There Are An Unusual Amount Of Bad Teams in the NFL This Year

Looking at the NFL standings, there is an interesting trend forming. Right now, 20 of the NFL's 32 teams have a record at or above .500. That is 63% of the league. There are three divisions who don't have a team with a losing record.

To feed wins to all those teams you need some really, really, really bad teams taking all the losses. That's the issue with the NFL this season. Detroit (0-11), Kansas City (1-10), Cincinnati (1-9-1), Seattle (2-9) and St. Louis (2-9) are a combined 6-48.

It is so bad that the freakin' Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have three wins apiece and the Denver Broncos can actually lead a division. The Arizona Cardinals have all but won their division already and will host a playoff game for the first time since 1947.

Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!Maybe this isn't unusual at all. Let's look back at the last five years to see how many teams finished the season with a record at 8-8 or better:

2007: 17 teams were at or over the .500 mark
2006: 20 teams, though only 12 teams finished with a winning record
2005: 18 teams
2004: 17 teams
2003: 16 teams

See, the 20 teams this year is rather high but not too far off the charts. What is off the charts are the amount of bad teams clogging up the drain.

Last year, only Miami and St. Louis finished the season with less than four wins. In 2006, only Oakland and Detroit did that. In 2005, it was Houston and Detroit. In 2004, only the 49ers had less than four wins. In 2003, there were none.

This year, you could probably expect the Lions, Bengals, Chiefs and either the Seahawks or Rams to finish below four wins. That would be more than double what we've had on average of late. We could also see the first 0-16 team in NFL history.

Why is this happening? Well injuries have played a major part. Those five bad teams have all seen their starting quarterbacks shut down for a period of time. But injuries happen all over the league: New England, Tampa Bay, Dallas and ... yes ... Tennessee have all seen their starting quarterbacks go down, too.

They are all just bad. If you factor in Steven Jackson's injuries and Larry Johnson's off-field antics, none of these teams have had a featured back. Their offensive lines have underperformed and the defenses have been just awful. The Rams have already changed their coach; the Seahawks will do so when the season ends; the Chiefs and Lions probably will. All have issues with their front offices and/or ownership.

In tough economic times, it's not good for the NFL to see so many teams this bad. Fans will stop going to the games, causing television blackouts and the apathy will continue. Just ask Lions fans.

There Are An Unusual Amount Of Bad Teams in the NFL This Year originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Wed, 26 Nov 2008 12:56:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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