Is it just me or is it crowded in here? Now I know the hit horror film "It: Chapter 2" made it cool to be a member of the "Losers Club", but the NFL is taking this thing to extreme lengths these days -- aren't they? The NFL boasts four winless teams entering Week 6 of the season, the 0-4 Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, plus the 0-5 Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals. And these teams aren’t just winless. They're bad. No, they're horrible.
The New York Jets have scored exactly one offensive touchdown in their last forty (40!!!!) offensive possessions. And they needed a muffed punt on the Eagles' 19-yard line to get it.
The Cincinnati Bengals? They're a tricky bunch. They lost to the 4-1 Bills by a score of 21-17. They lost in Seattle by a point to open the season, 21-20. And they just took the Arizona Cardinals to the wire at home before losing 26-23. But then you watch them play the hapless Pittsburgh Steelers and get absolutely creamed.
The Washington Redskins are so bad that they fired their coach on Monday morning.
And the Dolphins? Oh, the Dolphins. The Dolphins are a special kind of bad. The Dolphins' only win this season may well come in the form of a moral victory -- that the team was *trying* to be bad in 2019. The Dolphins are on pace to finish this season with a -548 point differential this season.
All this losing -- for what? Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? That's seemingly the apple of the Dolphins' eye -- but Washington and New York entered this season expecting to compete, plus both have taken quarterbacks in the 1st-round of the last two NFL Drafts. . And while we figured Cincinnati wouldn't be very good -- we're not sure anyone expected this.
The pace of losing is nearly unprecedented. In the last 5 seasons prior to this year, there have been a combined seven winless teams entering Week 6 of the NFL season:
- 2014 Raiders (0-4) - finished 3-13
- 2014 Jaguars (0-5) - finished 3-13
- 2015 Lions (0-5) - finished 7-9
- 2016 Browns (0-5) - finished 1-15
- 2017 Giants (0-5) - finished 3-13
- 2017 49ers (0-5) - finished 6-10
- 2017 Browns (0-5) - finished 0-16
Just how much of the season is there left to go in Week 6? Just the 2016 and 2017 Cleveland Browns finished with the #1 overall pick in their respective drafts -- which brings us back to the point of this season. These winless teams may have offered their fans little hope to this point in the season, but the law of averages mandates we're going to start seeing some wins rolling in. You don't have to look any further than the upcoming schedules for each of the teams without a "dub" to this point in the season.
The Miami Dolphins (0-4)
- Week 6: vs. 0-5 Redskins
- Week 9 vs. 0-4 Jets
- Week 14 @ 0-4 Jets
- Week 16 vs. 0-5 Bengals
The New York Jets (0-4)
- Week 9 @ 0-4 Dolphins
- Week 11 @ 0-5 Redskins
- Week 13 @ 0-5 Bengals
- Week 14 vs. 0-4 Dolphins
The Cincinnati Bengals (0-5)
- Week 13 vs. 0-4 Jets
- Week 16 @ 0-4 Dolphins
The Washington Redskins (0-5)
- Week 6 @ 0-4 Dolphins
- Week 11 vs. 0-4 Jets
Literally every winless team plays at least two games against another winless team. And this doesn't begin to factor in other winnable games -- such as the 1-4 Steelers, who sit upon the Jets, Dolphins and Bengals schedules yet this season. Nor does it factor in the inexplicable, in which seemingly one NFL team each week wins in a game that makes you wonder if you're seeing things or losing your sanity.
So yes -- the rate of losing is up this season. You'd have to go all the way back to 2013 to find four winless teams coming into Week 6 of an NFL season. That year featured the Jaguars and Giants at 0-5 and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 0-4. Pittsburgh would win 8 games that year, the Giants would win 7 and the Jaguars and Bucs would each finish at 4-12. The 2-3 Houston Texans would go on to lose out and finish with the top pick before selecting Jadeveon Clowney with the top overall pick.
As much as everyone would like to freak out about the presence of four winless teams "competing" for the top spot in the 2020 NFL Draft order -- it's time to take some advice from Aaron Rodgers and just R-E-L-A-X. The Jets will get QB Sam Darnold back from mono, a major boost over the woefully inept Luke Falk. The Cincinnati Bengals will get A.J. Green back from a mid-season injury (unless he's traded), providing a significant boost to their offense. The Washington Redskins just fired their coach -- players will have to tackle the remainder of the season with renewed energy and focus as job preservation kicks in. The Miami Dolphins will...uh...give it their best shot.
In all, there are 6 games remaining between teams who both lack a win in 2019 entering Week 6. Lotta ballgame left.