The Greatest Team of All Time: The Simulation

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.

The simulation was run on, and the bracket was created using

The tournament is two stages, with each of the 64 teams being placed in a qualifying group with three other teams. The top two from each of the 16 groups will proceed into a March Madness-style bracket with 32 teams. The bracket will be double elimination, and the winner of the loser bracket will face off with the winner of the winner bracket for the final in a one-game showdown.

In the 16 groups, care will be taken to make sure that there are few repeated teams and few teams of the same era. While the system is not perfect, the teams will be randomly assorted with repeated teams moved out of a given group. For example, if two of the Brady-led Patriots teams are in the same group, they will be split up randomly. The only exception to this general rule is in Group P, where two Cowboys teams will play each other.

For the group stage of the tournament, each team will play home and away match against the other three teams in the group, similar to the UEFA Champions League.

The tiebreaker of the group stage will be determined by head-to-head wins and by point differential. Any game in the simulation that goes overtime will be counted as the overtime result rather than a tie.

For the final stage of the tournament, every matchup will be hosted at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, home of the Arizona Cardinals, a team who has no representation in the field. The championship match will be located at the Georgia Dome, the closest stadium to the current day Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

For the knockout round of the tournament, the teams will be placed similarly to that of the world cup as the first place finisher in Group A will play the second-place finisher in Group B in the first matchup. Moving on, C1 will play D2, E1 will play F2 and the other matchups will continue based on the group rankings for the final for the total 16 matchups.

Be sure to check out the next section of the simulation here when it goes live on April 10 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. 

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