Worst Moments for all NFL Franchises

[ms_dropcap color=”#dd9933″ boxed=”no” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/ms_dropcap]ast week, my good friend, Ryan Smith, and I decided to go to the local bar in Chicago to watch the end of the Seahawks Vikings game. We roughed it through the windy and cold conditions and finally made it to our table with less than 2 minutes to go in that NFC game. As we ordered our $1.50 Miller High Life beers, we saw the Vikings with the ball driving the length of the field. Ryan had spent some time in the northern Midwest City, so he was pulling for the Vikings to score. It was 9-10, and Teddy Bridgewater just made a long pass to get the Vikings within easy scoring distance.

As the excitement grew, other patrons at the bar were noticeably displaying their obvious pick for who they wanted to win the game. A specific group at the far end of the bar were obvious Minnesota fans and were rooting hard during these last few seconds. One of the women in the group was pacing back and forth from one end of this small bar back to her group. She couldn’t watch. As they were replaying all three of the previous field goals made by Blair Walsh, she caught a glimpse and cheered for the whole bar to hear. I didn’t want to be the guy to say, “Those were replays – this kick hasn’t happened yet”, and was glad when one of the guys in her group told her that. As she realized her mistake, there was sort of a glaze that filled her face. She knew.

As the snap came, I saw Locke pull the ball down with laces in. Uh oh, this was bad. LACES IN?!? Blair Walsh shanked the kick wide left on this 27 yard easy chip shot. I couldn’t believe it. My friend Ryan couldn’t believe it. That group couldn’t believe it. That woman. Oh what an incredible defeat. Most of the bar that were Vikings fans just put their head down and their silence was deafening. Seeing the torture these fans have just gone through, I wanted to go through the history to see which fans have gone through the most disappointment.

Let’s set some ground rules. I know someone out there can argue against the variables I put in place, but I was trying to get to a calculation to get a point we can start the argument. Here are some variables I put some weight on.

Number of Playoff Games Per Season in League (PGy)
This divides the number of playoff games participated in by number of years the team has been in the league. For example, if the Houston Texans joined in the league in 2002 (which they did) and played in 5 games (which they did), their PGy ratio would be 0.35. If we compare that to the New England Patriots that have been in the league 55 years (starting out as the Boston Patriots) and played in 47 playoff games, their PGy ratio would be 0.85. This would tell me that Patriots fans have a relatively high expectation of their team competing during the playoffs in each season they take the field. Weighted 25%.

Playoff Win Record
This one is fairly obvious, but if your team isn’t one of the ones from the 1920s, this variable will offset the number of playoff games and just take how well you’ve done in them. Weighted 10%.

Super Bowl Win Record
You have to perform in the big game. We’re trying to determine how much torture a particular NFL fan base has gone through. If you make the Super Bowl four times, and lose all four (ahem, not to mention any teams…Buffalo), then I would be pretty deflated in my playoff hopes. Weighted 25%.

Oh, the good old recency factor. What’s the phrase? “What have you done for me lately?” I wanted this to apply because if a fan for the Cowboys expects success in the playoffs based on what their 1990s teams did, then we’d be extremely misled. I took the last 10 Super Bowls win percentage and calculated that into this score. Weighted 30%.

Games to Super Bowl Appearances
I know this alienates a few of the teams that haven’t made a Super Bowl, however I feel like it’s a good metric to show how many games it takes to get to its first or last Super Bowl. For example, if a team only takes 4 games to get to its only Super Bowl in ten years, they’ll have a pretty good rating here. I get that this metric isn’t perfect, but I feel like it holds some weight to at least be somewhat of a factor. Weighted 10%.

Here are the results.

32. Baltimore Ravens (84 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2012
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Ravens entered the league in 1996, and has the most playoff games per seasons in the league than any other team – roughly 1.3 playoff games per season. If you are going to ask, let’s assume that the Ravens are a new franchise, so I’m speaking to this as if the Colts were never there.
Worst Moment: The string of gut wrenching defeats from 2008 to 2011 in the playoffs were tough, but I’m all for putting in a few losses to win the 2012 Super Bowl – sort of an NFL rite of passage.
Additional thoughts: A Ravens fan should be feeling pretty good about their chances if they get to the playoffs. They seemed to always have New England’s number – Brady played some of the worst games of his career against them (to date are 2-2 against them in playoffs). The Ravens have the highest playoff win percentage as well as the fewest close losses (at 2).

31. Green Bay Packers (72 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2010
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Packers have been in the league a long time- and I mean a really long time. Since 1921, the Packers have played in 53 playoff games. This doesn’t really give them a great PGy (or Playoff Games per Years in League), which is at 0.56.
Worst Moment: This past weekend. The OT loss to the Cardinals was brutal. You had to have thought that the “Two Hail Mary” and “CoinGate” would go the Packers way, but unfortunately their defense couldn’t tackle Larry Fitzgerald.
Additional thoughts: There’s really not much to say here, however the Packers fan base should feel pretty good about their recent and historical playoff performances. Being the playoffs nine times since 2000 would give me the confidence that their team will do some business in the playoffs. Favre to Rodgers isn’t bad.

