One of the greatest streaks in NFL history has come to an end. This streak lasted for decades and it’s extremely unlikely any team will ever match it, let alone better it. If some team ever does surpass this incredible streak it will probably not be in the lifetime of anybody reading this post. Yet this historic streak and its ending received no press, it got no TV coverage, nobody’s talking about it, and I’m just beside myself that it’s all over.
Since 1960, all the way through the 2010 season, 50 NFL seasons, a half century of football, the National Football League has produced exactly 22 teams who finished a season posting but a single win. Just four teams have gone completely winless in that same time span so we can see just how hard it is for even the worst teams ever to pull off a winless season. 26 of the worst teams ever made a run and 22 of them failed. They failed because some other NFL team proved unable to notch a win against a loser team that couldn’t beat anybody else for a whole entire season.
I first wrote about those teams guilty of Losing to Losers here back in 2007, but now that the first decade of this century is behind allow me to present a complete list of all one-win teams from 1960-2010, with the teams they defeated in parenthesis.
1960: Washington Redskins (Dallas Cowboys)
1961: Washington Redskins (Dallas Cowboys)
1962: Oakland Raiders (Boston Patriots)
1962: Los Angeles Rams (San Francisco 49’ers)
1966: New York Giants (Washington Redskins)
1967: Atlanta Falcons (Minnesota Vikings)
1968: Buffalo Bills (New York Jets)
1969: Chicago Bears (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1969: Pittsburgh Steelers (Detroit Lions)
1971: Buffalo Bills (New England Patriots)
1972: Houston Oilers (New York Jets)
1973: Houston Oilers (Baltimore Colts)
1980: New Orleans Saints (New York Jets)
1982: Houston Oilers (Seattle Seahawks)
1989: Dallas Cowboys (Washington Redskins)
1990: New England Patriots (Indianapolis Colts)
1991: Indianapolis Colts (New York Jets)
1996: New York Jets (Arizona Cardinals)
2000: San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)
2001: Carolina Panthers (Minnesota Vikings)
2007: Miami Dolphins (Baltimore Ravens)
2009: St. Louis Rams (Detroit Lions)
As you can see six teams have twice pulled off the feat of falling to an otherwise winless team. But the New York Jets have lapped the field over the past half century, serving as the lone victim to an otherwise winless team an amazing four times! But the amazement doesn’t end there people. Check the years of those four humiliating, embarrassing Jets’ defeats: 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1996. Yep, that’s right, Losing to Losers in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. One loss in four successive decades. Simply incredible. No other team has even done back-to-back decades.
Unfortunately the Jets will have to be satisfied with a four-decade streak. They managed to finish their last ten seasons without once losing to a one-win team. Sad. The 2007 season was their last real shot at one for the thumb but the Jets insisted on toppling the Dolphins twice and forcing Miami to instead beat the Ravens to avoid the ignominy of an 0-16 campaign. But despite the end of their historic streak, the Jets can sit back contentedly knowing the odds of anybody bettering their four-decade streak are practically nonexistent. In recent times we’re only seeing three or four teams a decade go 1-15. And other than the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets, no franchise has managed to lose to a 1-15 squad in consecutive decades. The four teams to fall to a 1-15 team in the last decade will have to do it again in this decade just to have a two-decade streak going. The Jets’ record is totally safe for several decades at least and 31 years from now will be the earliest any franchise would even have a crack at breaking the record should they first be able to set up the loser’s table for a shot at history. We here at Past Inteference mourn the end of the Jets' Losing to Losers streak but given NFL history, their record looks as safe as any record could be.