Tom Pedulla of USA Today wrote an article this morning, naming the Patriots as the NFL’s Franchise of the decade.
According to the article, the dozen NFL editors and reporters who work for USA TODAY more or less agreed that New England deserved the honor, with 11 of them giving the Patriots the nod. Apparently the one who disagreed chose the Colts and blamed “Spygate” as his reason.
I don’t get how there can even be an argument about this category, and never understood how there could be a discussion. You can make the argument for both sides when it comes to Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, and even make a case for a Ben Roethlisberger when discussing QB of the decade depending on what numbers or statistics you wish to cite. Arguing over an individual player is obviously more subjective and you’ll always have someone who disagrees.
However, there really can’t be any rational reason you wouldn’t give them that honor. No other NFL team during the 2000’s won three titles, or finished an entire regular season undefeated. Obviously the Steelers would be the next choice, as they won two titles during that decade. Considering how difficult it is to win a Super Bowl to begin with, to do it multiple times is quite a feat and certainly should receive recognition.
The Colts would be third, as they won a championship and appeared in another, and have consistantly had a winning record over the course of each season.
Other than that I don’t see what else you could base it on. New England’s three titles and the fact that they only missed the playoffs three times during that span should be a no-brainer. Their only losing season was the 2000 year when former Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe led them to a disappionting 5-11 record. Pedulla also points out that their 126 wins in the 2000’s, (counting regular season and postseason), represent the best mark for a decade in NFL history.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Pedulla that, “At the risk of sounding immodest,” he said, “I believe we are the team of the decade.”
I believe he’s right.