The Worst NFL Franchises of the 2000s
With the 00's all but wrapped up, it's appropriate that we look back and evaluate the worst NFL teams of the past decade.
As part of an ongoing series of best/worst of the decade, I'll be judging which NFL franchises had the worst ten years.
For some teams the 00's were a fruitful time. Both the Steelers (two) and the Patriots (three) won multiple titles.
We came one amazing David Tyree catch away from witnessing what would have only been the second undefeated season ever.
In total there were fourteen total teams that played in a Super Bowl.
The problem some fans have is that their team watched not only the Super Bowl every single year, but the play-offs too.
While your team might not have won a Superbowl or even a conference title, at least you don't root for the guys on this list.
If you do, get out your flask (you obviously have one) and don't waste a drop. It was a tough decade.
The Bills have been so bad that an unemployed 18 year old fan actually raised 1,400 dollars to rent a billbaord asking for the three major players in the organization be fired.
Instead of wasting the money on alcohol, strippers, or blackjack, this kid actually spent his cash hoping to get his team to improve.
Can you blame him?
Does it bother anyone else that this little kid here looks FURIOUS?
The Bills haven't made the playoffs this millennium. There was a single winning season in 2004, but they weren't able to even sniff the postseason.
Poor Ralph Wilson. It's unfortunate, but you feel like he is just too old to really run the team like he used to. His decision making has clearly been affected.
He's brought in proven losers to run the team and as expected they have lost. Time and time again, they have lost.
What made things even worse is the team slowly beginning to play games in Toronto. Buffalo has only about 1.2 million people in the metro area whereas it's Canadian neighbor has nearly 5.5 million.
With a losing team, an aging owner, and the NFL itching to expand, one can't help but wonder how much longer the the Bills will be in Buffalo. It's that, as much as the losses, that makes this a horrible decade for the Bills.
It was a sad decade in the Pound. Even the dogs (notorious for their lack of tear ducts) seemed to shed a tear or two.
While making the playoffs only a single time, the Browns amassed an overall record of 53-113.
The main problem that Cleveland had was their inability to develop and protect starting quarterbacks. Throughout the decade they started 13 guys, only one of whom (Derek Anderson) ever posted a passer rater of more than 80 while with the Browns.
If that wasn't enough they only had four thousand yard rushers throughout the decade and finished inside the top 20 in total offense only a single time.
Their defense was almost as bad, finishing in the top 10 only once.
So here's the good news—The team hasn't been moved... or is that bad news?
In reality, Bengals fans aren't dumb. They are just really unhappy.
Who can blame them?
They had one playoff appearance, losing to the Steelers of all teams. Things are looking better this year, but they are far from assured of making the play-offs.
That play-off appearance was also their only winning season.
Regardless of what happens this year, they have been the epitome of failure since the millennium began.
The only real shining star has been receiver Chad Ochocinco who kept the Bengals laughing and in the headlines with his amusing off-field antics and clever touchdown celebrations.
His play has been nice too, but the performances have been mostly in vain.
You can't blame the fans for loving him. There hasn't been much else to root for.
America's Team sure was worthless this decade.
Three playoff appearances
Zero Playoff victories.
It's enough to make you wonder whether or not they even deserve the title.
You can't blame Jerry Jones for lack of effort. Or for being too conservative either. His acquisition of Terrell Owens proved that he was willing to do what he needed to in order to win. Obviously it didn't work.
For some teams three appearances in the playoffs and a new billion dollar stadium would be enough to call it a decent decade.
Not for the Cowboys.
As a franchise they entered the decade ranked number one in Superbowl wins. They leave it tied for second, trailing Pittsburgh.
The new 2.3 billion inch high def jumbotron that hangs over the stadium wound up being a just a little too low for comfort, seriously killing the positive buzz around what was being hailed as the "eight wonder of the world."
The car companies weren't the only business to have a bad decade in Detroit.
If I had to choose a single word for the Lions it would be "pathetic."
A 9-7 record in 2000 was the highlight of the decade for a team that wouldn't finish with another winning season.
The Matt Millen era was a bit of a surprise to NFL insiders, given his complete inexperience in the front office of a football team.
More mind boggling was the Lion's decision to let him continue in the role through almost nine years devastating losses.
Charlie Rodgers, Joey Harrington, and Mike Williams are among the vile draft choices made under Millen.
One NFL executive claimed the Lions made "made more bad draft decisions than anyone else in two centuries."
Must I even mention the 0-16 season? Fine. It's a mark of futility likely to stand forever as the worst season in NFL history.
If there's one positive, at least they aren't owned by the federal government. Had Ford been among the US automakers to declare bankruptcy, the US government might very well be deciding whether to run or pass.
Choosing a Loser
It's really a two horse race here between the Bills and Lions.
In support of the Bills we have to note that the Lions did have the worst season in NFL history, setting a standard for losers that may well stand for a hundred years.
In Detroit's favor, for all the losing there hasn't been any talk of moving the team. As I touched on earlier, the NFL started moving 1/8 of Bills games out of the country.
All in all if we look at this from a purely football standpoint it's pretty clear that the Lions were the worst team of the decade.
Hope For The Future
So is there hope for these teams in the future?
We need look no further than the Saints of 2006 to know that change is possible.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Saints were literally homeless. With the city in disarray the team played out the season in borrowed stadiums finishing with a 3-13 record.
The very next year they found themselves in the NFC championship game.
In a league like the NFL, with teams rebuilding and players moving around at the rates that they do, there is always hope for next decade.