The Atlanta Falcons are the 20th team since the start of the Super Bowl era (1966 NFL season) to start the season 8-0. Two teams, the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots, went on to finish those seasons undefeated.
The other 17 teams lost one or more games in their journey to try to finish the season with a perfect record. Here’s a look at 10 stats you might not know about the teams that eventually defeated the teams that started 8-0 (or better). We’ll call these teams the “Unbeaten Busters” or UB for short.
Just for the sake of clarity, the 17 teams that started the season 8-0 (or better) and then lost a game (or more) before the regular season ended were: 1969 L.A. Rams, 1973 Minnesota, 1975 Minnesota, 1977 Dallas, 1984 Miami, 1985 Chicago, 1990 N.Y. Giants, 1990 San Francisco, 1991 Washington, 1998 Denver, 2003 Kansas City, 2005 Indianapolis, 2006 Indianapolis, 2008 Tennessee, 2009 Indianapolis, 2009 New Orleans, 2011 Green Bay.
1. Divisional games: In only four of the 17 cases did the undefeated team lose to a team from within their division. The four: The 1977 Cowboys lost to division rival St. Louis Cardinals; the 1990 San Francisco 49ers lost to the L.A. Rams; the ’90 N.Y. Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles; and the 1991 Redskins lost to the Cowboys.