The Detroit Lions will play an extra game in 2021 thanks to the NFL recently expanding its yearly schedule to include 17 regular-season games. That additional contest for the Lions will be on the road against the Denver Broncos.
It’s the first time since 1978 that the NFL has changed the number of games during the regular season, jumping from 14 contests per year to 16 over four decades ago. And during the 16-game era, the Lions have suffered from a severe lack of success.
Fans of the Pride are well aware of the postseason struggles by their beloved franchise, not having notched a playoff victory since 1992. Prior to that, the Lions hadn’t won a game in the postseason since 1957, which was even before the Super Bowl era began.
But a recent graphic tweeted out by Kendall Baker of Axios Sports reveals just how bad the Lions have been during the 16-game era. In fact, they have lost more games and recorded the worst winning percentage over that 43-year span than any other franchise in the NFL.
Having posted a record of 268 wins, 410 losses, and two ties, the Lions recorded the NFL’s worst winning percentage (.396) between the years of 1978-2020. During that 43-year span, Detroit had a season-ending record of 8-8 or better only 14 times. Four of those winning seasons took place over the last decade.
There have also been four expansion teams added to the league during the 16-game era. Those franchises being the Baltimore Ravens, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Texans, and the Carolina Panthers. All of whom were able to more successful than Detroit during this span.
It’s a sobering thought for longtime fans of the Detroit Lions as the team now enters yet another rebuilding period this offseason after the firing of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia last November. During their three-year reign together in the Motor City, Quinn and Patricia only made things worse when it came to overall winning percentage, leading Detroit to a 14-33-1 record (.302).