If you're the sort who who enjoys a certain predictability in life, then the Detroit Lions are the type of team that will bring you a measure of comfort in an orderly universe.
While NFL franchises' fortunes rise and fall influenced by the draft, free agency, scheduling and the bounce of the odd-shaped ball, the Lions keep plugging along, a model of consistency. The problem, of course, is that they are consistently terrible.
At this early stage of the season, three teams seem to be breaking away from the pack as the absolute worst teams in the NFL (there are honorable mentions) and the Lions are right there again. Detroit slipped to 0-3 with a 31-13 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Of course, the lightning rod for Detroit's chronic woes is team president Matt Millen. The Lions are 31-84 since Millen joined the team in 2001. Even club vice chairman Bill Ford has said that he would fire Millen he could. However, Bill Ford's father, William Clay Ford, has final say and for reasons known only to him has stuck with Millen.
But along with Detroit, the other two "worst" candidates are Kansas City and St. Louis. All three of these teams are 0-3 and all have credentials that earn them a stake in claiming to be the worst in the NFL. Admittedly, It's a tough call. The Lions have fallen behind by nearly three touchdowns in all three losses so their fans' Sundays have pretty much been over by halftime (OK, they had a brief rally against Green Bay but still lost by 23 points). The Rams have been outscored an incredible 116 to 29. And the Chiefs managed to lose to the chaotic mess known as the Oakland Raiders where the coach goes to work every day wondering if Al Davis has changed the locks on him.
After the dead heat that is Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis, there are three other winless teams. Two Ravens divisional foes, Cincinnati and Cleveland, are both 0-3 (they also account for Baltimore's 2-0 record). And Houston has looked as inept as usual with an 0-2 start and would be a "worst" candidate except that the unexpected hurricane bye week left them with one fewer loss than their challengers. But it's a long season.