Through 100 seasons, 1972 Dolphins remain NFL’s only perfect team

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The 49ers lost on Monday night, which means the 1972 Dolphins won.

With the 49ers no longer undefeated, the ’72 Dolphins will remain, through another season, the only perfect team in NFL history. That Dolphins team went 14-0 in the regular season and won Super Bowl VII to complete the only undefeated, untied season the league has ever seen.

This is the NFL’s 100th season, and those Dolphins stand in a unique place in league history. Some of those players may have raised a glass of champagne late on Monday night, when the Seahawks’ field goal at the end of overtime sealed the 49ers’ fate.

So to Don Shula, Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, Paul Warfield, Larry Little and all the other members of that great team, a hearty congratulations for a season without equal.

70 responses to “Through 100 seasons, 1972 Dolphins remain NFL’s only perfect team

  1. The ’72 Dolphins were also undefeated in the pre-season going 4-0 there as well.

    The ultimate perfect season.

    Look up video of that team. Larry Csonka was a beast. I believe up until recently, he was the only RB ever hit with a 15yd unnecessary roughness penalty for annihilating a defender trying to tackle him…lol.

  2. Only truly came close to happening maybe 3 or 4 other times. 2007 Patriots, 85 bears, 2009 Colts. At 15 games we likely would have seen another occurrence, but probably will never happen. It’s already less than a 1 percent chance, so if they increase the number of games further there will almost be no chance at all.

  3. collectordude says:
    November 12, 2019 at 9:25 am
    Hear that Patriot fans?

    ————

    I am glad the Fins have that to hang their hat on, but I don’t think the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys or 49ers fans would like to trade places with Fins fans… ever.

  4. Is it a realistic expectation to see the undefeated team now in the salary cap and reversed draft order? 1972 is a different era and there is no point of comparing to the current game.

    Should we compare a human life expectancy today vs 100 years ago?

  5. Fans in the Miami area could not catch the home games on television – they had to be there at the stadium for the games, listen to the radio, or travel to outside markets to watch the games on TV due to NFL Blackout rules, even when the Orange Bowl was sold out. Imagine.,.

  6. If you can’t have a GOAT QB discussion without saying “different era, different rules, etc.” then you can’t keep trotting out the ’72 Dolphins as some exemplary accomplishment in the NFL. Free agency, parity, 19 games to go undefeated – enough with the ’72 Dolphins already! Pats 18 straight wins was better than the Dolphins. (disclaimer: lifelong Pats fan).

  7. Don Shula is the most overrated coach in the history of the NFL. Two championships during the Nixon administration and for the next twenty years, he never won a Damned thing again. The Steelers,Raiders, RedSkins, 49ers, Giants and Cowboys all won multiple titles going into the 1990s when there was no salary cap or free agency. Not Shuless Don though-even with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Say it isn’t so Don !!

    Hey Donny. 348 career wins? Very impressive as those are mostly lots of regular season wins and early exits in the playoffs. Guess who is going to be surpassing your record in the next few years? The difference between him and you of course is that he has six Superbowl championships in the salary cap era and he actually knows how to build a defense.

    Enjoy Don. It is what it is.

  8. Indybear says:

    Different era, different game. No longer relevant.

    **************************************************

    Yes, it was a very different game. If today’s diva QBs and WRs had to play by 1972 rules most wouldn’t last 4 games. The game was a lot more physical in the ’70s

  9. The best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be…don’t think so…Larry Little says the 1973 team was better…played a much more difficult schedule than the ’72 team…was even better than the ’72 team on defense…ran roughshod over the Viking defense (2nd best that year)in the SB…53 rushing attempts for 193 yards, passed 7! times in the SB game and cruised to a 24-7 win.

  10. Vikings game around mid-season gave Dolphins fans the biggest scare. It could have easily gone the other way, as I recall. Wouldn’t be surprised if that alumni gang got together last night!

  11. No one outside Santa Clara thought the Niners even had a remote chance, they’ll do good to win 10 games this year with that cupcake firsy half schedule.

