Why 2007 Patriots (Not 1972 Dolphins) Are Best Team In NFL History

Which team had Tom Brady?


Jan 7, 2023

Who is the best team in NFL history? That is a nearly impossible question to answer, but the 2007 New England Patriots and 1972 Miami Dolphins have as good an argument as any team.

So, which team has the better argument?

Let’s take a look at the case for both.

1972 Miami Dolphins
For those who aren’t football historians, there’s a very specific reason why the Dolphins have such a good case. They are the only team in NFL history to go undefeated. That 1972 squad went a perfect 14-0 throughout the regular season and rolled through three postseason games on their way to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

The talent on that roster stacks up against any in the history of the league, with six Hall of Famers in linebacker Nick Buoniconti, running back Larry Csonka, quarterback Bob Griese, center Jim Langer, guard Larry Little and wide receiver Paul Warfield. Head coach Don Shula and director of player personnel Bobby Beathard also are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for their contributions to the sports, with Shula holding the NFL record with 347 wins.

The ’72 Dolphins had the league’s No. 1 offense and defense and led the league with a plus-214 point differential. So how could anyone be better?


2007 New England Patriots
If you’re reading this, you probably know a little bit about the ’07 Patriots.

New England went 18-0 throughout its first 16 regular season games and two playoff matchups before falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII — despite being 12-point favorites. It possibly was the most disappointing ending to a season in the history of professional sports, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t take away from the fact they were absolutely the best team the NFL ever saw.

The Patriots led the NFL with a plus-315 point differential — the best mark in NFL history — and boast the greatest head coach/quarterback duo in league history in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. That roster had three Hall of Fame players in wide receiver Randy Moss, defensive tackle Richard Seymour and linebacker Junior Seau. That group eventually will be joined by the likes of Brady and Belichick, with players like Vince Wilfork, Rodney Harrison, Wes Welker and Logan Mankins with a chance to eventually break through to be fitted for a gold jacket.

Then there’s the argument about era, with the late 2000s serving as one of the most competitive eras in football history — as there were a full 32 teams compared to the 26 in 1972.

At the end of the day, there is no correct answer to the question. It’s all about perspective, but when making an argument for either side, you cannot accurately argue against the 2007 Patriots.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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