Just based off general postseason and Super Bowl success, here are the “Teams of the Decade” over the years.
1950s: Cleveland Browns; runner-up: Detroit Lions
1980s: San Francisco 49ers; runner-up: Washington
1990s: Dallas Cowboys; runner-up: Denver Broncos
2000s: New England Patriots; runner-up: Pittsburgh Steelers
2010s: New England Patriots; runner-up: Seattle Seahawks
The only way the Patriots could lose their grip on the 2010s would require a run of championship success by the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, or Green Bay Packers, while also an unexpected collapse of the Patriots run of success.
New England is in the midst of the most impressive run in the post-merger NFL, with 16-straight winning seasons, tying the 1970-85 Cowboys and 1983-98 49ers for the longest streak (the Cowboys winning streak pre-dates the merger). When you factor in the salary cap and free agency, the Patriots success is unparalleled.
MMQB looked at the greatest dynasties in NFL history to see their winning percentage and the Patriots 0.766 winning rate from 2001-16 is the greatest of all, edging out the 1932-50 Chicago Bears (0.751), 1981-98 San Francisco 49ers (0.747), and 1946-69 Cleveland Browns (0.746).
QB Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick form the greatest quarterback-coach tandem in NFL history and the dynasty looks to extend for another five years. If the Patriots can register a 6th title under Belichick’s stewardship, then there will be no debate where the modern Patriots dynasty stand in history.
Alone, at the top.