Determining the most significant NFL Teams was a more heated discussion among the PFN staff than expected, unlike when we look at the best quarterbacks ever, where we don’t just consider championships, in the NFL, the main goal is to win a Super Bowl . The most outstanding teams in NFL history had to excel in offence and defence.
All the teams mentioned in this list come from the Super Bowl era. In 1976, the Oakland Raiders had a remarkable season with 16 wins and one loss. However, when we compare their level of dominance to the other teams on this list, they need to catch up. Their offence ranked fourth in scoring, and their defence ranked 12th in points allowed.
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They struggled with turnovers; they gave the ball away more often than their opponents. Additionally, the Raiders excelled in close games, winning all six of them. While they had a solid passing game, they lacked the boldness and assertiveness that some other teams possessed despite their impressive win-loss record.
Which NFL teams are among the Top 10 best NFL teams of all time?
1. 1972 Miami Dolphins
The 1972 Miami Dolphins, who never lost a game, are considered the most fabulous NFL team ever. They were exceptionally dominant that season, outperforming all other teams in any different season. The ’72 Dolphins are unique on this list because they led the league in both points scored and allowed, making them the most dominant team here.
Surprisingly, they achieved this with backup quarterback Earl Morrall playing for most of the season, winning nine games. Morrall even earned the title of a first-team All-Pro that year. However, Coach Don Shula put Bob Griese back in for the playoffs.
2. 1985 Chicago Bears
Deciding between the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the second-greatest NFL team ever was challenging. These teams performed remarkably in back-to-back seasons, ranking second in points scored and first in points allowed. The Bears outperformed the league average by 74.9% in points scored and 42.5% in points allowed. The 49ers, while also impressive, skewed more towards offensive dominance (40%) compared to the Bears’ defensive prowess (33.1%).
3. 1984 San Francisco 49ers
In 1984, Dan Marino made waves with his record-breaking performance, but the league’s best player lost in the Super Bowl to one of the greatest teams ever. The 49ers excelled where it mattered most, with the fewest turnovers and passing solid stats. They finished second in average rushing yards and touchdowns, setting them apart from the 1984 Dolphins.
4. 2007 New England Patriots
The 2007 Patriots, despite their incredible offensive dominance, couldn’t clinch the title of the most fantastic team due to their Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. Tom Brady and Randy Moss spearheaded a record-breaking offence, scoring 69.7% more points than the league average. Their offensive prowess was unmatched until Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs emerged.
5. 1991 Washington Commanders
The 1991 Washington team often goes overlooked, overshadowed by their modern-day struggles. However, they had a stellar lineup with All-Pros, Pro Bowlers, and an explosive offence. Washington’s offence scored well above the league average, featuring two 1,000-yard receivers. Their defence ranked second in the league and allowed fewer points than most teams.
6. 1989 San Francisco 49ers
The 1989 49ers boasted legendary players like Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott. They excelled offensively and defensively, leading the league in points scored and ranking third in scoring defence. Steve Young’s emergence added to their offensive firepower, while the defence intercepted more passes than allowed passing touchdowns.
7. 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers
The 1975 Steelers were loaded with talent, with 11 Pro Bowlers and three All-Pros, particularly on the defensive side, known as the Steel Curtain. Their offence was efficient, knowing their defence wouldn’t relinquish it once they took the lead. Despite their offence’s modest performance, the defence was second in points allowed, intercepting 27 passes.
8. 1999 St. Louis Rams
The “Greatest Show on Turf” lived up to its name with a powerful offensive output. The 1999 Rams scored 58% more points than the league average, benefiting from a more manageable schedule. Kurt Warner’s remarkable journey from bagging groceries to quarterbacking made this season exceptional.
9. 1992 Dallas Cowboys
The 1992 Cowboys were exceptional offensively and defensively, ranking second in scoring offence and fifth in scoring defence. This balance made them one of the greatest NFL teams ever. They led in various offensive categories and boasted a dominant defence that allowed few yards.
10. 1998 Denver Broncos
The 1998 Broncos featured nine Pro Bowlers, seven on offence and two on defence. Terrell Davis led the crime, and Rod Smith delivered impressive performances. Terrell Davis averaged over 125 yards per game and scored 23 total touchdowns during this remarkable season.