  12. burtmustin says:
    November 12, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Don Shula is the most overrated coach in the history of the NFL. Two championships during the Nixon administration and for the next twenty years, he never won a Damned thing again. The Steelers,Raiders, RedSkins, 49ers, Giants and Cowboys all won multiple titles going into the 1990s when there was no salary cap or free agency. Not Shuless Don though-even with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Say it isn’t so Don !!

    Hey Donny. 348 career wins? Very impressive as those are mostly lots of regular season wins and early exits in the playoffs. Guess who is going to be surpassing your record in the next few years? The difference between him and you of course is that he has six Superbowl championships in the salary cap era and he actually knows how to build a defense.

    Enjoy Don. It is what it is.
    ____________________________

    Perhaps a bit harsh, but I agree Shula is overrated. He had an 8 year stretch with zero playoff wins (74-81). For 13 seasons, he had Dan Marino, and was unable to build a team around him to at least deliver one Super Bowl title. His SB record is 2-4, and in the four losses, his teams were outscored by 9, 21, 10, and 22 points. Dreadful playoff losses (’85 to a far inferior NE team). Tom Landry was better. He was more consistent over a long period (66-85), and his SB losses were by small margins (3, 4, 4). The two NFL titles he lost to Lombardi’s Packers both came down to the last play. I would take Landry over Shula.

  13. No doubt I’ll get down-thumbed for this but I don’t think that the ’72 Dolphins wer that impressive when you consider the fact that they faced only 2 teams (Chiefs, Giants) that wound up with winning records in ’72 and both of those teams were only 8-6.

    The ’72 Dolphins did not have to face the Raiders or Steelers (the other AFC powers) during the ’72 regular season. If the ’72 Dolphins had gone undefeated with a tougher schedule then the feat would’ve been more impressive in my view.

  14. 100 seasons ? Really?

    Sounds like Packers talking points.

    Back when they only played 10 games and had no playoffs with a 8 team league.

    Congratulations to Miami for going 17-0.

    But it takes 19 wins now to go perfect.

  15. Indybear says:
    November 12, 2019 at 9:30 am
    Different era, different game. No longer relevant.
    ———————————————-

    Meh, relevance is where you find it. If basking in the accomplishments of 47 years ago somehow gives joy to some old dudes and a bunch of internet trolls who hadn’t been born yet who are we to dismiss it?

  16. Two things that people often fail to remember about that 1972 team. First, starting QB broke his leg in Week 4, they went 14-0 with the 38 year old backup QB starting 10 games. Second, the AFC Championship game was played on the road, there was no home field advantage for best record, they rotated home field. Imagine that? Best record in the league has to travel, only had to beat Pittsburgh in Three Rivers stadium, the week after the Immaculate Reception game. No biggie.

  17. The 1972 Dolphins lost 3 preseason/”exhibition” games (and they played 6, not 4). Those losses don’t count against the regular season, but saying they went 4-0 preseason isn’t even close.

    Oh, and while I’m here, let’s never forget the 2009 Colts, who started 14-0 and then shamefully rested their starters for two losses — against the Jets and the Bills of all teams — rather than try to reach immortality. The football gods responded by handing them a true beating in the SB at the hands of the Saints, and in some ways they’ve never recovered. At least the 18-1 Patriots were man enough to go straight at it.

  18. collectordude says:
    November 12, 2019 at 9:25 am
    Hear that Patriot fans?
    _____________________________

    Hahaha, excellent. You win the internet today, and thank you, New York Football Giants.

  19. Don Shula is the most overrated coach in the history of the NFL. Two championships during the Nixon administration and for the next twenty years, he never won a Damned thing again. The Steelers,Raiders, RedSkins, 49ers, Giants and Cowboys all won multiple titles going into the 1990s when there was no salary cap or free agency. Not Shuless Don though-even with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Say it isn’t so Don !!

    Hey Donny. 348 career wins? Very impressive as those are mostly lots of regular season wins and early exits in the playoffs. Guess who is going to be surpassing your record in the next few years? The difference between him and you of course is that he has six Superbowl championships in the salary cap era and he actually knows how to build a defense.

