Five of the Greatest Ever NFL Teams
The NFL has produced some incredible teams since its inaugural season back in 1920. A previous few teams have gone unbeaten for an entire season, and we have seen players produce some unbelievable figures and statistics. The game has evolved during its 101-year history, but a handful of franchises from yesteryear would still compete in today’s game. We purposely avoided the recent past for this list of five of the greatest ever NFL teams. Which of your favorites are we missing?
1972 Miami Dolphins
Many readers of this site probably were not born when the 1972 Miami Dolphins became the first and the only team to win the Super Bowl with a perfect season. The Dolphins went 14-0 in the regular season, won all three postseason games before defeating the Washington Redskins 14-7 at Super Bowl VII.
The current Miami Dolphins is a team going through a transitional period which makes Dolphins fans wish they could see the 1972 team take to the field in the modern game. This team was the first name down on everyone’s weekend American football bets picks; they were that good.
Sure, the 1972 Dolphins had a -4.27 SOS (strength of schedule), meaning they had a slightly easier ride than most, but you still have to beat what is put in front of you.
Perhaps the most fantastic aspect of the 1972 season is the Dolphins achieved what they did with backup quarterback Earl Morrall pulling strings. Starting quarterback Bob Griese broke his ankle in Week 5, but Morrall guided the Dolphins to another nine victories.
Running backs Larry Csonka and Mercury Norris became the first teammates to each rush for 1,000 yards in a single season, while the Dolphins’ defensive unit was the best in the league. Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry labeled the Dolphins’ defense the “No-Name Defense” because the offense took all the plaudits.
1985 Chicago Bears
The 1985 Chicago Bears entered the season hoping to improve on their 10-6 record, and boy did they manage that. The bears went 15-1, with their only defeat coming at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers on Week 6.
Defense is what the Bears built the 1985 success on. It was the tightest in the NFL, allowing only 198 points in total for an average of a mere 12.4 points per game. Bears’ legendary defense, which allowed only 198 points, 4,135 yards, and enjoyed 54 takeaways, held the record until 2013 when the Seattle Seahawks accomplished better figures.
The 1985 Bears dismantled the New England Patriots 46-10 at Super Bowl XX, setting several Super Bowl records. These included the most points scored and the biggest winning margin.
1978 Pittsburgh Steelers
The 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers‘ defense was so solid that it earned the nickname “The Steel Curtain.” The Steelers started the 1978 campaign with seven straight victories, a franchise-best start that stood for 42 years. They also went on a five-game winning streak to end the season with a 14-2 record.
They defeated the Denver Broncos 33-10 in the Divisional Playoffs and the Houston Oilers 34-5 in the AFC Championship before winning Super Bowl XIII 35-31 against the Dallas Cowboys.
2007 New England Patriots
The 2007 New England Patriots almost equaled the 1972 Dolphins’ remarkable achievement of winning the Super Bowl after a perfect season. The team was rocked by the death of 24-year-old defensive end Marquise Hill and wore a black No. 91 decal on the backs of their helmets throughout the season. They did Hill proud and then some.
The Patriots went 16-0 during the regular season and were literally unstoppable. They breezed through the playoffs and AFC Championship before coming unstuck at Super Bowl XLII and losing 14-17 to the New York Giants in a shock defeat.
Had the Patriots won the Super Bowl, they would have had an excellent claim for being the best NFL team in history. As it stands, they fell short but were still an awe-inspiring outfit.
1992 Dallas Cowboys
The 1992 Dallas Cowboys had it all. A powerful offense and the NFL’s number one ranked defense despite fielding the youngest team the NFL had ever seen. The Cowboys went 13-3 during the regular season, a franchise-best, before blowing away the opposition during the postseason.
Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 34-10 in the Divisional Playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers 30-20 in the NFC Championship, before obliterating the Buffalo Bills 52-17 at Super Bowl XXVII.