As of the end of week 15 of 2016 season, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants have a chance of facing off in the playoffs. The Giants have dealt the Cowboys their only 2 losses of the season so far. Teams that are in the same division play each other 2 times during the regular season. So to beat a team 3 times, they must also meet in the playoffs. I'm wondering how many times has a team beaten a division rival 3 times in the same season in the NFL?
They always say that it is hard to beat the same team three times in one season. However, it happens periodically. Since 1950, it has happened 17 times:
- 2009 Dallas Cowboys over Philadelphia Eagles
- 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers over Baltimore Ravens
- 2004 St. Louis Rams over Seattle Seahawks
- 2002 Pittsburgh Steelers over Cleveland Browns
- 2000 New York Giants over Philadelphia Eagles
- 1999 Tennessee Titans over Jacksonville Jaguars
- 1997 Green Bay Packers over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 1997 New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins
- 1994 Pittsburgh Steelers over Cleveland Browns
- 1993 Los Angeles Raiders over Denver Broncos
- 1991 Kansas City Chiefs over Los Angeles Raiders
- 1986 New York Giants over Washington Redskins
- 1982 Miami Dolphins over New York Jets (in a shortened season)
- 1965 Green Bay Packers over Baltimore Colts
- 1964 Buffalo Bills over San Diego Chargers
- 1958 New York Giants over Cleveland Browns
- 1952 Detroit Lions over Los Angeles Rams
I wanted to supplement Ben Miller's answer with some information on how difficult it actually is to defeat a team 3 times in one season. It is often said that it is very difficult for an NFL team to beat another team 3 times in one season, but it turns out that is not true.
According to an ESPN article, from 1970 through 2019, teams that swept an opponent during the regular season and then faced them again in the playoffs won the playoff game 67% of the time:
I don't buy the old adage that "it's tough to beat a team three times," because since 1970 teams that beat a team twice in the regular season and saw them again in the playoffs are 14-7 in the rematch.