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I know there are a lot of bad NFL teams but I want to know who the worst franchise in NFL history is.. (ie: least playoff appearances/wins/win percentage etc.)

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Are you including AFL teams in "NFL history"? – Michael Myers Jul 22 '14 at 22:47
Actually, the Raiders hold the short term record for the most loses per season at eleven or more loses for seven years, right after their Super Bowl appearance in 2002. – Sᴋᴜʟʟ ᴘᴇᴛʀᴏʟ Jul 23 '14 at 17:41

Wikipedia has a list of NFL win-loss records for each of the current 32 NFL teams. The list includes all games that each team has played in, including regular season and playoffs, from each team's first season in the NFL through the 2014 Super Bowl. Sorted by win percentage, the best team is the Chicago Bears, with a win percentage of .573, and the worst team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with a record of .392.

Of course, some teams are much older than others. The Bears have played 1,341 games since 1920, and the Buccaneers have only played 611 games since 1976.

These stats only include teams that are currently in the NFL. However, in the early years of the NFL, there were lots of teams that no longer exist, many of whom ended their NFL franchise with a lower percentage than the Buccaneers currently hold.

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As a lifelong Packer fan, it was really hard for me to type the phrase "the best team is the Chicago Bears." But I think as time goes on we'll move up that list. – Ben Miller Jul 23 '14 at 4:16

It depends exactly how you measure "worst", so I have two submissions for you.

  • The Muncie Flyers were one of the NFL's inaugural teams in 1920. After losing their first game 45-0 their other opponents cancelled to play against better teams. They ended their first season 0-1. Their second season didn't go much better as they went 0-2, losing 14-0 both times. They folded after that season, leaving their all time record at 0-3 with zero points scored.

  • A better measure, which takes longevity into account, is net points scored all time. (This way we eliminate teams which did poorly and folded quickly). In this case, the Arizona Cardinals hold the lead by a long shot with -3557 net points scored all time (although you wouldn't know if from the way they're playing this season). Also despite being one of the NFL's charter members in 1920, they've only appeared in the playoffs 8 times since then, and won zero superbowls, although they did win the NFL championship twice before the NFL-AFL merger.

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+1, good insight. And I'm happy to see that the Packers are at the top of the net points chart. :) – Ben Miller Nov 24 '14 at 4:07

It depends what you mean when you say the worst team, but if you're talking about a team's performance in a season, then watch this video The five worst teams in NFL history, it ranks

  • 1981 Baltimore Colts
  • 1991 Indianapolis Colts
  • 1990 New England Patriots
  • 2008 Detroit Lions
  • 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

as the top five worst NFL teams in a single season. It also provides some stats and facts explaining why they belong to this list.

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It's quite easily the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 1976-1977, when they lost 26 consecutive games, going 0-14 in their inaugural season, then losing their first 12 games in their second. I believe they were shut out five times in 1976, which is unheard of in modern football.

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could you provide a reference for the stats please? – TrueDub Apr 23 at 15:14

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