Worst NFL Teams in History – What Is The Worst NFL Team of All Time?
Being called the worst NFL team ever is an honor no organization wants to have. Everybody wants to win but sometimes the odds are just stacked against you. Wherever it’s an owner acting like a wiseguy, the front office wagering against their best players leaving or just a lack of direction, all of the worst NFL teams in history have things in common.
What was the worst NFL team of all time?
So how do you end up on a list like this and what is the worst NFL team ever? Well, we have a few notable factors. Firstly, the overall record and point differential have to be bad. Like, all-time worst football team ever level of bad. You need to make history for a multitude of bad reasons. And according to us, this is the worst NFL team in history.
2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)
- Point Differential:-249 (seventh worst all time)
- Offense: 27th (16.8 ppg), 30th (268.3 ypg), 268 points scored
- Defense: 32nd (32.3 ppg), 32nd (404.4 ypg), 517 points allowed
In 2008, the Detroit Lions etched their name in NFL history as the worst NFL team ever. Fast forward to today, and the 2008 Detroit Lions aren’t the only residents of the infamous 0-16 club. But we’ll still honor them with the top spot.
Because they weren’t just bad, they were among the worst NFL teams of all time. Being the first NFL team to go winless since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season, deserves to be called the worst NFL team in history.
The 2008 season marked the culmination of a dark era for the Lions, defined by the leadership of General Manager Matt Millen and head coach Rod Marinelli. The team wrapped up the year with a point differential of -249, essentially sticking that infamous 0-16 landing. A performance for the record books, as the worst football team ever.
Their staggering point differential was a stark reflection of their defensive woes. The Lions’ Achilles’ heel was their secondary, which intercepted just 4 passes the entire year. Their defense allowed a league-worst 32.3 points per game and a whopping 404.4 yards per game.
This is despite having future Super Bowl starter Cliff Avril on that side of the ball. Marinelli’s defense allowed a staggering 48 more points than any other team during that campaign.
And they were 2 touchdowns away from breaking the NFL record for most points surrendered in a single season. The 2008 Detroit Lions gave up a total of 517 points, rivaling the 533 points the Baltimore Colts gave up in 1981.
Worst NFL Team Historically Record
It wasn’t much better on the other side. The 2008 Detroit Lions ranked 27th in scoring, averaging a mere 16.8 points per game. Despite Calvin Johnson’s impressive 1,300-yard season, the Lions were unable to move the chains. They ranked 30th in total offense with 268.3 yards per game.
Which was to be expected with the revolving door of quarterbacks featuring the likes of Daunte Culpepper, Jon Kitna, and Dan Orlovsky. They each got a few losses to their name that year, combined with a lot of hits. Their offensive line allowed a whopping 52 sacks, improving the statistics of multiple all time sack leaders. So it’s no wonder the QB rotation combined for a lackluster 71.3 passer rating and 19 interceptions.
The team’s collective struggle eventually spilled off the field with head coach Rod Marinelli’s infamous outbursts directed at reporters. Center Dominic Railoa also flipped off the disgruntled fans who were ashamed to support the 2008 Lions.
But nothing resembled peak dysfunctionality like the comical highlight by quarterback Dan Orlovsky in Week 6. He ran a lap around his own end zone while desperately trying to evade the opposing Viking’s defense in a 2-point loss.
The combination of record-breaking woeful performances and dysfunctionality forces us to crown the 2009 Detroit Lions as the worst NFL team in history. They might have been outdone in some statistical aspects by other worst NFL teams of all time since. But they’ll always carry a mystique as the worst football team of all time.
SAI Flashback: October 12, 2008— Someone's An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) October 13, 2019
Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of his own end zone and didn’t even realize it at first pic.twitter.com/1AWXkNmn0s
Worst NFL teams last 10 years
2017 Cleveland Browns (0-16)
- Point Differential: -176
- Offense: 32nd (14.5 ppg), 24th (308.9 ypg), 234 points scored
- Defense: 31st (25.6 ppg), 14th (328.1 ypg), 410 points allowed
The 2017 Cleveland Browns also qualify for the worst NFL team in history title. They went winless to follow up a 1–15 record from the previous 2016 NFL season. This guaranteed them one of the top two spots on our worst NFL teams of all time list.
In the most obvious tank job of all time, the 2016 Browns sent off five established Pro Bowlers and three former first-round picks before the season even began. With starting quarterback Robert Griffin III fracturing a bone in his left shoulder in the season opener, the 2016 season was a lost cause.
