18-0: The 2007 Patriots

History Published on : 1/1/2005

The New England Patriots achieved extraordinary success to start the 21st century as the franchise captured three Super Bowl championships in a four-season span.

QB Tom Brady was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2007 after throwing a NFL record 50 touchdowns. WR Randy Moss was on the receiving end of 23 of those passes to eclipse the record previously held by Jerry Rice.

It all began in the 2001 season when the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. After failing to reach the playoffs in 2002, the club rebounded with back-to-back 14-2 regular seasons capped by victories in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX respectively. The Patriots continued its run of AFC Eastern Division titles in 2005 and 2006. Then, in 2007, the club left a memorable and historic imprint on the game.

The Patriots did the improbable by going unbeaten through the regular season. It marked the first time since the NFL expanded the regular season to 16 games that a team went undefeated. The Patriots added postseason victories over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional playoff round and a 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game to run the streak to an amazing 18-0. In doing so, the Patriots became the first team ever to go 18-0 in a season. The New York Giants spoiled New England’s place in history with a narrow win in Super Bowl XLII.

Despite the loss, the Patriots joined an elite group of teams that have posted undefeated regular season records. The Chicago Bears accomplished the feat in 1934 and 1942 but both seasons the “Monsters of the Midway” lost in the NFL’s title game. The 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the only NFL team ever to go unbeaten in the regular season and postseason when the club finished 17-0 that year.

A footnote to history is the accomplishment of the 1948 Cleveland Browns. The squad went 15-0 to win its third of four championships in the rival All-America Football Conference (AAFC). While the records of the defunct league are not recognized in the NFL record book, the Browns certainly merit mention when describing the game’s unbeaten teams.

Date Opponent
Sept. 9 at New York Jets
Sept. 23 Buffalo Bills
Oct. 1 at Cincinnati Bengals
Oct. 14 at Dallas Cowboys
Oct. 21 at Miami Dolphins
Oct. 28 Washington Redskins
Nov. 4 at Indianapolis Colts
Nov. 18 at Buffalo Bills
Nov. 25 Philadelphia Eagles
Dec. 3 at Baltimore Ravens
Dec. 9 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dec. 16 New York Jets
Dec. 23 Miami Dolphins
Dec. 29 at New York Giants


 Related Links:
1972 Miami Dolphins Perfect Season
1934 and 1942 Bears
Decade-by-Decade – 1940s: Browns, Bears go unbeaten