Every year, the NFL crowns its champion in February. Sometimes, this team may be the best team in the league in a given year. Other years, the champion team might have gotten a fluky game or two as they were generally not the best team in the NFL that season. Through the simulation, the greatest team of all time should expose themselves. However, due to its nature as a simulation, the games in ensuing articles are only a guess through mathematical predictions.
This article will explain the selection of the 64 teams in depth. If you disagree with one of the selections, please leave a comment for teams to be included in the second simulation of the teams.
The first 53 teams chosen were the respective Super Bowl champions since Super Bowl I. Every team from the 1966 Packers to the 2018 Patriots is included.
The following 11 teams were designated as wild card selections. Most of the teams either won 15 games in the regular season before crashing out of the playoffs or were other seasons for near-dynasties.
1942 Chicago Bears
The only team from before the Super Bowl era, the 1942 Chicago Bears finished the season undefeated. Their selection into this illustrious group stems from their undefeated record and as a partial throwback to the 1940 Chicago Bears who won the NFL championship in a resounding 73 to 0 score over the Washington Redskins. The 1940 team was unavailable to be put in the simulation, so the 1942 team was put instead. Led by Sid Luckman, the ’42 Bears led the NFL in points, yards, points allowed and yards allowed, representing one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport.
1967 Oakland Raiders
The 1967 Raiders finished 13-1 and lost in Super Bowl II to the Green Bay Packers. The AFL champs of ’67, the Raiders were in the midst of a lengthy period from 1965 to 1980 that would result in zero losing seasons. Their inclusion in this simulation permits the presence of Daryle Lamonica at quarterback and another inclusion of Fred Biletnikoff.
1975 Minnesota Vikings
Despite not making the Super Bowl in 1975, the Vikings are worthy additions to the simulation. In the mid-70s, the Vikings rattled off a trio of 12-win seasons including 1970, 1973, and 1975. While the Vikings did not win a Super Bowl, famously losing four in an eight-year stretch, this is not the last time you’ll see the Vikings in the list of wildcard teams.
1984 Miami Dolphins
The 84 Dolphins were a phenomenal team lead by future Hall of Famer and NFL MVP Dan Marino. The Dolphins came up short in Super Bowl XIX, losing to the 49ers, but their inclusion in this list was necessary to tell the whole story of NFL history. In ’84, Dan Marino fired an NFL record 48 touchdowns while compiling an NFL record 5,084 total passing yards. In a three-year stretch, the Dolphins won 40 games including a win over the ’85 Bears. The ’84 Dolphins should be successful in the simulation.
1990 Buffalo Bills
If NFL history had gone slightly different, the Bills would have had four teams make this simulation. However, their incredible run of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances results in only one wildcard birth. For this event, the 1990 Bills will be used. Lead by head coach Marv Levy, Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, the Bills compiled a 13-3 record while leading the NFL in points scored in being a top 10 defensive unit. Thomas was phenomenal in 1990, being named first-team All-Pro and recording 1,800 yards from scrimmage.
1998 Minnesota Vikings
The second installation of the Vikings, this Vikings team went 15-1 before losing in overtime in the NFC championship game. Headed by Randall Cunningham and Robert Smith, the Vikings blitzed the NFL, recording 556 points, a then-NFL record. With rookie Randy moss posting an incredible 17 touchdowns, the Vikings were heavy favorites going into the matchup with Atlanta. After a Gary Anderson missed field goal near the end of regulation, the Vikings allowed a late touchdown overtime field goal to lose out to the Falcons.
2001 St. Louis Rams
The 2001 Rams for the most successful of the Rams’ illustrious history. With 14 wins, the Rams rammed through the NFC playoffs before falling prey to an Adam Vinatieri field goal in the dire seconds of Super Bowl XXXVI. Despite this end failure, the Rams still racked up an incredible 503 points in the season. Led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and Torry Holt, the Rams led the NFL in points and yards while also being a top 10 unit defensively.
2006 San Diego Chargers
The 2006 Chargers, while not as accomplished as most of the other teams on this list, were electric, no pun intended. Led by MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers neared 500 total points as part of their 14-win season. Tomlinson, in particular, had an incredible season, registering over 1,800 yards in an NFL-record 28 rushing touchdowns. The Tomlinson was named first-team All-Pro for the second time. Despite crashing out of the playoffs against the Patriots, the ’06 Chargers deserve recognition.
2007 New England Patriots
A common answer for the greatest seem to ever play football, the 2007 Patriots shattered any sense of reality with their ridiculous 16-win regular season and record-breaking offensive year. With Tom Brady and Randy Moss combining for a record 23 receiving touchdowns and Brady adding 27 to bring a shuttle to 50, the Patriots pushed the NFL record to 589 total points. The Patriots defense was also still in its prime and finished as a top-five unit in the NFL in terms of points allowed and yards allowed, permitting a ridiculous 315-point point-differential over the course of the season. On average, the Patriots won their games by nearly 20 points per game.
2013 Denver Broncos
The 2013 Broncos set the standard for great offenses, recording 606 total points. With Peyton Manning firing an NFL record 55 touchdowns, the Broncos ran laps around the field. With the number one scoring offense and yardage offense, the Broncos jumped out of the gate with a 49 point performance against the Ravens in week one. Despite falling short in the Super Bowl, the Broncos still deserve inclusion into the greatest list of all teams all time.
2015 Carolina Panthers
Another 15-win team, Carolina Panthers fell short in the Super Bowl, losing to the Broncos. Despite this, the Panthers had an explosive offense, recording 500 total points behind the arm of MVP Cam Newton and has 35 touchdowns. The league-leading offense in addition to a sixth-best offensive unit, the Panthers were phenomenal through the season. The offense featured four pro bowlers and two All-Pros and the defense featured a trio of All-Pros including Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Josh Norman.
Be sure to check out the next section of the simulation here when it goes live on April 9 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time.