The Detroit Lions suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. And it wasn’t because they were beaten so badly (the final score was 42-7); rather, it was because the Detroit Lions have now become the first team in NFL history to go 0-15. If Detroit loses to the Green Bay Packers next Sunday they will become the first team to ever complete a 16-game season without a win. Ouch.
Will the hapless Detroit Lions be able to avoid a day of infamy next Sunday on Lambeau Field? It’s not looking good. And not only because they will be the first team to ever need a win at game 16, but also because they have not defeated Green Bay in Wisconsin since 1991. No sir, it’s not looking good for the Detroit Lions at all.
Motor City QB Dan Orlovsky concedes that the team faces an uphill battle. “It starts with me, I’m the quarterback everything goes through me. Now we have to do everything we can to try and avoid being 0-16,” said the woeful Orlovsky. “It’s a daunting task and I’m sure everyone will be betting against us. Out of the 53 guys we have we’re going to have to man up. It’s embarrassing to be 0-16. To never win is embarrassing.”
If they do lose, they won’t be the first NFL team to ever go winless in a season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14 during their inaugural season in 1976. However, the league switched to a 16 game season in 1978, and, since that time, no team has ever gone winless for an entire season.
On the flip side, it turned out to be a very good day for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He completed 30 out of 40 passes and threw for 350 yards, bringing his total for the season up to 4,682 yards. This puts him within striking distance of Dan Marino’s season record of 5,084 yards. He’ll get a chance to break Marino’s record next Sunday when the Saints host the Carolina Panthers.
Though this season is a lost cause for the Lions, there is still hope for them in the future. One benefit of being the league’s worst team is that you get to pick the top college player during the NFL draft (which happens in April). One player does not a team make, but hey, it’s a start. And they can build from there.
The Lions may also take comfort in the fact that the mighty New England Patriots (winners of three Super Bowls and the team with the two longest winning streaks in NFL history) went 1-15 in 1990. During that abysmal season, the most points they ever racked up in a game was during the season opener, a 27-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The one game they did win was only by a margin of two points. And they didn’t win a single game at home that season.
Teams can and do make dramatic comebacks. Keep hope alive, Lions.
Larry Lage, Lions Lose to Saints, making history as 0-15 team, The Associated Press, December 21, 2008
Worst NFL teams of all time, espn.com