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The 2003 New England Patriots: The Best Patriots Team Ever

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  1. PatsFans.com Article

    PatsFans.com Article In the Starting Line-Up

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    The 2003 New England Patriots: The Best Patriots Team Ever
    By: Russ Goldman

    Which Patriots team was the best ever? Read which year I think stands out above the rest....

     
  2. #12G.O.A.T

    #12G.O.A.T Rookie

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    How is the 2007 team not even mentioned in this article? They came within one miracle catch from going down as the greatest team of all time.
     
  3. PatsSox363804

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    Superbowl or no, the 07 Patriots are the best team in the history of this franchise. If you hesitate to put them #1 because of a crappy timekeeper and a miracle catch it's the 04 team.
     
  4. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    would still have to put 07 as my #1...what a season
     
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Interestingly enough, I too was kind of surprised to learn that a recent Sporting News "Top 10" teams of all-time did not even have the 2007 team in the top 10 list at all. I agree that they should have been somewhere on there, even if it were #'s 8-10. That damn sequence of flukes/bad luck/and weird events, coupled with the NYG strong pressure led them to remove the '07 team from the list altogether.

    I can understand not being in the equation for 'best team of all time,' that's fine. What I don't understand is that one catch should not bring them from an obvious and unanimous #1 selection, all the way down to removal from the list altogether.

    For what it's worth to anyone, the Sporting news list had the following teams as their top 3

    #1. 1972 Dolphins (sigh)
    #2. 1984 49'ers
    #3. 1985 Bears (another sigh)

    1972 Miami Dolphins - NFL's 10 Greatest Teams - 125th Anniversary - Sporting News

    If I had to choose the best NEP team ever, it would be the 2004 team. I believe that team was the best all around team here, and the fact that they won 3 SB's in 4 yrs makes it even more special.
     
  6. BaltimorePatsFan

    BaltimorePatsFan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Honestly I thought last year's time was destined to be one of the best Patriots teams too. The offense was ridiculously efficient and the defense, while looking VERY vulnerable at times, kept making crucial plays when it mattered and the team as a whole was getting better and better right until the embarrassment in the playoffs.

    Sigh....I just made myself sad.
     
  7. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I understand your frustration, we all do. But when you look at it in a different light, one that shows you that Brady became the only unanimous MVP ever, and yet another coach of the yr for Belichick (one that many considered one of his greatest accomplishments), you will see that last yr's team was indeed..special.

    I believe that 1/3 of the roster was consisted of 1st/2nd yr players, and that the team itself was one of the youngest overall teams in the entire league, in other words--it was almost essentially a rebuilding yr. Remember that 5 of the 6 PFW writers picked us to lose at MIA in the 3rd game of the season, and that we had just lost to the NYJ, and BUF had played us very tough too. At that point in the season, no one expected them to be anything special, and many had already given the AFCE title to the NYJ. Then, to top it off, we traded away what everyone in the world perceived as our best WR in Moss. If you remember, many mediots had them pegged as having a very negative turn on the scoring output, and some even felt that the season's potential was already lost. All the team did after that was continue to fight every inch of the way, and prove everyone wrong. All the while continuing to make the most out of a 'bad' situation in the IR/injury losses of some very key players. It was actually the first time since 2002 that a defensive unit had lost 2 or more starters before the season even started since ARZ did it.

    When you take all of that into account, and remember the patchwork DL that we had going into the NYJ playoff game, you will possibly see a different side of things.

    In my opinion, it still was a very special team, a very special season. Yes, the rival Jets beat us in the playoffs by a TD score, and yes--key mistakes were made, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, as they made Sanchez look like Joe Montana. But that happens sometimes, and the NYJ fielded a very good team, who matched up well in many areas, particularly on defense. You can't expect to win the SB every yr.

    This yr's team has the potential to be a lot better in many ways, has another full yr under its belt for the 2nd/3rd yr players, made some key improvements in the draft, has some key returning starters back, and has fully accomplished the offensive move from the Randy Moss days. This yr's team is not the 'rebuilding' team that many thought last yr's team was. They have another yr of experience, and remember that the defense was one of the best in the NFL down the stretch in the last 6 games (factoring in competition of course).

    If one's thing for certain, last yr's team damn sure proved to the entire NFL that the New England Patriots aren't going away any time soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  8. jmt57

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    Everybody is going to have their own interpretation of "best team ever". For many winning a championship automatically trumps not winning the championship, in which case there are only three teams to consider - and at that point it's either the 2003 team or the 2004 team.

    For others like myself, I tend to look at the entire body of work, from week one to week 21 and not strictly at the final game of the season when this topic comes up for discussion. So in this case not only would I consider the 2007 Patriots, but I would also give serious thought to the 1976 team as well. Other squads like the ones from 1996, 1985, 1978, 1966, 1964 and yes, even 2010 get an honorable mention - but clearly fall short in the 'best ever' category.

    I think somebody can make a very compelling argument for any one of those four teams (five if you include the thrilling 2001 team) - as Russ did for the 2003 team. But to me I think I would choose the 2004 team as the 'Best Patriots Team' ever. Although they did not have to overcome as much adversity, they were more dominant and - as Russ readily pointed out - more talented.