The following year in 2017, they managed to join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to finish a season 0–16 since the season was expanded to 16 games in 1978, and the last due to the NFL expanding its regular season schedule to 17 games in 2021.
In their second season under head coach Hue Jackson and their second and final season under general manager Sashi Brown, the 0-16 Browns posted a minus-176 point differential. While this was enough to categorize them as the worst football team that year, it pales in comparison to the worst NFL teams of all time.
The franchise’s fourth-worst point differential came at the hands of starting quarterback DeShone Kizer. The journeyman backup in the making managed to lead the NFL with a jaw-dropping 22 interceptions. Offensively, the Brown’s offense showed glimmers of promise, ranking 24th with 308.9 yards per game.
2017 Cleveland Browns roster
But with a league-worst 28 interceptions, the Browns just couldn’t get up the field and had several potential scoring drives halted. While also gifting the opposing defense numerous short fields to work with. This meant that the Browns scored the fewest points in the league and allowed more points than all but one other team.
With future Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams at the helm, the 2017 Browns rushing defense was a shining beacon of light. They ranked 7th in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing just 97.9 yards per game.
Conceding a mere 3.4 yards per carry meant that they finished the season as the 14th-best NFL defense that year. Which sets them apart from the other teams on our list that all finished near the bottom of every statistical category.
This in itself makes Cleveland’s most disappointing single season better than Detroit’s. The 2017 Browns in fact were very close to winning a game. They registered 4 losses of 3 points or less in the first 7 weeks. But that didn’t matter much as they became the first franchise in NFL history to have multiple and consecutive seasons with 15 or more losses.
By week 11, they were eliminated from playoff contention and the AFC North division title. This meant extending an active NFL record drought of 25 consecutive seasons without a division title and their franchise-record playoff drought to 15 consecutive seasons.
By finishing their season with a losing record for the tenth consecutive season, extending a franchise record, the 2017 Cleveland Browns secured a spot as one of the worst NFL teams of all time. While their play didn’t warrant them to be the worst NFL team ever, their record certainly made them the worst NFL team in history.
2020 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15)
- Point Differential: -186 (306 PF, 492 PA)
- Offense: 30th (19.1 ppg), 28th (326.1 ypg), 306 points scored
- Defense: 31st (30.8 ppg), 31st (417.7 ypg) 492 points allowed
The 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars NFL season was a tumultuous and disappointing experience for everyone included. With little to no fanfare due to the Covid restrictions, the Jaguars quietly finished with the worst NFL team record that year.
Their abysmal 1-15 record was a franchise-worst and netted them the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which set them up for the growth they’ve experienced since.
Looking at the numbers, a case can be made that the New York Jets were a weaker team that year in several key aspects. But the truth is the Jaguars became just the second team since the 16-game schedule expansion to win their season opener but lose their remaining games.
With quarterback Nick Foles and star cornerback Jalen Ramsey out the door, the Jaguars were left with a young and inexperienced roster.
The perfect recipe for one of the worst NFL teams of all time. After 8 years, general manager David Caldwell was replaced at the end of the season. The Jag’s 2017 AFC championship game run couldn’t buy any more time for head coach Doug Marrone, who was sacked after 4 years of leading the charge.
Trevor Lawrence Draft
The quarterback position was a major point of contention throughout the year. Promising sophomore Gardner Minshew was expected to take the leap as the team’s starting QB.
With Mike Glennon and rookie Jake Luton creating a revolving door at quarterback, the Jaguars’ offense struggled to get going. They ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category. Undrafted rookie James Robinson rushed for over 1,000 yards and established himself as a bright spot. But the lack of a reliable passing game put immense pressure on defense.
With the offense not being able to move the chains, the defense saw a lot of playing time. Between fatigue and inexperience, the unit gave up an average of 30.75 points per game. This ranked them 31st in the league in scoring defense.
Opposing quarterbacks were free to rack up big yardage totals and score at will as the team struggled to generate pressure both on the line of scrimmage and in the backfield.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as it seems. The emergence of rookie cornerback CJ Henderson and defensive end Josh Allen was a positive note. With new head coach Urban Meyer at the helm and a generational talent in Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars have a lot of pieces to work with.
On our worst NFL teams of all time list, the 2020 Jaguars are the only ones to break 300 points. This is probably due to rule changes and the shifting nature of the game, as many teams on this list ranked higher in the league in points scored during their respective seasons.
