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The Best Season From Every NFC North Team

NFC Best Teams
© Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

There have been several great teams throughout the history of the NFL. Every team has had its share of highlight moments, dream seasons, and dominant performances.

This is the sixth installment of every NFL team's best season by division, now with the NFC North.

Chicago Bears NFC Best Team: 1985

The 46 defense is the first thing that usually comes to mind when reflecting on the '85 Chicago Bears, and for good reason. That NFC best teams unit, led by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, boasted four Hall of Famers in linebacker Mike Singletary and defensive ends Richard Dent, Dan Hampton, and Steve McMichael. The unit also included fellow Pro Bowlers in linebacker Otis Wilson and safety Dave Duerson. Together, this defense recorded four shutouts before manhandling the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, 46-10.

NFC Best Teams
© Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

While their defense was historically dominant, the Bears' offense that season was good also. Spearheaded by Hall-of-Fame running back Walter Payton, Chicago's offense—a unit that also included quarterback Jim McMahon, Hall-of-Fame left tackle Jimbo Covert, and perennial Pro Bowl center Jay Hilgenberg—scored at least 20 points in all but two of their games. And while he mostly served as a decoy during Super Bowl XX, Payton was anything but that during the regular season. He rushed for 1,551 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He helped the Bears become the second team in league history to win 15 regular-season games. 

Detroit Lions: 1953

The 1953 Detroit Lions had a 10-2 record and won back-to-back NFL championships with a thrilling 17-16 comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns.

NFC Best Teams
© Detroit Free Press

Hall-of-Famer Doak Walker topped the Lions in all-purpose yards and teamed with “Hunchy” Hoernschemeyer in the backfield to form a potent one-two punch. 

Green Bay Packers: 1962

Many consider this coach Vince Lombardi’s best Green Bay Packers team. Green Bay went 13-1 in the regular season, outscoring its opponents, on average, 29.6-10.6. There were 11 future Hall of Famers on this team, including fullback Jim Taylor, who broke his team record for rushing yards in a season with 1,474. His 19 touchdowns were a team record until Ahman Green scored 20 in 2003.

Ray Nitschke was the MVP in the NFL Championship game, recovering 2 fumbles.

The Packers’ only loss came against the Lions late in the season, but they were able to bounce back and win the final 4 games of the year. This Packers team was dominant on both sides of the ball and was destined to win a title. ‌

Minnesota Vikings: 1998

The '98 Minnesota Vikings are the most dominant team in franchise history. They are arguably the greatest NFL team that didn't reach the Super Bowl. Led by Hall-of-Fame receivers Randy Moss (that year's Offensive Rookie of the Year) and Cris Carter, All-Pro quarterback Randall Cunningham, Hall of Fame defensive end John Randle, and an offensive line that featured three Pro Bowlers, the Vikings lost 1 game (27-24 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9) during the regular season.

Minnesota, which scored a then-NFL record 556 points during the regular season, ran away from the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round before hosting the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game.

Despite jumping out to a 20-7 lead, the Vikings never fully distanced themselves from the Falcons, who pulled to within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. After a missed field goal by Gary Anderson (who made each of his first 39 attempts that season), the Falcons tied the score with less than a minute left and won the game in overtime. The Falcons were ultimately dismantled in Super Bowl XXXIII, while the Vikings continue to search for their next trip to the big game. 


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