Since the merger, the world has witnessed 39 Super Bowls.
Of those Champions and some Non-Championship teams, since the NFL is one game winner take all, I give you the 25 greatest teams in the Super Bowl Era since the merger.
You cannot deny the greatness of some teams, even if they did not win the Super Bowl. Don't forget, as fans of the NFL, we have seen so many games where the better team did not in fact win.
Sadly I was not alive during the '70s, so forgive me if I left out some teams that were undeniably so great they should be on this list, I welcome any criticism.
The 1981 Chargers didn't win the Super Bowl, they didn't even make it to the big game, but the team's greatness is undeniable.
Fouts will be forever known as a perennial playoff choker, but in '81, he had his best chance and his 2 INTs in the Freezer Bowl that was the '81 AFC Championship game had merit.
Fouts led the league in Completions, TDs and set a new record for most yards in a season as well. The team had two Hall of Fame WR in Wes Chandler and Charlie Joiner and Hall of Fame TE Kellen Winslow.
That season also saw the team hold a Pro Bowl RB in Chuck Muncie who posted 19 rushing TDs, tying the then record for most in a season.
The '81 Chargers scored 52 more points than the 2nd most offensive team that year, and their 478 points were the most scored by a team in a 16-game regular season, and fourth most PPG in a season by a team ever.
Would have been nice to see them face those '81 49ers.
The '83 Redskins broke the single season points record by a team, and were first in points differential led by League MVP Joe Theismann and John Riggins breaking the single season rush TD record.
The 'Skins loss in Super Bowl XVIII was a shock to say the least, they lost to a great team, but at the time and looking back was an upset for the ages.
Both of their two regular season losses came by a single point.
Of all the Super Bowl teams, the Bucs had one of the worst offenses, No. 18 in the league that season, but that was a small part of the story.
The 2002 Bucs allowed the second least points against in the 16-game season ever. A mere 196. Yes, two less than the vaunted '85 Bears.
In fairness, the '02 Bucs had an easier schedule than the 85 Bears and only a fraction of the offensive power.
Brad Johnson, the QB, was almost mistake free with only 6 INTs thrown the entire season, and the Bucs forced Ruch Gannon to throw a Super Bowl record five picks.
Led by a three-tTime League MVP ( in a row ) in Brett Favre, the '97 Packers retained many key elements of the '96 team, they were second in offense and fifth in defense this season, worse than the previous year, but not by much, best defense allowed only 17 less points.
They made it back to the Super Bowl as defending champs, and lost in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, to the Elway led Broncos, who had Terrell Davis score a Super Bowl record three rushing TDs.
Had they won, a debate would have emerged as to which was better, the '96 Pack or the '97 Pack, both finished 13-3, both dominated many games including the playoffs, but the '97 Packers, lost the Super Bowl.
The '73 Dolphins were coming off a perfect season, this time they had a harder regular season and finished 12-2, ranking once against 1st in defense but fifth in offense.
The exclamation point in the season was the playoffs, an 18 point win in the Divisional round, 17 in the Conference Championship and a dismantling of the Tarkenton led Vikings 24-7 in the Super Bowl, were Larry Csonka won game's MVP.
The defending Super Bowl champs had a lot of pressure on them, but they answered finishing 14-2, again in back to back seasons, only the second team to accomplish the feat of back to back 14+ win seasons.
One of their losses came late in the season in the upset of the year against the hapless Dolphins, 29-28.
The other loss came against the 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, who the Patriots beat at home in the AFC Conference Championship.
Their Super Bowl XXXIX victory was the only one in franchise history that did not occur because of a last second field goal, the Patriots had the NFC Champion Eagles locked deep in their own zone with under 30 seconds left in the game, up by three.
The 04 Pats ranked No. 1 in points differential and were largely unchallenged in their playoff run.
The '71 Cowboys lost three games, their biggest loss was a 10-point deficit to the Saints in a fluke game.
Aside from that little misstep, this team dominated without question.
The No. 1 offense in the league, their No. 7 ranked defense stepped up big time in the playoffs.
Holding the Vikings to 12 points in the Divisional Round, and then holding their opponent to three points in the Conference Championship AND the Super Bowl.
The three points allowed against remains the Super Bowl record, a record of submission, and this against a Dolphins team which would not lose a game all of next season.
The 1986 Giants held the last defensive player to win league MVP, Lawrence Taylor and his record 20.5 sacks in a season where Marino threw for 44 TDs.
They were not the best offense or defense that season, but they went a league best 14-2. The team's only two losses came by five and three points.
In the playoffs, they were perfect, delivering at the time, the most crushing playoff defeat in league history, a 49-3 beheading of the Montana led 49ers, Joe Cool was knocked out of the game after he had thrown 2 picks and went 8 of 15 for 98 yards.
