Sports

25 Teams That Had Insane Winning Streaks (And What Happened Next)

Darren - December 6, 2021
Sports

25 Teams That Had Insane Winning Streaks (And What Happened Next)

Darren - December 6, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

19. Team Khabib (2020)

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the best UFC fighters ever. The former lightweight champion is mostly famous because he crushed Conor McGregor. But he also assembled one of the longest winning streaks in elite-level MMA history, going 29-0 before he retired in 2020. The Dagestan native had an oppressive wrestling base that he used this to dominate and overwhelm his opponents.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

The former champion defeated lightweight greats like Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. His consistency was incredible because he only dropped a single round in his UFC career. However, nobody came close to defeating him. Khabib trained with his father in Russia before using AKA in San Jose as his American base. This blend worked perfectly for him because he improved in every outing (via The Guardian).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

18. Carolina Panthers (2015)

The Panthers put together one of the NFL’s most impressive winning streaks in 2015. They owed a lot to quarterback Cam Newton in his MVP season, but the entire team was brilliant. Their run began in 2014 as they won the final four games of the regular season. They then carried that momentum into the following year. In the end, they enjoyed an 18-game winning streak.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Ron Rivera’s Panthers went all the way to the Super Bowl. But the Broncos broke their hearts. Von Miller won the game’s MVP award while Peyton Manning retired with a bang (via USA Today). However, the Panthers earned the respect of the fans because of their great season. It was almost a shame that they didn’t get the victory because this was an exciting young team that didn’t seize the moment.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

17. Manchester City (2020)

Man City had a rough start to the 2020 season but exploded into life. The Citizens were too good for everybody else and ran away with the league. They had multiple winning streaks. First, they broke the English record for most consecutive victories in the league with 13. But they achieved a remarkable 21 in all competitions. This was a staggering feat considering the quality of their opponents.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

They won the Premier League but suffered heartbreak in Europe. City made it to the Champion’s League final for the first time in their history. However, they lost to English rivals Chelsea (via ESPN). Their season was even more remarkable because they didn’t have an outstanding goalscorer. Ilkay Gundogan scored 17 in all competitions and just 13 in the league.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

16. St. Louis Cardinals (2021)

The Cardinals were frighteningly consistent during the 2021 regular season. Long winning streaks occur in baseball more often than in other sports. But they still posted the greatest in franchise history. They won 17 games in a row until they ran into the Milwaukee Brewers. Their fans reacted by applauding the Cardinals at the end of the series. They did this because they recognized the great moment.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Their previous record stood at 14 wins. It was the longest winning streak in the National League since 1951 (via KDSK). However, they eventually lost in the postseason against the Dodgers. In turn, the Dodgers lost in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves. Despite their playoff loss, the team and their coach Mike Schildt won the respect of fans across the league.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

15. Phoenix Suns (2021)

The Suns suffered a heartbreaking Finals defeat to the Bucks in 2020. Their long-suffering fans prayed for a strong response to this dismal setback. Surprisingly, the team delivered because they went on one of the longest winning streaks for several seasons. They won 18 straight games before they ran into the Golden State Warriors (via Bleacher Report). This was a franchise record but it inevitably ended.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

After beating Phoenix, the Warriors had the best record in the NBA. Stephen Curry was in frightening form for his franchise. However, the Suns were excellent before this. They lost to the Kings in October but rebounded in style. Devin Booker was elite while Chris Paul provided veteran nous. They made it clear that the events of the Finals hadn’t ruined their chances of contending again.

Mandatory Credit: Marca

14. Barcelona (2005)

Barcelona won the Spanish title in 2005, but it wasn’t a surprise. The Catalan giants had an unbelievable squad of superstars. They enjoyed the services of players like Xavi, Ronaldinho, and Deco. Meanwhile, they even had a youngster called Lionel Messi in their ranks. Overall, this was a special team. They achieved the double when they won the Champion’s League with victory over Arsenal (via Independent).

