One of the best debates in sports is trying to determine what team the best team in NFL history. For this list, we will try to rank the top ten best teams in NFL history. It is always hard to define greatness, but there is no denying that these teams were all special. Many different eras are represented on this list, but all of these teams were champions(Except one). Let’s dive in to the rankings with a recap of each team.
1. 1985 Chicago Bears: The 1985 Chicago Bears are one of the most polarizing teams in the history of professional sports. This team is just as famous for their “Super Bowl Shuffle” as they are for the devastating defense that they played. They had arguably the best running back of all time (Walter Payton) and featured Buddy Ryan’s 4-6 defense. Chicago outscored their opponents 456-198 during the regular season, and 91-10 in the playoffs. Absolutely dominant. The Bears were cocky, but they could back it up. There is no doubt that they are the best NFL team of all-time.
2. 1972 Miami Dolphins: The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to finish with an undefeated 17-0 record, but that doesn’t mean they were the best. In fact, the 1973 Dolphins team might have been better, but we will focus on this group. Running back Larry Csonka carried the offense, and the defense was good enough to roll through a perfect season. Miami capped off their historic season with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl.
3. 1991 Washington Redskins: A team that lacked big name superstars, the Redskins just went out on the field and beat people. The Washington defense posted a shutout in three of their first five games in rolling to a 14-2 regular season record and Super Bowl title. Many people talk about the Joe Theismann led Redskins teams of the 80’s, but this version of the Redskins was clearly the best. They check in at number three on the list of 10 best NFL teams of all time.
4. 1962 Green Bay Packers: The current generation of NFL fans will likely skip over the 1962 Green Bay Packers when discussing greatness, but their season cannot be ignored. The ‘62 Packers were littered with Hall of Fame players, and were led by legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Quarterback Bart Starr and the offense gets much of the credit, but the defense allowed just 11 points per game that season. Lombardi led the ‘62 Packers to a 13-1 regular season record, and a 16-7 victory over the New York Giants in the NFL Championship Game. The Packers are number four on this list, but they set the standard for greatness that all modern-era teams are judged upon.
5. 1989 San Francisco 49ers: There were a handful of 49ers teams to pick from to join this list, but the 1989 team stands out. Quarterback Joe Montana was nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career, while Jerry Rice was just beginning his. Montana completed over 70 percent of his passes during the 1989 season, and the Niners could play defense as well. There was no real threat to them during the 1989 season. The Niners turned Super Bowl XXIV into a rout, blowing out the Broncos by a score of 55-10. With all due respect to Steve Young, his Niners teams weren’t that dominant.
6. 2007 New England Patriots: The 2007 Patriots are the only team on this list to not win an NFL Championship. Tom Brady and the Patriots absolutely rolled to a perfect 18-0 record, but were upset by the New York Giants in the Super Bowl that season. Brady threw for 50-plus touchdowns that season, and the defense dominated with 47 sacks. The 2007 Patriots might have been the most impressive team in NFL history, but their lack of a championship hurts them on this list.
7. 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers: Another franchise with a number of deserving teams, the 1978 version of the Steelers was special. The NFL had made rule changes to try to give offenses a change against the “Steel Curtain Defense” of the Steelers, but it didn’t slow down the 1978 team. Pittsburgh still featured a devastating defense in 1978, but their offense benefitted by the new rule changes. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw (The guy from the Fox NFL Pregame Show) led the Steelers to a victory over the Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl MVP. Pittsburgh dominated the 1970’s, but this was the most impressive team.
8. 1998 Denver Broncos: The 1998 Denver Broncos entered the regular season as defending Super Bowl Champions and then started off the season by winning their first 13 games. Running back Terrell Davis ran for over 2,000 yards en route to the MVP Award, and quarterback John Elway capped off a Hall of Fame career with a second consecutive title. Elway has not found the same success as an executive with the Broncos, but his 1998 team was one of the best in NFL history.
9. 1992 Dallas Cowboys: “America’s Team” was clearly the best team in the world during the 1992 season, and the ninth best NFL team of all tim. Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin were the offensive stars, but this team was absolutely loaded. Dallas should have been one of the most dominant dynasties of all time, but Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones couldn’t get along. The 1992 team made a mockery of the playoffs, blowing out quality teams and capping it off with a 52-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl.
10. 1999 St. Louis Rams: “The Greatest Show on Turf” was the nickname given to this explosive offense led by quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk. The Rams were must-see television in the late 90’s and they finished the regular season with a 13-3 regular season record. The Rams beat the Titans, 23-16, to win the Super Bowl that season capping off a terrific season. As an added bonus, they also featured one of the best uniforms in recent memory.
Honorable Mention: 1976 Oakland Raiders, 1973 Miami Dolphins, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Green Bay Packers, and the 2017 Cleveland Browns (Just Kidding)