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Tom Curran: 2004 Patriots vs. 2014 Patriots who wins?

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Dec 6th

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Who Wins if they play each other?

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Pro Bowl Player
Cleary Ty Law was the All-Pro but people forget how good Ty Poole was in 03. 6 Ints and 21 PDs not to mention 57 tkls. Thats a Pro Bowl year. If he came back in 04 and had a similar year 2014 has an even tougher time moving the ball.

Granted Rodney was the glue but Geno covered a lot of ground before his body quit on him. A$ante and Gay had talent and were more than serviceable. Only a front 7 like that can absorb losing both starting CBs.

So much talent. So much depth.

Yeah poole was a great #2. He was back for 04 but got injured early on, so that d was without its top 2 corners. They also didn’t have seymour for the colts/Steelers games. That D at full strength would have been something to watch.


Dr. P-ussy Supporter
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So you are saying we have had no more rule changes since 2004 that could potentially affect defenses that play with a physical edge ?
Of course not. Just that illegal contact and other pass interference rules were first implemented around then. They adjusted. I’ll toss out the same borderline straw man question - are you saying the team couldn’t have adjusted?


On the Roster
No idea, two truly great, talented, veteran teams who were mentally unbeatable. Would have been an epic game. I feel both D's are good match-ups for the respective O's, and it's a wash that comes down to who do you prefer 2014 Brady and O vs 2004 D, or 2004 Brady and O vs 2014 D.

The interesting thing is the 2014 O actually appears a weaker version personnel wise in comparison to later era teams. Stork & Wendall on the line, Blount behind, Edelman, Dola, LaFell, Gronk, Vereen the receiving options. The 2004 D was absolutely loaded at all positions and is a good match-up vs the 2014 O on paper, especially in the trenches. But that 2014 O actually scored more points than all of the later 15/16/17/18 teams.

The 2014 D had a mix of veteran, prime and upcoming stars all over, and was deep. It had Revis and Browner, Wilfork, good Branch, Ch Jones, Ninko etc. 2014 in retrospect also really deep with most back-up players ending up as starters elsewhere in the NFL. 2004 was a good no.3 O with Dillon and early Brady with good weapons at all positions. That D is one that could potentially match up well.

Talent aside, those teams were so mentally tough. 2014 was the "We're onto Cincinnati" season, and there was something about that team mentally from then on that wouldn't be beaten, not against the Ravens or the Seahawks. 2004 also had that unbeatable swagger who were 3 years undefeated in the post-season were 18 undefeated in first part of that year.

My personal opinion is the 2016 team was the best and most balanced team of the whole era (especially if you add IR'd Gronk) and could potentially match up better against the 2004 and 2014 teams. 2016 were 14-2 only losing to the Bills with a one handed 3rd string QB, and the Seahawks on the goal line.
The D was n0.1 in PPG, it gave up less points than 2004! (250 to 260). It only gave up 20 points 5 times all year, and more than 25 points once (in one half of a SB), and no.3 O with multiple weapons at every position for Brady. They were also pissed after Brady's suspension.
I don't think either of 2004/14 could have come back from 28-3 like the 2016 team did.


Hall of Fame Poster
Of course not. Just that illegal contact and other pass interference rules were first implemented around then. They adjusted. I’ll toss out the same borderline straw man question - are you saying the team couldn’t have adjusted?

I am saying the 2014 team is better set up to play under the 2014 rules than any of the early 2000s teams and would win most of the times the game is played.

Also illegal contact and holding has crept up substantially more since 2014 when they tightened the screws on that. The changes you were talking about is what slowly brought the advent of the spread offense and an amazing 2007 season to the NFL. All the additional changes since the early 10s like defenseless receiver calls, helmet hitting rules, an even stricter emphasis on illegal contact / holding and unnecessary roughness calls in general would just expose the LB/S group against players in space. The 2004 also had not enough depth at DB to play efficiently against the spread. For that reason alone the 2014 team would most probably score at will.

Patjew Supporter Supporter
Really fun debate.

I’m not sure why but I keep “rooting for” the 2014 team in this matchup. Probably recency bias.

PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter
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I think it's close enough that it would be decided by who had the home field.