Mandatory Credit: Eurosport

Their dominance saw them put together multiple winning streaks. But their longest saw them win 18 games in a row. They appeared to be unstoppable. Furthermore, they played an attractive brand of attacking soccer. Barcelona had some of the best forwards in the world and made full use of them. The fact that Messi wasn’t even the main man at this point says a lot.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

13. Miami Dolphins (1972)

The Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in NFL history. They went through the entire 1972 season without suffering a single defeat. It was a glorious achievement and one that the franchise is proud of. Don Shula guided the team to a Super Bowl win over the Redskins. The old mantra says that defenses win titles. This was exactly the case for the Dolphins because it was magnificent (via Sportscasting).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Bob Griese broke his ankle about midway through the season, but he returned for the postseason. This was crucial too because he was a reliable pair of hands. The Patriots almost emulated their winning year in 2008 but they fell short at the end. Furthermore, the Dolphins almost became the first team to go 0-16 in 2007.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Miami Heat (2012/13)

The Heat were one of the least-loved super teams in NBA history. However, there’s no denying that they were ruthlessly efficient on the court. They put together one of the longest winning streaks in NBA history. Miami won 27 games in a row as they took the Finals by storm (via Bleacher Report). The dream combination of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade were too much for their opponents.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

In the end, the team wasn’t sustainable. James departed after winning his second ring with Miami. However, Bosh remained for another couple of years before his retirement. Miami built this team to win immediately but it came at a cost. They were irrelevant for the remainder of the decade. Each time franchises invest millions in stars and trade draft picks they take a massive risk.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

11. New York Yankees (2021)

Notable winning streaks don’t occur often, but when they do occur they’re always exciting. The Yankees enjoyed their longest run of victories in 60 years in 2021. Those were Babe Ruth’s glory days but now their hero was Aaron Judge. After a disappointing end to the 2020 season, there was pressure on the Yankees to perform from the start. In short, they did.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

They won 13 straight games but their run ended against Oakland. The Athletics won their box series 3-2 as they brought the Yankees back down to earth (CBS Sports). It’s very difficult to sustain these kinds of runs in baseball. The Yankees couldn’t beat the Indians’ record from a few years before but they tried their best. Every team’s winning streak comes to an end.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

10. Real Madrid (2011)

Real Madrid is one of the most famous teams on the planet. Soccer fans instantly recognize their all-white kits. Meanwhile, they created the ‘Galacticos’ nickname by signing the best players in the world. 2011 was one of their greatest seasons in modern history because they won the league. This included one of the longest winning streaks in Spanish history.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

They put together 15 wins in a row at one point during the season. Cristiano Ronaldo was electric because he scored 60 goals in all competitions. Madrid didn’t make it to the Champion’s League final after losing to Munich. However, they won the league in style. Many Spanish fans loathe Madrid because of their status and money. But there’s no doubt that they’re a winning machine (via Bleacher Report).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

9. Cleveland Indians (2017)

The Indians were superb in 2017 and probably should have won the World Series. However, the Yankees had other ideas and stopped Cleveland in their tracks. Despite this, their regular season record was superb. At one point they rode one of the longest winning streaks in MLB annals. It was highly impressive because of the competitiveness of the modern era. It was arguably the greatest run ever (via ABC News).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

According to ABC News, the odds of them completing this run were as low as 1 in 65,000. This is ludicrous but shows their level of commitment to winning. In the end, they ran out of gas and couldn’t sustain it in the World Series. But this doesn’t hide the fact that they were a superb team. It was also their best regular season in 43 years.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Golden State Warriors (2015)

This was the greatest regular-season team of the 21st century. The Warriors came in the 2015-16 season as defending champions. On paper, they were even better than their title-winning side. They broke an incredible number of records throughout the season. Meanwhile, players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were on top of their game. They even put together one of the NBA’s longest winning streaks ever.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors won 24 games in a row and crushed the Western Conference. Everybody favored them to win the NBA Finals but the Cleveland Cavaliers had other ideas. LeBron James and his team were inspired as they upset the Warriors (via New York Times). It just goes to prove that the best teams don’t always enjoy a happy ending. In the end, James tore up the script and rewrote history.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

7. New England Patriots (2008)

Tom Brady’s men feature twice on this list. In many people’s eyes, this was the greatest NFL team of all time. They went unbeaten through the entire regular season. It looked like they were set to emulate the Miami Dolphins’ unbeaten year. However, Eli Manning and his New York Giants refused to be denied. They were the NFC’s sixth-round seed and had no right to win (via Bleacher Report).