Worst NFL team in the last 30 years
The NFL undergoes changes nearly every single year. And most of them are made so the product becomes better. Thus, the NFL is continuously discouraging the worst NFL teams of all time.
That’s why we have some of the worst NFL teams ever, showing up in the earlier days of the league. These are the worst football teams to grace the NFL in the last 30 years.
2009 St. Louis Rams (1-15)
- Point Differential: -261 (fourth worst all time)
- Offense: 32nd (10.9 ppg), 29th (279.4 ypg), 175 points scored
- Defense: 31st (27.3 ppg), 29th (372.8 ypg), 436 points allowed
The 2009 St. Louis Rams put up such a stinker in Steve Spagnuolo’s first season as a head coach, that St. Louis no longer has an NFL franchise. The former New York Giants defensive coordinator became one of the worst head-coaching tenures in NFL history. In fact, his 2019 reconstruction of the Chief’s defense was much needed to save his career.
Apart from the 1-15 record, the team put up a minus-261 point differential, the worst mark for this millennium. So it’s no wonder the 2009 Rams finished the year with the NFL’s third-worst attendance, as fans steered clear of the Edward Jones Dome and the horror that was unfolding there.
How did this occur you might ask? Well, they suffered more shutout losses than they had 20-point scoring games. They also scored 10 or fewer points on nine occasions. Can’t blame anyone who doesn’t wanna watch the worst NFL team that year struggle.
When an injury took out former playoff-starting QB Marc Bulger, less effective backups Kyle Boller and Keith Null came up short. Running back Steven Jackson did his best by gaining 1,416 rushing yards, but it was a futile attempt.
Long gone were the days of the “Greatest Show on Turf”, as the Rams scored just 175 points for the entire 2009 campaign, which evens out to 10.9 per game. This is the sixth-worst mark for a 16-game NFL season. It’s also just 35 points more than the 1992 Seattle Seahawks, who are the worst-scoring offense in NFL history.
The Rams just couldn’t move the chains, throwing a total of 12 combined touchdown passes all season to 21 interceptions. The team’s leading receiver, Donnie Avery, had just 589 receiving yards with Marc Bulger leading the team with 5 touchdown passes. Even kicker Josh Brown had enough and threw one himself, with dysfunction being the key ingredient to the worst NFL teams of all time.
According to Pro Football Reference, the 2009 Rams were the worst NFL team ever since they had a much weaker schedule than the winless 2008 Lions. The defensive side of the field was also a mess. The Rams were dealing with ownership uncertainty as the team was owned by the estate of the late Georgia Frontiere.
The impending move to LA added a layer of instability meaning that there wasn’t much investment in the roster and Spagnuolo was brought in with high hopes that he will make the most of it. Sounds like the recipe for the worst football team of the year and one of the worst NFL teams of all time.
Vikings vs Rams (2009)— Vintage NFL (@NFL_vintage) September 2, 2023
Week 5 pic.twitter.com/jSTImhOkmc
2000 Cleveland Browns (3-13)
- Point Differential: -258 (fifth worst all time)
- Offense: 31st (10.1 ppg), 29th (170.5 ypg), 161 points scored
- Defense: 27th (26.2 ppg), 26th (352.2 ypg), 419 points allowed
The 2000 Cleveland Browns NFL season marked the second year of the return of football to Cleveland. This materialized after a three-year hiatus following the original Browns’ move to Baltimore to become the Ravens.
The newly established Browns franchise, led by head coach Chris Palmer, faced an uphill battle as an expansion team. In 2000, they finished with a better record than their inaugural 1999 NFL season. But they were objectively worse.
Despite having another first overall pick in defensive end Courtney Brown, the 2000 Cleveland Browns failed to improve on defense. They allowed an average of 26.2 points per game, which ranked 27th in the league.
The pass defense was the only saving grace of this team, as linebacker Jamir Miller had a top 10 linebacker season, recording 13 sacks and earning a Pro Bowl selection. Rookie defensive end Courtney Brown also made a significant contribution with 4.5 sacks.
The rush defense, however, left a lot to be desired. The Browns allowed the most rushing attempts of anyone in the league that year, being unable to stop teams from converting on third downs.
However, the really painful side of the coin was the offense. This Cleveland Browns offense mustered up just 161 points, a record low for 21st-century NFL teams. Kicker Phil Dawson was the Browns’ leading scorer with 59 points, which tells you everything you need to know about their struggles.
Their 10.06 points per game is the third-fewest ever by a team in a 16-game schedule, tying them with the 1998 Eagles and just behind the 1992 Seahawks and 1991 Colts.
