On This Day: Detroit Lions End Season with Historically bad 0-16 Record

The Detroit Lions ended the 2008 season with a historic 0-16 record, becoming the first team in NFL history to go winless in a 16-game season, sharing the “honor” with only the Cleveland Browns, who went 0-16 in 2017. The Lions finished last in the NFC North division in 2008 and had the worst record in the league.

The team struggled on both sides, ranking last in the league in points scored and allowed. The offense struggled to put points on the board, averaging just 16.8 points per game, and the defense struggled to stop their opponents, giving up a league-worst 32.3 points per game.

“It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing to the city, it's embarrassing to the organization, it's embarrassing to the players, it's embarrassing to the coaches. It's just embarrassing.” – Lions president Tom Lewand

0-16 Record,Detroit Lions

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky led the team in passing with 1,616 yards and eight touchdowns but also threw eight interceptions. Running back Kevin Smith was the leading rusher with 976 yards and eight touchdowns. Calvin Johnson was the leading receiver with 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“It's a tough pill to swallow. It's something that no one in this organization ever wanted to be a part of, and unfortunately we are. It's something that we'll have to live with for the rest of our lives.” – Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson

Statistical Breakdown of the Lions' 0-16 Record Season

Below is a breakdown of the Lions' stats for the 2008 season:

0-16 Record,Detroit Lions

As shown in the table above, the Lions ranked last or near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. They had the worst scoring offense and defense and ranked near the bottom in total offense and defense, rushing offense and defense, and passing offense and defense.

Reactions to the Lions' 0-16 Season

0-16 Record,Detroit Lions

The Lions' 0-16 season was met with widespread criticism and disappointment. Fans and media members were frustrated with the team's poor performance and lack of progress. Head coach Rod Marinelli and his staff were fired after the season, and the team underwent a complete overhaul, bringing in new leadership and personnel.

“I don't think anyone in this locker room wanted to go 0-16. I don't think anyone wanted to be a part of history like that. But it happened, and we have to live with it.” – Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky

Worst record in NFL history?

Despite the historic and embarrassing season, the Lions were able to bounce back and turn their fortunes around in the following years. They made the playoffs in 2011, 2014, and 2016 and are in the hunt in 2022 after starting 1-6. However, the 2008 season will always be remembered as a low point in the team's history and as a reminder of the importance of consistent and strong performance in the competitive world of the NFL.