Loser take all
Bengals become decade's first 100-game loser
Posted: Monday October 04, 1999 02:22 PM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
It was called the battle for the basement. And after the Cincinnati Bengals' performance Sunday against the Rams, boy have they earned it.
With the 38-10 loss to St. Louis, the Bengals became the first NFL team this decade to reach 100 losses. In doing so, Cincinnati also became the losingest team of the '90s.
Cincinnati, out of the gates at 0-4, has a winning percentage of .324 in the '90s. Even with the 3-0 start, the Los Angeles/St. Louis franchise is only a shade better at .327.
Those winning percentages would be the third- and fourth-worst decades since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, if the season ended today -- behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the '80s (.299) and the New Orleans Saints of the '70s (.306).
But even if the Bengals finish 0-16, they can't catch Tampa Bay for the worst decade since the NFL-AFL merger.
The Bucs won only 45 games in the 10-year span, losing 10 or more games in each of the final seven years of the decade (as well as the first five of the '90s). If Cincinnati loses all of its games, the Bengals will have a winning percentage of .300 for the decade.After all, the Bengals haven't had a winning season since 1990 (9-7, their only playoff appearance of the decade) and have four 3-13 seasons in the last eight years.
The Rams, meanwhile, have only had one non-double-digit losing season this decade -- 1995, when the team went 7-9 in their first season in St. Louis. They haven't made the playoffs since 1989 -- only the Seahawks have a longer streak.
In fact, the Rams are the only team (not counting the 4-year-old Baltimore Ravens) not to have a winning season in the '90s, even with the 4-0 start in 1995. And St. Louis' start this season is only the second time this decade the team has been 2-0.
Cincinnati, however, has lost the season's first three games for the fourth time in the '90s.
Amazingly, both the Rams and Bengals have been outscored by nearly the same amount of points this decade.
Entering this season, the Rams scored 2,578 points in the '90s and allowed 3,348 -- a difference of 770 points. The Bengals scored 2,704 points and allowed 3,476 -- a difference of 772.
In 1999, though, the teams have little in common. St. Louis has allowed 27 points; the Bengals 135.