After five weeks and five losses, there have been a litany of reporters, bloggers, and fans who are asking the same question: "Can the Buffalo Bills really go 0-16?"
To answer that question, I looked at the only two teams to go winless since the AFL-NFL merger: the 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16) and the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976 (0-14). Here's how each team has fared through five games:
2010 Buffalo Bills
The current incarnation of the Bills is currently doing OK on offense. While they have a -74 point differential through five games, the offense has scored a decent average of 17.4 points per game. The true Achilles heel of this team is the defense, which has allowed 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time in team history, and 296 yards or more of total offense in every game this year. The Bills have also given up six turnovers while forcing only four, a net of -2. Next up: Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
2007 Detroit Lions
The Lions were actually six weeks into the season when they got their fifth loss. The Lions were moderately successful on the offensive side of the ball in their first five games, averaging 252.8 yards of offense and scoring 15.2 points per game. Their defense was their stumbling block, allowing an average of 31.8 points and over 421 yards per game. They were outscored by 83 points and were -4 in turnovers. Next up: Houston Texans (1-4)
1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 1976 Bucs were awful from the start. In their first five games, they were shut out three times and were averaging 5.6 points per game on offense. They were actually +1 in turnover margin after five games, but averaged 172.4 yards of offense; allowing twice as many defensively is not a recipe for success. Neither is being outscored 120-26. This team's offense was historically bad, which is not the case for the Bills. Next up: Seattle Seahawks (0-5)
Of these teams, the Bills have the best point differential, yardage differential, and most points scored through five games. They also have the worst points allowed (32.2) per game.