Don't know who Dan Marino was? THIS is who he was.

EJay

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The closest thing the NFL has seen to perfection since the lone residents of Perfectville--the 1972 Miami Dolphins--was the 1985 Chicago Bears, who won the Super Bowl and only lost one game all year ...
Technically 2007 NE and 1984 49ers were closer.

The Cheatriots lost their only game by a FG late in the SB.

SF also lost their lone game by a FG, after holding a Q4 lead, and of course won the SB.

CHI lost their lone game by 2 TD’s and never held the lead.
 

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Technically 2007 NE and 1984 49ers were closer.

The Cheatriots lost their only game by a FG late in the SB.

SF also lost their lone game by a FG, after holding a Q4 lead, and of course won the SB.

CHI lost their lone game by 2 TD’s and never held the lead.
No, I can't count any team that chokes in the Super Bowl. The Patriots don't even merit consideration, as they're not champions. The first rule of being undefeated is that you must be a champion. If you can't even claim to be the best team of your year, then you're not in consideration for an undefeated team ... otherwise, it's just a winning streak, IMHO.
 

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No, I can't count any team that chokes in the Super Bowl. The Patriots don't even merit consideration, as they're not champions. The first rule of being undefeated is that you must be a champion. If you can't even claim to be the best team of your year, then you're not in consideration for an undefeated team ... otherwise, it's just a winning streak, IMHO.
I get it.

Then only SF was closer ;)
 

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I get it.

Then only SF was closer ;)
Well, to BE the champ, you gotta BEAT the champ. At least the Bears played the Dolphins. I don't recall whether the nugget wranglers ever did that year.
 

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Well, to BE the champ, you gotta BEAT the champ. At least the Bears played the Dolphins. I don't recall whether the nugget wranglers ever did that year.
I feel like we beat SF in ‘83 or ‘85 in the regular season but didn’t play them in ‘84. In both cases (SF in ‘84 and Chicago in ‘85) the sole losses were to teams that made it to the AFC title game for whatever that’s worth / shows how close it can be at the top of the heap.
 

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Well, to BE the champ, you gotta BEAT the champ. At least the Bears played the Dolphins. I don't recall whether the nugget wranglers ever did that year.
I feel like we beat SF in ‘83 or ‘85 in the regular season but didn’t play them in ‘84. In both cases (SF in ‘84 and Chicago in ‘85) the sole losses were to teams that made it to the AFC title game for whatever that’s worth / shows how close it can be at the top of the heap.
You guys are forgetting about that little thing called the Super Bowl. Where we played SF and lost to conclude the 1984 season.

I don’t blame you guys, as I like to forget it myself. Wish they could have played a series that year because I don’t believe their defense stops our offense too many times. But I digress.

Anyway SF went 18-1 and beat us in doing so. Their only loss was to PITT by 3 on the road. And they held the lead in Q4.

So, technically, they came closer to a perfect 19-0 season than the Bears. But most never seem to remember it.
 

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You guys are forgetting about that little thing called the Super Bowl. Where we played SF and lost to conclude the 1984 season.

I don’t blame you guys, as I like to forget it myself. Wish they could have played a series that year because I don’t believe their defense stops our offense too many times. But I digress.

Anyway SF went 18-1 and beat us in doing so. Their only loss was to PITT by 3 on the road. And they held the lead in Q4.

So, technically, they came closer to a perfect 19-0 season than the Bears. But most never seem to remember it.
Yes - Pitt won that game - i believe - in OT. I was saying that the two closest teams (agree can’t count NE because they lost the SB) both lost their 1 game to the AFC runner up in the title game. SF to Pitt who we beat in the title game in ‘84 and chi to us who lost to NE in the title game. Too bad on that because we obviously matched up really well w Chicago.
 

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You guys are forgetting about that little thing called the Super Bowl. Where we played SF and lost to conclude the 1984 season.

I don’t blame you guys, as I like to forget it myself. Wish they could have played a series that year because I don’t believe their defense stops our offense too many times. But I digress.

Anyway SF went 18-1 and beat us in doing so. Their only loss was to PITT by 3 on the road. And they held the lead in Q4.

