May 262013
 

A team’s W-L record during the preseason doesn’t count for anything, but an undefeated preseason can unfairly raise the expectations on a team going into the regular season.

However, for the most part undefeated preseasons aren’t celebrated, and most fans won’t easily remember when their favorite team pulled off the feat.

Listed below are all the instances of when a team went undefeated in league preseason play.

Undefeated in NFL, AFL, or AAFC Preseason Games

Note: A team must have played a total of three preseason games vs. league opponents to have their undefeated preseason counted. The records only include league preseason games; with the exception that AFL vs. NFL preseason games were counted as league games.

Show the Legend »

Legend:

Pre W-L: The record the team had in league preseason play.

Reg W-L: The regular season record the team had after they finished the preseason undefeated.

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header. You can search for a specific team or season using the search box to the right.

TeamSeasonPre W-LReg W-LPlayoffs
Arizona Cardinals (Chicago)19473-09-3NFL Champion
Arizona Cardinals (Chicago)19483-011-1Lost in the NFL Championship
Arizona Cardinals (Phoenix)19914-04-12
Arizona Cardinals20034-04-12
Atlanta Falcons19904-05-11
Atlanta Falcons20024-09-6-1Lost in the Divisional Round
Baltimore Ravens19984-06-10
Baltimore Ravens19994-08-8
Baltimore Ravens20004-012-4NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
Baltimore Ravens20094-09-7Lost in the Divisional Round
Carolina Panthers20034-011-5Lost the Super Bowl
Carolina Panthers20044-07-9
Carolina Panthers20064-08-8
Chicago Bears19433-08-1-1NFL Champion
Chicago Bears19464-08-2-1NFL Champion
Chicago Bears19473-0 ¹8-4
Chicago Bears19586-08-4
Chicago Bears19944-09-7Lost in the Divisional Round
Cincinnati Bengals19715-0-14-10
Cincinnati Bengals20064-08-8
Cleveland Browns (AAFC)19492-0-19-1-2AAFC Champion
Cleveland Browns19505-010-2NFL Champion
Cleveland Browns19625-07-6-1
Cleveland Browns19824-04-5Lost in the First Round
Cleveland Browns19864-012-4Lost in the AFC Championship
Dallas Cowboys19665-010-3-1Lost in the NFL Championship
Dallas Cowboys19716-011-3NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
Dallas Cowboys19854-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
Dallas Cowboys20063-0-19-7Lost in the Wild Card Round
Denver Broncos19824-02-7
Denver Broncos20004-011-5Lost in the Wild Card Round
Denver Broncos20054-013-3Lost in the AFC Championship
Detroit Lions19526-09-3NFL Champion
Detroit Lions19545-09-2-1Lost in the NFL Championship
Detroit Lions19904-06-10
Detroit Lions19934-0-110-6Lost in the Wild Card Round
Detroit Lions20084-00-16
Detroit Lions20114-010-6Lost in the Wild Card Round
Green Bay Packers19483-03-9
Green Bay Packers19575-0-13-9
Green Bay Packers19606-08-4Lost in the NFL Championship
Green Bay Packers19615-011-3NFL Champion
Green Bay Packers19625-013-1NFL Champion
Green Bay Packers19635-0 ¹11-2-1
Green Bay Packers19675-09-4-1NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
Green Bay Packers19703-0-36-8
Green Bay Packers19975-013-3Lost the Super Bowl
Green Bay Packers19994-08-8
Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore)19655-010-3-1Lost in NFL Conference Round
Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore)19665-09-5
Indianapolis Colts (Baltimore)19696-08-5-1
Indianapolis Colts19894-08-8
Indianapolis Colts19944-08-8
Jacksonville Jaguars19974-011-5Lost in the Wild Card Round
Kansas City Chiefs (Dallas Texans / AFL)19606-08-6
Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)19664-011-2-1AFL Champion / Lost the Super Bowl
Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)19696-011-3AFL / Won the Super Bowl
Miami Dolphins19766-06-8
Miami Dolphins19794-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
Miami Dolphins19814-011-4-1Lost in the Divisional Round
Miami Dolphins19984-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
Miami Dolphins20094-07-9
Minnesota Vikings19645-08-5-1
Minnesota Vikings19655-07-7
Minnesota Vikings19735-012-2Lost the Super Bowl
Minnesota Vikings19924-011-5Lost in the Wild Card Round
Minnesota Vikings19984-015-1Lost in the NFC Championship
Minnesota Vikings20014-05-11
New England Patriots19784-011-5Lost in the Divisional Round
New England Patriots19814-02-14
New England Patriots20034-014-2NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
New York Giants19736-02-11-1
New York Giants19855-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
New York Giants19904-013-3NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
New York Giants20064-08-8Lost in the Wild Card Round
New York Jets (AFL)19664-06-6-2
New York Jets19925-04-12
New York Jets19974-09-7
New York Jets20024-09-7Lost in the Divisional Round
Philadelphia Eagles19454-07-3
Philadelphia Eagles19494-0-111-1NFL Champion
Philadelphia Eagles19614-010-4
Philadelphia Eagles19954-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
Philadelphia Eagles20124-04-12
Pittsburgh Steelers19746-010-3-1NFL Champion / Won the Super Bowl
Pittsburgh Steelers19824-06-3Lost in the First Round
Pittsburgh Steelers19975-011-5Lost in the AFC Championship
San Diego Chargers (Los Angeles / AFL)19604-010-4Lost in the AFL Championship
San Diego Chargers (AFL)19614-012-2Lost in the AFL Championship
San Diego Chargers (AFL)19624-04-10
San Diego Chargers20004-01-15
San Francisco 49ers (AAFC)19492-0-19-3Lost in the AAFC Championship
San Francisco 49ers19525-07-5
San Francisco 49ers19546-07-4-1
San Francisco 49ers19915-010-6
San Francisco 49ers19925-014-2Lost in the NFC Championship
San Francisco 49ers20104-06-10
Seattle Seahawks20094-05-11
Seattle Seahawks20124-011-5Lost in the Divisional Round
St. Louis Rams (Los Angeles)19676-011-1-2Lost in NFL Conference Round
St. Louis Rams (Los Angeles)19706-09-4-1
St. Louis Rams (Los Angeles)19766-010-3-1Lost in the NFC Championship
St. Louis Rams (Los Angeles)19794-09-7Lost the Super Bowl
St. Louis Rams20114-02-14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers19834-02-14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers19994-011-5Lost in the NFC Championship
Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers / AFL)19655-04-10
Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers)19864-05-11
Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers)19884-010-6Lost in the Divisional Round
Tennessee Titans (Houston Oilers)20034-012-4Lost in the Divisional Round
Washington Redskins19505-03-9
Washington Redskins19854-010-6
zNew York Yankees (AAFC / Defunct)19482-0-16-8

