Deep down, I never thought Miami would lose every game last year. I have waited all my life for an 0-16 football team -- it's a hobby of mine -- and it just seemed clear the Dolphins just were not it. Oh sure, they had it going for a little while there -- 13 straight losses to start the year -- but I don't know, it always seemed like there was something a little too sturdy about those Dolphins.
Sure enough in Week 14, they put together a confusingly professional effort and beat Baltimore on a long touchdown pass from
Now, the 2000 San Diego Chargers, yes, that team had the wrong stuff. Those guys seemed to give up on coach
Unfortunately, after they started 0-11, the Kansas City Chiefs came to town and, because of injuries and an outdated calendar, the Chiefs started 452-year-old quarterback
The 1991 Indianapolis Colts were a beauty. Behind the rifle arm of
Point is, it has never happened -- no NFL team has ever lost all 16 games it played in a single season. The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were certainly bad enough to do it but they only played 14 games back then; the schedule did not expand until two years later. The 1982 Baltimore Colts went 0-8-1, but that was a strike year.
So, no, even though I have been rooting for it most of my life, I have never seen an 0-16 season. It didn't happen to the awful
All of this is a prelude to what I think is the biggest NFL question going: Do the 0-11 Detroit Lions have what it takes to go winless this season? I remained skeptical until last week when the Lions jumped to a 17-0 lead against Tampa Bay in the first quarter. Oh sure, lots of teams can blow a 17-0 lead. But what made me stop in admiration is that the Lions blew the lead BEFORE HALFTIME. That takes something special. And it makes me think that, hey, this might be the team.
The Lions, you probably know, have an amazing history. They have won one playoff game -- ONE -- since 1957. That team won the '57 championship with
The Lions' last winning season? That was 2000, when they went 9-7.
The last playoff win? That was 1991 against Dallas -- and they followed it up with a tight 41-10 loss to Washington in the NFC Championship Game.
The only Pro Bowl quarterback since
Their most famous quarterback since Layne?
The coach with the most wins?
And so on. The Lions have been consistent good humor for going on three decades, but they have only once before made a serious run at the Holy Grail of bad football -- the winless season. That was in 2001 under the lamentable
Does this Lions team have the magic to go winless? Well, maybe. They do have crucial three traits that I think a winless team needs to have:
Even better news is the Lions also have the worst rushing defense in the NFL.
The Lions did keep hard-nosed coach Rod Marinelli, though, which is good because seems sufficiently goofy enough to guide a team to a winless record. Marinelli spent this week saying that he was excited about the Lions getting into the spotlight -- they play Tennessee in front of the nation on Thanksgiving Day. When Detroit
"I guess if you're from Hostess Twinkies it would be."
Several of the CIA's best code breakers are working around the clock to try interpret what that means.
It should also be noted that the Lions defensive coordinator -- the man responsible for that amazing defense that gave up 48 points to Green Bay even though it was reported that
It's a good setup. This could really happen. Now it's just up to the Lions to try and finish off this disaster.
"I don't look for disaster," Marinelli said to reporters. "I look for disease." And I think these are comforting words this holiday season.