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NFL Draft

Are 2021 Lions The Best 0-7 Team In Recent Memory?

  • The Draft Network
  • October 25, 2021
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In what’s appearing to be an unfortunately consistent theme for the Motor City faithful, the Detroit Lions suffered yet another soul-crushing defeat on Sunday. They fell 28-19 to the Los Angeles Rams in what wound up being a tighter contest than anybody truly anticipated. Head coach Dan Campbell pulled out all the stops as his team continued to chase that ever-elusive first victory. We saw unexpected and successful onside kicks in the first quarter and the conversion of a fake punt as the Lions did everything they could to steal possessions in hopes of making up for the talent deficiency between the two sides. It nearly worked!

The Lions have now lost four of seven games by single-digits, and have the appearance of the “best” 0-7 team in recent memory. As is the case this season, there was just one 0-7 team in 2020: the lowly New York Jets, who were significantly worse than this year’s iteration of the Lions are. The proof is in the numbers. Those 0-7 Jets lost their first seven games by an average of an astonishing 16.85 points per contest. The 2021 Lions have been far more competitive, dropping to 0-7 by a margin of just 10 points per contest. It’s worth noting that last year’s Jets actually fell to 0-13 before winning back-to-back games against the Rams and Cleveland Browns in Weeks 15 and 16. 

The 2019 season actually brought us two 0-7 teams: the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. Those Dolphins may be the worst of the bunch. They were blown out to the tune of 59-10 by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 and somehow followed that with an even worse showing in the following game, a 43-0 loss to the New England Patriots. It’s worth noting that the Dolphins got significantly better down the stretch and won back-to-back games after starting 0-7—they even finished the year on another two-game winning streak that brought their final record to a more respectable 5-11. It wouldn’t be fair to claim those Dolphins as a better unit than the current Lions because the picture is not yet complete. While the Lions may have a difficult time equaling that final five-win total, they certainly look more competitive through seven contests than those Dolphins did.

Those Bengals were ROUGH and dropped all the way to 0-11 before securing their first of just two victories on the year. Cincinnati couldn’t move the ball offensively and a horrid season clinched them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which was promptly and wisely used on Joe Burrow.

It’s of no consolation, but these Lions are certainly the best 0-7 team we’ve seen in quite some time and have been the victim of more bad luck than any other winless team in recent memory. Campbell has this team playing tough, disciplined football. The Lions should have a chance to get in the win column during their Week 8 home contest against the lowly Philadelphia Eagles, who are trending in the wrong direction. 

Chin up, Detroit. It’s not as bad as 2008 was.

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