So, technically, they came closer to a perfect 19-0 season than the Bears. But most never seem to remember it.
Well I work hard to forget that Super Bowl, so please don't remind me. :D

IMHO, San Fran has received moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore than enough hype, coverage, adulation, nostalgia for the Bill Walsh genius of inventing the West Coast Offense and having a phenomenal defense. I'd still put the Bears above that 49'ers team. Just my opinion. And, I am not a San Fran fan obviously.
 

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I'd still put the Bears above that 49'ers team. Just my opinion.
You realize that ‘84 SF team beat essentially that same Bears team 23-0 in the NFC title game, right? It was largely the same roster in ‘85.

And, I am not a San Fran fan obviously.
Neither am I. I’m very much a SF hater of all things. Living in NorCal, I’ve had to hear about them ad nauseam.
 

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Well I work hard to forget that Super Bowl, so please don't remind me. :D

IMHO, San Fran has received moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore than enough hype, coverage, adulation, nostalgia for the Bill Walsh genius of inventing the West Coast Offense and having a phenomenal defense. I'd still put the Bears above that 49'ers team. Just my opinion. And, I am not a San Fran fan obviously.
I respect this opinion but have always maintained that the ‘84 Niners were > than the ‘85 Bears. Both had great defenses - yes, an edge can be given to Chicago. But offensively the Niners were so so so much better than the Bears, starting w QB. Great offensive linemen, two great backs in Tyler and Craig, Russ Francis at TE, Clark and Solomon at WR. Other than Walter Payton - at the end of his career, Chicago didn’t have a player at any skill position that would have started over SFs guys had they been on the same team. The Niners not only beat that Bears team in the ‘84 championship game but I believe beat them a couple more times in the mid 80’s which is a big reason Chicago never repeated a trip to the SB. I think the Bears were hyped up that year thanks to a lot of personalities on the team, Ditka and the SB Shuffle.
 

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You realize that ‘84 SF team beat essentially that same Bears team 23-0 in the NFC title game, right? It was largely the same roster in ‘85.



Neither am I. I’m very much a SF hater of all things. Living in NorCal, I’ve had to hear about them ad nauseam.
Yes, I know. And if you look at their games, you'll see why. Don Shula, Dan Marino, and the Miami Dolphins created a blueprint for beating the overload defense. When Dan Marino nonchalantly says it's too bad they didn't get a chance to play them in the 1985 Super Bowl, because the Dolphins matched up real well against them ... he's being very understated. In 1985 every team in the league tried to use the Dolphins blueprint for dealing with overload blitzes--which became an NFL staple over the next 30+ years. Most teams fared better, and that Bears defensive record never really rose to those heights again, because people had figured them out once the Dolphins showed the league the way.

In the playoffs that year and the Super Bowl the Bears dominated, none of those OC's really had enough time to tweak their systems to do the things the Dolphins did with the quick passes and hot reads. And, almost none had a QB capable of pulling it off. None were in the same tier as Dan Marino with the combo of phenomenal field vision, instant-recognition, super-quick decision making, the fastest release the NFL has ever seen, a strong arm to gun it in there, and pinpoint accuracy to beat great coverage. Sure, some teams had most of those elements, and every team had at least one or two, but few really could put it all together. San Fran had a guy, Montana, who had a decent release, a poor arm, but great vision, instant-recognition, super-quick decision making, and a team built around throwing quick short passes ... which was exactly what you needed to avoid that overload blitz. Also, they had the best collection of pass blockers (OL + RB + TE) in the game. So yeah, they followed Shula's plan and beat the Bears that year ... after the Dolphins showed htem how to do it. Also remember, that San Fran defense was exceptional, and often it doesn't get the credit it deserves, while that offense of theirs maybe gets too much credit.

But before the Dolphins showed the league how to do it, I would stand behind my statement that the 1984 Bears were the better team. I don't think San Fran could have tweaked their game enough in a 1 week layoff to impelement what they needed to do. But being a dynasty themselves, they dang sure took a month in the offseason diagnosing it. Both great teams, no doubt. As were the ringless Dolphins, who were only one unfortunate New England and Steve Grogan game away from probably being the NFL Champions. I so wish Dan Marino had won that ring ... it was his best shot. We did not match up well against San Fran. Our defense just wans't good enough, and their defense was world-class.
 