They then went on to shutout the Redskins, 17-0 in the Conference Championship game.
And in the Super Bowl, Phil Simms was near perfect throwing 22 completions on 25 attempts and the Broncos fell, 39-20.
I'll say it like this, had Roger Craig not fumbled the ball with under three minutes left in the game, the 49ers would have won Super Bowl XXV.
The 1990 49ers boasted two-time League MVP Joe Montana, who had won his second consecutive league MVP, the team had finished a league best 14-2.
The team had the biggest pressure on them to threepeat, and they would have.
Even with Montana knocked out of the game, the 49ers were up late in that 1990 NFC Championship game and the Giants beat them by two outscoring 6-0 in the fourth.
The biggest game changer was the Craig fumble, the 49ers could have run down the clock to the point where, if they were held to punt, the Giants low end offense who have prayed for a miracle.
Charles Haley and Ronnie Lott were both first team All-Pros on defense, Montana actually had more yards than the previous season, as did Jerry Rice.
Rice also led the league with 100 receptions.
Montana was sacked 33 times in 13 games in the 89 season, in the 1990 season he was sacked 29 times in 15 games.
The team of 1990 was in many ways the same efficiency as the team of 89, but the 90 team got unlucky, and the 90 Giants prevailed as Super Bowl champs.
The 1992 season saw the resurrection of the Cowboys franchise. This was Troy Aikman's best season, it was also Emmitt Smith's second highest yardage total.
The Boys sent six Pro Bowlers on offense, and had no competition in the playoffs. It's hard to pinpoint how great they were, they did beat the Bills without Kelly, but they destroyed defenses right, left and center.
They were the second most prolific offense, and had the second best points differential. Only the 49ers had a better offense, and the Boys beat them fair and square in the NFC Championship game.
The Raiders of 1976 finished league best 13-1, two more wins than anybody else.
There were no great accomplishments statistically, but the wins were there and in the playoffs the team handedly beat Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game and the Vikings in the Super Bowl, the fact they were coached by John Madden, the best playoff coach in NFL history also has a point.
To look at the regular season rankings of the 83 Raiders would not impress anyone. However, they won, at 12-4 they shared the second best record in the NFL, only one team had better.
The Giants of the 1983 season were the Washington Redskins, who's only two losses coming into Super Bowl XVIII were both by a single point, boasting the league MVP and arguably the league's best RB in John Riggins and the overall best offense (by quite a bit) what the '83 Raiders did, was stamp their greatness on this list.
The '83 Raiders defeated the Steelers 38-10 in the Divisional Round and the Seahawks 30-14 in the AFC Championship.
What happened in the Super Bowl against the mighty Redskins was no fluke, it was a definitive beating, savage in all its infamy.
The '83 Skins were held to nine points, at the time, the record holders for most points by a team in the regular season.
Do I need to go on?
They started 13-0, and finished 16-2 as Super Bowl Champions.
The 98 Broncos held Hall of Famer Elway and 2k yard rusher Terrell Davis.
They only faced one playoff team in the regular season, but their easy walk to the Super Bowl and absolute domination of the Falcons in the big game show off their greatness.
Sending 10 Pro Bowlers, although not a direct indication of greatness, was an accomplishment and statistically, the Broncos were the second best offense in the league that season, with the second best record.
Their 501 points would have been the second most in NFL history in a 16-game season, were it not for another team that 1998 NFL season.
The 75 Steelers finished 12-2, one of their losses coming to the 12-2 Rams.
This team had everything, the Hall of Famers galore, first in points differential and played one of the best Super Bowls ever beating the Roger "The Dodger" Staubach's Cowboys 21-17.
A record 12 Pro Bowlers (before fans were allowed to vote) and you have one hell of a team.
Were it not for the biggest single choke play in NFL history, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings would have been crowned Super Bowl XXXIII Champions.
Setting the record for most points scored in a single season, the Vikings of 98 were a monster.
Randall Cunningham, one of the all time greats, played pocket passer, and threw for 34 TDs in 14 starts, while Randy Moss set the rookie record for TD receptions.
Gary Anderson became the first kicker in the Super Bowl era to go 100 percent on field goals with 20+ made.
He was 35 of 35, including 14 from 40+ yards, and 59 of 59 in Extra Points.
Yet somehow, someway, he shanked it in the 1998 NFC Championship game with the Vikings up by seven with just over two minutes left to play.
A 38 yarder, and it was not blocked, it was just wide left.
I could go on...but anyone who watched the Vikings that season and saw that game knows, the '98 Falcons were the luckiest team in NFL history, and the Vikings, perhaps the unluckiest.
