year Bud Carson benched Bernie Kosar for a game, then saw the Browns lose 42-0 at home to the Bills while Art Modell sat glum and silent in his loge suite. Carson was soon fired, but the Browns went on to finish 3-13 and give up 462 points, the most by any team in the 1990s. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Worst season: 1969 | Record: 1-13

The image of quarterback Terry Hanratty getting his helmet ripped off by a Cleveland Brown while fumbling summarizes the misery of the 1969 season. That year, Chuck Noll began his Hall of Fame head-coaching career with a win over Detroit -- followed by 13 straight losses by a margin of 183 points. Six opponents scored at least 38 points on the Steelers, who became the first team since the 1936 Eagles to get a Week 1 win and lose the rest of their games. One positive came from that season: Parlaying the league's worst team into the No. 1 pick in the 1970 draft, which the Steelers used on a quarterback out of Louisiana Tech named Terry Bradshaw. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Worst season: 2002 | Record: 4-12

The Texans' worst season in franchise history was their very first. The 2002 Texans had the No. 1 pick and selected quarterback David Carr. Houston didn't have the offensive line to protect Carr, especially after left tackle Tony Boselli -- the team's first pick in the expansion draft -- had to retire because of injuries. That season, Carr set an NFL record, getting sacked 76 times. The Texans won their first game -- at home against the Cowboys -- but won only three more games the rest of the season. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

Worst season: 1981 | Record: 2-14

You can't pick a team -- 2011 -- that was able to turn a disastrous 2-14 season into being able to draft Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick the next spring. The 1981 team? That's a different story. That team stills holds the NFL record for most points allowed (533) in a season while also giving up 6,793 yards and being outscored by 274 points. Things were so bad that then-owner Bob Irsay sat with the assistant coaches and called plays during a game against the Eagles. The Colts lost that game 38-13. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Worst season: 2012 | Record: 2-14

Owner Shad Khan might have been feeling just a tad bit of buyer's remorse in 2012. In his first season as owner, the Jaguars finished with the worst record in franchise history and ranked 29th or worse in most of the major offensive and defensive statistical categories, and it became quite clear that the team was not as close to competing for the playoffs as general manager Gene Smith had professed. The Jaguars lost seven consecutive games that season, which tied the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history, set originally in the team's inaugural season in 1995. The 2012 team was even worse than that first team, which finished 4-12. The inaugural team also scored more points per game and gave up fewer points per game than the 2012 team. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Worst season: 2014 | Record: 2-14

The 2014 Titans were supposed to mark new beginnings under first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who pledged that patience wouldn't be required to start the season. Boy, was he wrong! The Titans fired Mike Munchak after a mediocre three seasons (9-7, 6-10 and 7-9), but they followed up with a 2-14 year in which they finished in the bottom six in total offense, scoring offense, total defense and scoring defense. A 10-game losing streak to end the season showed that no amount of patience could stop this ship from sinking. This was the end of the disappointing, injury-stricken Jake Locker era. The 2015 Titans were bad, too, but at least they had the hope of Marcus Mariota and new controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. -- Cameron Wolfe


Denver Broncos

Worst season: 1966 | Record: 4-10

Many of the most grizzled Broncos fans would remember the 1966 season for one thing, and it wouldn't be for the special brand of football struggle that team put on the field each and every week. No, they would remember that troubled season as the year before the team's first real star arrived on the scene. Hall of Famer Floyd Little was the team's top draft pick in '67, and the player known as The Franchise' gave fans something to cling to while the Broncos had their share of troubles. That '66 team was outscored by 185 points -- Denver scored just 22 touchdowns -- surrendered more than 2,000 yards rushing and lost eight games by at least 14 points. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Worst season: 2012 | Record: 2-14

The 2012 Chiefs were a mess. Opponents scored more than two times as many points as Kansas City. In one of the Chiefs' two wins, they never led until the game was over. They fell behind early and tied it late in the fourth quarter before winning in overtime. The Chiefs didn't have a lead in any game until their ninth game. They were too talented to be that bad. They had six players selected for the Pro Bowl and won 11 games in 2013 -- under new coach Andy Reid. -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Worst season: 2000 | Record: 1-15

The 2000 Chargers lost 11 straight games to begin the season but managed to avoid finishing 0-16 by defeating the Chiefs for the team's only win of the season. Apparently Mike Riley was such a nice guy the Chargers brought him back for one last season -- just to make sure -- and selected LaDainian Tomlinson in the first round of the 2001 draft. Riley finished 5-11 the next year and was let go, ushering in the Marty Schottenheimer era. Of course, four years later, Schottenheimer finished 14-2 and was fired. Go figure. -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Worst season: 2014 | Record: 3-13

