Steelers had the best winning percentage during the 16-game era (1978-2020)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
A few weeks ago the NFL owners approved a 17-game schedule starting this season, which put an end to the 16-game schedule layout that started in 1978. Sports Illustrated recently posted a graphic showing that the Steelers had the best winning percentage during the 16-game era with a record of 413-265-2 (.609).
Just behind the Steelers are the Patriots, who posted a record of 410-270 (.603) during the 16-game era. While the Steelers are tied with New England in Super Bowl trophies with six, two of their championship seasons came during the 14-game era in 1974 and 1975.
All six of the Patriots' Super Bowl titles and 10 Super Bowl appearances came since the 16-game schedule was implemented in 1978. The Steelers won four Super Bowls and made two other appearances in the Super Bowl during the 16-game era.
While expanding to a 17-game schedule ultimately came down to more avenues for money and exposure, the 16-game schedule was really ideal as fit four months of football and the season was broken down by quarters. It also matched perfectly in a 32 team league.