    Enjoy Don. It is what it is.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    As a coach Shula was one of the best ever. Two losing seasons in 35 years, six Super Bowl appearances. 36 playoff wins over 35 seasons, so I’m not so sure about all those “early exits”. As Bum Phillips said “He can take his’n beat yours, then take yours’n beat his.”

    As a personnel man? Not one of the best, not nearly. Lucked into Marino in 1983, but otherwise we used to laugh at the busts he would pick. Bosa , Kumerow, Shipp…the GM killed the coach.

    Obviously though, Belichick is the best ever, no question.

  20. PS- I should add that the biggest gripe we should all have against Don Shula is that his vastly superior Colts gagged in SB III, leaving NFL fans everywhere to endure the insufferable Joe Namath, a QB who is in the HOF for winning one game, and is the most overrated athlete in the history of North American sports.

  21. Patriots 16-0 season was remarkable. And don’t give me this ‘it doesn’t matter’ stuff, because then no other stat or record matters unless you win the Super Bowl.

  22. If it is not relevant, if it was an easy schedule, if Shula was over rated…why hasn’t anyone else done it?

  23. In addition the Dolphins accomplished the Perfect Season with backup QB Earl Morrall starting and playing a full 10 games!

    Think the Pats could have gone 16-0 in 2007 with Brady missing 10 full games? NOPE

    Thank you 2007 New York Giants!

  24. They also played two teams with a winning record (both were 8-6) and didn’t play a team that made the playoffs. Some of the teams they played were among the worst teams of All Time.

  25. vicnocal says:
    November 12, 2019 at 10:31 am
    And Don Shula didn’t need to videotape the opposing team’s practices in order to get there.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Ask Jet fans about the 1982 AFC Championship when it rained heavily and Shula refused to have the field covered so he could slow down the Jets running game in the ‘mud bowl’. Happily, the Redskins kicked in the behinds of the Dolphins in the Superbowl.

  26. I don’t know which year, but one of the Packer teams they lost only one game on a last second field goal to the Vikings. Otherwise there would be two. So that’s nice. That there isn’t.

  27. Good for them. It still counts, even if their opponents had a combined winning percentage below .400 or whatever it was. Patriot fans will be all right. Here are just a few other records that won’t be broken in the next 100 years:

    Brady: 30 playoff wins. Nearly double anyone else. Wayne Gretzky territory.

    Brady: 10 straight playoff wins. The next closest streak this century is half of that.

    Brady: 6 super bowl wins in 18 seasons. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are already off pace to touch that. Russell Wilson is on pace to get 1/3 of that.

    Brady: 13 trips to the AFC title game, including 7 in a row. More than Brees, Ben, and Rodgers combined.

  28. weeping –

    I so remember the Colts almost perfect season when Dungy decided to rest players. I can still see those Colts players on the sidelines livid at what was happening during that first loss.

    A real head scratching decision by Colts coach. And a real slap in the face to the team.

  29. November 12, 2019 at 9:32 am
    Only truly came close to happening maybe 3 or 4 other times. 2007 Patriots, 85 bears, 2009 Colts. At 15 games we likely would have seen another occurrence, but probably will never happen
    ……………………… ………

    It happened in 2015 Panthers 14-0 and lost the 15th win the 16th
    2009 Colts lost 15th and 16th

  30. Wow there are really stupid comments on here ….
    19 games ??. Yeah now – was 17 before that it was 15
    Winning in a league with a cap : bravo : against constant inferior opponents- in a league bent on money and ratings ….. Tell Vince McM….. I mean Roger good job on his product——- NFL = WWE : rigged folks

  31. vicnocal says:
    November 12, 2019 at 10:31 am
    And Don Shula didn’t need to videotape the opposing team’s practices in order to get there.

    —————

    Don Shula had 20 years of Dan Marino and couldn’t win a Super Bowl. Even Adam Gase might have won a Super Bowl with Marino. Worst coaching in history.

