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Longest NFL streaks often focus on losers

Dec 16, 2008 5:06 PM
Feist Facts by Jim Feist |

Looking at NFL streaks, the thing that stood out was that Indianapolis was the only team with a winning streak over 5.

There were two teams with losing streaks at least that long – St. Louis at 7 and the toothless Detroit Lions at 13. The lesson is obvious: It’s far more difficult to win in pro football than it is to lose.

The Raiders (2-5 ATS run) and Rams (1-5 ATS) are examples of teams not giving 100 percent. The Raiders are double-digit losers for the sixth straight season. The Rams were outscored 216-73 during their seven-game slide.

Note that teams having dismal seasons will get fired up to face the league’s best, especially at home. It can help ease the pain of a disappointing season. Everyone wants a shot at knocking off the best.

The Rams started 0-4 SU/ATS, but in a home game against the talented Cowboys, the Rams won 34-14 as a big dog. Later on they lost back-to-back games to mediocre teams, the 49ers and Bears, by scores of 35-16 and 27-3.

Everyone had been trying to knock off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants until the Cleveland Browns did it on national TV, 35-14 – a rare bright spot in a tough season.

Last year was unique for powerhouses, with the Packers and Cowboys starting 10-1 and the Patriots going 16-0. You may recall the 4-7 Ravens dominating the 11-0 Pats on Monday night as a +19 dog, playing with fire before a last second 27-24 defeat.

Taking out their frustrations on a powerhouse team is not uncommon and can offer line value. The Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 last season to a playoff contender.

Both parity and the salary cap have leveled the playing field and schedules are longer, all of which makes it that much harder to dominate or go undefeated.

The 1962 Green Bay Packers enjoyed a 10-0 start on the way to a 13-1 season, ending in a 16-7 win in the championship game over the Giants as one of Vince Lombardi’s best teams. They came close to running the table, except for a surprising Thanksgiving Day loss to Detroit, 26-14 (trailing 26-0 to the fired up Lions).

The 1985 Bears held 11 opponents to 10 points or less and started 12-0 SU, 10-1-1 ATS. They looked unstoppable, until losing 38-24 in a Monday night game at Miami.

The 2005 Colts started a sizzling 13-0 SU, 9-4-1 ATS until injuries cropped up. NFL Davids are gunning for Goliath even at this time of the season.