One of the most radical NFL streaks remains intact: Thanks to the Washington Redskins, the league has now had a team go worst-to-first in its division for 10 straight years. (Parity!) We examined the streak in August, and I foolishly thought the Chiefs, Bucs and Bills were the strongest contenders in 2012 (though I said nice things about the Colts!).
The Redskins weren’t considered. Very few people thought highly of the Redskins in the preseason. Check out these ESPN preseason picks. Redskins nowhere to be found. Same with Sports Illustrated. If you need a reminder, there are no “experts.” We’re all just throwing darts, and some of us throw darts better than others. Sometimes.
Anyway, the 10 straight years of worst-to-first:
2003: Carolina Panthers (7-9)/Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
2004: Atlanta Falcons (5-11)/San Diego Chargers (4-12)
2005: Chicago Bears (5-11)/New York Giants (6-10)
2006: Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)/New Orleans Saints (3-13)/Baltimore Ravens (6-10)
2007: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
2008: Miami Dolphins (1-15)
2009: New Orleans Saints (8-8)
2010: Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)
2011: Houston Texans (6-10)
2012: Washington Redskins (5-11)
It’s much too early to make guesses for next year, given free agency and the draft and coaching/GM changes. But the last place teams:
There are eight months to get your predictions ready, but the guess here is the Browns, Chiefs, Eagles, Lions and Saints will be the most popular picks, with New Orleans – thanks to the return of Sean Payton – the overwhelming choice.