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Yes, I know. And if you look at their games, you'll see why. Don Shula, Dan Marino, and the Miami Dolphins created a blueprint for beating the overload defense. When Dan Marino nonchalantly says it's too bad they didn't get a chance to play them in the 1985 Super Bowl, because the Dolphins matched up real well against them ... he's being very understated. In 1985 every team in the league tried to use the Dolphins blueprint for dealing with overload blitzes--which became an NFL staple over the next 30+ years. Most teams fared better, and that Bears defensive record never really rose to those heights again, because people had figured them out once the Dolphins showed the league the way.

In the playoffs that year and the Super Bowl the Bears dominated, none of those OC's really had enough time to tweak their systems to do the things the Dolphins did with the quick passes and hot reads. And, almost none had a QB capable of pulling it off. None were in the same tier as Dan Marino with the combo of phenomenal field vision, instant-recognition, super-quick decision making, the fastest release the NFL has ever seen, a strong arm to gun it in there, and pinpoint accuracy to beat great coverage. Sure, some teams had most of those elements, and every team had at least one or two, but few really could put it all together. San Fran had a guy, Montana, who had a decent release, a poor arm, but great vision, instant-recognition, super-quick decision making, and a team built around throwing quick short passes ... which was exactly what you needed to avoid that overload blitz. Also, they had the best collection of pass blockers (OL + RB + TE) in the game. So yeah, they followed Shula's plan and beat the Bears that year ... after the Dolphins showed htem how to do it. Also remember, that San Fran defense was exceptional, and often it doesn't get the credit it deserves, while that offense of theirs maybe gets too much credit.

But before the Dolphins showed the league how to do it, I would stand behind my statement that the 1984 Bears were the better team. I don't think San Fran could have tweaked their game enough in a 1 week layoff to impelement what they needed to do. But being a dynasty themselves, they dang sure took a month in the offseason diagnosing it. Both great teams, no doubt. As were the ringless Dolphins, who were only one unfortunate New England and Steve Grogan game away from probably being the NFL Champions. I so wish Dan Marino had won that ring ... it was his best shot. We did not match up well against San Fran. Our defense just wans't good enough, and their defense was world-class.
Wait a sec. You’re making my head spin.

I don’t think you’re following me. You’re mixing up seasons.

The 1984 49ers beat the 1984 Bears in the NFC title game 23-0. That was 11 months prior to the 1985 Dolphins beating the 1985 Bears in that epic MNF classic.

I’m saying the 1984 49ers smoked and shut out essentially the same Bears team that went on to dominate the league the very next season and won the SB.

So the 1984 49ers team that beat them did so with their own greatness and not a blueprint that was laid out almost a year later.

The 1985 version of SF wasn’t as good as the previous version as evidenced by losing 5 more games.

It surely can be pointed out that CHI’s 1984 team wasn’t as good as their 1985 version, or course. However, that team did advance to the NFC title game with close to the same roster they fielded in 1985.

Hence I think we got a very good snapshot just how good that 49ers team in 1984 really was.
 

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Wait a sec. You’re making my head spin.

I don’t think you’re following me. You’re mixing up seasons.

The 1984 49ers beat the 1984 Bears in the NFC title game 23-0. That was 11 months prior to the 1985 Dolphins beating the 1985 Bears in that epic MNF classic.

I’m saying the 1984 49ers smoked and shut out essentially the same Bears team that went on to dominate the league the very next season and won the SB.

So the 1984 49ers team that beat them did so with their own greatness and not a blueprint that was laid out almost a year later.

The 1985 version of SF wasn’t as good as the previous version as evidenced by losing 5 more games.

It surely can be pointed out that CHI’s 1984 team wasn’t as good as their 1985 version, or course. However, that team did advance to the NFC title game with close to the same roster they fielded in 1985.

Hence I think we got a very good snapshot just how good that 49ers team in 1984 really was.
And after ‘85 didn’t the Bears have a few great regular seasons but lost in the playoffs to San Fran at least 1x perhaps 2x?
 

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Wait a sec. You’re making my head spin.

I don’t think you’re following me. You’re mixing up seasons.

The 1984 49ers beat the 1984 Bears in the NFC title game 23-0. That was 11 months prior to the 1985 Dolphins beating the 1985 Bears in that epic MNF classic.

I’m saying the 1984 49ers smoked and shut out essentially the same Bears team that went on to dominate the league the very next season and won the SB.

So the 1984 49ers team that beat them did so with their own greatness and not a blueprint that was laid out almost a year later.

The 1985 version of SF wasn’t as good as the previous version as evidenced by losing 5 more games.

