The FIFA World Cup has given us some of the most iconic teams and players of all time. From the Untouchables to the 1972 Dolphins, this list of the greatest teams has something for everyone. From sides that changed the history of the sport to sides that rewrote it, this list has something for everyone. And of course, no list would be complete without the legendary New England Patriots, the 1975 Steelers, the 1972 Bears, and the 1972 Dolphins.
If you’re looking for the best team in NFL history, then you’ve come to the right place. These 60 football teams have unmatched player and team chemistry, and they are the poster boys of their organization. Many of these teams have untouchable players, including the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers. But there are many more. To narrow down the list, consider each team’s most noteworthy player.
The term “untouchable” refers to a group of people who are deemed low-caste in India. They were segregated in hamlets outside the town boundary, barred from many temples and schools, and had no access to wells used by the upper castes. Because they were considered polluting, they were relegated to a nomadic life, and their social and economic status was further complicated. Eventually, they sought religious freedom, and the rest is history.
The 1985 Chicago Bears are among the most legendary teams in NFL history. In a recent “30 for 30” documentary, they were listed among the top 100 teams in the NFL’s history. That’s an impressive feat considering the team’s lack of success in previous seasons. But there is one blemish on the 1985 Bears’ record: a Dec. 2 loss to the Miami Dolphins, who assembled one of the best defenses ever.
The ’85 Bears featured a number of interesting characters. They featured fiery head coach Mike Ditka, a veteran who left to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and defensive tackle William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a six-foot-two, 382-pound rookie. Perry, a former Clemson star who played running back, was a favorite of Chicago fans and made the team famous.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise’s seventh season, and its third in the National Football League. Led by third-year head coach Don Shula, the team was the first to post a perfect season in NFL history, and led the league in points scored and points allowed. The 1972 Dolphins are one of the most memorable teams in franchise history. They won the Super Bowl in a record-setting year, and the 1972 season still stands as one of the most memorable in NFL history.
The success of the 1972 Dolphins is inexplicable, and it is hard to imagine a more perfect team in the history of the NFL. They were a model of perfection and excellence, and now they are synonymous with spiteful men. The 1972 Dolphins’ remarkable success, from the first time they won a championship game to the cork-popping soundbite after the last game, is the benchmark for the organization. But it is a tough reality to face the fact that we aren’t in their league anymore.
The era of the “Os Santasticos” in Brazil is an iconic one. The club was not wealthy, and their attendances lagged behind their state rivals Corinthians and Sao Paolo. They tended to recruit young players with natural talent from other parts of Brazil, including Minas Gerais and Rio Grande Do Sul. The club was also fortunate to have Brazilian World Cup star Jair, who joined the club from Palmeiras. However, they did not make the top six.
After losing two consecutive titles, Santos was a solid team, but they failed to win the State Championship. They also failed to win the Recopa in either 1957 or 1961. In fact, the club finished fourth in both of these tournaments. The club’s name was changed to O ataque dos 100 gols, which means “the challenge of one hundred goals.” The team’s first major idol, Araken Patusca, was the son of the club’s first president. He went on to represent Santos in the World Cup and become a member of the Brazilian national team.
The 75 Bears rank seventh among the all-time greats of the NFL. This is no surprise, considering that they were a powerhouse offense that dominated the AFC North and the NFC South. The 1975 team also included Hall of Famers Walter Payton, Dan Pompei and Don Pierson as its top 100 players. Below is the top fifty of the entire franchise, with three current Bears in the mix.
Brian Piccolo worked his way into the Bears’ depth chart and was a valuable addition to the offense. After three years at halfback, he was moved to fullback in 1967 and became an effective rushing duo. After being signed by the Bears, Sayers and Piccolo were given roommates at the player hotel. Since roommates were segregated in the early 1960s, this made them the first interracial pair in the NFL.
The 1982 Dolphins were the first team to make it to the Super Bowl. The team’s defense was one of its best in team history, and their first loss was to the Chargers in the playoffs. David Woodley was the starting quarterback that season and Strock was the backup. Woodley eventually was replaced by Dan Marino in 1983. However, the offense lacked a consistent running game and their defense was not as solid as the 1983 version.
The 1982 Miami Dolphins finished first in the AFC East and the NFL’s East Division. They tallied 198 points while allowing 131, and had two Pro Bowl players. Franklin rushed for a touchdown and gained 161 yards on the ground. The Dolphins finished the season against the Indianapolis Colts, which would be their AFC East rival until 2002. The Colts had a miserable season in 1982, finishing with one win and five losses. However, the Dolphins’ 1982 season was marred by an early players’ strike that impacted the team’s performance.
In honor of their historic season, the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers have been named one of the best teams of all time by the Football Writers Association. The Steelers were among the first homegrown teams in NFL history. Their roster consisted of draft picks and undrafted free agents who had never worn an NFL uniform. The team went on to win four Super Bowls, including the first one ever held by a Pittsburgh team.
The team finished its title in four consecutive Super Bowls, and was led by legendary quarterback Terry Bradshaw. His offense featured two Pro Bowlers and a Hall of Fame running back. The Steelers’ defense ranked second in total yardage allowed. The defense featured Hall-of-Fame cornerbacks and linebackers. The defense was ranked among the best in the NFL for two straight years.
The ’81 Seahawks were a surprising group of players. After two straight losing seasons and a season without a winning record, they jumped up to the top of the NFL standings and won the Super Bowl. In fact, they were the only team to make the playoffs in Seattle for the first time since 1972. They also had a strong quarterback in Joe Montana, who replaced Steve DeBerg in 1980. Despite the inexperience of the quarterback, Montana led the league in completion percentage and yards per attempt. The offensive mind of Bill Walsh was also a big part of their success.
After two and a half seasons at right guard, Tobeck moved to center and played in all but one game of the season. Tobeck also played at left tackle for the Seahawks, starting more games than any other offensive lineman in the 1981 season. The Seattle defense benefited from a dominant Chancellor. Chancellor’s sack of Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Demaryius Thomas in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII pushed Seattle to an upset win.
The 1972-73 season was a frustrating one for the Seahawks. They lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game, and they squandered the season’s best player, John Largent. The team finished with an average record of 9-7, and they were unable to reach the playoffs in the next two years. Despite the frustration, the team still ranked fourth in the AFC West division and made the playoffs twice.
In the 1974 season, the Seahawks blew a nine-point lead in two consecutive games against the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals. But they rebounded to win two consecutive games against the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. One of those games was marred by a career-ending neck injury to Russell Wilson, while the other was highlighted by a two-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Thomas Rawls.
The 1986 Bears were an NFL team that played their first season in the post-World War II era. The team was named to the NFL’s “All-Star Game” after the team’s first-round playoff win. The team was led by head coach Mike Ditka, who had won the Super Bowl the previous year. The season was the 66th completed in the NFL, and the team reached the post-season for the 16th time.
Despite the fact that the 1985 Bears were the NFL’s first Super Bowl appearance, their success was hardly a sure thing. The team’s rap song, “Super Bowl Shuffle,” received a Grammy nomination, and KISS won the category. The rap song made the Bears household names, and many writers have chronicled the 1986 Bears’ exploits. But while the team’s offensive line remained one of its best ever, it was the Bears’ defense that made them so successful.
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