  32. cletuspstillwaterjr says: “Yes, it was a very different game. If today’s diva QBs and WRs had to play by 1972 rules most wouldn’t last 4 games. The game was a lot more physical in the ’70s”
    ———————–

    The average DE in 1972 was 6’2″ and 254lbs. Linebackers were barely over 6’0″ and weighing ONLY 220lbs.

    Now DE’s are all over 300lbs and running the 40yd dash in the sub-5 second range. Linebackers are 250lbs and even faster. I’ll let you calculate the kinetic energy getting hit by a NFL player nowadays. Suffice to say, those guys in 1972 would get crushed by today’s players and wouldn’t last 4 plays…

  33. “And Don Shula didn’t need to videotape the opposing team’s practices in order to get there.”

    Neither did the Pats that is a disproven myth

    Dirty Don Shulacheat did however engage in many other nefarious practices.

  34. Remember in 2009, the Colts were 14-0, Bill Polian decided to tank the last 2 games against the 7-7 Jets and Bills for the Super Bowl, which the Caldwell coached Colts lost to the Saints. I was at the Jets game it was the only time I have ever booed the Colts (management) since 1984.

  35. mksnpcola says:
    November 12, 2019 at 11:03 am
    If it is not relevant, if it was an easy schedule, if Shula was over rated…why hasn’t anyone else done it?

    ———————-

    It is very relevant. Nobody can take it away and it was extremely hard to do.

    The Patriots did win 18 games in 1 season and 21 games in a row across two seasons. The Packers won 19 in a row across two seasons.

    At 17 games to win the Super Bowl it was barely breakable. At 19 it’s almost not possible.

    I don’t think Shula was overrated because of that… I think he’s overrated because he couldn’t win a Super Bowl with 20 years of the best QB in the league.

  36. If Belichick is considered by many to be the GOAT, when why did his most talented, greatest team get dominated by an average Giants team on the worlds biggest stage??

    Lets be honest, BB choked away his perfect season big time!

  37. WWE was working back in 1972. Roy Winston hit Csonka after a short catch in the flat and Csonka fumbled the ball. The Vikings Charlie West scooped it up and scored. Refs huddle and called it incomplete pass taking away a TD for the Vikings that would have made the score 21-9. The Miami drive continues and they called a weak roughing the passer. A call that Griese admitted was a gift to keep the drive alive again. Miami then scored making it 16-14 final. Put the asterisk on the only “perfect” season in the NFL. That what makes these guys popping corks even more outrageous. Frauds.

  38. I so remember the Colts almost perfect season when Dungy decided to rest players. I can still see those Colts players on the sidelines livid at what was happening during that first loss.

    A real head scratching decision by Colts coach. And a real slap in the face to the team.

    *********************************************************************************

    Actually it was Jim Caldwell. Dungy retired the year before.

  39. Look up 1948 Cleveland Browns on Pro Football Reference. Technically not NFL but still 14-0 season.

  40. Having attended all home games in ’72 at the Orange Bowl. The Phins went 0-4 in pre season. Griese broke his arm and Earl Morrel led them that season till Griese came back. Been a Phins fan since 1966 when George Wilson was the head coach.

  41. MortimerInMiami says:
    November 12, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    If Belichick is considered by many to be the GOAT, when why did his most talented, greatest team get dominated by an average Giants team on the worlds biggest stage??

    Lets be honest, BB choked away his perfect season big time!

    ———————————————

    Because he has 6 super bowl rings as a head coach, the most of any coach and 3x as many as Shula has…

  42. WWE was working back in 1972. Roy Winston hit Csonka after a short catch in the flat and Csonka fumbled the ball. The Vikings Charlie West scooped it up and scored. Refs huddle and called it incomplete pass taking away a TD for the Vikings that would have made the score 21-9. The Miami drive continues and they called a weak roughing the passer. A call that Griese admitted was a gift to keep the drive alive again. Miami then scored making it 16-14 final. Put the asterisk on the only “perfect” season in the NFL. That what makes these guys popping corks even more outrageous. Frauds.

