New England Patriots: 1985
All people remember the New England Patriots for in 1985 was getting absolutely crushed in the Super Bowl by the Chicago Bears. While that finish wasn’t what they had in mind, not enough people give that team credit for even getting that far in the first place. If they’d bothered to remember how that year began, they’d understand.
The Patriots had high expectations for that year after going 9-7 the season before but things looked bad at the start. They went 2-3 at the start of the year including a pair of blowout losses to Chicago and the Raiders. However, they took advantage of a schedule benefit after that that saw them play four of their next five games at home.
They ended up winning six-straight and finished the season 11-5 led by a rushing attack that piled up over 2,300 yards and a defense that had 51 sacks. Then in the playoffs, they beat their rival New York Jets, avenged their loss to the Raiders, and won their first game since 1969 in Miami’s home stadium in the AFC championship to reach their first Super Bowl.