There are nine teams in the National Football League that have way more losses than wins. Five of these teams have three wins or less. The New York Giants are one of these 9 teams, having a 5-9 record. Let us examine if there are common characteristics that thread the NFL’s bottom feeders together.
We may as well start with the worst of the worst. The worst team in football is probably the 2-12 Oakland Raiders. The Raiders wins came against a Kansas City Chiefs team looking ahead at the Denver Broncos and a San Francisco 49ers team that is quickly falling apart. Oakland has a rookie quarterback, Derek Carr. The offensive line is actually pretty good but there is not much talent in the play making department. On both offense and defense the Raiders rank near the bottom of the league.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, another two loss team also start a rookie quarterback. Blake Bortles has shown signs of being a star but has struggled in every single start he has had. He has taken more sacks than nearly anybody this season and also has 17 interceptions. The Jaguars have some talent but are missing so many key pieces. With better quarterback play, the Jaguars could be a decent team. Quarterback’s fault or not the Jaguars do very little exceptionally.
Dec 14, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiverMike Evans
(13) catches a touchdown as Carolina Panthers free safetyTre Boston
(33) and cornerbackJosh Norman
(24) defend in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Josh McCown their starting quarterback in the offseason but have since went back to the young Mike Glennon. The Bucs are a horrible team. The offensive line is abysmal, the quarterback play is just as unsatisfying and the defense cannot stop anybody.
The Buccaneers have great talent at the wide receiver position as rookie Mike Evans and veteran, Vincent Jackson are two of the best playmakers in football. They are two very big fish in a very small pond.
The Tennessee Titans also have problems at the quarterback position going back and forth from Jake Locker and Zach Mettenberger, a rookie from LSU. The Titans’ defense cannot stop the run and their secondary is comparable to Swiss cheese, there are a lot of holes. The Titans’ offensive line is bad as well.
The Washington Redskins shuffle through their quarterbacks like a Las Vegas black jack dealer shuffles his cards. The Redskins were hoping for a return on their investment in Robert Griffin, who has disappointed this year. The defense gives up huge plays and the offense gives the opponents’ defense all the help in the world. The Redskins have a rookie head coach, Jay Gruden, who can’t seem to figure out what to do.
The New York Jets have a lot of talent, something that almost seems stupid to write. The Jets have a strong defensive line and a good linebacker group. They have a decent offensive line even. The problem is that the Jets quarterback position manages to be a butt fumble even after the departure of Mark Sanchez.
Geno Smith is one of the worst quarterbacks I have ever seen and Michael Vick is unable to steal his job. The Jets have very few offensive weapons and the guys they do have cannot succeed without a quarterback. The secondary is like watching a bad television show, it just gets worse every week.
The 5-9 Chicago Bears are the biggest disappointment on this list of bad teams.
Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears quarterbackJay Cutler
(6) on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
There is no excuse for the lack of production that offense experiences. They have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett, hell Jay Cutler‘s wife Kristin Cavallari could probably throw some touchdowns with that talent around her. Cutler is mind boggling because he obviously has the talent but keeps slipping into mediocrity.
The Bears cannot even use Matt Forte correctly. The Bears have an offensive guru of a head coach but their offense is bad…maybe Marc Trestmen is not such a guru. The defense is horrible but you’d think the offense would at least be good.
The two 5 win teams from the NFC South, are equally disappointing. The Carolina Panthers won the division last year with a tough defense. The Panthers defense this year is very beatable and the offense took major steps backwards with little talent around Cam Newton.
The Atlanta Falcons defense makes Charmin Ultra Soft look ultra tough. The offensive line is horrible too. The Falcons have a good group of talent offensively with Matt Ryan delivering the mail to Julio Jones and Roddy White. Football ultimately comes down to blocking and tackling and the Falcons learned that the hard way, wasting much talent.
Quarterback play is a common problem for losing teams in the NFL. It is not universally a problem among the 5 wins or loss club though. Eli Manning, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan are all relatively good quarterbacks.
The most common flaw in a bad team is a poor offensive line which is nearly universal amongst these teams. Each team on this list struggles to stop the run and their defenses give up huge chunks of yards.
Defenses still win championships and a lack of defense still loses games.
What is almost shocking is how the bad teams in the NFL are so used to failure. The Giants have had recent glory, winning the Super Bowl in 2011. They have missed the playoffs three times in a row. The last time the Jaguars were in the playoffs, I was in high school… I recently graduated from Stevenson University.
The Raiders have not tasted success since their Super Bowl appearance in 2002. The draft favors the teams with the worst records. You would think teams would stock up on talent and get better, not continue to stink or become even more putrid. One connection between these continually bad teams is a weak front office. Which could be the biggest reason of them all for consistent failure.