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Time to move on .. Patriots STILL the best in the NFL

Time to Move On
Patriots Still Consistently the Best

If you're still "mourning" the New England Patriots' Super Bowl XLII loss, stop it. Remember who we are: We're fans of the best week-in, week-out football team in the National Football League.

Sure, it really stinks that New York beat them Sunday. Sure, it would have been unbelievable to have celebrated the only undefeated 19-win season in history, the greatest single season ever (and it arguable still is).

But this team -- your team -- still is the envy of every team in the league and their fans. Thirty other teams didn't go to Phoenix. Thirty-one other teams weren't on history's doorstep. Thirty-one other teams were never within 40 seconds of 19-0 and probably never will be. Still only three teams have more Super Bowl wins than New England, and only one of those has won since the year 2000 (Pittsburgh). Thirty-one other teams have won no more than one Super Bowl since 2000; your New England Patriots have won three, and were just a couple plays from five.

Yes, the Giants won Sunday, and deservedly so. They outplayed and out-coached New England. Tom Coughlin's staff devised a fantastic game plan, and the players executed superbly. But don't believe for a second that they're a "better team" because of it.

The Giants are certainly better than their 10-6 regular-season record, but they're not remotely an 18-0 team. I said before the game that New York was probably the worst matchup for New England. I said in my 5 Questions with Big Blue View before the game that if the Patriots and Giants played 10 games, the Giants would win at least 4. They're 1-1.

But let's remember what happened this season:

  • The Patriots beat 5-0 Dallas in just the fourth meeting of teams with records of 5-0 or better.
  • The Patriots beat 8-0 Indy in the first-ever meeting between teams with records of 8-0 or better (New England was 9-0).
  • The Patriots beat six of the 11 other playoff teams during the regular season (and it would have been seven if Indy didn't fold in Week 17).
  • Including the playoffs, the Patriots beat 7 of the teams with the top 9 records in the league. The other two were Green Bay, who they didn't play, and themselves.
  • The Patriots broke dozens of the most coveted team and individual single season records, including most points scored, most touchdowns, most consecutive wins, most wins, largest point differential, and so many more. It's an impressively long list.
Your New England Patriots are currently the odds-on favorite to win Super Bowl XLIII. At 3-1, no one else is even close. The Chargers are 11-2, Colts are 12-1 and Cowboys are 14-1. (The Giants are 25-1. Does that sound like the "better team"?) The Patriots are as low as 2-1 and as high as a whopping 4-1. Other books have the Colts or Cowboys second, but never at better odds than San Diego's 11-2 above.

You'll hear people say, "But the Ravens almost beat them," or something similarly ludicrous.

Right, and then the Ravens got crushed by Indy, but Indy lost to San Diego, and New England beat the Chargers. Also, the Ravens allowed the Dolphins their only win of the season, and New England crushed Miami twice. It's a nonsense argument. Any team can beat any other any given Sunday. This past Sunday was New York's given Sunday.

And for those people talking about a "Manning Dynasty," as if that counts, as if the Colts players care if the Giants have Super Bowl rings or vice versa, remember this:

Archie Manning + Peyton Manning + Eli Manning = 2 Super Bowl wins
Tom Brady = 3 Super Bowl wins

But this is a team sport. Since 2000:

New England = 3 Super Bowl wins
Rest of the league = 5

Yeah, Sunday stunk. But the 20 weeks before were sweet, sweet, sweet. Upset about Sunday? Absolutely. Devastated? No where near what the coaches and players probably feel.

But would I rather be a fan of any of the 31 other NFL teams this decade? Not .. a .. chance.

As it does every year, the new pursuit of perfection starts today.