Return to Cleveland
They suffered shutouts 4 times that year, which is the most for an NFL team since the 1977 Buccaneers, who failed to score six times. For perspective, the 2016 and 2017 Browns we already mentioned, went a combined 1–31 but never failed to score a point in any game.
During the previous 1999 NFL season, the reborn Browns scored 217 points, or 3.50 more per game than in 2000. Most of their issues stemmed from the unreliable quarterback play. Tim Couch had the starting role and threw 7 TDs in his first 7 starts.
But an injury forced Doug Pederson into the starting lineup, in which he recorded a measly 2 TDs. Five of those games ended without Brown’s TDs. If this wasn’t bad enough, they also had 21 interceptions. The running game was the only saving grace for the 2000 Browns.
They accumulated 1,618 rushing yards, ranking 13th in the NFL. Rookie running back Travis Prentice led the team with 512 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. All of this resulted in the 5th worst point differential in NFL history of 258. A generationally poor offense with a running defense that melts like butter is the recipe for being one of the worst NFL teams of all time.
Giants vs Browns (2000)— Vintage NFL (@NFL_vintage) March 10, 2021
Week 10 pic.twitter.com/p3fB915UVC
2007 Miami Dolphins (1-15)
- Point Differential: -170
- Offense: 26th (16.7 ppg), 28th (287.5 ypg), 267 points scored
- Defense: 30th (27.3 ppg), 23rd (342.2 ypg), 437 points allowed
You can criticize Nick Saban for a lot of things. But the man saw the writing on the wall and got out of there at the right time. During the 2006 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins went 6-10, with questions around Saban’s impending move surrounding the team. Shortly after NYE 2007, it was announced that he’d agreed to become the new head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Miami’s fortunes crumbled.
After becoming the only franchise in NFL history to complete an undefeated season, the Dolphins nearly became the first 0 16 team ever. The 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs went winless for an entire year. And thanks to an overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15, the 2007 Miami Dolphins nearly escaped that fate. Instead, it was next year’s Lion’s team that made history.
Defensively, the Dolphins were a hot mess. They allowed an average of 27.3 points per game, which ranked 30th in the league. The defense struggled to stop both the run and the pass, resulting in numerous big plays by opposing offenses. This led to Miami surrendering a franchise-record 437 points. At least veteran defensive end Jason Taylor had a standout season, recording 11 sacks and earning a Pro Bowl selection.
Miami’s run defense was especially porous, allowing 2,000 rushing yards during the 2007 season, which ranked 31st in the NFL. Opposing running backs often converted on third downs, making the secondary work that much harder. And they didn’t fare that much better giving up 3,925 passing yards, good for 25th in the league.
Nick Saban Miami Dolphins
On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins were plagued by inconsistency and a lack of playmaking ability. The quarterback committee of Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, and John Beck failed to provide a stable and effective passing game. They threw just 9 touchdown passes while tossing a staggering 22 interceptions.
Throwing for a putrid 2,795 passing yards, meant that the 2007 Miami Dolphins roster had to rely on the running game to move the chains. There was no top 10 running back talent on the roster, but they did fairly better, accumulating 1,499 rushing yards, ranking 21st in the NFL. Ronnie Brown was one of the few bright spots on offense, rushing for 602 yards and 4 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury.
It also marked the third and final season under general manager Randy Mueller.
Head coach Cam Cameron was fired after just one season with the team due to the team’s poor performance. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers took over as the interim head coach for the final few games of the season.
If we take only the record into account, the 2007 Miami Dolphins are one of the worst NFL teams of all time. But they’re far from the worst NFL team ever. In fact, there are a few older rosters that had performances so putrid it’s unlikely to ever be matched. With point differentials so obscene, you would think that those must be the worst NFL team in history.
Dolphins vs Eagles (2007)— Vintage NFL (@NFL_vintage) August 9, 2023
Week 11 pic.twitter.com/m17Z2SLfDA
Top 10 worst NFL teams
Beyond the 30 year mark, we have some of the worst NFL teams of all time. The overall records might not show it, but the eye test and stats prove an uncomfortable truth. The performances of these teams were so putrid, they can easily claim the worst NFL team in history title.
1981 Baltimore Colts (2-14)
- Point Differential: -274 (second worst all time)
- Offense: 26th (16.2 ppg), 22nd (306.5 ypg), 259 points scored
- Defense: 28th (33.3 ppg), 28th (424.2 ypg), 533 points allowed
The 1981 Baltimore Colts NFL season was a rollercoaster heading for the deep end where most of the worst NFL teams of all time reside. Between an all-time horrific defense and internal dysfunction, the 1981 Colts managed to break records. Albeit probably as the worst NFL team ever.
