The most dominant teams of the Super Bowl Era

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 19, 2008



They made a lot of history in 2007, but in our book New England's biggest and best record was this one: most dominant team of the Super Bowl Era, in terms of point-per-game differential. (In fact, only two teams in history outscored their opponents by a greater margin than the 2007 Patriots. For more on those teams, click here.)
 
By outscoring opponents by an average of 36.8-17.1 every game, the 2007 Patriots finished with a +19.7 PPG differential that was last topped by the 1942 Bears.
 
The previous best was right at the start of the Super Bowl Era –  the nearly perfect 1968 Colts outscored their opponents by +18.4 PPG. They were 2nd in points scored, 1st in points allowed. They won 13 of 14 in the regular season, 11 by double digits. And they rolled through the postseason, beating Cleveland in the NFL title game 34-0.
 
Then Joe Namath happened.
 
In other words, the two most dominant teams of the Super Bowl Era both suffered shocking defeats in the big game itself.
 
Here is a list of all 24 teams of the Super Bowl Era that outscored their opponents by a 2-to-1 margin over the course of an entire season. These are, in other words, the most dominant teams in modern NFL history.
 
Fourteen of the 23 teams (not counting NE) made it to the Super Bowl, and 10 won it all. But an unlucky 13 were left wishing they could trade their regular-season success for one or two more wins in the playoffs. In other words, a dominant regular season won't be remembered if you don't win it all.
 
The last team to come closest to the 2007 Patriots before the Super Bowl Era? That would be Vince Lombardi's 1962 Packers, who went 13-1 and scored 415 points (29.6 PPG) while surrendering a measley 145 (10.6 PPG), a difference of +19.0 PPG.

 
MOST DOMINANT TEAMS OF THE SUPER BOWL ERA
Team
Record
PF-PA
PPG Difference
Result
2007 Patriots   16-0   36.8-17.1  +19.7  Lost SB XLII
1968 Balt. Colts
13-1
28.7-10.3
+18.4
Lost SB III
1999 Rams
13-3
32.9-15.1
+17.8
Won SB XXXIV
1969 Vikings
12-2
27.1-9.5
+17.6
Lost SB IV
1968 Cowboys  
12-2
30.8-13.3
+17.5
Lost div. round*
1967 Raiders
13-1
33.4-16.6
+16.8
Lost SB II
1991 Redskins
14-2
30.3-14.0
+16.3
Won SB XXVI
1985 Bears
15-1
28.5-12.4
+16.1
Won SB XX
1984 49ers
15-1
29.7-14.2
+15.5
Won SB XIX
1996 Packers
13-3
28.5-13.1
+15.4
Won SB XXXI
1972 Dolphins
14-0
27.5-12.2
+15.3
Won SB VII
1973 L.A. Rams
12-2
27.7-12.7
+15.0
Lost div. round
1975 Steelers
12-2
26.6-11.6
+15.0
Won SB X
1976 Steelers
10-4
24.4-9.9
+14.5
Lost AFC title
1967 L.A. Rams
11-1-2
28.4-14.0
+14.4
Lost div. round*
1968 Chiefs
12-2
26.5-12.1
+14.4
Lost div. round**
1975 Vikings
12-2
26.9-12.9
+14.0
Lost div. round
1973 Dolphins
12-2
24.5-10.7
+13.8
Won SB VIII
1970 Vikings
12-2
23.9-10.2
+13.7
Lost div. round
1969 Chiefs
11-3
25.6-12.6
+13.0
Won SB IV
1975 L.A. Rams
12-2
22.3-9.6
+12.7
Lost NFC title
1971 Balt. Colts
10-4
22.4-10.0
+12.4
Lost AFC title
1966 Packers
12-2
23.9-11.6
+12.3
Won SB I
2000 Ravens
12-4
20.8-10.3
+10.5
Won SB XXXV
 
* In the pre-merger NFL, these teams lost what were then called the conference championships. However, these games were the equivalent of today's divisional playoffs. The winners of the pre-merger "conference championships" would play for the NFL championship (the equivalent of today's conference championship) and then the Super Bowl.
 
** The 1968 Chiefs finished in a tie with the Raiders atop the AFL's Western Division. The two teams met in a one-game playoff to determine the division champion, who would then face the Eastern Division champion Jets for the AFL championship. The Raiders beat the Chiefs, 41-6.

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