Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Best Winning & Worst Losing Streaks in Sports

This past week, the Cleveland Browns won their first regular season football game in nearly two years, breaking a winless streak that dated back to December 2016 in the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Snapping that streak had us curious about some of the best and worst streaks in American professional sports. We’ve left out MLS due to draws being commonplace, but here are a couple streaks to cheer (or cry) about.

Best NFL Winning Streak
Who else but the New England Patriots could hold the title of longest winning streak in the NFL? Starting in 2003, the Pats rattled off 21 straight wins before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers the following season, more than a year after losing their last game. We don’t imagine their fans were too upset about it.

Worst NFL Losing Streak
At the height of World War II, the listless Chicago Cardinals lost a whopping 29 straight games before finally beating the Chicago Bears in 1945 to break their losing streak. Second place goes to the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who lost 26 straight games before recording two wins in their second season in existence.

Best MLB Winning Streak
We almost had a new league record set for consecutive wins last season by the Cleveland Indians, who won a mind-boggling 22 victories before losing towards the end of the season. The all-time record stands with the 1916 New York Giants, who achieved 26 wins with a few unofficial ties thrown in.

Photo credit: si.com

Worst MLB Losing Streak 
Who remembers the mighty Colonels of Louisville? You have to go all the way back to 1889 to find MLB’s worst losing streak, which tallies in at 26 games. The Colonels only won 27 of a possible 138 games that year, and finally broke their streak by beating the St. Louis Browns. The closest we’ve seen in modern baseball was the 2005 Kansas City Royals, who lost 19 straight games. Ten years later, they washed that bad taste from their mouths with a World Series championship.

Best NBA Winning Streak
Photo credit: turner.com
The 1971 Los Angeles Lakers ran away with 33 straight victories for a dominating final season record of 69-13. They haven’t been bested, but teams have come close. The Golden State Warriors ended their first championship season run earlier this decade with four regular season victories and followed it up the next year with 24 straight for 28 total wins for the best overall season record at 73-9 in the 2015-2016 season.

Photo credit: abcnews.com
Worst NBA Losing Streak 
You only need look back the 2014 and 2015 seasons to find the NBA record for longest losing streak. The Philadelphia 76ers finished the 2014 campaign and opened the 2015 campaign with a combined 28 losses. They bested their own single season record of 26 games, which happened in 2013 and tied the 2010 Cavaliers for the then-longest streak. Sixers fans have been able to “trust the system” as the team is now a playoff contender.

Best NHL Winning Streak
The 1993 Pittsburgh Penguins were a team to behold, even after coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. The team won a staggering 17 straight games before ending their streak with a 6-6 tie to the New Jersey Devils. The 2017 Columbus Blue Jackets nearly bested them, winning 16 in a row before a loss in a shootout.

Worst NHL Losing Streak 
Just one year before the Penguins’ amazing run, the 1992 San Jose Sharks matched their win total with a 17-game losing streak, a mark which was initially set by the 1974 Washington Capitals.

Best WNBA Winning Streak
Photo credit: stack.com
The Lisa Leslie-led Los Angeles Sparks (say that five times fast) of 2001 dominated their competition for 18 straight games on their way to a complete dismantling of the playoff field and a second straight league championship.

Worst WNBA Losing Streak
The 2011 Tulsa Shock lost 20 straight times before their fortunes turned with a win. The team would battle through four more tough seasons before finding their footing, making the playoffs and surprisingly relocating to Dallas to become the Wings.

With the Browns finally winning a game, another shot at the record books has ended. Here’s hoping we see some more great teams in the coming seasons (and fewer bad teams). Do you think any NFL team has a shot at going undefeated this year and potentially challenging the Patriots record? Will we see another team go 0-16 this year? Sound off in the comments below.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Game Bibs’ 2018 NFL Predictions

We’re not sure even Nostradamus could have predicted the way the 2017 NFL season panned out. A surprise Philadelphia squad surged their way into the playoffs and won the championship despite losing their young, exciting franchise quarterback to a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Vikings turned heads with a backup quarterback of their own, which gave us an offseason quarterback carousel that’s only just settling. Who can forget the Jacksonville Jaguars and their stout defense that nearly made it to the Super Bowl? Put on your prediction caps as we give our picks for top teams in 2018.

Can we safely pick the Eagles to come out on top in the East? The Giants clarified their contract issues with Odell Beckham, Washington picked up a proven leader in Alex Smith, and the Cowboys are young and hungry. If Carson Wentz makes a healthy comeback around the quarter mark of the season, however, we think you can put your bets on the Eagles.

If Aaron Rodgers is healthy, you can never count out Green Bay. The team may have lost Jordy Nelson from their receiving corps, but they stabilized their tight end group with Jimmy Graham and other solid veterans. Khalil Mack running wild in Chicago won’t mean an easy road for the likes of Rodgers, Matt Stafford, or Kirk Cousins, however. We see the Packers eeking out a few close victories over Detroit and Minnesota to take the division.

Last season feels like a bit of a rarity with three teams all finishing near the top of the table. Unless Drew Brees finds Tom Brady’s Fountain of Youth, this is likely Atlanta’s division to lose. We’re betting the Falcons come out on top after a few tough divisional games.

Los Angeles signed Aaron Donald to a massive contract, solidifying their defensive line for the near future. We’re picking the Rams to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.

All of their competitors made some nice draft picks and signings, but this division is, yet again, owned by the Patriots and their ageless quarterback. It won’t be close in 2018.

The ongoing Le’Veon Bell talks in Pittsburgh have us wondering what the Steelers can patch together if their star running back holds out well into the season. There’s also the question of whether or not his team wants him there. Maybe they only win 11 games this year, but Baltimore wins 11 as well. It could come down to a late-season showdown between the two teams, with the Ravens prevailing in nail biting fashion.

Jacksonville, often the doormat of the league, is out to prove they’re a sustainable, legitimate contender in the AFC. A near upset of New England in last season’s conference championship has people believing, but the return of Andrew Luck likely gives the Colts a fighting shot in the division. Don’t forget about the sneaky Titans, either. We think the Jaguars will come out just one win above their trailing teams for the division crown.

The Chiefs have moved on from Alex Smith and are entrusting their offense to young, dynamic Patrick Mahomes. Can he sustain the Kung Fu grip they’ve had on the division lately, or will the Chargers or Raiders bounce back and take the division? We see the Chargers surging back to prominence and claiming the AFC West.

Thus concludes our infallible look at which teams will reach the postseason in 2018. Given how last season’s playoffs went, we won’t even begin to guess which teams will make the Wild Card round or score an upset victory. What do you think will happen this season? Let us know in the comments below, and we hope to see a few of you in your bibs cheering from the stands!