It surely can be pointed out that CHI’s 1984 team wasn’t as good as their 1985 version, or course. However, that team did advance to the NFC title game with close to the same roster they fielded in 1985.

Hence I think we got a very good snapshot just how good that 49ers team in 1984 really was.
Perhaps it's me who did not recall which season those two NFC teams played. My apologies.

I saw those Bill Walsh 49'ers teams--an outgrowth of Paul Brown's direct edict to Bill Walsh to redesign the offense to accommodate the Bengals' QB (Ken Anderson) who could no longer throw deep. I lived through his realization that there was a very exploitable window for obtaining players with more mobile and less powerful/stout athletic profiles at a great discount. I vividly remember how they utilized spacing so very differently than the rest of the league. I saw that plan hatch, grow, and blossom. Bill Walsh is rightly chided for calling himself a genius ... but he was right. The system he invented, tweaked, and masterminded was truly revolutionary. The concepts of spacing, running horizontally far more than vertically, and avoiding moving the DL's or blocking the LB's was truly ground-breaking. The only revolutionary part of the Bears was the entire overload blitz schemes that became a staple of every defense.

There was a lot more to figure out with the Walsh offensive system than there was for the Buddy Ryan defensive system--but both teams greatness is necessarily predicated on those coaching tactical innovations. To attack the Bears defense, you needed certain qualities, but mainly a different tactical approach, such as more pass protecting RB's, a QB capable of getting the ball out of his hands quickly, and WR's who could read defenses to stay in sync with their QB's. To defend the 49'ers offense you needed physical qualities that were not generally present in the players of that day--30 lb's less muscle and far more speed, great change of direction/lateral quickness, LB's who could see and ride out cut blocks rather than stack and shed power blockers, DL who were mobile rather than powerful, DB's who understood the horizontal routes and could tackle immediately before allowing any YAC. A front 7 who were versatile enough to hide their blitzes because everyone was capable of shooting a gap or executing a stunt/twist to become a pass rusher. Then, once you had those fundamentally different personnel--who would be exploited for lack of power by every other team in the league--you had to teach them an entirely different style of play.

It took the NFL many years to catch up. When it did, you saw teams with old-school coaches like the Harbaughs in Baltimore and San Fran build an offense based on the old power and fullback principles and no team in the NFL had the personnel to match up against them, because they had shifted their roster to defend the Walsh principles.

And while it was harder to defend the Walsh west coast offense system ... in time, it could be done. Just like a team could attack the Ryan overload blitz schemes. It's hard to say who is better from a snapshot, but that is one valid way to look at it. Another might be to try to remove the innovation of those systems and look at the players who executed it, and ask which was greater once the league had figured it out and adapted. That's where I'm coming from I guess ... trying to remove the novelty/gimmic of these innovations and evaluating the team (coaching and players) who executed those innovative systems.

Hope that lends some clarity to my perspective. I see your very valid approach of simply looking at the snapshot--much more clear cut--and respect that view as well. I guess when I'm considering what I see as the greatest of all time in an Undefeated Season, I tend to take a different perspective when I consider which team was closest to going undefeated. Losing in week 1 takes you out of consideration, and not winning the Super Bowl eliminates you from even the discussion IMHO. I can see a greatest player not having a team achievement (e.g. Marino not having won a Super Bowl) because a team is greater than one player. But I can't give a team a top billing if they fail the most significant team achievement (e.g. the Patriots who didn't even win the Super Bowl).

For me, the innovation of the Bears, the overload blitz, was adjusted to by the league. The far more complex innovation of the 49'ers west coast offense took a lot longer to compensate and react to by the league because it fundamentally required different personnel. But, when the NFL did ... even that great 49'ers dynasty was over. Hope that clarifies things regarding my perspective.
 
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EJay

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Perhaps it's me who did not recall which season those two NFC teams played. My apologies.
No apology necessary. Because a season overlaps into a new year, it can often get confusing. I kinda figured that was part of the misunderstanding. Same thing happens with the NBA. Is it the 1997 Bulls that won or 1998? The season started in 1997 and the Finals were in 1998.

With both the NFL and NBA I always consider the team as the year in which the season started. So it was the 1997 Bulls. It was the 1984 Dolphins that reached the SB that was played in 1985.

It’s probably best to say the 1984/85 Dolphins, but we all seem to prefer brevity.
 
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