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But this was a true underdog story. Manning refused to allow the Patriots to deny him. Finally, the game finished 17-14 for the Giants. The Patriots’ hopes of immortality were over. Instead, they guaranteed their place on lists like this because of their near-miss. New England lost a few Super Bowls over the years but this was one of the toughest.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

6. Liverpool (2019)

Liverpool went 30 years without winning the league title. Years of mismanagement and a lack of investment left them in a bad place. But they developed under FSG and coach Jurgen Klopp. Then, they were rampant in 2019. Nobody could touch them all season as they won the Premier League in style. They even had seven games to spare after blowing everybody else away. Watford defeated them in April, but the result didn’t mean anything (via BBC).

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

Meanwhile, they enjoyed multiple winning streaks. First, they equaled the league record of 18 wins in a row. Then, they smashed the record for home victories with a 24. Unfortunately, the global health crisis prevented the team from celebrating in front of their fans. But it was still an incredible year nonetheless. Many fans never thought that they would live to see the day.

Mandatory Credit: CNBC

5. Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather is one of the top defensive boxers of all time. The American star built an incredible 50-0 professional record. He fought some of the greatest of his generation including Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya. “Money” was also a shrewd businessman because he carefully selected his opponents. He fought Pacquiao when the Filipino passed his prime.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Finally, he met Conor McGregor in his 50th and final professional bout. He won by TKO against the Irishman and made a fortune in the process. Then, Mayweather turned to exhibition matches (via Sporting News). This was an easy way to milk his fans for cash. Mayweather and his team had one of the most dominant winning streaks in boxing history. It will be difficult for somebody to replicate this at such a high level.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

Not all winning streaks are what they seem. Of course, it’s the mark of a true champion if they can win when they’re playing badly. Every team endures hiccups throughout a season and is happy to snatch and a victory. However, the Steelers took this to the extreme in 2020. They went on a remarkable 11-game run to seal their place in the postseason. Usually, analysts would call them Super Bowl contenders at this point.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But few of their victories were actually convincing. Finally, the league found out that the Steelers weren’t a great team after all. They lost four of their final five games. Then, they suffered a humiliating playoff defeat to their division rivals. The Cleveland Browns crushed the Steelers while Ben Roethlisberger had one of the worst games of his life (via CBS Sports). It was incredible after such a good start to the season.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

3. PSG

Qatar effectively bought France’s biggest soccer team in 2011. Then they poured hundreds of millions of dollars into PSG. That’s because they wanted to make the club one of the strongest brands on the planet. They signed players like Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria. Furthermore, they spent a world-record fee on Brazilian superstar Neymar. However, this made them massive fish in a small pond.

Mandatory Credit: GOAL

The rest of the French league struggled to compete against PSG’s riches. The Parisian side went 27 games without defeat before they finally lost to Lyon in February (GOAL.com). But they only lost one more game that season. In the end, they finished the year as champions and proved that they were an elite squad. However, it also made the league boring.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

2. Los Angeles Lakers (1971-72)

This iconic edition of the Lakers took the NBA by storm. The names on their roster were a who’s who of the Hall of Fame. Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Gail Goodrich all starred for the team. Meanwhile, they set the record for the most consecutive wins in league history. They strung together a run of 33 victories before the Bucks stopped them in their tracks.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

However, this remains one of the most impressive winning streaks ever (via ESPN). Furthermore, the Lakers broke the record for the most wins in a season with 69. Finally, they won the NBA Championship with victory over the Knicks. The New York franchise offered little resistance as the Lakers won the series 4-1. This was a brilliant team and one fans should remember forever.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

1. New England Patriots (2003)

This was one of the greatest winning streaks ever. The Patriots lost against the Redskins in Week Four of the 2002-2003 season but didn’t suffer defeat again for another 21 games. Their remarkable run included a Super Bowl victory over the Panthers. Then, they went into the next season full of confidence. New England carried a 15-game winning streak into 2004.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

There were no signs of them slowing down because they kept winning. Finally, they reached Halloween and hoped to make it 22 in a row (via Sportskeeda). They faced the Steelers who had a young rookie quarterback in their ranks. His name was Ben Roethlisberger, and he helped end the Patriots’ glorious run. In the end, the Steelers defeated the Pats, 34-20 and broke their streak.

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