    ******************************************************************************************

    Wait, an NFL game may have had questionable calls? I can’t believe it.If we invalidated every win where one team may have benefited from a questionable or even awful call, you’d eliminate just about every NFL win for every team. If you’re suggesting some kind of conspiracy to keep the perfect season alive, that game was in Week 3. I doubt that anybody was thinking about a perfect season at that time.

  43. Indybear says:
    November 12, 2019 at 9:30 am
    Different era, different game. No longer relevant.

    _________________________________________

    Just like when the Bears won the Super Bowl. Haha!

  44. So many people just don’t appreciate the NFL history. The 1972 Dolphins were a very cool team of young players playing on a relative YOUNG franchise. I believe the came into the NFL as a expansion team in 1966. Pretty impressive. On the other end of the spectrum the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into the league in 1976 and lost their first 26 games….BUT in year four they made the playoffs and came darn close to getting to the Super Bowl. Love the history of the NFL!!!

  45. But for a twist of fate, the NFL not accepting the AAFC record and fact book, this would not be true. The 1948 Cleveland Browns finished unbeaten / untied.

    The Browns did it first. It’s just not counted due to the pettyness of the stewards of the game when they merged the AAFC and the NFL.

  46. musicguy911 says:
    November 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm
    Having attended all home games in ’72 at the Orange Bowl. The Phins went 0-4 in pre season.

    Nope, Dolphins were 3-3 in the 72 preseason, you likely weren’t even born yet, nice try! LOL

  47. This is great listening to all of the Patriot fans think of a million excuses of why the 72 Dolphins should’t get credit for a perfect season..

    It puts a smile on my face.

    Today’s NFL players maybe better athletes than back in 1972. They don’t drink and smoke during half time anymore.. They would have been wrecked after a few series in 1972 crying how they were hit to high or to low. lol Real football was played back in those days not like the divas of today. Granted there are few tough guys left in the NFL but the rules have made this game very soft.

    Fact is the Miami Dolphins are still the only franchise with a perfect season. Go cry some more about it. Please, it’s entertaining.

  48. menlow13 says:
    November 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Wait, an NFL game may have had questionable calls? I can’t believe it.If we invalidated every win.////

    What?That isn’t at all what I was saying. I was saying the Dolphins got help from the refs that day or they lose to the Vikings. I didn’t see the other 13 games but that matters not. They don’t go undefeated if they call the game right in Bloomington.

  49. akira1971 says:
    November 12, 2019 at 12:03 pm
    cletuspstillwaterjr says: “Yes, it was a very different game. If today’s diva QBs and WRs had to play by 1972 rules most wouldn’t last 4 games. The game was a lot more physical in the ’70s”
    ———————–

    The average DE in 1972 was 6’2″ and 254lbs. Linebackers were barely over 6’0″ and weighing ONLY 220lbs.

    Now DE’s are all over 300lbs and running the 40yd dash in the sub-5 second range. Linebackers are 250lbs and even faster. I’ll let you calculate the kinetic energy getting hit by a NFL player nowadays. Suffice to say, those guys in 1972 would get crushed by today’s players and wouldn’t last 4 plays…

    ********************************************************

    Here come the Pats fans dropping the science and giving us another physics lesson. What is next another primer about deflategate and the noble gas laws?

  50. For all you people that say this is “a different era”. Yes you are right but what era was it for the 50 years before the Phins went undefeated. No one else had done it regardless of what ERA it was. All of you people saying that are just HATERS!!! And another thing back when they went undefeated a lot of you haters forget that the better record didn’t matter back then. The had to go and beat Pittsburgh at home for THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP that year.(You forget about that huh?) Homefield throughout the playoffs hadn’t even been invented. So all those teams now that get to sit and wait for 2 weeks to play, (NE) because they always have the easiest schedules. So that part about being a different era. Yes it is but it works both ways so give it a rest. A couple of other tid bits or food for thought for all you haters out there. The Dolphins went undefeated with a BACKUP QB that played 11 of the 17 games. The other tid bit is they went 15-2 the next year for a record of 32-2 over 2 seasons that was a record.

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