12 Worst NFL Offensive Performances of All Time

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(AP Photo/David Richard)
Sam Herder @SamHerderFCS Mar 21, 2022, 3:43 AM

When it comes to online sports betting, one of the most popular NFL bets is over/under total points. That way, you can root for both teams when they have the ball and just cheer for every score.

With that said, few things are more frustrating than watching a struggling offense in a game where you took the over. A bad offensive game in the NFL looks something like less than 200 total yards and less than 10 points.

But those types of games are nothing compared to the offensive showings we’re about to dive into here.

Behold, the worst offensive performances by total yardage in NFL history:

Chicago Cardinals – 1955

Total Yards: 55

The Chicago Cardinals, now known as the Arizona Cardinals, had a rough showing against Philadelphia in a 27-3 loss. The Cardinals ran for 61 yards and threw for 48 yards but lost 60 yards on seven sacks.

Buffalo Bills – 1971

Total Yards: 49

In a 43-0 loss against the Baltimore Colts, Buffalo managed to throw for 121 yards. The rushing attack gained just four yards on 11 attempts. But pass protection was an issue, to say the least. The Bills allowed nine sacks for 76 lost yards.

Chicago Bears – 2021

Total Yards: 47

The Chicago Bears recorded only six first downs and 47 total yards of offense in a 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 3 of the 2021 season.

Justin Fields went 6-for-20 for 68 yards and was sacked nine times as the Bears had the second-lowest yardage total in franchise history.

Houston Texans – 2002

Total Yards: 47

Somehow, someway, the Texans defeated Pittsburgh 24-6 in this game. Pittsburgh ran 95 plays to Houston’s 40, had a 422-47 total yards advantage, passed for 294 yards to Houston’s 10, and ran for 128 yards to Houston’s 37.

But the Steelers turned the ball over five times, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Kenny Wright scored on a 40-yard fumble return, and Aaron Glenn had two pick-sixes of 70 yards and 65 yards. The lone offensive score for the Texans was a Kris Brown 43-yard field goal.

Atlanta Falcons – 1976

Total Yards: 44

The Falcons lost 15-0 to San Francisco in this game, passing for 46 yards and rushing for 83 yards. Atlanta allowed an astounding 85 yards in sacks.

Cleveland Browns – 1999

Total Yards: 40

In a 43-0 loss to Pittsburgh, Cleveland ran for only nine yards on nine attempts. The passing game totaled 52 yards, with nine yards allowed in sacks.

Green Bay Packers – 1976

Total Yards: 36

Green Bay allowed 80 yards in sacks in this 28-7 loss to Cincinnati. The offense totaled 71 yards on the ground while adding another 45 yards through the air.

Denver Broncos – 1966

Total Yards: 26

Denver quarterbacks really struggled in this one. Mickey Slaughter went 0-for-7 passing while John McCormick went 2-of-13 for -1 yards. The Broncos ran for just 33 yards in this 45-7 loss to the Houston Oilers while giving up six yards in sacks.

Cleveland Browns – 2004

Total Yards: 26

In a 37-7 loss to Buffalo, Cleveland quarterbacks Luke McCown and Jeff Garcia went a combined 9-for-21 for 67 yards while losing 70 yards in sacks. The Browns mustered just 29 yards rushing.

Chicago Bears – 1981

Total Yards: 24

The Bears ran for 44 yards and threw for 71 yards in this 23-7 loss to Detroit. Chicago lost 61 yards in sacks.

Denver Broncos – 1967

Total Yards: -5

Yes, that’s a negative sign before that 5. In a 51-0 loss to Oakland, the Broncos completed two passes for 17 yards. The backfield managed only 48 yards rushing, and the offensive line gave up 70 yards in sacks.

Seattle Seahawks – 1979

Total Yards: -7

“Thank you,” said the 1967 Broncos after the 1979 Seahawks had a -7-yard offensive performance in a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle threw for 25 yards and rushed for 23 yards but lost 55 yards in sacks.

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About the Author

Sam Herder

Read More @SamHerderFCS

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a football writer for BetMGM and the Senior FCS Analyst for BetMGM affiliate HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.