Whats your top 5 look like?
1. 1972 Miami Dolphins
2. 1929 Green Bay Packers
3. 1985 Chicago Bears
4. 1962 Green Bay Packers
5. 1941 Chicago Bears
I'll elaborate on why a little later.
Let the debate begin, who's the best, and why?
1. '85 Bears
2. '84 49ers
3. '07 Patriots
4. '41 Bears
5. '72 Dolphins
San Francisco was indeed very dominant in 1984 on both sides of the ball. At 18-1 overall they are very underrated, I have them in my top 10(#6 as a matter of fact). Everyone says "Oh well they didn't have Rice yet" so what, they didn't need him in 84. That was Walsh's best team, and by default the best of the 80's San Francisco teams(with the 89 George Siefert team coming in a close second).
Could you explain why you have the 2007 Patriots over the 72 Phins? Shula and the Dolphins had so much more to lose in the Super Bowl(not to mention they played a better team), and overcame the pressure to win the Title and finish undefeated. It was the single greatest team accomplishment in NFL history in my opinion, the only ever unbeaten and untied season in 91 years of competition.
I basically boil that argument down to the overall number of games played by both the '72 Dolphins and '07 Patriots. While I must admit that I do not know the average margin of victory by the Dolphins over their regular season opponents during that season, I did see the '07 Patriots play and they were blowing every team out of the stadium. Ultimately, the '07 Patriots went 18-0 before losing in the Superbowl, but the '72 Dolphins went, what, 14-0 to go "perfect" on the year. They may have been pretty good in the annals of professional football, but they did not win 18 game straight. That is a phenomenal accomplishment on the part of Bill Belichek's 2007 team. Plus, I thoroughly dislike the overall lack of class on the part of Shula, Warfield, Kiick, Csonka and that '72 squad. Every year they are shown on TV rooting against the last unbeaten team of that season. I just want that record to go away so I do not have to see their smirking faces any longer.
Thats a fair argument, 18-0 was indeed an achievement in itself, but class? The way they ran the score up on some teams was very dissrespectfull. I remember when they blew out the Joe Gibbs Redskins(56 points, and the game was clearly over by the end of the first half iirc), I was fighting mad that next morning, there was no class in that at all.
The Dolphins had an easy shedule in 72, and they barely got by some teams, but the fact that they didn't buckle under the pressure in the Super Bowl that year is what earns my respect for the team. There are too many other teams that had thier chance at greatness, the 34 & 42 Bears, and 2007 Patriots couldn't do it. Plus the fact that they returned in 73 and defended thier title also plays a big part in why I have them at number 1. Your never truly a champion until you defend your title.
I'll give those Dolphins their due, and maybe they did win 18 games in a row if we include that '73 season. I would have to check.
Also, I do not claim that the '07 Patriots had class. I just loathe the'72 Dolphins and their cheering every year when the last unbeaten team goes down. Despite that, I should rate them at least second best on my list.
It is truly hard to rank teams across generations. Things like changes in rules, number of games in a season, and so on definitely play a part in making it difficult. I do, in my heart, believe that the '85 Bears (and maybe even the '84 49ers) could have beaten Don Shula's '72 squad. Just my opinion, though.
It is hard to compare teams from different generations, especially if you look at it from a "who can beat who" perspective. I think it's better to compare the overall accomplishment of the team that season. I'm working on a 100 Greatest Teams of All time list for a website that I plan on creating(nothing big just a little project). What I did was take the entire 91 season history of the NFL(plus the 10 year history of the AFL), and rank each team based on their overall season performance. Records they set, how dominant they were, how difficult their path was, who they beat, how they beat them, player accomplishments, overall impact on the sport, and whether or not the team was able to defend thier title the following season.
The only time I ranked the teams based on who could beat who was when it came down to 2 teams from the same era(I ranked the 92/93/95 Cowboys over the 94 49ers, and 96 Packers, as the Cowboys denied each team regularly, also put the 96 Packers over the 94 49ers because it was their fault the Niners couldn't defend their title in 95/96). I also placed more importance on Win percentage rather than overall number of wins(except for when there were a staggering amount of them, 07 Pats for example). Another thing I put a lot of importance on was the era in which the team won it's championship. Take the 1929 Packers for example. They went 12-0-1, only 22 points allowed(8 shutouts), won 8 strait road games against some tough teams in a tough era. Sorry for double posting, 1000 characters is not enough.
Your list is solid though TZ101, at least we agree on Halas' 41 Bears. They were years ahead of the game that season, Halas was a true strategic genious.