Joshin' Around: Detroit Lions Finish 0-16, but May Be Among the Best Teams Ever

Josh VitaleCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2009

The Lions may not have won a single game this year, but does that really mean they are the worst team in the history of football?


No, it does not.


In high school, a science teacher once told our class that if we got every question wrong on a test, he would give us an automatic 100 percent. 




Because he believed that if we were to actually get every question wrong on a test, we must know something.


So, with that logic, the Lions must know how to win right?


They do know how to win, but they did not want to. They were proving a point in 2008; they wanted to tell the football world that it takes just as much skill and talent to go 0-16 as it does to go 16-0.


Let’s look at some of the games that the Lions had to lose to keep their record alive. In Week Two, the Lions went down 21-3 early to the Green Bay Packers, but stormed back and actually took the lead 25-24 midway through the fourth. I think, as a team, you have to be incredibly talented to give up 24 points in the last seven minutes and lose 48-25.


Or what about Week Six? In a tightly contested game against the rival Minnesota Vikings, the Lions lead 10-2 in the third quarter, and held a 10-9 lead until there were seconds left in the fourth! 


Quarterback Dan Orlovsky, however, foresaw this predicament, and made sure he ran out of the back of the end zone early in the game, turning Minnesota’s potential game-tying field goal into the game-winner.


They did it again in Week Nine. Down 10-0 early to the Chicago Bears, the Lions rallied, taking a 23-13 lead into halftime. But that was the end of their glory, as they let the Bears score 14 unanswered points for a 27-23 win.


But their best effort of the season had to be Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The energy of the home Detroit crowd pumped up the Lions and steered them away from their ultimate goal. At the end of the first quarter, it was all Lions, 17-0. 


But a heartwarming speech from coach Rod Marinelli brought them back into the game. He preached dedication to the goal and told them to get it together on the field. And the Lions responded perfectly, giving up 35 unanswered points and losing 38-20.


Noting that logic, I am making the case the 2008 Detroit Lions are one of the best, most talented teams in NFL history. Sure, it took talent for the 2007 New England Patriots to win all 16 regular-season games. 


But losing every game? That is an incredible feat.




Don’t forget to catch out the next “Joshin' Around.”