Top Ten NFL Teams of All Time
Learn Which NFL Teams Will Go Down in History as the Very Best
2014 NFL Off-Season
I’m feeling cheery today. The sun is finally shining and I went outside without a parka. So, I thought we’d tackle a lighthearted, feel-good topic and look at the top ten NFL teams in history. If you love the game at all, you can’t possibly be in a bad mood thinking about the runs that these clubs made.
USA TODAY Sports
1. The 2013 Houston Texans enjoyed one of the most illustrious seasons in recent history…oh wait, no? Happy April Fool’s, y’all. Read on for my real No. 1.
1. Absolutely no surprise that the 1985 Chicago Bears top this list. With Coach Mike Ditka on the sidelines, Jim McMahon under center, Sweetness, the Fridge, and THAT D, this team will always be remembered. Save for Dan Marino’s performance of a lifetime on one Monday night, the ’85 Bears would have gone undefeated. They did, though, shut out both the Giants and the Rams in the play-offs before slaughtering the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.
2. The 1962 Green Bay Packers are one of my favorite teams of all time. You can’t beat the star power (er..."Starr" power?) they boasted, with Bart Starr, Vince Lombardi, Jim Taylor, and Boyd Dowler on the roster. Plus, their defense held the opposition to under 11 PPG; that, folks, is an impressive number. The Pack embarrassed team after team, outscoring opponents 109-14 in just their first four contents. They ultimately proceeded to beat the New York Football Giants 16-7 to earn the championship title 5 years before Super Bowl I.
3. I’m a stats girl, people, and the 1991 Redskins have some mind-blowing ones. WR Gary Clark averaged just shy of 20 yards per catch and the club outscored a season of tough opponents 485-224 (that’s just about double if math isn’t your strong suit). They went on to beat the Buffalo Bills (for the second out of four years…can you say curse?) in Super Bowl XXVI.
4. It’s probably safe to say that the 1972 Dolphins, thanks to their undefeated 17-0 record, are the most well-known team in American history. While I appreciate this feat (which has yet to be repeated), I can’t in good conscious place this squad in my top three because of the easiness of their schedule that year. Their opponents combined winning percentage didn’t even break the .400 mark. Aside of that, Miami wasn’t even favored against the ‘Skins in the Super Bowl. However, Coach Don Shula and Co. certainly had a memorable year and undoubtedly deserve to be ranked within the top half of this list.
5. Four of the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl wins came out of their 1970s dynasty (the ’74, ’75, ’78, and ’79 teams all brought home the Lombardi Trophy). The 1979 squad is arguably the best of the four, going 12-4 on the season and boasting the league’s best offense. QB Terry Bradshaw threw for nearly 4,000 yards and hit the endzone 26 times.
6. The 1999 Rams (the first team on this list I actually remember watching, for the record) made their season insanely exciting. QB Kurt Warner (who had a 109.2 QB rating on the season) and Co. went 13-3 and averaged 33 PPG. This was thanks in large part to a guy you might’ve heard of; Marshall Faulk ran for 1,381 yards and had nearly 1,000 receiving yards to boot. This Rams squad eventually beat the Tennessee Titans by a TD in Super Bowl XXXIV.
7. The San Francisco 49ers were good in the 1980s. Very good, in fact. They enjoyed three Super Bowl appearances (and wins) during the course of the decade. My favorite of these teams is the 1984 Niners squad, who won Super Bowl XIX against a solid Dan Marino-led Miami Dolphins team. During the course of the season they won 15 games by an average of 15 points and lost only 1 contest (to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a mere FG).
8. The 1996 Green Bay Packers, led by MVP QB Brett Favre, had both the No. 1 offense and the No. 1 defense in the league (in case you’re wondering, this means they were more or less destined to take home the Lombardi after Super Bowl XXXI). This Packers squad’s average margin of victory during their 13-3 season was over two TDs per contest.
9. I know, I know…I rip on the Cowboys all the time (sorry Big D residents). However, credit where credit’s due, the 1971 Dallas squad had one of the most high-powered offenses of all time. QB Roger Staubach (and back-up Craig Morton) combined with RBs Duane Thomas and Calvin Hill and WRs Walt Garrison and Bob Hayes for five 40+ point games. Dallas’s D came on strong in the play-offs, holding the 49ers and the Dolphins to a combined six points in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, respectively.
10. I’m no New England fan, people (diehard Colts fan, remember?), but their 2007 squad deserves to be on this list. Even though they’re the only team I included that didn’t win the Super Bowl, they set record after record this year and outscored opponents by an average of almost three TDs per game. Plus, the only reason this Pats team didn’t take the Lombardi back to Foxboro is Giants WR David Tyree’s still inexplicable (and infamous) “Helmet Catch.” Guess I can’t fault them for a fluke.