¹ Lost to the non-league College All-Stars in the Chicago College All-Star Game.

 

The Green Bay Packers’ ten undefeated preseasons are the most in league history.

Undefeated in NFL, AFL, or AAFC Preseason Games (Cumulative)

FranchiseUndefeated PreseasonsWinning Seasons AfterChampions AfterLast Undefeated Preseason
Arizona Cardinals4 preseasons2 seasons1 championship2003
Atlanta Falcons2 preseasons1 season2002
Baltimore Ravens4 preseasons2 seasons1 championship2009
Buffalo Bills0 preseasons-
Carolina Panthers3 preseasons1 season2006
Chicago Bears5 preseasons5 seasons2 championships1994
Cincinnati Bengals2 preseasons0 seasons2006
Cleveland Browns5 preseasons4 seasons2 championships1986
Dallas Cowboys4 preseasons4 seasons1 championship2006
Denver Broncos3 preseasons2 seasons2005
Detroit Lions6 preseasons4 seasons1 championship2011
Green Bay Packers10 preseasons6 seasons3 championships1999
Houston Texans0 preseasons-
Indianapolis Colts5 preseasons3 seasons1994
Jacksonville Jaguars1 preseason1 season1997
Kansas City Chiefs3 preseasons3 seasons2 championships1969
Miami Dolphins5 preseasons3 seasons2009
Minnesota Vikings6 preseasons4 seasons2001
New England Patriots3 preseasons2 seasons1 championship2003
New Orleans Saints0 preseasons-
New York Giants4 preseasons2 seasons1 championship2006
New York Jets4 preseasons2 seasons2002
Oakland Raiders0 preseasons-
Philadelphia Eagles5 preseasons4 seasons1 championship2012
Pittsburgh Steelers3 preseasons3 seasons1 championship1997
San Diego Chargers4 preseasons2 seasons2000
San Francisco 49ers6 preseasons5 seasons2010
Seattle Seahawks2 preseasons1 season2012
St. Louis Rams5 preseasons4 seasons2011
Tampa Bay Buccaneers2 preseasons1 season1999
Tennessee Titans4 preseasons2 seasons2003
Washington Redskins2 preseasons1 season1985

 

Additional Info

  • Seven teams went from an undefeated preseason to a Super Bowl championship: 1967 Packers, ’69 Chiefs, ’71 Cowboys, ’74 Steelers, ’90 Giants, 2000 Ravens, ’03 Patriots.
  • The following teams went undefeated in the preseason, but subsequently posted more wins during the preseason than the regular season.
Team Year Pre W-L Reg W-L
Washington Redskins 1950 5-0 3-9
Green Bay Packers 1957 5-0-1 3-9
Houston Oilers 1965 5-0 4-10
Cincinnati Bengals 1971 5-0-1 4-10
New York Giants 1973 6-0 2-11-1
New England Patriots 1981 4-0 2-14
Denver Broncos 1982 4-0 2-7 ¹
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1983 4-0 2-14
New York Jets 1992 5-0 4-12
San Diego Chargers 2000 4-0 1-15
Detroit Lions 2008 4-0 0-16
St. Louis Rams 2011 4-0 2-14
¹ Strike shortened season.

 

  • The Green Bay Packers had four undefeated preseasons in a row from 1960-1963; although they did lose to a non-league opponent (College All-Stars) in 1963… The Baltimore Ravens (1998-2000) and the San Diego Chargers (1960-1962) each had three undefeated preseasons in a row.
  • Does an undefeated preseason lead to a winning record in the regular season? No! In the last ten seasons only 42% of the teams that finished the preseason undefeated, went on to have winning records in the regular season.

 

Preseason and regular season records were retrieved from various team media guides, The Pro Football Archives, and Pro-Football-Reference.com.

 

  4 Responses to “Undefeated in the NFL Preseason”

  1. I’d be interested in the correlation between winning percentage in the preseason and winning percentage in the regular season.

    • My guess is that you would find the preseason doesn’t matter. It’s not something that interests me enough to tackle, but perhaps someday it will, or someone else will have an interest in it. My suggestion would be start with 1978, when the NFL not only went to a 16-game schedule, but a traditional 4-game preseason schedule.

  2. how many teams ever went 16/0 in the pro football league. and who are they.

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