As Derek Carr said recently about the 2014 Raiders: "My rookie year, we were terrible." Indeed, an 0-10 start was overshadowed by a 3-3 finish and the emergence of rookies such as Carr, Khalil Mack and Gabe Jackson, but that had little to do with Dennis Allen getting canned after the Raiders were embarrassed in London in Week 4. The Raiders were outscored by 199 points, worse than anything the JaMarcus Russell-led squads did and worse than any other Raiders team since 1961. They had the league's No. 32-ranked offense and gave up the most points. The 2-14 Raiders of 2006 were dismal, as was Russell's team of 2009 and anything Oakland ran out pre-Al Davis in 1963, but interim coach Tony Sparano buried a football in 2014, trying to bury the Raiders' problems. All it did was tick off owner Mark Davis and make fans roll their eyes. Yeah, pretty terrible. -- Paul Gutierrez


Dallas Cowboys

Worst season: 1989 | Record: 1-15

In Jerry Jones' first year as owner and general manager and Jimmy Johnson's first as coach, expectations were not high, but everyone certainly was expecting to do a lot better than 1-15. The Cowboys went 3-1 in the preseason and the only loss was in overtime, but they opened the 1989 regular season with eight straight losses. Five of the losses were by at least 17 points. Troy Aikman was the No. 1 pick in the draft, but he failed to win a game. Although the results were abhorrent, the Cowboys traded Herschel Walker, their best player, to the Vikings in a deal that would help the Cowboys to Super Bowl wins in 1992, '93 and '95. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Worst season: 1966 | Record: 1-12-1

The 1966 Giants were the worst team in history, although the 2017 Giants are closing the gap quickly as the franchise's only 13-loss team. Still, the '66 Giants couldn't compete. They were a ridiculous minus-238 in scoring differential for the season. They allowed 72 points in one game to the Redskins, who wanted revenge for their linebacker Sam Huff. They got it. The '66 Giants were embarrassed that week and that season. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Worst season: 1972 | Record: 2-11-1

The 1972 Eagles finished at the bottom of the NFC East. Quarterbacks John Reaves and Pete Liske threw a combined 10 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, heading an offense that was dead last in points and was outscored by an average of 15 points per game. Coach Ed Khayat was replaced by Mike McCormack in '73. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Worst season: 2013 | Record: 3-13

There were worse teams -- a 1-12-1 team in 1961 tops anything -- but the worst season had to be 2013. The Redskins were coming off their first division title since 1999 and appeared to be set for a while with quarterback Robert Griffin III. But the offseason got started poorly, with Griffin undergoing ACL surgery. It also became clear the coaches had concerns about Griffin and the direction he was headed; one coach on the staff later said he told his wife they were going to be a disaster that year. Once it became clear the staff wouldn't return, slow leaks revealed a deep rift between some coaches and Griffin. Washington closed the season with eight straight losses. The Redskins also allowed a franchise-worst 478 points. But the reason this season was so bad stemmed from the heightened expectations and how severely they were crushed. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Worst season: 1975 | Record: 4-10

Looks can be deceiving. The Bears had a disappointing finish in 1975, but they also drafted future Hall of Famer Walter Payton fourth overall that spring. Payton rushed for just 679 yards as a rookie, and quarterback Bob Avellini passed for six touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 57.4 passer rating. But brighter days were on the horizon. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Worst season: 2008 | Record: 0-16

This is a no-brainer. The 2008 Lions (at least for now) are the only team in NFL history to go 0-16. They were exceptionally bad on defense, allowing more than 32 points per game, and could average only a little more than 16 points a game on offense. It was a group that had one of the most infamous plays in NFL history, with Dan Orlovsky running out of the end zone for a safety while being chased by Jared Allen. The Lions lost more than half of their games by double digits and might have been one of the most unproductive teams in NFL history had they not had star receiver Calvin Johnson. It was just ugly. The season cost Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli their jobs, but on the bright side for the Lions, the winless season did give them the chance to draft Matthew Stafford at No. 1 the next year. He has been the most productive quarterback in team history, has led the franchise to three playoff berths and is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Worst season: 1986 | Record: 4-12

The 1986 Packers set a franchise record for most losses in a season (12). That mark has been matched three times since but never broken. It was a year marked not only by Randy Wright's 23 interceptions -- which at the time was the most by a Green Bay quarterback in 36 years -- but also by an ugly incident in which Packers defensive end Charles Martin body-slammed Bears QB Jim McMahon, who injured his shoulder, and it continued a feud between Packers coach Forrest Gregg and Bears coach Mike Ditka, who claimed Gregg coached his players to play dirty and added, "That's why I never got along with Forrest Gregg," who was fired the next season after a 5-9-1 mark in 1987. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Worst season: 1984 | Record: 3-13

