The Minnesota Vikings are the last undefeated and untied1 team in the NFL. Entering week 5, there were three undefeated teams, but the Broncos (Atlanta) and Eagles (Detroit) both lost on Sunday.
From 1970 to 2015, there were 43 times when there was one team standing as the lone unbeaten team remaining.2 How long did those teams remain undefeated? And how did their seasons ultimately end? Take a look:
|Year||Team||Week Became Last Unbeaten||Weeks as Lone Unbeaten||Win %||Playoff|
|2015||CAR||12||4||0.938||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2013||KAN||7||4||0.688||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|2012||ATL||6||4||0.813||Lost in Conf CG|
|2011||GNB||6||9||0.938||Lost in Div Rd|
|2010||KAN||4||1||0.625||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|2009||IND||15||1||0.875||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2008||TEN||6||6||0.813||Lost in Div Rd|
|2007||NWE||9||12||1.000||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2006||IND||9||2||0.750||Won Super Bowl|
|2005||IND||5||10||0.875||Lost in Div Rd|
|2004||PHI||8||1||0.813||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2003||KAN||8||3||0.813||Lost in Div Rd|
|2002||OAK||5||1||0.688||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2001||STL||4||3||0.875||Lost in Super Bowl|
|2000||MIN||8||1||0.688||Lost in Conf CG|
|1999||STL||5||3||0.813||Won Super Bowl|
|1998||DEN||9||6||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|1997||DEN||6||2||0.750||Won Super Bowl|
|1996||IND||5||1||0.563||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|1995||MIA||5||1||0.563||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|1994||SDG||5||3||0.688||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1992||MIA||6||2||0.688||Lost in Conf CG|
|1991||WAS||9||4||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|1989||RAM||5||1||0.688||Lost in Conf CG|
|1988||CIN||5||2||0.750||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1987||CHI||5||1||0.733||Lost in Div Rd|
|1986||DEN||7||03||0.688||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1985||CHI||8||5||0.938||Won Super Bowl|
|1984||MIA||7||5||0.875||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1983||DAL||5||3||0.750||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|1982||WAS||12||1||0.889||Won Super Bowl|
|1981||PHI||6||1||0.625||Lost in WildCard Rd|
|1980||BUF||5||1||0.688||Lost in Div Rd|
|1979||TAM||5||1||0.625||Lost in Conf CG|
|1978||PIT||8||0||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|1977||DAL||7||2||0.857||Won Super Bowl|
|1976||MIN||6||2||0.821||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1975||MIN||7||4||0.857||Lost in Div Rd|
|1974||STL||6||2||0.714||Lost in Div Rd|
|1973||MIN||7||3||0.857||Lost in Super Bowl|
|1972||MIA||3||14||1.000||Won Super Bowl|
|1971||WAS||3||3||0.679||Lost in Div Rd|
- Just one team, the 1993 Saints, were the lone unbeaten team in the NFL and then missed the playoffs.
- Ten times out of 43 (23%), the last unbeaten team won the Super Bowl.
- Thirteen times, the last unbeaten team was identified in week 5, including this year.
- On average, the last unbeaten team stayed that was for about 3 weeks. For those that became the last unbeaten team in week 5, that number was slightly lower (2.3 weeks).
- The most common playoff result? Losing in the Super Bowl (12 teams).
- The good news for Vikings fans? The last four “lone unbeaten teams” remained undefeated for at least four weeks. The bad news? It’s been a decade since any of those teams have won the Super Bowl.
As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
- Note: Throughout this post, I am using “undefeated” or “unbeaten” to mean no losses and no ties. [↩]
- Obviously that means there were four seasons where that wasn’t the case. In 2014, the Bengals and Cardinals were the last two unbeaten teams, and lost in week 5. In 1990, the Giants and 49ers both went 10-0, but lost in their 11th game before their head-to-head matchup. And in 1970, the Broncos, Lions, and Rams entered week 4 undefeated, but all left week 4 with a loss. [↩]
- The Broncos and Bears entered week 7 as the lone unbeaten teams. Chicago lost on Sunday to Minnesotaleaving Denver as the lone unbeaten team…. Until Denver lost on Monday Night Football the next day. [↩]