The franchise set an NFL record by allowing 533 points and 6,793 yards that year. In fact, the Colts gave up more than double as many points as they scored. Their -274 point differential is the second worst all time, trailing only the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished 0–14.
That faithful 1981 NFL season, the Baltimore Colts finished with a 2-14 record, but don’t let this fool ya. Their only wins came against the lowly New England Patriots, who also finished 2-14. Despite this, that Patriots roster only gave up 48 more points than they scored, resulting in a much better point differential.
Which really puts in perspective how atrocious that Colts’ defense was in 1981. The Colts allowed 40 points in 4 separate games during the season, and lost 14 straight games, apart from the first and last game. If they were that bad in today’s game, they would be a part of the highest-scoring NFL games ever.
Their secondary was routinely on the menu, giving up a staggering 8.19 yards-per-dropback, the most surrendered by any team in NFL history. With just 13 sacks, which was a then-NFL record low, and 16 interceptions throughout the entire year, there was no pressure on the enemy QBs whatsoever.
John Elway Trade
The run defense wasn’t that much better either. They gave up the fourth most rushing attempts that year for the fifth most rushing yards. But where they really struggled was the end zone. During the 1081 NFL season, the Baltimore Colts gave up a staggering 30 touchdowns. That’s nearly 2 for each game. Mind you, this is 1981, where the rules are much different than the current-day NFL.
Chaos ensued on the other side of the ball as well. The end of former MVP quarterback Bert Jones’ Colts tenure saw him put up a resilient effort, with over 3000 passing yards and 21 touchdowns.
Despite leading a middle-of-the-pack aerial attack, there was no running game to speak of. And in 1981, without this, you pretty much guaranteed yourself a bottom-feeding offense. Having 23 interceptions didn’t help much at all. But the real mess was upstairs.
Owner Bob Irsay took on play-calling responsibilities from the coaches’ booth during the Colts’ 38–13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on November 15, with the intent to embarrass the coaches and players.
The then-Maryland-based franchise was already in the process of moving to Indianapolis, and the owner had seen enough. Giving up 40 points on multiple occasions, in 1981 mind you, is bad enough.
But the Colts probably hit their low point in a 20-0 Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Throughout the entire game, they generated just 88 yards of offense and failed to advance the ball past the 50-yard line.
Head coach Mike McCormack was out the door, the 1982 Colts didn’t win a single game and owner Bob Irsay traded John Elway against his GM’s wishes. That’s how Maryland was left without an NFL team, and how the 1091 Baltimore Colts became one of the worst NFL teams of all time.
On this date in 1981, the Colts scored what was possibly the most bizarre touchdown in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/UvmsrpwdJM— Quirky Research (@QuirkyResearch) October 25, 2022
1990 New England Patriots (1-15)
- Point Differential: -263 (third worst all time)
- Offense: 28th (11.2 ppg), 26nd (260.5 ypg), 181 points scored
- Defense: 27h (27.8 ppg), 27th (356.2 ypg), 446 points allowed
These days, the New England Patriots are synonymous with winning. But before Tom Brady won his first SB ring, making him the youngest QB SuperBowl winner, and Bill Belichek became the NFL coach with the most wins, the Patriots were struggling. The 1990 New England Patriots are an example of how poor management can create one of the worst NFL teams of all time.
Head coach Ray Berry led the Patriots to a Super Bowl bid, another AFC East title, and a few winning seasons in the late 1980s. But he was fired and replaced by Rod Rust, after going 5-11 during the 1989 NFL season. Rust helped the Pittsburgh Steelers reach the Superbowl as a defensive coordinator but was from ready for the situation ahead.
The 1990 Patriots started the season looking rejuvenated. They picked off Dan Marino 3 times in the first game and led 21-6 at the half. Despite suffering a 27-24 comeback loss, their performance against an eventual playoff team was admirable.
In week 2 they won 16-14 against the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Rust’s impact on the defense was evident, as the Patriots picked up another 4 interceptions. But the Patriots season took a nosedive following an incident in the post-game locker room.
Lisa Olson, a beat reporter covering the team for The Boston Herald, alleged that she’d been sexually harassed by players who deliberately exposed themselves to her. Team owner Victor Kiam also didn’t aid the situation, continuously making jokes at Olson’s expense. This forced the league to step in and fine everyone responsible for the mess.
