Unluckiest single-season teams

Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby CSKreager » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:54 am

To me, the idea of a team that had no luck in a season and was a Murphy's Law team (What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong)- this just screams 1981 Patriots.

Probably the best 2-14 team ever (only outscored by 48 points- most 2-14 teams are outscored by 100+), basically found ways to not find a way, lost every concievable close game (most famously a BUF Hail Mary that ended up being the difference in the playoff picture. Otherwise, the Broncos are making the trip to Shea Stadium).

What teams for you fall under the "Imagine if they had ANY luck at all" microscope?
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:52 am

2017 San Diego Chargers

Finished 9-7 after starting 0-4.

At Denver in Week 1, Casey Hayward dropped a potential pick 6 in the first quarter that would have changed the tone of the game. Then, after coming back from a 24-7 deficit to cut it to three. K Younghoe Koo's 44-yard attempt to tie at the gun was blocked by Shelby Harris. The next week, he had a chance to beat the Dolphins at the end, but he missed, and the Dolphins won 19-17.

Then, after losing to KC and Philly in their next two games, the Chargers won three in a row before a Week 8 showdown in Foxborough. They lost 21-13, but there was a questionable call on a TD catch by Travis Benjamin, if I remember correctly (WR Tyrell Williams was called for offensive pass interference). There also was another sequence in the third quarter where Williams couldn't quite hold on to a pass that would have put SD on the Patriot 25 (he did have some defenders nearby who made it hard for him to catch it).

Then, after losing a heartbreaker to the Jags two weeks later after their bye, the Chargers did win six of their last seven games (the only loss being a showdown game in KC in Week 15) to finish 9-7. A lot of times, that is enough to put you in. However, there were five teams that finished with 9-7 records that year, and the Chargers lost on tie-breakers (which was frustrating. They smashed a team they lost out to, Buffalo, 54-24 in Week 11) .
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby Todd Pence » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:47 am

My first thought was the 2013 Chargers, although that's attributable to bad coaching as much as bad luck.

Another team that comes to mind is the 1982 49ers. The defending champs just couldn't catch a break in several tough losses and failed to make the post-season even in an expanded format. Of course, that strike year turned out to be a hiccup, and they were dominant the rest of the decade and beyond.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby BD Sullivan » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:39 pm

1972 Vikings:

Week 3: Lose to the Dolphins in the final two minutes.
Week 4: Lose to the Cardinals on a FG at the gun.
Week 6: Lose to the Bears after a game-winning TD in the final minute is called back and fail to get a tie when Fred Cox's kick hits the goalpost.
Week 14: Lose to the 49ers in the final minute after holding a 17-6 lead after three quarters.

Four wins would have given them an 11-3 record. Instead, they end up 7-7, their only non-playoff season from 1968-78.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:23 am

BD Sullivan wrote:1972 Vikings:

Week 3: Lose to the Dolphins in the final two minutes.
Week 4: Lose to the Cardinals on a FG at the gun.
Week 6: Lose to the Bears after a game-winning TD in the final minute is called back and fail to get a tie when Fred Cox's kick hits the goalpost.
Week 14: Lose to the 49ers in the final minute after holding a 17-6 lead after three quarters.

Four wins would have given them an 11-3 record. Instead, they end up 7-7, their only non-playoff season from 1968-78.


This is a good one. I wonder if they would have had a better chance (if they win those games) against Miami in 1972 as opposed to 73 when they did play them (a lot of people say that the 73 team is better).
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby Teo » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:51 pm

1978, 1979 and 1983 Saints: all of them could have winning seasons and made the playoffs, but they had heartbreaking losses in the decisive games (1978 losing both games vs. the Falcons in the last seconds [including the famous Big Ben pay], 1979 MNF against the Raiders blewing a comfortable lead and 1983 losing at home against the Rams due to two picks returned for TDs and also a punt return for TD, and Mike Lansford kicking a alast second FG to propel the Rams into the playoffs and the Saints to another non-winning season.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby Jay Z » Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:31 pm

BD Sullivan wrote:1972 Vikings:

Week 3: Lose to the Dolphins in the final two minutes.
Week 4: Lose to the Cardinals on a FG at the gun.
Week 6: Lose to the Bears after a game-winning TD in the final minute is called back and fail to get a tie when Fred Cox's kick hits the goalpost.
Week 14: Lose to the 49ers in the final minute after holding a 17-6 lead after three quarters.

Four wins would have given them an 11-3 record. Instead, they end up 7-7, their only non-playoff season from 1968-78.


You forgot the Week 1 loss against the Redskins, 21-24.

This also ignores that three of their wins were close, against the Broncos, Lions, and Rams. So they were 3-5 in close games. 5-3 I can see, but 8-0 in close games is a little ridiculous.

The statistical picture between the 1972 and 1973 Vikings is not a stark difference. However, the 1972 Vikings were 5th in yards allowed but only 11th in points given up. Defense is first in yards against the pass but only 7th in TDs allowed. They also gave up more yards rushing than they gained. So while the Vikings can maybe get to a 9-5 record, there was a definite tendency on the defense to break down at critical moments in the game, dooming the team to also ran status.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby Todd Pence » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:25 pm

The 1993 Jets. Lost several games late in the fourth quarter, including a game against the Eagles where they were beat on a 94-yard touchdown interception return after having the lead. Weirdly, late in the season the Jets played three straight games in which only field goals were scored. That's gotta be a record for a Super Bowl-era team.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:21 am

Todd Pence wrote:The 1993 Jets. Lost several games late in the fourth quarter, including a game against the Eagles where they were beat on a 94-yard touchdown interception return after having the lead. Weirdly, late in the season the Jets played three straight games in which only field goals were scored. That's gotta be a record for a Super Bowl-era team.


In Week 1 against Denver, they were making a comeback, but Blair Thomas couldn't stay in bounds near the goal line on fourth down (I think). In Week 6 against the Raiders, Ronnie Lott dropped what would have been an INT TD. And, in Week 17 against Buffalo, Thurman Thomas was given a TD even though replays showed that he fumbled out of the end zone before the ball broke the plane.
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Re: Unluckiest single-season teams

Postby Todd Pence » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:06 am

The 1998 Seahawks also belong on this list. After a 3-0 start, they were plagued with a series of unbelievably snakebit losses. The coup de grace, of course, was the loss to the Jets on the Testaverde non-TD. The monsoon turnover-filled game in KC was also a lowlight of the year.
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