The 25 most dominant NFL teams of the last 50 years

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The 25 most dominant NFL teams of the last 50 years

Mike Sando and Zac Boyer
May 22, 2020

With dominant teams dominating The Athletic this week, from college football to the NBA and MLB, the question was posed to our NFL reporting group: Could we identify the 25 most dominant NFL teams of the past 50 years? We could, but first we needed logical criteria. That required research, including a deep dive into the vast Pro Football Reference data warehouse. We pulled into one spreadsheet all 550 playoff teams since 1970, bounced ideas off a couple of football people with statistical pedigrees and emerged with a power-rankings formula we feel really good about.

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Before revealing the 25 most dominant NFL teams of the past 50 years, we’ll make a quick run through the formula so the rankings make sense. We weighted the components this way:

Regular-season won-lost record (35 percent). We wanted our teams to have good records. Twenty-four of them won at least 80 percent of their regular-season games.

Regular-season points-per-game ratio (35 percent).