Can The Cleveland Browns Avoid 0-16 Embarrassment?

Can The Cleveland Browns Avoid 0-16 Embarrassment?

Entering the NFL history books is not always a positive thing and the 2016 Cleveland Browns are now only eight games away from joining the ranks of the worst teams in the history of the NFL, writes’s Leigh Copson.

While millions of football fans are still dreaming of the prospect of their team lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Houston, Texas next February, there are thousands of Cleveland Browns fans desperately hoping their team will simply win a game before the end of the regular season.

While the Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA champions and the Cleveland Indians made it all the way to the World Series, the Browns continue to be the stain on the City’s sporting scene. An 0-8 record means they are the worst team in football right now and one look at the rest of their schedule suggests things are not going to get any better during the second half of the season.

The Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers are all scheduled to visit the FirstEnergy Stadium, while the Browns face road trips to face the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. Seriously, pick me a game in which you can say with a 100% confidence, “Cleveland can win that”. I thought not, and the bookmakers feel the same because some leading firms are now just +275 that the Browns fail to win a game.

Going 0-16 is the ultimate embarrassment in the NFL, but if it happens the Browns will not be the last team to go an entire season winless and they will not be the first. In fact, since 1944 four other clubs have gone a full season without picking up a single ‘W’, but only one of them went 0-16.

The Dallas Cowboys did not lose every game in 1960 but an 0-11-1 record makes it a season the famous franchise would like erased from the record books. The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the only team to go 0-14 before the league was expanded and in the strike-shortened 1982 season the Baltimore Colts went a pathetic 0-8-1.

But of course, it was the 2008 Detroit Lions that can be considered the worst team to ever play in the NFL. They went 4-0 in pre-season but once the serious stuff began things went horribly wrong. As Dan Miller of the Detroit Lions Radio Network put it, “For 16 weeks they took to the field thinking this was going to be their day, 16 times they were wrong and there are no Sundays left”.

The Browns will be desperate to avoid that fate, purely for professional pride, but is hard to see where that first win will come from. At the time of writing only three of their remaining eight opponents have losing records, but all three of those teams could get to or above .500 by winning a couple of games in the next two weeks – none of them are truly dreadful teams.

It does not bode well for Cleveland right now so if you are a gambling man or woman then now is the time to jump on that +275 because week-by-week it is only going to get shorter and shorter, starting with Sunday’s game against the red-hot Dallas Cowboys.


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