Where do the Patriots rank among the great dynasties of history?
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I think it's fair now to classify the Patriots as a dynasty. Every decade or so has it's team, and the Patriots are having their turn. In the past decade and a half, no team has been as dominant as the Patriots. 4 Super Bowls in 6 tries, 9 AFC Championship game appearances, only twice missing the playoffs twice (one of those just barely because Brady was injured), a near perfect season, and a Hall of Fame quarter and head coach tandem that together has won more playoff games then some entire franchises. So, where does this put the Patriots dynasty all time? It's right up there with the "Steel Curtain" Pittsburgh Steelers team, which won 4 Super Bowls from 1975-80, a San Francisco 49er team that won 4 Super Bowls from 1982-92 with Tom Brady's idol Joe Montana, then 1 in '95 with Steve Young and the Cowboys who won 3 in the 90's (on top of 2 in the 70's).
The Steelers in the 70's, Niners in the 80's and early 90's, the Cowboys in the mid-90's, and the Patriots from 2001 till now. Those are the "Big 4" when it comes to football dynasties. All of them had their merits, but where do the Patriots rank? I would say it's between the 49ers and the Pats for the top spot. Why? Because both franchises had sustained success. For the Steelers, the Steel Curtain team won 4 in 6 years in the 70's. As for the Cowboys, they won 3 in 4 years, with the last one coming in 1996. Since then, they've been pretty mediocre.
As for the Patriots and Niners, both of their dynasties were built over an extended period of time. The Niners won 5 rings in 13 years, while the Patriots have 4 in 15 and are a few plays from having 6. As for which one I would actually take, obviously I'm partial to the Pats for 2 main reasons: 1 - they're my team, and 2 - I'm here to witness it. As I said in an earlier article today, I'm 24 and started caring about football when I was 9 or 10 or so, so I can't really talk from experience about teams past. I go on firsthand accounts from people who were around to witness it and research.