The Patriots finished the 2007 season by winning all sixteen of their games. They became only the fourth team in NFL history to complete a season in such a manner and first since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to accomplish the feat. The Patriots became the first team to do it since the NFL expanded its schedule to sixteen games in 1977 and thus broke the record for victories in a single season that had been shared by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, and the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers who each finished with fifteen victories against one defeat, though the 1984 49ers and 1985 Bears would win their respective Super Bowls.
In spite of this, the Patriots could not complete what would have been a historic 19-0 undefeated season with their fourth Super Bowl victory, which would have made them the fourth team to accomplish such a feat (joining the 49ers, Steelers, and Dallas Cowboys, each of whom had won five at the time). In Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants upset the Patriots 17-14 to hand the team its third defeat in a Super Bowl. The Patriots previously had lost Super Bowl XX and Super Bowl XXXI, and would lose Super Bowl XLVI , coincidentally, to the Giants, four years later. The Patriots wouldn't get their fourth Super Bowl title until Super Bowl XLIX seven years later.