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NFL

What is the best NFL regular season record, which team got it?

As the NFL moves into Week 17, the Green Bay Packers have the best record in the NFL at 12-3. We take a look at the best season records in history

Update:
Dec 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler IIUSA TODAY Sports

The gold standard for any season is the undefeated record. Most recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers made it to 11-0 in the 2020 season, before finishing up 12-4 and losing the Wild Card game. The Carolina Panthers came very close in 2015 with a 14-0 start, before they too ended the regular season with a loss to go 15-1, later losing Super Bowl L to the Denver Broncos.

The mantra, no matter how deep into the season you make it, seems to be “the O has got to go”. Nobody makes it all the way through the season without loss. Or rather nearly nobody. In the last century, only eight teams have finished the regular season undefeated, and four of those had ties on their records. The only four to have finished undefeated and untied are the Chicago Bears in 1934 and then again in 1942, the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the 2007 New England Patriots.

As if Tom Brady doesn’t have enough accolades, another that you can add to it is this one. The 2007 Patriots won all 16 regular season games to top the table with the most wins in a regular NFL season. They ultimately lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants and finished up with an 18-1 record.

Of course, those 16 regular season wins may top the table, but they fell short of an absolutely perfect season. Only one team has ever managed that feat, winning all of their regular season games, playoff games, and the Super Bowl, and that is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. They won all 14 regular season games and finished at 17-0 as the Super Bowl VII champions.

The season after their impressive runs are just as telling as to the quality of these two squads. The New England Patriots went 11-5, not qualifying for the post season in 2008, while the 1973 Miami Dolphins went 12-2 and repeated as champions in Super Bowl VIII. Their first loss was in week two when they fell to the Oakland Raiders, making their total run without loss 18 games.

So it all depends on how you choose to phrase the question. Which team has the most wins in a season? New England. What about the most wins in a row? New England and Miami share that one. Who is the strongest side ever? Hands down the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins. No team has come within spitting distance in the last 50 years, there is no reason to believe that anyone will approach them in the near future.

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