A year after Bud Grant resigned following an 8-8 finish, the Vikings registered their worst season in franchise history in 1984. Grant's successor was Les Steckel, a young wide receivers coach, not longtime offensive coordinator Jerry Burns, who was expected to take over. History tells us Vikings players lost respect for Steckel and flat-out quit in a season in which they lost often and by a lot. The Vikings suffered their worst loss in franchise history, a 51-7 beatdown against the 49ers, and were outscored 484-276 on the way to a 3-13 record. Late in the season, the Vikings played the Bears at Soldier Field in a game in which several changes made days earlier to offensive line personnel led quarterback Archie Manning to be sacked 11 times. Steckel was fired after the season, and Grant came back for an encore in 1985 before retiring for good. -- Courtney Cronin


Atlanta Falcons

Worst season: 1967 | Record: 1-12-1

The Falcons' worst team came in the franchise's second season. Coached by Norb Hecker, the Falcons dropped their first four games, tied Washington in the fifth game, then beat Minnesota in their sixth game for their only win of the season. One silver lining: Mr. Falcon, the late Tommy Nobis, had three interceptions, including one for a touchdown, during that dismal season. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Worst season: 2001 | Record: 1-15

This is simple. Rookie quarterback Chris Weinke led the Panthers to a Week 1 win in his homecoming at Minnesota. Then Carolina lost the next 15 games to wrap up the second pick of the 2002 draft, which turned into future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers. The Panthers had one of the NFL's worst offenses and defenses in 2001. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Worst season: 1980 | Record: 1-15

This was the most infamous of many lousy Saints seasons -- the one that inspired the 'Aints nickname and those indelible images of fans wearing paper bags over their heads at home games. The Saints started 0-14, including a 38-35 overtime loss at San Francisco after they led 35-7 (the 28-point deficit is still the largest regular-season deficit ever to be overcome in NFL history). Drug use was an issue for the team, which was one of the reasons it traded one of its few stars, Chuck Muncie, in the middle of the season. And with no players reaching even 400 rushing yards, Saints quarterback Archie Manning was sacked 41 times and threw 20 interceptions. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Worst season: 1976 | Record: 0-14

This is easily the 1976 Buccaneers team, the first team since the merger to go winless in a single season. The team realistically had only eight or nine players who belonged in the NFL. Five times that year, the Bucs didn't even score. They also wound up losing 17 players to injured reserve. The losing would continue into the next season, too, with the Bucs' 26-game losing streak in 1976-77 the longest losing streak in NFL history, a record that still stands. At one point, coach John McKay was asked what he thought about the execution of the offense, and he reportedly responded, "I'm all for it." -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Worst season: 2000 | Record: 3-13

There have been a lot of bad Cardinals teams over the years but none worse than the 2000 Cardinals, who finished last in the NFC East. After starting 2-5, coach Vince Tobin was fired and replaced by Dave McGinnis. Although there were bright spots through the season, such as Hall of Fame defensive back Aeneas Williams setting the franchise record with 160 consecutive appearances, the offense was anemic. Quarterback Jake Plummer threw for just 2,946 yards as the team gained just 4,528 in all. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Worst season: 2009 | Record: 1-15

The Rams' 2009 season was the last of a three-year stretch in which they lost 42 of 48 games. It went down as one of the worst seasons in NFL history. And it happened even though Steven Jackson rushed for 1,416 yards. Steve Spagnuolo took over for that '09 season, which started with seven consecutive losses and finished with eight in a row. His Rams managed 175 points, still the third fewest this millennium. Three quarterbacks -- Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller and Keith Null -- combined for 11 touchdown passes. -- Alden Gonzalez

San Francisco 49ers

Worst season: 2004 | Record: 2-14

It's no surprise that three of the worst 49ers teams of all time came in a four-year stretch from 2004 to 2007. But none was worse than the original, the 2004 group that finished 2-14 under coach Dennis Erickson and averaged a minus-12.1 point differential for the season. Leaning on such luminaries as Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey at quarterback, that season cost Erickson his job and gave the Niners the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft. For perspective, consider that tight end Eric Johnson was the best pass-catcher on the roster and he's now much better known as the guy who married Jessica Simpson in 2014. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Worst season: 2009 | Record: 5-11

A strong case could be made for the expansion 1976 Seahawks or the 1992 team -- both of which won just two games -- but Jim L. Mora's 2009 squad gets the nod here because of how much of a disaster that season was. Mora inherited an aging roster from Mike Holmgren and didn't do much with it, finishing with a 5-11 record and a minus-110 point differential that ranks fourth worst in franchise history. Mora threw players under the bus along the way, notably calling out veteran kicker Olindo Mare after he missed two field goals (and made four others) in a loss to Chicago. Later in the season, top receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson and Deion Branch went on a local sports radio station to lash out against an analyst who had been critical of their performance. The silver lining of this forgettable season: It was so bad that Seattle fired Mora and hired Pete Carroll, which has worked out all right. -- Brady Henderson