NFL Perfection: Will Anyone Join the '72 Miami Dolphins?

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NFL Perfection: Will Anyone Join the '72 Miami Dolphins?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Will this be the year that Mercury Morris and the '72 Miami Dolphins welcome a new resident to Perfectville?

Two weeks into the 2012 NFL season and there are only six undefeated teams remaining. The six teams still standing tall are the San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals

Do any of them have what it takes to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins in Perfectville? What are the obstacles that each of them faces?

Let's start things off by setting the record straight, the '72 Dolphins played a shorter season—only 14 games—before fighting their way through the playoffs. So, off the bat, any team attempting to reach perfection in the NFL since the '78 season is already facing an uphill climb.

Additionally, the football played today is not the same as the football of yesteryear. There have been countless rule changes, equipment has gotten better, the league has expanded (three times—by six teams) and talent has gotten better.

Considering all that has changed, going for perfection may be much harder now than it ever was then. But, let's not diminish what the '72 Dolphins accomplished. In 46 seasons (since the AFL-NFL merger before the 1966-67 season), they are the only team to have ever completed a perfect season.

In numbers, that means that over 46 seasons a total of 1,259 teams have attempted to win every Sunday, with only one accomplishing that feat. That is a success rate of less than .08%. To repeat, that is less than eight hundredths of one percent. 

Needless to say, the odds aren't favorable, but let's entertain the notion anyway.


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