The NFL has been around for nearly a century with the league beginning in 1920. Over the last 94 years, many teams have come into the league and some of the organizations who started out so long ago have piled up a ton of wins along the way. Many of the most notable franchises in the NFL make this list of most regular season wins in league history.
The list only covers the regular season and not any playoff action. The greatest teams and players in NFL history have helped some of these franchises make the list with multiple ten-win seasons along the way. There are other teams that simply haven’t been around long enough to have enough wins to break this list. Those teams will always be behind the others unless they reel off a ridiculous streak of 12-win seasons. A great example would be the New England Patriots, who have been very successful over the last decade but fall short on this list because the franchise only began in 1960.
There are some other teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins who aren’t on this list either for the same reason. The Cowboys entered the league in 1960 as well, while Miami didn’t have a franchise until 1966. A team like the Cleveland Browns would have made this list if they would have had a team from 1996-1998, as they fall just nine wins short of the top ten. Here are the top ten NFL franchises with the most regular season wins in league history.
10 San Francisco 49ers: 507 Regular Season Wins
The franchise began in 1946 as a member of the All-America Football Conference before becoming a NFL franchise in 1950. The 49ers have won five Super Bowl championships during the 64 years they have been around and had a streak of 10-win seasons that stretched from 1983-1998 where the team made the playoffs every single season but one during that span. The team has won at least 11 games in each of the last three seasons. Some of the greatest players in the NFL have passed through San Francisco like Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.
9 Arizona Cardinals: 511 Regular Season Wins
The Cardinals began in Chicago in 1920 when the NFL was called the American Professional Football Association. The team won championships in Chicago in 1925 and 1947 before moving to St. Louis in 1960. The team had a string of 10-win seasons from 1974-1976 while in St. Louis but never made the Super Bowl. The team moved to Arizona before the 1988 season and made their way to the Super Bowl in 2008-09 where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their win total comes from playing for so many years as the Cardinals have won just ten games in a season twice since 1976.
8 Detroit Lions: 517 Regular Season Wins
The Lions started out as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1930 before moving to Detroit after the 1933 season. Detroit won the NFL championship in 1935 just two years after the move and then again in 1952, 1953 and 1957. That is the last time the team has made it to a championship game. The Lions have had just one 10-win season since 1995 and have even suffered the only 0-16 season in NFL history. They were successful however throughout their early years which brings their win total to the amount they have going into the 2014 season.
7 St. Louis Rams: 527 Regular Season Wins
The Rams began their existence in 1937 as the Cleveland Rams, who didn’t have a winning record until their final year in 1945 where they won the NFL title. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1946 and then to St. Louis in 1995. The Los Angeles years saw the team win ten or more games every year from 1973-1980 with the lone exception being 1979 when the Rams played in the Super Bowl but lost. The franchise scored a title after the 1999 season but hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2004 and hasn’t had a winning record since the 2003 season.
6 Philadelphia Eagles: 531 Regular Season Wins
There is a rich history with the Eagles franchise which started in 1933. The team combined with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1943 which adds five wins to their overall total. The Eagles won their lone championship in 1960 but have played in two Super Bowls since then. The team had three straight years where they won at least ten games from 1979-1981 and added a five-year string from 1988-1992. The Eagles had five straight 11-plus win seasons from 2000-2004 where they played in four straight NFC Championship Games.
5 Washington Redskins: 565 Regular Season Wins
The franchise began their long history in 1932 as the Boston Braves. The team changed their name to the Boston Redskins in 1933 before moving to Washington in 1937. The Redskins won the NFL title in 1937 and 1942. The 1942 season saw the team go 10-1 en route to the title. Washington put together a three-year run of ten-win seasons from 1972-1974 where they would lose the Super Bowl in 1972. The Redskins experienced another great streak from 1983-1991 with 10-win years in each season but one with Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991.
4 Pittsburgh Steelers: 569 Regular Season Wins
The Pittsburgh franchise began their existence in 1933 as the Pittsburgh Pirates before becoming the Steelers in 1940. The team had just one season of nine wins from 1933-1971. Things changed in 1972 as the team went on a streak of five straight 10-win seasons and six in seven years where the Steelers won four Super Bowl titles. There was another streak of 10-win years from 1994-1997 and the team has been one of the most successful franchises around over the past 40 years. The five wins during the 1943 season when the Steelers were members of the Eagles don’t count towards their tally as they are considered part of the Eagles' win total.
3 New York Giants: 661 Regular Season Wins
There are few franchises that have the history of the Giants, who began their existence in 1925 and won their first NFL championship just two years later in 1927. The Giants were one of the first dominant franchises with 11-plus win seasons in 1927, 1929, 1930 and 1933. New York won ten or more games also in 1959 before three straight years from 1961-1963 where the team lost the NFL Championship in each of those four seasons. There are four Super Bowl titles on the ledger for the Giants who also had a streak of four seasons out of five with 10-plus wins from 1985-1990. New York has a winning percentage of .547 over their 88 years.
2 Green Bay Packers: 698 Regular Season Wins
The Packers started in 1921 as part of the APFA and began to pile up wins right away. There were four seasons from 1929-1932 where the team won at least ten games including a 12-0-1 season in 1929 which began a streak of three straight NFL titles. The dominance of the 1960s saw Green Bay win at least ten games five times over a six-year span from 1961-1966 that included three more titles. There were some lean years after that before Brett Favre showed up and took the team on two separate runs of four straight seasons of ten or more wins in the 1990s and 2000s. Aaron Rodgers took over after Favre and led the Packers to a streak from 2009-2012 where Green Bay won 47 games over four years. The Packers have won over 56% of their games during their time in the league.
1 Chicago Bears: 730 Regular Season Wins
When you think about the NFL franchise that has the most wins ever, the first thought would be the Bears who started out in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys. The team moved to Chicago in 1921 as the Staleys and changed their name to the Bears in 1922. The first four seasons of the franchise saw the team go 37-7-4 including a title win in 1921. The Bears went undefeated at 13-0 in 1934, winning another title and added another undefeated 11-0 championship season in 1942. A seven-year stretch from 1984-1991 saw the Bears win at least ten games on six different occasions including their lone Super Bowl title. They have been around as long as the NFL has existed and with that comes the most wins in NFL history and the best winning percentage in league history as well at .577 with an overall regular season record of 730-534-42.