How Do 0-4 NFL Teams Finish the Season?

How Do 0-4 NFL Teams Finish the Season?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

On the way to a 3-14 season last year, the Chicago Bears opened the season with a 19-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Hope sprung eternal. A 27-10 loss the following week at Green Bay brought everyone back to earth, and a 23-20 home win the following week lifted some spirits – even if it was against the Houston Texans, who would finish 3-13-1. There was slight hope of checking the Bears’ playoff chances.

The rest of the season, the Bears went 1-12, but did lose five of those games by less than a touchdown. Yay! The team, however, didn’t get better as the season wore on: The final three games were all blowouts. Boo!

This year, there was again some hope in Chicago as coach Matt Eberflus returned for his second season and quarterback Justin Fields was back for his third. Maybe with Bears principal owner Virginia Halas McCaskey celebrating her 100th birthday this year, there would be a little Chicago Miracle at Soldier Field.

So far, however, the Bears have been Bearly watchable, grim news for Illinois sports betting. They kicked off the season with a 38-20 home loss to the Packers (what else is new?), but it was a Packers team missing Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre and Bart Starr. Losses at Tampa Bay and Kansas City were expected, but a Week 4 home loss to winless Denver, was a crusher. The Bears were up 28-7 with four minutes to go in the third quarter. Then two Russell Wilson touchdown passes and a Fields fumble, which was returned for a touchdown, led to 31-28 defeat on a 51-yard FG. Even a plate of Chicago sausages couldn’t give that kind of heartburn.

Now the Bears are 0-4 and have a quick turnaround on the road Thursday, against a decent Washington Commanders team coming off its own tough loss, on the road, against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. At BetMGM Sportsbook Illinois, the Bears are getting 5½ points and are +200 on the moneyline.

With things looking bleak, – your source for Illinois sportsbook promos - utilized data from to see how every 0-4 team over the past decade finished, and if their head coach was fired or retained for the following season.

How 0-4 Teams in NFL Have Finished in Last 10 Seasons

YearTeamFinal RecordHead Coach
2021Detroit Lions3-13-1Dan Campbell (Not Fired)
2021Jacksonville Jaguars3-14Urban Meyer (Fired)
2020Atlanta Falcons4-12Dan Quinn (Fired)
2020Houston Texans4-12Bill O’Brien (Fired)
2020New York Giants6-10Joe Judge (Not Fired)
2020New York Jets2-14Adam Gase (Fired)
2019Denver Broncos7-9Vic Fangio (Not Fired)
2019Washington3-13Jay Gruden (Fired)
2019Cincinnati Bengals2-14Zac Taylor (Not Fired)
2019Miami Dolphins5-11Brian Flores (Not Fired)
2019New York Jets7-9Adam Gase (Not Fired)
2018Arizona Cardinals3-13Steve Wilks (Fired)
2017San Diego Chargers9-7Anthony Lynn (Not Fired)
2017San Francisco 49ers6-10Kyle Shanahan (Not Fired)
2017New York Giants3-13Ben McAdoo (Fired)
2017Cleveland Browns0-16Hue Jackson (Not Fired)
2016Cleveland Browns1-15Hue Jackson (Not Fired)
2015Detroit Lions7-9Jim Caldwell (Not Fired)
2014Oakland Raiders3-13Dennis Allen (Fired)
2014Jacksonville Jaguars3-13Gus Bradley (Not Fired)
2013Tampa Bay Bucs4-12Greg Schiano (Fired)
2013Pittsburgh Steelers8-8Mike Tomlin (Not Fired)
2013New York Giants7-9Tom Coughlin (Not Fired)
2013 Jacksonville Jaguars4-13Gus Bradley (Not Fired)


Focusing on Rest of Bears’ Season

The good news for Chicago is that the Lions are the only team on the remaining schedule that presently has a winning record – in addition to four games against 1-3 teams, the Bears also get the 0-4 Carolina Panthers. Another small cause for optimism is that the Lions started 0-4 in 2021 and last year started 1-6 before winning eight of their final 10 after their bye week to just miss the playoffs. Progress is possible.

The bad news is that over the past decade, 24 NFL teams have started the season 0-4 and not one has made the playoffs. Only one team, the 2017 Chargers, finished above .500. Teams that start 0-4 do so for a reason. They’re not good.

More bad news: Until he fumbled, Fields was having a solid game against the Denver defense – then again, Miami put up 70 on that defense the week before. So far this season, Fields has thrown for 7 TDs but committed 7 TOs (5 interceptions and two fumbles). That’s not going to get it done.

The news isn’t much better for the head coaches of 0-4 teams. More than a third are looking for work at the end of the season. Here is a look at the NFL coaches on the firing line.



Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the Illinois casino and sports betting market for Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of

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