Antonio Brown’s New Live-In Chef Supporter
If you include Gronkowski (injured midway through the season), I believe the 2016 team is the best SB-winning of the era, just edging out the 2004 team. With Brady, they were 14-1 including the 28-3 comeback, and their only loss was on a goal line stand against Seattle.

Due the hole they dug against the Falcons, people tend to forget how dominant that squad was. They beat the Texans and Steelers by 18 and 19 points on their way through the AFC playoffs.


Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Our defense was insane in 2014. Wilfork, Collins, Hightower, Jones, Ninkovitch, Revis McCourty, Chung, even Browner was doing exactly what we needed in a big physical CB.

I think people forget just how good Revis was for us


In the Starting Line-Up
I would also argue that the 2015 Donkey's defense was also a historically great one, and I have no doubt that on a neutral field, we beat them. Heck, just give us any other center and we win in Denver.

Let the 2015 squad play the AFFCG with 2004 XP rules and they win :D

Patjew Supporter Supporter
I'm the opposite. Love the 2014 team but Ive put the 04 team on a pedestal.
Same here. Maybe I think the 2004 team was so great that I’m looking at 2014 as scrappy underdogs?

Rodney is still my fav Pat of all time and will probably always be. He should have been the SB MVP.


Upper Crust
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The better matchup is the 2004 team vs 2016 team, the two best super bowl winning patriots teams of the 2000s and 2010s, respectively. Not sure why Tom Curran picked 2014...


Upper Crust
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The rule changes haven’t stopped good defenses from shutting down good offenses. Sb 42, 2015 broncos, this years sb(and I wouldn’t even consider that defense an elite one) are just a few examples. Imo Theres no offense that cant be stopped if you have the kind personnel we had in 03/04 , they were stacked on the defensive side and they had the experience.

This is a good question. What rules are we playing with? If it's the Peyton Manning/Polian rules, where you can't touch a receiver, then the 2014 team has a big edge. If it's 2004 rules, where Ty Law can mug a receiver and get away with it, the 2004 team will win.


Author of the Port Huron Statement Supporter
Same here. Maybe I think the 2004 team was so great that I’m looking at 2014 as scrappy underdogs?

Rodney is still my fav Pat of all time and will probably always be. He should have been the SB MVP.

Vs the Iggles? He had a great game


Hall of Fame Poster
Hard to say as it was two different eras of the game. Probably depends when the game would be played.

patsinthesnow Supporter Supporter
A factor to keep in mind: the 2004 Patriots defense in modern era nickel front alignments is downright scary:


DE/OLB Vrabel
DT Seymour
DT Wilfork
DE/OLB McGinest
LB Bruschi
LB Harrison

  • Seymour goes from a 1st team All Pro 2 gapping 3-4 DE to a DPOY double digit sack DT
  • Rodney basically takes over Chung’s role as a nickel LB on passing downs as a better/more versatile version.
Not sure how the secondary would fare in today’s era but that front would probably abuse the 2014 OL. Connolly-Stork-Wendell were having trouble with Bennett so I wouldn’t doubt that Seymour would wreck the game by himself.

Steve:Section 102

A lion isn't concerned with the opinion of sheep Supporter
That 2004 team shut down the Colts, who put up 49 vs Denver the week prior in the Wild Card round. The rules package makes a huge difference. That 2004 unit was as good a Pats D there was. I think, given a 16 game schedule to adapt to the new rules, the 2004 team beats the 2014 at their own game, D vs O. The 2014 CBs take away Givens and Branch. Faulk and Brown do the bulk of the damage in the passing game, and Dillon chews clock, keeping 2014 Brady on the sidelines.

Confusing, trying to keep it straight in my head. :confused: This Brady beats that Brady with these weapons... wait... those weapons.


Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Trick question, the best 2014-2018 Patriots team was from the early 2015 season when they had healthy Gronk, Edelman, Blount, White, Lewis and Amendola all at once on offense and Jones, Colins, Hightower and Mayo in the front 7 plus prime McCourty, Butler and Chung on D. Of course we know what injuries did to THAT run.

I'd put the 2016 team ahead of the 2014 team anyway, it was just such a well oiled machine and Brady was in basically peak invincibility. 2014 looked better on paper, but were slow to come into their own and always felt like they were less dominating than they should have been with that roster. Not that I'm complaining about how SB49 played out LMAO
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