Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Will the Lions go 0-16?
The Detroit Lions are that much closer to making history. But History says that it won't happen. Running the table in reverse that is. Last year, the Miami Dolphins were a lock once they fell to 0-12 and were not only losing but rarely even competitive in their games. Although they lost narrowly to the two NFC Wildcard teams of last year, the Giants and Redskins by 3 points each. Other than that, they were pretty much manhandled by everyone else except Baltimore, who must've decided right then and there to get Brian Billick axed. Coming from ahead to choke. The Ravens came close to being the only team to beat New England in the regular season in 2007, and also to being the only team to LOSE to the Dolphins in a span of two weeks. So everyone figured if the Dolphins didn't finish 0-16 last year, that it would never ever happen. Except now the Detroit Lions have fired out 0-10. And their schedule the rest of the season reads like this: Home to 7-3 Tampa Bay, Home to the unbeaten Titans (11-0 vs. 0-11 on Turkey Day?) Then they are home again against Minnesota, who's fighting for a wildcard berth, at INDY, home to the Saints, who are also in the wildcard hunt, and then at Green Bay, another team in the playoff mix. So the Lions DO have 4 more home games. But everyone of these teams has something to play for besides not wanting any part whatsover of losing to the winless Detroit Lions. Jim Rome has stated that he's worried about his dream season of seeing a team go the whole regular season winless go out the window because of their tough as nails coach Rod Marinelli. Every time a team makes it as far as 0-10 the talks of "if it doesn't happen THIS time, it never will" surface from fans and Sports media members who silently want it to happen, for somone to go 0-16. It's not as fun watching someone go 16-0, especially when the Patriots might have been better off if they hadn't done that last year. There were times when someone could have easily gone 0-16. In 1981, the then Baltimore Colts, won their opener by one point over then division rival New England, then proceeded to lose FOURTEEN STRAIGHT, all by lopsided margins, (they gave up a mindboggling 533 points for the year, only scoring 259) and then beat the Patriots by two in the regular season finale to finish 2-14, same as the Patriots. The Colts of 1986 were 0-13, and getting thumped every single week before they rallied to win their last three. That was dissappointing to me. The Colts were a laughingstock back then for sure but not now ofcourse. The 1990 and 1992 Patriots each went 1-15. My Cowboys ofcourse went 1-15 in 1989 but embarrassed the Redskins at RFK on a Sunday Night with Joe Theismann as one of the ESPN commentators and longtime Redskin Season Ticket Holder Paul Tagliabue spending his first day as the new NFL Commissioner at that game as well. That game was at midseason so the talk of Dallas going winless for the year never really surfaced as I recall. The Redskins would go 10-6 on the year but that loss to Dallas would come back to haunt them at the end as they would miss the playoffs. The 1991 Colts finished 1-15 on the year and scored a record low 143 points. Chip Loemiller, the PK of the Redskins, would outscore the Colts all by himself with 149 points to his credit. The Colts one win in 1991, as I recall, was by ONE point over the Jets, who actually made to the playoffs that year. Then the 2001 Lions might have been worse than this years bunch but they wound up with a couple of wins at the end. They were still winless, I believe as late as Thanksgiving. Last year's Dolphins were about to run the table in reverse the same year as their `1972 unbeaten season was about to be matched by the Patriots. The Patriots might have finished it had the season still been 14 games like it was in 1972 and not been as worn out come Super Bowl Sunday. But the biggest draw has got to be when a team is close to running the table in reverse. The Lions, looking at their remaining schedule, should do it. But be prepared to be let down too if that's what a lot of us are hoping happens. I hope it happens but I've seen this before when someone should have finished winless but somehow didn't