In 1972, the Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VII (7 for those who lack a foundation in Roman numerals) on the back of a perfect season, during which they won 14 regular season games, before the NFL went to a 16-game regular season in 1978.
The Dolphins won three post-season games to finish 17 – 0 for the season and the clubs in the NFL have been chasing that record 47 years.
The 2007 New England Patriots were poised to take the record when they won 16 regular season games and the AFC Championship to equal Miami, but then, they inexplicably lost Super Bowl XLII (42) to the New York Giants.
The Giants snuck into the playoff with a regular season record of 10 – 6, and then won four consecutive playoff games, culminating in a 17 – 14 win over New England in the Super Bowl.
All this springs to mind as Miami’s record of a perfect season remains intact in the 2019 – 2020 NFL Championship. The last undefeated team in the league, the San Francisco 49ers, fell to the Seattle Seahawks in an overtime thriller that resulted in a 27 – 24 win for Seattle.
The Niners became the third team to start a season 8 – 0 before suffering its first loss in an overtime game since the merger between the AFL and NFL in the Super Bowl era.
Contrasting New England’s loss in Super Bowl 42 to the Giants to Seattle’s win over San Francisco is easy.
Eliminate the Super Bowl factor and what remains is that San Francisco lost to a good Seahawks club that has opened the current campaign that after the victory last night, now has a record of 8 – 2.
The two losses to this point have been to New Orleans and Baltimore, two clubs that hold the top rung in their respective divisions.
Just over halfway through the season, the cream is rising, with the biggest surprise being the Buffalo Bills. They are second in the AFC East, but they do have the spectre of playing in the same division with New England.