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We finally have a team to go undefeated in a 16-game season. Yay.
But don’t call them the best team yet.
The New England Patriots accomplished something no other team has done before, and yes, what they did was quite amazing. In this era of NFL parity, where most teams are on a relatively even playing field, beating each one of your regular season opponents is a big feat, no matter how many stars you have on the team. They found many different ways to win, from dominating the Jets in September, to pulling out a close come-from behind victory over the Giants in the same stadium. The main components were all able to stay relatively healthy, and they put up record performances along the way.
This is a special team that we are seeing right now. Think about it: not every team can keep Randy Moss quiet and working hard for a whole season. If Moss is happy, then things are definitely going really well. Despite a rising dislike from the rest of the nation arising from Spygate and their continuous winning, the Patriots do deserve our respect, however begrudgingly, for what they did. No small accomplishment, indeed.
But the ’72 Dolphins should hold on to their bottle of champagne for a little while longer.
Maybe most people aren’t doing this, but just be careful for now.
The Patriots may have had a perfect regular season, and they may go down in history as having the best regular season ever, but their feat is diminished if they do not win the Super Bowl. Yes, they are the runaway favorites right now. But until they win their next three games, do not call them the best team ever. Winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate accomplishment in all of football, and for any team to be called the best should have to reach that ultimate accomplishment before they can gain the title of being “the” best. Besides, jumping the gun and realizing afterwards that you were wrong, if it happens, just looks foolish, especially if it happens in the first playoff game. Highly anti-climactic.
Furthermore, if the Patriots do lose in the playoffs, it cannot be called a perfect season anymore. The adjective “regular” would have to be added before “season” every time it is said how perfect the Patriots were. “Perfect regular season” just does not have the same ring as “perfect season”, as well as being a little more complicated to say.
The 1972 Dolphins may have been matched, or even surpassed by the extra two games, in the department of having a perfect regular season. But for now, the Dolphins are still 17-0 overall, while New England is only 16-0. Even if New England goes 18-1, they won’t have that perfect record, and they won’t have that Super Bowl, both of which the Dolphins had.
(Side note: ironic, isn’t it, that this year’s worst team is Miami?)
Get more ice for the champagne, boys. There’s three games to go yet.