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Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and the Longest Losing Streaks to Start a Season

The 2014-15 Philadelphia 76ers Hit The Record Book, And Not In A Good Way. They Have Lost Their First 12 Games (So Far).

The 2014-15 Philadelphia 76ers Hit The Record Book, And Not In A Good Way. They Have Lost Their First 12 Games (So Far).

The Philadelphia 76ers head to Madison Square Garden tonight to face off against the (almost equally woeful) New York Knicks.

The Sixers are carrying with them an 0-12 record; they’re on a 12-game losing streak to open the season – the fourth longest of its kind in NBA history.

The top three teams all achieved “greater” marks in their inaugural seasons. At least there is some excuse there.

If Philly loses again tonight, they’d have the worst start to a season ever for a franchise not in its first year. Then again, they are facing the 3-10 Knicks. Anything can happen.

As it is, the Sixers are just three more consecutive losses away from tying the 1970-71 Cleveland Cavaliers and the one-season Denver Nuggets of 1949-50 for second with 15 losses to open a year.

The top mark – quite the contradiction of recent times – is held by the Miami Heat. They lost 17 in a row breaking in 1988-89. Seems like a very long time ago.

Here’s every losing streak of 10 or more (no one lost exactly 10 in a row) to start a season.

TEAM SEASON LOSING STREAK FINAL RECORD SEASON?
1. Miami Heat 1988-89 17 15-67 1st season
2. Denver Nuggets (DEF) 1949-50 15 11-51 1st season
2. Cleveland Cavaliers 1970-71 15 15-67 1st season
4. Denver Nuggets 1997-98 12 11-71 22nd season*
4. Washington Wizards 2012-13 12 29-53 52nd season
4. Philadelphia 76ers 2014-15 (Active) 12 TBD 66th season
7. New Orleans Jazz 1974-75 11 23-59 1st season

* NBA seasons only. ABA not included.

Photo: rantsports.com

NFL: Best Teams That Failed to Make the Postseason (11-Win Teams)

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season With A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record - But No Postseason

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season Thanks To A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record – But No Postseason

Pretty, pretty rare. That’s how often an NFL team has failed to make the postseason with 11 wins.

More specifically, five times since the playoffs were introduced in 1933 – and only twice since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978.

What about a 10-6 record? There must be plenty of teams that failed to make the postseason with that record over the past 36* completed seasons. Even teams that are 9-7 make the postseason here and there. Well, sort of.

According to my source for today’s post, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just 21 teams won 10 games during this period and missed the playoffs. That averages out to a little more than one team (1.17) every other year.

Now, what about 2014? What is going on out there?

The same, and the opposite, too.

The AFC North’s worst record right now is 6-4. Another six AFC teams have at least that record. The NFC’s chances of producing a 10- or 11-win no-berth team are slimmer, but existent.

Meanwhile, look at the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons are tied for first at 4-6. One of those teams might join quite the contrary list of worst teams to make the postseason.

TEAM SEASON W-L RECORD
1. Detroit Lions 1962 11-3
2. Green Bay Packers 1963 11-2-1
3. Baltimore Colts 1967 11-1-2
4. Denver Broncos 1985 11-5
5. New England Patriots 2008 11-5

* including 1987, which was a 15-game, strike/replacement-player season, and 1982, which was a nine-game, strike-shortened season; not including current season (2014).

Photo: boston.sportsthenandnow.com

NFL: Worst Teams to Make the Postseason (.500 or Losing Record)

Matt Hasselbeck Steered The 2010 Seattle Seahawks To A 7-9 Record...And The Postseason

Matt Hasselbeck Steered The 2010 Seattle Seahawks To A 7-9 Record…And The Postseason

Will the NFC South produce a playoff team with a losing record this year? If so, it would be only the second time – since 1920 – that has happened during a full season.

Right now, the very shaky New Orleans Saints top the South with a 4-5 record. The Carolina Panthers are next at 3-5-1, followed closely by the 3-6 Atlanta Falcons.

And as of now, the one and only team to make the playoffs with a losing record was the 2010 Seattle Seahawks. They won the NFC West with a 7-9 mark and even made it to their second round.

The strike-shortened 1982 season also produced an under-.500 playoff team, the Cleveland Browns. Only nine games were played that season, however.

What about a .500 record? Another 10 teams got in at 8-8.

That’s it. All together, in all those playoff rounds (and plain old title games from the start) over all those years, only 12 teams (including the technically-included ’82 Browns) have made the postseason with a record of 8-8 or worse.

And none of those made it past their second round.

So much for just hoping your team makes the playoffs, regardless of its record. Things don’t exactly work out.

SEASON TEAM W-L PLACE PLAYOFF SLOT FINAL POSTSEASON RESULT
1. 1982^ Cleveland Browns 4-5 3rd AFC Central WC3 Lost Wild Card Round to Los Angeles Raiders
2. 1985 Cleveland Browns 8-8 1st AFC Central DW Lost Division Round to Miami Dolphins**
3. 1990 New Orleans Saints 8-8 2nd NFC West WC3 Lost Wild Card Round to Chicago Bears
4. 1991 New York Jets 8-8 2nd AFC East WC3 Lost Wild Card Round to Houston Oilers
5. 1999 Dallas Cowboys 8-8 2nd NFC East WC2 Lost Wild Card Round to Minnesota Vikings
6. 1999 Detroit Lions 8-8 3rd NFC Central WC3 Lost Wild Card Round to Washington Redskins
7. 2004 Minnesota Vikings 8-8 2nd NFC North WC2 Lost Division Round to Philadelphia Eagles*
8. 2004 St. Louis Rams 8-8 2nd NFC West WC1 Lost Division Round to Atlanta Falcons*
9. 2006 New York Giants 8-8 3rd NFC East WC2 Lost Wild Card Round to Philadelphia Eagles
10. 2008 San Diego Chargers 8-8 1st AFC West DW Lost Division Round to Pittsburgh Steelers*
11. 2010 Seattle Seahawks 7-9 1st NFC West DW Lost Division Round to Chicago Bears*
12. 2011 Denver Broncos 8-8 1st AFC West DW Lost Division Round to New England Patriots*

DW = Division Winner, WC = Wild Card

^ Strike-shortened season

* Won first round, lost second round

** First round was a bye, lost second round

Photo: Otto Greule Jr, Getty via zimbio.com

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