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

What the Dolphins achieved in the 1972-73 season, is something that’s never been done before or since and likely won’t be done again for many years to come.

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

With a prime Tom Brady on the roster, it’s only fitting that the team which made the word “dynasty” a familiar term, is the one that did what very few have done before: go undefeated across a season.

The New England Patriots were as good as it gets

In any sport whether team or individual, the gold standard for any season is the undefeated record. The NFL as you can imagine, is no different. Most recently, we saw the Pittsburgh Steelers make it to 11-0 in the 2020 season, but in the end, they finished up 12-4 and even lost the Wild Card game. We also have the Carolina Panthers, who came very close in 2015 with a 14-0 start, before losing the final game of the season to end on a 15-1 record. They would go on to lose the Super Bowl 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.

But the Miami Dolphins were better

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. Indeed, only one team in the league’s history 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 is just as telling, when it comes 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. Ultimately, 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 and quite frankly, there is no reason to believe that anyone will approach them in the near future.


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