Is being the last undefeated team in the NFL regular season a bad thing?

The Seahawks beat the 49ers on Monday night, 27-24. The 49ers suffered their first loss of the season after starting 8-0.

As NFL fans, we have seen teams completely dominate the NFL regular season, undefeated or not, and get tossed from the playoffs, or not even make them.

As I watched the game, I wondered how the last undefeated team in the NFL regular season usually finishes. It turns out being undefeated last can actually be a bad thing. In fact, the 2006 Colts were the first final undefeated team to win the Super Bowl since 1999. Lets take a look at some notable recent teams:

2016 Vikings – Started 5-0 – No playoffs

The 2016 Vikings started out hot at 5-0. Then, reality hit and they ended up losing 8 games and finishing 8-8. They didn’t make the playoffs, not even as a wildcard. This was Adrian Peterson’s last season as a Viking. The Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings for a first round pick right before the season. Teddy Bridgewater had suffered a brutal injury and the Vikings needed a QB for the season. That first round pick ended up being Derek Barnett, who ended up getting a crucial fumble recovery that led to the 2017 Eagles winning the Super Bowl. The Eagles QB in the 2017 Super Bowl, Nick Foles, was traded by the Eagles in 2015 for Sam Bradford, who wasn’t on the team following the 2016 season. And Teddy Bridgewater is going to get paid next season while the Vikings are stuck with Kirk Cousins.

2013 Chiefs – Started 9-0 – Lost Divisonal

This is one of the prime examples I was looking for. A team that starts so flawlessly and then ends up blowing a 38-10 second half lead against the Colts. Yes, that happened. In one of the best starts in NFL history, the Chiefs and Alex Smith we’re flying high. Then, all crashed and burned as Andrew Luck ripped their heart out in the playoffs, 45-44. Andy Reid is still with Kansas City and is looking for his first Super Bowl win.

2011 Packers – Started 13-0 – Lost Divisonal

I still can’t believe this team lost to the New York Giants. The 2011 Packers were so damn good. They were breaking scoring records left and right with AROD at the ship. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and MVP John Kuhn were just a few of the notable names on offense. Rodgers didn’t play for 3 weeks leading up to the playoffs, which turned out to be a problem as the offense looked a bit out of rhythm against the New York Giants. Playoff Manning threw for 3 TD’s and the Giants ended up going to the Super Bowl and beating the New England Patriots for the second time.

2007 Patriots – Started 18-0 – Lost Super Bowl

I voted against putting Super Bowl losers on this list at all because I value just making it to the SB so much. But, this was such a historic season and super bowl I feel like I had to put this on here. The New England Patriots were in primetime franchise mode as Bill and Tom were on a mission for perfection. And then they lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. The 2007 Super Bowl is easily a top 3 Super Bowl for me. Even though I hate the Giants, everyone in America, besides Mass-holes, wanted to see the Patriots lose. Michael Strahan and the Giants defense only allowed 14 points and led the Giants to a huge win.

2005 Colts – Started 13-0 – Lost Divisional

As we look back, this doesn’t look too bad. The Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006. But, this was a pretty bad collapse. The Colts broke a record in 2005 for winning 12 straight games without ever trailing (PFR). Peyton Manning was so good in this stretch of years for the Colts. He threw 49 TD’s the year before. The Colts would eventually lose to the Steelers in the Divisional Playoff game, 21-17. Manning would end up winning two Super Bowls with the Colts(1) and the Broncos(1).

It turns out being the last unbeaten team in recent years is in fact a bad thing. I am wondering who put this curse in unbeatens in the NFL. Perhaps it was this cat who put a curse on every NFL bettor in America. I bet the Giants last weekend to reverse this cat’s curse and of course I still lost.

I would add more to the list but there hasn’t been as many shocking upsets as there has been in the last 12 years. Let’s see if the 49ers can avoid being on this list and make a run for a Super Bowl.

***All stats credited to the NFL and Pro-Football-Reference.

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