30. New Orleans Saints (69 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2009
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Saints are a surprising team this high up, however they have had some success in the playoffs – when they get there.
Worst Moment: the Sean Payton suspension. It seems like performance took a direct negative impact once BountyGate came forth.
Additional thoughts: Drew Brees and the Saints haven’t been very good as of late, but they do have that recent Super Bowl victory. Not to mention, when they get to the playoffs they usually win 1 or 2 games pretty consistently. Also, wanted to mention. Recently it was said that the Colts looked at Sean Payton for their coaching job before resigning with Chuck Pagano. As a Colts fan, I just have one rule: Don’t ever hire a coach that has beaten you in the Super Bowl. Thanks Saints for keeping Sean.

29. New York Giants (68 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2011
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Giants have a pretty similar Playoff Game to Years in League rating of 0.53 as the Packers.
Worst Moment: Can this be the best moments? Joking aside, the Giants have been on the bad end of the stick losing three Wild Card games by a total of 5 points.
Additional thoughts: This team usually catches fire in January and February – just ask the Patriots. Two Wild Card starts while finishing hoisting up the Lombardi trophy.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (62 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2008
Worst Moment: Probably their 2-point loss to the Jaguars in 2007. That’s just embarrassing.

27. New England Patriots (48 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2014
Playoff Games Per Season in League: Since the Boston Patriots joined the league in 1960, they have been to 40 playoff games. That’s an expected 0.74 playoff game expected in each of the 54 years the Patriots have been in the league.
Worst Moment: With the amount of success the Patriots have had in recent history, there are basically three moments all Patriots fans will want to soon forget. Brady in 2008, then Giants in 2007 and 2009.
Additional thoughts: The Patriots fans and team are probably the most hated team in the NFL – with all of the cheating “-gates” to how frequently they win. Nevertheless, if you live in the New England area, the Patriots are your team and have been enamored with the success they’ve had.

26. Indianapolis Colts (48 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2006
Playoff Games Per Season in League: Since the Colts were introduced into the league in Baltimore, they’ve had a playoff games to seasons in league ratio of .67. If you think of recent playoff appearances, that’s actually closer to 1.0 since I’ve been born (1987).
Worst Moment: Tom Brady. The Colts have faced the Patriots 5 times in the playoffs since 2003 and lost 4 of them (by an average of 21.5 points).
Additional thoughts: The Colts are definitely a storied franchise. They have had unbelieve fate to draft Peyton Manning that led them to break literally every record in the book, however had difficulties in the playoffs. Peyton did lead them to a 1-1 Super Bowl record (which saw a very hard-to-watch Tracy Porter interception to seal the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl win). Right now, Colts fans are feeling just okay – they are just waiting for Andrew Luck to settle into winning some playoff games.

25. San Francisco 49ers (44 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1994
Worst Moment: 2012 Super Bowl against the Ravens. Remember that game? The one where the Ravens went up huge, leading 21-6 at halftime, then the power going out for 20-30 minutes with the 49ers storming back to lose by 3. There was so much hope with this team and probably one of the worst playoff moments in the last 10 years.

24. Dallas Cowboys (42 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1995
Worst Moment: Tony Romo’s fumbled snap. 2007, Tony Romo just needed to put the ball down clean for the game winning field goal with 1:19 left, but he fumbled it. Trying to pick it up and running into the end zone, he was tackled by Seattle which all but certainly ended the game.

23. New York Jets (42 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1968
Worst Moment: Could it be the back to back AFC Conference Championship losses? Could it be the loss to the Raiders in 2002 after blanking the Indianapolis Colts 41-0 the week before? Either it is, I bet all Jets fans are just waiting for the moment Tom Brady retires so they have a chance at the division again.

22. Seattle Seahawks (40 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2013
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Seahawks carry a similar playoff games to seasons in league ration at 0.71. That ranks 9th across all teams.
Worst Moment: Malcolm Butler. When fans think that Marshawn Lynch should have just run the ball into the end zone from within the 2-yard line in Super Bowl 49.
Additional thoughts: If you asked me back in 2009 where the Seahawks were on this list, they’d be much further down (possibly in the top 10). But then again, that was before Pete Carroll.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 2002
Worst Moment: They haven’t really been that relevant in the past 13 years, so that’s probably it.

20. Oakland Raiders (39 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1983
Worst Moment: Again, a team that hasn’t really be relevant since 2002 where they lost to the previously ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneer, doesn’t have many recent disappointments. The biggest one was probably the 3-point loss to the Patriots in the Division playoffs in 2001.

19. Washington Redskins (35 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1991
Playoff Games Per Season in League: The Redskins are one of the oldest teams in the leagues going back all the way to 1932. In those 82 years, the Redskins have only played in 40 playoff games.
Worst Moment: After winning the Super Bowl in 1991, the Redskins have only been to the playoffs four times and advancing to the second round in three of them only to lose in the Divisional playoff game. That’s 3 playoff wins in 23 years.

18. Miami Dolphins (32 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1973
Worst Moment: 3 Super Bowl losses in 12 years. This team is just like the Jets. In a tough division for the last 15 years. And before that, they got shut out by the Raiders in 2000.

17. Denver Broncos (29 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1998
Worst Moment: In recent memory, I would have to say their embarrassing loss to the Seahawks in the 2013 Super Bowl. Other than that, I can’t remember a recent time that they’ve been sure favorites and lost. Relevancy matters here.

16. Chicago Bears (29 Points)
Last Super Bowl Win: 1985
Worst Moment: Those years with Rex as quarterback. Living in Chicago, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team with less hope in recent years than the Bears. Sort of when I lived in Boston in 2013. They had a terrible season so everyone disassociated with them, then the next year they won the World Series. If the Bears ever do that, we’ll be seeing “so-called” fans come out of the woodwork just like that example.

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