Worst five NFL teams in modern history

Ever since the Super Bowl era in the National Football League, there have been some great teams that have gone on to win multiple world championships. On the other hand, there have also been some utterly horrible teams who have done the worst of the worst.

Here's an examination of those pitiful teams that couldn't wait for their seasons to be complete.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1976

The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a new expansion team in the NFL. No one expected them to be as terrible as they were, going 0-14 before the 16-game NFL season would implemented. Pro Football Reference states the Bucs gave up three times as many points as they scored, were shut out five times and had only two games with over 300 yards of total offense. The most points Tamp Bay scored in one game was 20 and lost two games by a field goal. No matter how you add it up, it was a miserable season in west central Florida.

New England Patriots, 1990

Ten years before Bill Belichick and the amazing offenses of the New England Patriots, the team was in the tank just five years after being in a Super Bowl . The 1990 Patriots were 1-15, one of several teams in the 16-game season to have just one victory. The Pats started the year 1-1 but then lost 13 games in a row to become one of the worst teams in NFL history before turning things around.

Dallas Cowboys, 1989

The 1989 Dallas Cowboys were led by first-year pro coach Jimmy Johnson after he came over from the Miami Hurricanes. The Cowboys could score points—they put up 20 or more points in four games. Their problem was the defense. Their lone win in 1989 was against their hated rivals, the Washington Redskins in RFK Stadium, a team they lost to 30-7 early in the season.

New Orleans Saints, 1980

The 1980 New Orleans Saints were very close to being the first team to go 0-16, except for a lone victory in the 15th week of the NFL season. The Saints also could have won four more games had they played a little harder. As it stood, their 21-20 victory over the lowly New York Jets was the lone bright spot. A pair of one-yard touchdown runs by Tony Galbreath brought the Saints back from a 13-7 deficit to win. It was one of the few games New Orleans didn't have a turnover that year.

Detroit Lions, 2008

The Detroit Lions of 2008 are probably the worst team ever to play professional football. They didn't win a single game and very nearly had two 0-16 seasons in a row. Every opponent except for one scored 20 or more points against the Lions. Only three games were settled by less than a touchdown. In 2009, a 19-14 win over Washington and a 38-37 win over Cleveland prevented further misery . Detroit had 20 or more points scored upon them in each game but two in 2009, not much better than the previous year.

All of these teams, save the Lions, eventually tasted Super Bowl victories in the NFL after enduring some of the most terrible seasons in NFL history.

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Updated Monday, Jul 18, 2011