16-0 The 2007 New England Patriots were the first NFL team to finish 16-0 during the regular season, and they appeared to be the greatest team ever until their devastating defeat in Super Bowl XLII. In fact, no one has come close to matching their record since then.
They went 16-0 for the second time in three years. After losing the first game of the season, they won every game by at least 14 points until they met the Giants in the Super Bowl. It's hard to imagine anyone being able to match that record now but there are several teams who came close during the regular season.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins finished with a perfect 12-0 record but they lost the 1973 AFC Championship Game to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 43-13. The 1993 Buffalo Bills finished with a 13-3 record but they lost the 1994 Divisional Playoffs to the Chicago Bears by a score of 30-28. And the 1999 Tennessee Titans finished with a 12-4 record but they lost the 2000 Divisional Playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 33-32. So, it can be argued that the Patriots had the best record ever but they still got beat.
It's worth mentioning that the 1964 Houston Texans also finished with a perfect 12-0 record but they didn't play any postseason games due to the AFL-NFL merger.
The Patriots also had the first flawless regular season since the NFL expanded its schedule to sixteen games in 1978.
The 2007 Patriots are also the first team in NFL history to go unbeaten through a 16-game regular season, as the league switches to a 17-game schedule in 2021. In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants stunned the Patriots 17-14.
|2007 New England Patriots season|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (vs. Jaguars) 31–20 Won AFC Championship (vs. Chargers) 21–12 Lost Super Bowl XLII (vs. Giants) 14–17|
|Pro Bowlers||show 8|
The 1990 season was the 31st and 21st in the National Football League for the New England Patriots. Rod Rust's first and only season as head coach. The Patriots concluded the season with a 1-15 record, the lowest in team history. They also had the fewest wins in a single season since the NFL went to its current franchise system in 1972.
Prior to the 1989 season, the NFL realigned its division structure, creating four 15-team divisions - East, North, South, and West - that would be used every year from 1994 to 2015 with the exception of 2002 when the league paused its regular season schedule and held a special draft to determine which teams would play in what conference championship games. The Patriots were assigned to the new North Division at the end of the 1988 season after spending their first ten seasons in the AFC East. This was due to the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals both joined the new AFC Central division. The Patriots finished with a 9-7 record that year and made their first playoff appearance. They lost to Buffalo in the first round.
In 1990, the Patriots started off with three straight losses by an average margin of nearly 30 points before winning their next five games by an average score of more than 40-10. Their lone loss during this stretch was a 20-3 setback at the hands of Miami on September 27.
Furthermore, while the Patriots have had the best run of success in NFL history, the 1970s Steelers remain the greatest team of all time, having gone 4-0 in Super Bowl play. The Patriots lost all four games during that period.
In addition, the Patriots are not only the most successful franchise in New England, but also one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. They have more total wins than any other team in the league and have won more regular season games than every other team except the Steelers.
Furthermore, since the inception of their AFC championship game matchup against the Steelers, who they have defeated each year since 1972, the Patriots are 16-1 in such games. The only loss came when Pittsburgh beat them 34-13 in the first round of the 2001 playoffs.
Lastly, the Patriots are also one of two teams to have never been defeated by a team from another conference (the other being the 49ers).
They have played 123 games over eight seasons (all but one game since 2004) and not once has an opponent come away with a win. That is the longest active streak in the NFL. The Patriots have beaten everyone they have faced during this span except the Indianapolis Colts (twice), who they lost to 17-16 in 2003 and 28-21 in 2014.
1990 The 1990 season was the 31st and 21st in the National Football League for the New England Patriots. They lost all 15 games by an average score of 45-108.
This was also the last season that the franchise played at Boston Garden. From 1990 to 1996, the Patriots did not have enough winning seasons to qualify for the playoffs. During this period, they often found themselves near or at the bottom of their division.
The 1991 season was doomed from the start when star quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a serious knee injury during a Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills. Bledsoe missed the rest of the season and the Patriots were defeated in their first game without him, a 34-7 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins.
After losing their first two games this year, Tom Brady took over as the new face of the franchise. From then on, the Patriots would go on to win eight straight games including playoff victories over the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts to advance to the Super Bowl. In the biggest game in franchise history, they faced off against the Chicago Bears in one of the most memorable championships ever. The Patriots won 19-14 to earn their first title since 1972.
The squad returned to the Super Bowl in 2004, beating the Carolina Panthers and earning Brady his second Super Bowl MVP honor. The enthusiasm continued over to the next season, when the Patriots extended their winning streak to 21, breaking the previous record of 18 established by the Miami Dolphins in 1972-73.
In 2016, the Patriots became the first team to begin a season with three straight wins in the Super Bowl. They went on to beat the Carolina Panthers 26-21 in overtime for their 19th championship.
New England has been involved in many controversies during its existence, but none bigger than its relationship with Bill Belichick. The Patriots coach is known for playing down his accomplishments, most notably in 2007, when he called his team's victory over the Chicago Bears "not that big of a deal." However, he did give credit where it was due, saying: "I'm not gonna say it wasn't important because we're still playing football and we still have a chance to win a game."
Belichick began his coaching career as an assistant under Don Shula with the Miami Dolphins. He took them to the next level by reaching the Super Bowl every year from 1984-1990, losing all three games. In 1991, he moved to New England where he has never looked back. He has won or taken part in every playoff game since joining the Patriots and has a 54-17 record overall.