The Jacksonville Jaguars are now officially the laughing stock of the NFL. If you are in any type of pick ‘em league, you would never pick them to win a game. If you had the lock option in where you guaranteed a winner for each week, you would pick the team that faces the Jaguars. When a team’s fans want Tim Tebow as your quarterback, you know something is just messed up.
If the question hasn’t been posed yet, and it should, I will be the first to ask it: Are the 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars the worst NFL team of all time?
Now I realize were only four games into the season and we still won’t know if the Jaguars will be considered the worst team in the league, but they are on pace for being in contention for this award. For arguments sake, let’s just look at the first four games of the season for our candidates. We’re going to limit the candidates for this prestigious award to just three teams: This year’s Jaguars, the 2008 Detroit Lions in which they were the first and only team that went 0-16, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in where they went 0-14 in their inaugural season.
Let’s throw out some stats. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, the Jaguars have only scored 32 points in their first four games and have allowed 129, for a point differential of 97. In comparison, the 1976 Buccaneers scored only 26 points in their first four games and allowed 99 points for a point differential of 73. The 2008 Detroit Lions scored 66 points in their first four games and allowed 147 for a point differential of 88. The Jaguars have committed 8 turnovers so far, the Buccaneers committed 9 turnovers, and the Lions committed 7 turnovers in their first four games of their respected seasons.
So, what do those stats tell us? Neither one of those three teams couldn’t take care of the ball nor did they play good defense. The only team between those three to average double digits in scoring was the Detroit Lions with 16.5, which is still very low by NFL standards. The Buccaneers averaged 6.5 points per game and the Seahawks are averaging 8 points per game.
So, back to the question: Who is the worst? I’m throwing the Lions out of the discussion. I realize they have lost the most games in NFL history, but they were able to at least put up some points in the first few games of their season. The Lions were bad in every aspect from front office (who could forget Matt Millen), to coaching, to players (besides Calvin Johnson). But I don’t believe they are the worst between our remaining two candidates, simply because they were able to at least put some points on the board.
One can argue that the Buccaneers were in their inaugural season, so high expectations shouldn’t be expected for them. It wasn’t just bad for the Bucs in 1976 though. They were ugly. They didn’t even score a point until their third game of the year.
But, they still allowed fewer points then the Jaguars, so that should account for something, right? Wrong. The Buccaneers played in the 70’s, which wasn’t as pass heavy as the NFL is today. Points were not being scored at a premium like they are in today’s game. Yes, the Jaguars have allowed 25 more points per game then the Buccaneers, but that’s all based on the type of football that was being played at the time.
So, it sounds like I’m making the case for the Buccaneers as being the worst team ever, right? By the slightest of edges, I do give the edge to the Buccaneers as being the worst team ever. As bad as the Jaguars are, they still have a few good and potentially good players like Maurice Jones- Drew, rookie Luke Joeckel, and Justin Blackmon. I think the Jaguars have the better overall offense when you compare it to the Buccaneers and that was the tipping point in this debate. The Buccaneers did have a hall of famer in Lee Roy Selmon, but that’s it. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe Steve Spurrier is a player you should hang your hat on.
The Jaguars absolutely have the potential to be the worst team in history. I know the old saying goes, “It can’t get much worse”, but for the Jaguars it absolutely can, because they could be as worse as the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But so far, the Jaguars hold the slightest of edges of being above those Buccaneers as being the worst team ever in NFL history.