The Not So Great Eight:The NFL's Worst

Dan BooneSenior Analyst IAugust 12, 2009

29 Aug 1998:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis looks on during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 21-14.

"Well, how'd you like to kiss my sister's black cat's ass?"

โ€”Crazy Lee cornered, and out of luck, in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.

Fans in a lot of NFL cities feel much the same way as old Crazy Lee.

Detroit Lions fans feel like they've been kissing the butt of Bobby Layne's black cat for a long, long time.

The league is all about parity but it seems the bad teams are really bad, and stay that way for decades.

Perhaps it's poor quarterback development, the coaching carousel, or just a lot of bad luck, but some teams are missing their mojo.

Let's look at the worst as the 2009 season rolls around.

1. Detroit Lions

The winless team stays on top. How could they not? The city of Detroit is down and if the Lions don't come around soon, neither will the fans.

The new glory boy quarterback couldn't beat Alabama or Georgia Tech in his final year in college. But the Lions also have to overcome a bad offensive line and a terrible defense.

On the bright side, they can't get any worse.

2. Pro Football in Missouri

Just when Rams' fans think things might be looking up in St. Louis they discovered that the new coach brought the dreaded Dick Curl from across the state to be his assistant head coach and QB coach.

Don't know the dynamic Curl? He's the mastermind who helped Herman Edwards develop that dazzling Kansas City Chiefs offense over the last lost decade or so.

Who can forget the offensive excitement the Herman and Dick show brought to Kansas City? Now it rolls into St. Louis.

3. Pro Football in Ohio

It was a photo finish between Missouri and Ohio, and just when it looked like Ohio had them by a Bengal whisker, Curl jumps on the Rams' horse and rides it to the finish line.

But the Bengals and Browns are still very, very bad.

Carson Palmer is back for the Bengals, but sadly Marvin Lewis is still calling the plays.

And the Browns still own them.

Meanwhile, in the land that Modell forgot, the sad second act of the New Jet Magic Man act opens.ย 

Like one of those sad depression-era traveling shows, the busted Mangini Magic Man Road Show washed out of the big city lights of Gotham and began a long lonely trek across the country peddling his exposed wares...until he found a town that falls for the fixed faro wheel again.

4. Seattle Seahawks

Did Mike Holmgren strip away all the copper and marble when he left too? Did he leave the team totally bare?

When the big man headed south he left little of any value in owner Paul Allen's cupboard.

Then again Allen doesn't care. He has a lot of cupboards.

And yachts.

And neat toys.

Now he needs a new offense and defense.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Head Coach Jack Del Rio wants a chance to reload and rebuild.

If everything goes perfect, Jags fans can expect a very boring team, one just good enough to drop big games in the fourth quarter, and in a dream season lose an early playoff game.

That's in five or six years if everything clicks just right.ย 

6. Washington Redskins

The Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, Joe Gibbs Part Three and the shade of George Allen watch is always on in DC.

The coaching chair is always hot on the Beltway, but the talent is not.

To raise team morale owner Dan Snyder fired four guys that wash the Redskins towels on Mondays and two bewildered groundskeepers.

He then signed several over-priced free agents and raised ticket prices for fans so they can experience yet another utterly underwhelming season.

Where have you gone Jack Kent Cooke? The hog nation turns its sad snouts to you.

7. Denver Broncos

What is the record for a head coach getting the Fredo coaching firing boat ride from an angry owner?

Remember the Godfather?

Michael, Fredo, the fishing trip, boom, boom...If things keep going wrong in Denver owner Pat Bowlen might take Josh the "Wonder Boy" McDaniels on a week five boat ride.

Would that be a league record?

8. Oakland Raiders

Al Davis has been heard mumbling madly while walking the halls of Raider Land late at night.

I don't care what it's done, I want it. Dammit, I've lost my mojo and, dammit, I want it back! Biletnikoff go catch my mojo...bring it back.


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