What teams have had the most winning and losing seasons since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule for the 1978 season? Who has finished with what record the most times? This will look at each team’s seasons from 1978 through 2017 (not counting the strike-shortened 1982 and 1987 seasons) to find out.
Most common record and NFL Bingo
The table below takes a look at which teams have finished with what record the most amount of times since the 1978 season.
|Record||Team||# of times|
|0-16||Browns (2017), Lions (2008)||1|
|1-15||*10 different teams||1|
|11-5||Eagles, Patriots, Steelers||6|
|15-1||*6 different teams||1|
*10 teams are: Browns (2016), Chargers (2000), Colts (1991), Cowboys (1989), Dolphins (2007), Jets (1996), Panthers (2001), Patriots (1990), Rams (2009), Saints (1980)
*6 teams are: 49ers (1984), Bears (1985), Packers (2011), Panthers (2015), Steelers (2004), Vikings (1998)
Out of the seven teams to finish 15-1 or 16-0, only two won the Super Bowl that year
Since 1978, there have only been six 15-1 seasons, with two coming in back-to-back seasons in 1984 and 1985
The Patriots are the only team to go 16-0, on top of being one of 10 teams to go 1-15
The Panthers are the only team to have been both 15-1 and 1-15
Browns are the only team to be both 1-15 and 0-16, which they did in back-to-back seasons
Since the 1978 season, every NFL team is between three and eight spots away from hitting NFL Bingo. This means that they would have finished with each possible record in a 16-game schedule at least once.
The farthest away are the newest team, the Houston Texans at eight. They would need to have seasons of 0-16, 1-15, 3-13, 11-5, 13-3, 14-2, 15-1 and 16-0 to hit NFL Bingo. In contrast, the Indianapolis Colts are the closest team, only needing to finish at 0-16, 15-1 and 16-0.
The NFL’s biggest winners and losers in the 16-game era
The stacked column chart below shows the number of times each team has finished with a winning, losing or even record in the 16-game era. It is sort by winning record with the Patriots (28) being first and the Texans (6) being last.
In the 38 non-strike shortened NFL seasons since the 16-game era started, 13 teams have finished with a winning record at least half of that time against the total seasons they have played.
*The Colts (18 winning-16 losing), Titans (18-15), Redskins (17-16) and Chargers (16-15) all have had more winning seasons than losing ones. The other 15 NFL teams all have had more losing than winning seasons.
Win record against total seasons
The stacked column chart below shows the number of times each team has finished with a winning, losing or even record in the 16-game era. It is sorted by losing record.
In contrast, there have been 13 teams who have finished with a losing record at least half the time in the total seasons they have played in the 16-game era.
Least amount of losing and winning seasons
Only six teams have managed to have less than 10 losing seasons since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule. Although two of these, the Ravens and the Texans, are newer franchises. In contrast, only five teams have less than 10 winning seasons but three are also newer franchises.
|Teams||# of losing seasons|
|Teams||# of winning seasons|
The most .500 records and ties
The Buccaneers have had the least .500 seasons, only have finished 8-8 once in the last 38 seasons. In contrast, the Broncos have the most 8-8 seasons, having done so eight times. This is on top of Denver having the least losing seasons and the third most winning ones.
Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule, there have been 18 times that a regular season game has ended in a tied game. 20 of the 32 teams have had a tie in this period, with the Eagles accounting for the most with four.
The most common record teams have finished with when having a tie has been 8-7-1, followed by 10-5-1. The Dolphins (1981) and 49ers (2012) finished 11-4-1, while the Giants (1983) finished 3-12-1.
|Record||# of times|
Sources and Info:
All graphs and tables made using Google Spreadsheet