Undefeated start: 14-0 Regular-season record: 14-0 End result: Defeated Washington in Super Bowl VII Summary: The 1972 Dolphins remain the only team to ever piece together a perfect season from start to finish. Miami accomplished this despite having to start a backup QB (Earl Morrall) in place of future Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese for nine games. Despite having a superior record, the Dolphins also were forced to win the AFC Championship against Pittsburgh on the road under the NFL’s old playoff formatting. Six other members of the 1972 Dolphins are in the Hall of Fame, led by head coach Don Shula.
Diamond Images/Getty ImagesKidwiler Collection
1985 Chicago Bears
Undefeated start: 12-0 Regular-season record: 15-1 End result: Defeated New England in Super Bowl XX Summary: The only thing that kept Chicago from a 16-0 record entering the playoffs was a loss to the lone franchise that can boast of having a perfect season. With members of their 1972 squad watching from the sideline, the Dolphins unveiled a creative offensive game plan against Chicago’s vaunted defense that led to three Dan Marino TD passes in a 38-24 win. The Bears would allow only 43 points in their final six games en route to crushing New England, 46-10, in the Super Bowl.
1998 Denver Broncos
Undefeated start: 13-0 Regular-season record: 14-2 End result: Defeated Atlanta in Super Bowl XXXIII Summary: The Broncos became the first defending Super Bowl champs to remain undefeated through 13 games the following season. Losses to the New York Giants and Miami proved blips on the radar as Denver won all of its postseason contests by double-digits, including a 34-19 win over Atlanta in the Super Bowl. That victory marked the final game of QB John Elway (No. 7), who retired later that year, and the last time Denver captured a Lombardi Trophy.
AFP/Getty ImagesDOUG COLLIER
2005 Indianapolis Colts
Undefeated start: 13-0 Regular-season record: 14-2 End result: Lost second-round playoff game to Pittsburgh Summary: Former team president and GM Bill Polian is adamant that the '05 Colts would have reached Super Bowl XL were it not for an off-field tragedy that emotionally affected the team. James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of head coach Tony Dungy, committed suicide in late December. Three weeks later, the Colts fell to Pittsburgh, 21-18, in their opening playoff game. Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt missed what would have been the game-tying 46-yard field goal in what proved his final game for the Colts. Indy had the chance to take the lead in the final minute but Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger tripped Colts CB Nick Harper as he was headed toward returning a Jerome Bettis goal-line fumble for a TD.
Getty ImagesBrian To
2007 New England Patriots
Undefeated start: 16-0 Regular-season record: 16-0 End result: Lost to New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII Summary: The Patriots did something no ever team has ever accomplished -- post an 18-0 record following a perfect regular season and two playoff victories. New England, though, failed to seal the deal as the Giants posted one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history with a 17-14 victory.
Getty ImagesNick Laham
2009 New Orleans
Undefeated start: 13-0 Regular-season record: 13-3 End result: Defeated Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV Summary: As it turns out, a December slump meant nothing when it came to the Saints’ postseason fortunes. New Orleans became the first team to win a Super Bowl after losing its final three regular-season games. The Saints also made history by defeating three QBs who had previously won Super Bowls (Kurt Warner, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning) during their postseason run.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
2009 Indianapolis Colts
Undefeated start: 14-0 Regular-season record: 14-2 End result: Lost to New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV Summary: For Colts brass, trying to post a perfect season was secondary to having the best chance to win a Lombardi Trophy. So even with the Colts having a legitimate shot at finishing 16-0, starters were pulled at halftime to mitigate injury risk in what proved a Week 16 loss to the New York Jets. While the decision was unpopular among some fans and players who were hoping the Colts would made history, the final outcome is what coach Jim Caldwell and president Bill Polian wanted. Indy won its two playoff games and advanced to the Super Bowl before losing, 31-17, to New Orleans.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
2011 Green Bay Packers
Undefeated start: 13-0 Regular-season record: 15-1 End result: Lost to New York Giants in divisional playoff Summary: Like the 2005 Indianapolis Colts, the Packers were hit with a late-season tragedy on the coaching staff -- the drowning death of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin’s 21-year-old son Michael -- that heavily weighed on the team entering the playoffs. Green Bay then had its sloppiest performance of the season during a 37-20 second-round home loss to the New York Giants. As QB Aaron Rodgers pointed out, the Packers enjoyed a 'championship-caliber regular season' that went for naught as Green Bay failed to defend its Super Bowl crown.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
2015 Carolina Panthers
Undefeated start: 12-0 Regular-season record: 12-0 End result: To be determined Summary: The Carolina Panthers became the ninth team to start out unbeaten in their first 12 games after Sunday's win over the New Orleans Saints. Furthermore, the Panthers were able to clinch the NFC South title in Week 13. The Panthers have also won their last 16 regular season games. A full season's slate. Now, that's impressive.