Rick Zamperin: Are the Patriots the greatest NFL team, ever? No!
Like a broken record, the New England Patriots are one win away from playing in the Super Bowl.
For the eighth year in a row, the Patriots will play in the AFC Championship game after they dismantled the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 Sunday afternoon. New England will visit Kansas City this coming Sunday in a battle of the conference’s top two teams. The Pats, by the way, beat the Chiefs 43-40 back in Week 6.
Year in and year out, the Patriots always seem to be in the Super Bowl conversation. Future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick has created one of the National Football League’s greatest dynasties by implementing an efficient playbook, by making smart decisions at the draft and through free agency, and by employing great coordinators and assistants.
Hitting a grand slam in the 2000 NFL draft when they selected quarterback Tom Brady — arguably the greatest QB ever to play — in the sixth round, 199th overall, certainly helped the Pats become a force.
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Since then, New England has appeared in eight Super Bowl games and have won five times. No other team has appeared in more than three (Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks).
The Patriots are undoubtedly the NFL’s greatest dynasty of the new millennium, and perhaps even in the Super Bowl era with apologies to Pittsburgh, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
But if we include the pre-Super Bowl era (before 1966) the Green Bay Packers stand alone. They have played in 18 NFL championship/Super Bowl games and have won 13 of them, including six under legendary head coach Vince Lombardi.
While the Patriots have dominated the league since the turn of the century, there’s a reason why Green Bay is still called “Titletown.”
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