Last week, the Detroit Lions tied the expansion 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst start in football history. Only problem is that back then, the NFL only played 14 games, so their season mercifully ended after that. Thirty years later, the league now plays 16 games, which means the Lions can break that record of futility.
Sure, other teams have come close, but the Lions are the only team that dared to try. Yes, the Archie Manning quarterbacked New Orleans Saints of 1980 also started out 0-14 before getting a one point win over the New York Jets. In fact, that was the season that saw the creation of famous "AINT'S" bag over the head looks.
Last season, the Miami Dolphins started 0-13 and squeaked out an overtime win against Baltimore. During a strike season, the Baltimore Colts did not win a game, BUT they did tie. During the 2001 season, the Panthers set a record for most consecutive losses with 15 after an opening day win. You'd think that feat would be impossible to accomplish, but the Lions had a dream.
So, do the Lions have any hope of avoiding becoming the league's first 0-16 team? First instinct would say no. But this week they host that before mentioned New Orleans Saints team.
Now, the Saints are nowhere near as putrid as the "Aint's" were. But, they are one of the league's biggest underachievers. Someone forgot to tell coach Sean Payton that Drew Brees needs support, not to mention a defense. With no solid running game and no quality receivers, Brees has done more with less than the cast of Saturday Night Live, circa 1980.
I'm still torn on this game. I have Drew Brees going into my fantasy league championship, and with my luck, he'll tank worse than Tony Kornheiser on Monday Night Football.
It would also be quite ironic for the Saints, the team that previously started 0-14, be the team that loses to Detroit and saves them from infamy. For once, a Detroit Lions game will be worth watching. Of course, that still probably won't be enough to sell out the game and avoid another local blackout.