We can only hope the worst is over for the Jaguars, that they’ll never again be as Horrifically Bad as they were from the second half of Week 1 through the first half of Week 3. But with a rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles, now running the offense, you can never been 100 percent sure.
To summarize the Jags’ miseries:
They lost the second half to the Eagles, 34-0.
Then they lost the game to the Redskins, 41-10.
Then they lost the first half to the Colts, 30-0.
Add it all up and you get: Other Guys 105, Jacksonville 10 — a point differential of minus-95 in the equivalent of two games.
Any idea how many NFL teams have been outscored by that many points over a two-game span? Answer: one (since 1940, at least).
Indeed, I turned up just 10 in the last 75 seasons who were minus-80 or worse over a two-week stretch. (Wish I could broaden it to eight-quarter stretches like the Jaguars’, but the search engine at pro-football-reference.com doesn’t let me to do that.)
Anyway, here are the Terrible Ten:
WORST POINT DIFFERENTIAL IN A TWO-GAME STRETCH SINCE 1940
|1-2||1961 Raiders (2-12)||0||99||-99|
|1-2||1973 Saints (5-9)||10||102||-92|
|6-7||1966 Falcons (3-11)||10||100||-90|
|8-9||1949 N.Y. Bulldogs (1-10-1)||20||107||-87|
|13-14||2000 Browns (3-13)||7||92||-85|
|7-8||1966 Falcons (3-11)||20||105||-85|
|1-2||1989 Steelers (9-7)||10||92||-82|
|5-6||2009 Titans (8-8)||9||90||-81|
|1-2||1978 Colts (5-11)||0||80||-80|
|4-5||1966 Eagles (9-5)||17||97||-80|
What’s fascinating is that several of these teams bounced back after hitting bottom. The ’89 Steelers actually made the playoffs — and beat the Oilers in the first round. In fact, they nearly made it to the AFC title game, dropping a 24-23 heartbreaker to the Broncos in the semifinals. (And Denver, of course, reached the Super Bowl.)
Also, the ’66 Eagles finished 9-5, and the ’09 Titans won eight of their last 10 with Vince Young at quarterback to end up 8-8.
FYI: The ’66 Falcons were a first-year expansion team, so they can almost be excused. Still, that was a wicked three weeks they had, getting blown out 44-7 by the 49ers, 56-3 by Vince Lombardi’s Packers and 49-17 by the Browns.
Finally, a word about the ’61 Raiders: After beginning the season with back-to-back humiliations of 55-0 (Oilers) and 44-0 (Chargers), they fired coach Eddie Erdelatz and promoted offensive assistant Marty Feldman, “whose only prior head coaching was for Valley Junior College and the Stanford Frosh,” the Oakland Tribune reported.
I know what you’re thinking. But, no, it’s not this Marty Feldman, the guy who played Igor in Young Frankenstein:
It’s this Marty Feldman:
Two years later, Al Davis arrived on the scene, and Pride and Poise quickly replaced 55-0 and 44-0. If only the Jaguars could find an Al Davis of their own.