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Best Point Differentials in NFL History

Rob Joyce
October 28, 2019 - 4:59 pm
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There are times when win-loss record can be misleading. If Team A is 6-1 and wins its games by three points, while Team B is 2-5 loses its games by three points, are they that different? Then there are times when a team is flat out good or bad. The 2019 Patriots are the former.

The defending Super Bowl champions are 7-0 after a 33-0 walloping of the Jets on Monday night, and their point differential near the season’s midway point is historic. With the league’s highest-scoring offense (31.9 points per game) and best scoring defense (6.9 points per game allowed!) the Pats have a plus-175 differential, the second-best through seven games in NFL history, trailing only the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans. What New England is doing is historic, and if they keep it up, they’ll join this list of the best point differentials in a full season in league history:

5) 1985 Bears (+258):

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Chicago’s offense averaged 28.5 points per game, but it was the legendary defense that carried the load. The unit allowed just 12.4 points per game, with their only loss on Monday night at Miami being the lone outlier, a 38-24 loss. In the postseason they shutout both the Giants and Rams before throttling the Patriots 46-10 to win the Super Bowl.

4) 1991 Redskins (+281):

(Photo: Stephen Dunn /Allsport)

The year started with a 45-0 blanking of the Lions and it never really cooled from there. A Week Two win in Dallas was the only time the defense allowed more than 24 points (it didn’t happen after Week 4) and the offense scored at least 34 points on 10 different occasions, including the NFC title game and then in the Super Bowl against Buffalo.

3) 1999 Rams (+284):

(Photo: Elsa Hasch /Allsport)

The Greatest Show on Turf is the highest team on this list to win the Super Bowl. The offense led the league in scoring at 32.9 points per game, led by MVP Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Defensively they were fourth-best, allowing more than 21 points just four times in the regular season and postseason combined, capped by the stop at the one-yard line to win Super Bowl XXXIV against the Titans.

2) 1942 Bears (+292):

The Bears only come in at number two on our list, but it might be the most impressive of anyone considering Chicago did this in an 11-game regular season. The Bears led the 10-team NFL with 34.2 points per game on offense and 7.6 allowed on defense. After allowing 28 points in the season opener, George Halas’ team didn’t allow more than 14 points again the rest of the year, and allowed 14 total points in the final six regular season games. However, they fell short in the NFL Championship, losing 14-6 to Washington to spoil the season.

1) 2007 Patriots (+315):

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tom Brady is chasing his own record as the ’07 Patriots rolled over opponent after opponent en route to the league’s second-ever perfect regular season. New England averaged 36.8 points on offense as Brady set the single-season passing touchdown record (50) and Randy Moss the single-season receiving touchdown mark (23). The Pats also finished fourth in scoring defense (17.1 points allowed). A 19-0 championship season would have assuredly gone down as the best of all-time, but of course the Giants spoiled that in Super Bowl XLII.

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