Data Points: Who is the worst team of the 2000s?

On Thursday we looked at the best teams of the 2000s, with some decent arguments on whether the Patriots or Steelers were the dominant team of this era. Even the Colts got some run.

Today, it’s the worst teams since 2000, also a two-horse race. Surprise, surprise: The Bills and Lions didn’t make the playoffs during the decade. In fact, the last playoff appearance for each franchise was back in 1999.

The closest Buffalo has come to reaching the postseason was 2004, when they simply needed to beat a Steelers team with nothing to play for in Week 17 to get in. The Steelers’ backups played hard, the Bills laid a huge egg, and the loss became the final chapter of the Drew Bledsoe era in Buffalo.

The Lions’ closest shave was 2000, when coach Bobby Ross quit in the middle of the season and Gary Moeller took over a 5-4 team and guided them to a 9-7 finish. That club also lost its season finale, falling to the Bears, 23-20, when Paul Edinger kicked a 54-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation. That kick cost Detroit a playoff berth — but who knew it would be the closest the franchise would get to the postseason in a long time?

— Elliot Harrison

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