    Again, it really comes down to each individual's own definition of the term "best team ever"; there's not really a right or wrong answer to this question.
     
  9. Rob0729

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    Although the 2003 was my favorite team and clearly the Pats' best defense in team history, I don't think it was the best team. I think that goes to the 2004 team. That team was great on both sides of the ball. The 2003 team had a great defense, but the offense was average at best.
     
  10. jmt57

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    Add in a third heavy sigh for SN's choice at number 10: the '76 Oakland Raiders. Ben #@[!ing Dreith!
     
  11. TruthSeeker

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    I think the point of the article ('03 Pats the best ever) is totally undermined by the content of the article which goes on to detail game after game that they just barely eeked out a victory. The '07 Patriots team that blew teams out week after week in the beginning of the year and only played a few close games late in the year fits the definition much better. But, as noted by others, an 18-1 team doesn't seem to get any respect over a 17-2 team when that one loss denies them the Championship.
     
  12. Off The Grid

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    #3 Jersey

    Props for referencing that extraordinary 1976 team!! :rocker:

    There was an AMAZING Trinity of FootBall teams, that year:

    1 ~ You could make a very strong Argument that the Raiders were the best "full season" team, that year, and perhaps one of the Top 20 ~ or Top 50 ~ of all time...as long as they didn't have to play the Patriots!!

    For those who aren't up to speed on Brother J's reference: The Raiders went 13-1 that year. The "1"?? A 48-17 ANNIHILATION at the hands of Chuck FairBanks' Patriots!!

    And of course we beat their sorry @$$es in the Divisionals, only to have Ben #$%&ing DREITH hand it over to them!! :mad:

    2 ~ The Steelers 1976 team was, arguably, the best Steeler team of the 70's!!

    Certainly NO Defense has EVER dominated like they did, that year.

    But, like the two-time Champ 2005 Patriots, the two-time Champs simply ran out of Running Backs.

    3 ~ And of course the 1976 Patriots beat them BOTH. :rocker:
     
  13. ivanvamp

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    And for good reason. I think it's safe to say that every single one of us would prefer a 17-2 season that results in a Lombardi over a record-setting 18-1 that ends up in a ridiculous heartbreaking loss in the Super Bowl.
     
  14. randomk1

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    #12 Jersey

    The 04 team was the best and one the best teams ever


    07 team doesn't belong ahead of a SB champion team...no way...not even better than that hungry giants team that year. They failed to finish the job...miracle catch,uncalled holding and whatever.
     
  15. TruthSeeker

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    I understand that people will never give full credit to a team that didn't win the Super Bowl. IMO, that doesn't mean that it wasn't a better team.

    As has been pointed out, many of these same posters would happily declare that team the best of all time in the NFL if any one of a number of things (including calling a holding penalty or three on the miracle catch play) had gone differently.

    The point is, the team that went 18-1 in a dominating fashion is essentially the same as the team that (hypothetically) went 19-0. We focus on the results and not the journey or the true make up of the team. I just think we need a broader perspective.
     
  16. Russyracuse

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    Thank you and everyone else for their comments on my story. I wrote it because I truly believe the 2003 Patriots were the best "team" ever. I am emphasizing the word team. I wasn't talking about the "most talented" or the "most dominating" Patriots season.

    I am talking about the season where the entire roster had to contribute from 1-53. They had to overcome so many injuries, and would figure out a different way to win every week.

    Did they dominate every week? The answer is "no", but they figured out a way to rally together and win. They were a balanced complete team on both offense and defense.

    I can see why fans might think the 2004 season is the best. The media keeps telling us it was the best. I personally disagree as I think the 2003 had to overcome more obstacles and play together as one. This team was very special and they deserve their due.

    Thanks again for everyone who comments on it. You are entitled to your opinion and I appreciate it.
     
  17. tobias funke

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    Most people will never give the 2007 team the credit they're due as one of the greatest sports teams of all time, because of the lost championship.

    It's a shame, but that's how the media and/or many fans have decided they want things to be. Yeah, losing at the end was a huge disappointment. That can't be understated. But that group of players did something no one else has ever done in a single season, and that deserves to be remembered.

    I plan to show each and every game from that season to my son when he's a little older. At least someone will remember it as fondly as I do.
     
  18. FCB02062

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    I was also ready to put last year's team right up there. I swear, if they didn't underestimate the NYJ they would have trounced Pittsburgh and I would have liked them in the SB against GB. Argghhhhh....

    Anyway, they blew it, so they're out of the discussion....

    Best team is the 2004 Patriots...I believe they had one of the largest average margins of victory for a SB winner in quite some time, AND they had to beat the other two dominant, if you want to call them that, franchises of the time period - Pittsburgh and Indianapolis and beat them both handily in the playoffs. Beat IND by 17 and PIT by 14 and the games weren't even that close....
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  19. TruthSeeker

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    Thanks; it's good to hear your criteria. I didn't get that from the article.
     
  20. ScottieC

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    Hands down 2007.

    That team was a ridiculously fun 18 week highlight film.

    One miracle catch and a few players inability to catch an interception and/or stop a lob pass does not diminish that teams achievements.

    Blah Blah Blah, they did not win it all, Blah Blah. :bricks:
     
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