With the signing of Reggie White in '93 and Brett Favre acquired in '92, the '96 Packers had matured as a team, as an offense and defense.
One of few teams to lead the league in offense and defense. Favre attained the third most TD passes in a season with 39 and League MVP honors.
The schedule was not easy but the Pack only lost three games, the team was largely unchallenged and won the Super Bowl by 14.
If the most lopsided Super Bowl score of 55-10 doesn't impress you, then perhaps their statistical dominance in 89 would.
Montana won his first of two league MVPs as Montana had his best season, a record 112 QB Rating.
Most points scored and third in league defense.
They only lost two games, both to 10+ win teams, one by four and another by one.
In the playoffs, they were untouchable.
Winning as so:
55-10 Super Bowl
If that doesn't sound criminal, you may not have a soul.
The 1978 Steelers were better than the '75 Steelers in every way, need I say more?
Bradshaw was named League MVP and the team had 10 Pro Bowlers with four first team All-Pros.
The team was the best defensively in the regular season and actually allowed the LEAST points in a season....EVER, in a 16-game schedule.
And Super Bowl XIII is considered by many as the greatest of all time.
They won by a yard, but what the Rams accomplished in the 1999 NFL season can never be taken way.
The team scored the second most points in a season ever, unlike the '98 Vikings however (who scored the most) the Rams won the Super Bowl.
Marshall Faulk became only the second RB to rush and receive over 1,000 yards in a season and Kurt Warner became only the 2nd QB ever to throw for over 40 TDs in a season.
The team was unstoppable, and ranked fourth in defense with No. 1 points differential, the 284 net points were actually more than a 100 over the 2nd most in the league that year.
Greatness, plain and simple.
And Kurt Warner won League MVP and posted the most yards in a Super Bowl.
The first season of the Cap Era, and the best regular season record went to the 49ers, led by Steve Young.
They were the No. 1 offense, at the time scoring the second most points in a season.
Rice led the league in receiving yards while Steve Young beat out Montana's QB Rating in a single season and captured the passing TD record in a Super Bowl.
49ers beat the Bears brains out in the Divisional Round and then stopped the Boys from completing a threepeat and then bulldozed the Chargers.
The '94 49ers had no real weaknesses and dominated the season, statistically speaking, they were one of the best.
The '72 Dolphins finished 17-0, undefeated, only team to do so in the Super Bowl Era.
So one might ask why they are only at No. 5.
The '72 Dolphins relished the easiest schedule in NFL history, never having to face a playoff team in their 14 games and only two teams with a winning record.
They were No. 1 in offense and No. 1 in defense, they deserve their due, but Mercury Morris is insane to think they were the undeniable greatest team in NFL history, at least, not in my opinion.
One of the hardest schedules in NFL history, the Skins prevailed over 14 of their opponents, including a 45-0 bucthering of the 12-4 Lions.
Their only two losses came at the hands of the 10-6 Eagles and 11-5 Cowboys, both of which were within 3 points.
In the playoffs the 'Skins beat the Falcons 24-7, and the Lions 41-10 to advance to the Super Bowl where against Kelly's best performance in the big game, Mark Rypien prevailed as Washington won 37-24.
The team was also ranked No. 1 in offense and No. 2 in defense.
Were it not for the greatest upset in Super Bowl history, and Top five in sports history period, the 07 Patriots would be hailed as the greatest NFL team ever, sadly, they have to settle for No. 3.
The thing about the '07 Pats if you didn't know is this: They broke the single season points record by a team, their Quarterback threw for a record 50 TDs in a season, and they had a WR break the record for TD receptions in a season, point differential of 315, also a record in a season, they went 16-0 and broke the longest win streak to start a season at 18-0, beat six playoff teams in the regular season, including the No. 2 and No. 3 overall seeds and had nine wins by 20+ points.
They lost the Super Bowl by three in the luckiest play in Super Bowl history, a catch by third string WR David Tyree, who was cut by the Giants after the Super Bowl.
If the game was played 100 times, the G-Men would have lost 99 times.
One loss, by three points, and the rest is history, the 84 49ers were near flawless, walking through in the playoffs and beating the powerhouse Dolphins with Dan Marino's greatest season by a Quarterback ever, they were No. 2 in total offense and No. 1 in defense that year.
What could the 49ers have done better? Nothing really, the only reason they are No. 2 is because of who is No. 1.
You can't say enough about the '85 bears, the greatest defense of all time in any season and they were also the second best offense in the league behind Fouts' Chargers.
What they did in the playoffs is unmatched and unlikely to ever happen again, back to back shutouts in the Divisional Round and Conference Championship on their way to the then biggest drubbing in Super Bowl history, 46-10 over the Patriots.