Lisa Olson Scandal Patriots
The Patriots season took a nosedive from that moment forward. They lost the following 14 games in humiliating fashion, despite having a number of All-Pros and regular contributors from their successful teams of the 1980s, most of whom were past their prime.
Steve Grogan, the second-longest-tenured QB in Patriots history after Tom Brady, was dealing with injuries prior to the media firestorm. Instead, Marc Wilson would step in week 3 and deliver some of the worst QB play known to man.
The QB committee, which also included a 23-year-old Tom Hodson, threw just 14 touchdowns that year to 20 interceptions. The 1990 Patriots finished with the league-worst offense despite having John Stephens, a previously productive runner, and a Pro Bowl left tackle in Bruce Armstrong available.
It wasn’t much better on the other side of the ball as well. Rust’s scheme was quickly figured out, and the 1990 Patriots finished with a total of just 14 interceptions, despite having 7 in the first 2 weeks. This resulted in the second-worst defense in the NFL that year.
So it’s no wonder this Pats roster finished with the third-worst margin of defeat ever. Their -263 point differential is only lagging behind the 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 1981 Baltimore Colts we just mentioned.
By the time Robert Kraft bought the team, hired head coach Bill Parcells, and drafted quarterback Drew Bledsoe, this 1990 New England Patriots roster was history. But their spot there is etched as one of the worst NFL teams of all time, with some arguing they’re the worst NFL team ever. Luckily they soon paired the oldest QB to win the SuperBowl with the greatest TE ever, resulting in 5 Super Bowl titles.
September 16, 1990— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) September 16, 2020
Patriots defeat the Colts (16-14) to get their 1st and last win of the season
The Patriots and Rod Rust would go on to lose 14 straight games and finish (1-15)
It would start a 3-year run (1990-92) where the Pats were (9-39)
Seems impossible to believe now pic.twitter.com/5pLu0NyVUh
Worst NFL team 2022
Even during the 2022 NFL season, we had candidates for the worst NFL teams of all time. The worst NFL team this year was the Chicago Bears. They might not be the worst Football team of all time, but their defense ranked atop the worst NFL defenses 2022.
Chicago Bears (3-14)
- Point Differential: -137
- Offense: 23rd (19.2 ppg), 28th (307.5 ypg), 326 points scored
- Defense: 32nd (27.2 ppg), 29th (375.2 ypg), 463 points allowed
Matt Naggy’s tenure as the Bear’s head coach came to an end in the 2021 NFL offseason. Looking to build upon the 6-11 record, the 2022 Chicago Bears revamped their front office, hiring general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.
Despite starting with a 2–1 record and hiring the former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator to be their head coach, the 2022 Chicago Bears ended up with the worst defense in the NFL. The Bears lost 13 of their last 14 games including a franchise-record 10-game losing streak to end the season.
This is not a surprise considering the Bear’s defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed, let alone the other team from scoring. Opposing offenses hung an average of 27 points per game on the Bears, mostly due to their poor defensive line.
The Bears had an NFL-worst 20 sacks in 17 games and gave up 8 yards per completed pass. This wouldn’t hurt so much if they could stop the run, but they also gave up the second most rushing attempts and yards.
The only bright spot for the 2022 Chicago Bears was their running game. To be more precise, it was their second-year quarterback Justin Fields, who had a breakout year. He was the only reason the Bears had led the league in rushing with 3,014 yards on 558 attempts, breaking their previous single-season record of 2,974 set in 1984.
Me explaining to my friends that Justin Fields is a franchise QB & it’s not fair to base his passing abilities on a 2022 #Bears receiving core led by Cole Kmet & an offensive line that was ranked 32nd according to @PFF #DaBears #BearDown @rff_football pic.twitter.com/8syOCOcdJP— Alex Blasig (@alexblasig) August 28, 2023
Justin Fields Breakout Year
His 1143 rushing yards made him the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and set the Bears’ single-season quarterback rushing yards record. It’s honestly amazing he managed to achieve this considering the quality of his receiving core.
Instead of being an unstoppable dual-threat QB, opposing defenses feared Fields strictly for his running capabilities despite his passing prowess. Fields connected on 192 of 318 passes for a 60% completion rate and 2242 yards. But this only resulted in 17 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. If your best-performing wideout is Cole Kmet with 544 receiving yards and 7 TDs, I guess you’re forced to run it down.
Credit: All images belong to AP
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