New England Patriots might have the greatest dynasty in NFL history

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Where Does Tom Brady Rank Among All-Time Greats?


Before I begin to compare these New England Patriots to great San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers teams of the past, let's just agree that we're using a bastardized form of the word "dynasty" when discussing sports teams, particularly in the NFL.

A dynasty rules for a long period of time, it doesn't just perform really well. In this modern, mostly democratic world, the term has become outdated at face value, simply because nobody dominates politically for very long.

Funny enough, that also applies to the sports world. Gone are the days in which the Montreal Canadiens were able to win five consecutive Stanley Cups (it happened between 1956 and 1960) or the New York Yankees were able to win five straight World Series (it happened between 1949 and 1953) or the Boston Celtics were able to win eight straight NBA championships (it happened between 1959 and 1966). The Packers also won five NFL championships in a seven-year span in the 1960s.

In the last half-century, nobody's been able to do anything better than three-peat. And since the turn of the century, merely defending a championship has become a titanic task.

There are obvious reasons for this. More teams, salary caps, free agency and revenue sharing top the list. But that's what has me wondering if we have to use somewhat of a sports inflation calculator in order to consider the Patriots' claim for dynasty status.

New England just became only the second franchise in NFL history to win four or more championships with the same head coach/quarterback duo, joining Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr from those 1960s Packers. But Lombardi and Starr won just those first two Super Bowls together, whereas Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have teamed up to make six and win four.

Six Super Bowl appearances and four victories in a 14-year span is pretty remarkable in this day and age. No other teams have appeared in more than three Super Bowls in the same span (Seattle and Pittsburgh have played in three each) and none have won more than two (the Steelers and the Giants have won two each).

That's complete domination.

Throw in that since 2001 the Patriots have a ridiculous regular-season record of 170-54 (no other team has more than 150 victories in that span) and you begin to understand just how much New England has rocked this era.

Now, this wouldn't even be a debate if the Pats had beaten the Giants in the Super Bowl in the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowls, and a lot of folks hold against New England the fact that the Pats have changed quite a lot over this 14-year stretch, but the quarterback and the coach and the owner have remained in place.

If you were to hold the long stretch against New England, you'd have to do the same with San Francisco, which won five Super Bowls over a 14-year period but with two different head coaches and two different starting quarterbacks. And unlike the Pats, the 49ers never won three championships in a four-year period. That's something only the Cowboys and Patriots have accomplished during the Super Bowl era (and Dallas also had a coaching change before winning its third title in 1995). New England did that and then went on to make three more Super Bowls with Brady and Belichick, winning one. And the Pats aren't necessarily done yet.

With factors like free agency and the salary cap in mind, it's hard to argue that anyone has been as dominant with circumstances considered as New England has this century. Brady and Belichick are a modern-day Starr and Lombardi and the Pats are your grandfather's Packers.

Embrace it, you're witnessing history.

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New England Patriots might have the greatest dynasty in NFL history
A general view as the national anthem is performed prior to Super Bowl XLIX between Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Steven Hauschka #4 of the Seattle Seahawks kicks the ball to start Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls a play against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks attempts to tackle Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: The Seattle Seahawks play the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots huddles with his team in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots shouts at the line of scrimage while playing the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks talks to an official in the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jeremy Lane #20 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled after an interception by Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Brandon LaFell #19 of the New England Patriots scores an 11 yard touchdown against Tharold Simon #27 and Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Logan Ryan #26 of the New England Patriots defends a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rob Ninkovich #50 and Jamie Collins #91 of the New England Patriots tackle Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots stretches for a pass against the Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a three yard touchdown in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Marshawn Lynch #24 and Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrate after a three yard touchdown by Lynch in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Danny Amendola (R) of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown against Earl Thomas (L) of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, center, is pictured after throwing an interception in the first quarter. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Chris Matthews #13 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after a catch for a first down in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a 22 yard pass for a touchdown over K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots catches a 22 yard touchdown pass bagainst K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates with his team after scoring a touchdown on a 22 yard pass aginst the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chris Matthews #13 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a touchdown pass over Logan Ryan #26 of the New England Patriots in the second quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DeShawn Shead #35 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chris Matthews #13 of the Seattle Seahawks catches an 11 yard touchdown late in the second quarter against Logan Ryan #26 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks intercepts a pass against Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots in the third quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts after throwing an interception against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to take a snap from Bryan Stork #66 in the third quarter against Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Seahawks' Bobby Wagner in third quarter action. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks slides after a run against Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots in the third quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tony McDaniel #99 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after stopping the New England Patriots on third down as Tom Brady #12 looks on during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks speaks to Kam Chancellor #31 in the second half against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LeGarrette Blount #29 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after a sack in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots walks on the field while playing the Seattle Seahawks in the second half during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Patriots Julian Edelman catches the ball in the third quarter. The New England Patriots plays against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots catches a four yard touchdown pass over Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Brandon LaFell #19 of the New England Patriots fails to complete the catch against Tharold Simon #27 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Marshawn Wagner (R) of the Seattle Seahawks moves the ball against Rob Ninkovitch (L) of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during the during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Shane Vereen #34 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during the during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates as he scores a 3 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates scoring on a three yard touchdown pass as Danny Amendola #80 looks on in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks completes a catch against Tyler Gaffney #31 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jermaine Kearse (R) of the Seattle Seahawks and Malcolm Butler (L) of the New England Patriots vie for a pass during Super Bowl XLIX February 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch over Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch over Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch against Malcolm Butler #21 and Duron Harmon #30 of the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks has a pass intercepted by Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks intended for Ricardo Lockette #83 late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Darrelle Revis #24 and Brandon LaFell #19 of the New England Patriots react after an interception against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on late in the game against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Rob Ninkovich #50 of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The New England Patriots celebrate their 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Brandon Browner #39 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Brandon Bolden #38 and Brandon Browner #39 of the New England Patriots celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Shane Vereen #34 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The New England Patriots celebrate late in the game against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates while holding up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks as TV personality Dan Patrick looks on during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
A New England Patriots fan celebrates victory over the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jonathan Kraft, president of the New England Patriots and son of team owner Robert Kraft, holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots hugs Rob Gronkowski #87 after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the trophy ceremony after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is interviewed by Dan Patrick at the trophy ceremony after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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