Haters like to dismiss the Dolphins '72 perfect season, the only one in the modern NFL.
"Oh, that team in their prime probably couldn't even have beaten the '07 Dolphins. It was a different time."
Well, to celebrate its 125th birthday, The Sporting News has decided to rank the greatest NFL teams of all time, and guess who came out on top?
Yep, those '72 Dolphins.
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The 1972 Dolphins are still the only NFL team to achieve perfection--14-0 in the regular season, 17-0 after Super Bowl 7. Ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total offense (359.7 ypg), scoring offense (27.5 ppg), total defense (235.5 ypg) and scoring defense (12.2 ppg). A cardiac crew? More like the most boring team in the league. Only three regular-season games were decided by fewer than 10 points. Lost their Hall of Fame quarterback, Bob Griese, for two and a half months--and just kept rolling. The hero: Earl Morrall, who started from Week 6 through the AFC title game. Coach Don Shula, Griese, and five other players went to Canton: Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield, Larry Little, Jim Langer and Nick Buoniconti.
Detractors may say that the overall quality of the league is better than it was in the '70s, but four teams on the list come from the '70s. The only team from this century to make the list? We hate to report that the '04 Patriots came in at number eight.
The list was decided by a long list of journalists, and former NFL coaches, players and executives.