The Detroit Lions were embarrassing last year, but the same thing can be said of six NFL teams this year.
The Oakland Raiders are a mess both on and off the field. JaMarcus Russell has not turned into the franchise quarterback that management thought he would be. Russell has a career quarterback rating of 47.1 and is completing well under 50 percent of his passes. On top of that, his throws miss wide-open receivers by about 15 yards.
Darren McFadden, last year’s first-round draft pick, has not impressed and is out with a knee injury. Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bay has more names than catches on the season.
Off the field, their coach is in legal trouble. Head Coach Tom Cable may soon be arrested for assaulting Assistant Coach Randy Hanson during August’s training camp. Cable broke Hanson’s jaw when he punched his assistant coach in the face.
The winless St. Louis Rams have scored a total of 34 points this season. Four teams scored that many points in week five alone. St. Louis has been dealt fifteen consecutive losses dating back to October of last season. They have been shut out twice this year and most of their games are over before halftime. The Rams need to find an actual quarterback before they can start wining games. Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller cannot get the job done. Fans in St. Louis will have to endure a massive rebuilding before they see their Rams return to prominence.
Another winless team searching for an identity is the Kansas City Chiefs. A new coach and quarterback were expected to make Kansas City respectable this season. Things have not worked out that way, however, as the Chiefs are 0-5 after losing late leads to the lowly Raiders in week two and the Dallas Cowboys in week five. Kansas City did play better against Dallas, forcing the Cowboys into overtime and causing Wade Phillips to worry about his job. After all that they were still denied their first win.
Despite a Super Bowl this decade, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still searching for their first win and have lost their five games by an average of more than two touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Josh Johnson was thrown into the fire the past two weeks, replacing the ineffective Byron Leftwich. As is usual with the Bucs, they do not have a true game breaker on offense. Their biggest threat is tight end Kellen Winslow. The Bucs defense is also not what it once was. Only Ronde Barber remains from the vaunted Tampa Bay defense of years past.
The final two teams must be mentioned together because of the ugly game they played this past Sunday. The Cleveland Browns-Buffalo Bills contest must rank among the poorest games ever played. The Browns defeated the Bills 6-3. Derek Anderson completed two passes with one interception and he was the starting quarterback of the winning team.
Both teams combined for sixteen punts and four turnovers. Buffalo was flagged thirteen times. Someone had to win, but the argument can be made that both teams should be charged with a loss.
Of course, there are also the Tennessee Titans or the Detroit Lions, who are a combined 1-9. The Titans won thirteen games last year, so critics should wait a couple more weeks before they are deemed one of the league’s worst. Detroit has had plenty of jokes made about them, but they have not looked terrible in ‘09. They defeated the Washington Redskins and only lost by eight to the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
It would not be surprising if one of the teams mentioned above joins Detroit as the only teams to go 0-16 during the regular season.