Fri. Sep 18th, 2020

Patriots prove to be the team of the 2010s

2 min read
Patriots prove to be the team of the 2010s


Has there been a “team of the decade” in the 2010s?

The Patriots can certainly argue the point with a 123-34-0 mark that puts them 21 wins over any other franchise, and three Super Bowl wins in a five-season stretch. Had the Seahawks given Marshawn Lynch the ball at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, it likely would have been two wins in a row for them, and Seattle had an unbelievable stretch of leading the NFL in scoring defense every year from 2012 through 2015.

The Steelers have had a remarkable run of consistency in that they haven’t had a single losing season in the decade, but the lack of a Super Bowl win tends to mute their argument. The Packers and Saints are the teams that leave you wondering “What if?” What if New Orleans hadn’t had some of the league’s worst defenses when Drew Brees was at his best, and what if Aaron Rodgers had a functional offensive play-designer as opposed to whatever Mike McCarthy was most of the time?

The Patriots have the safest claim to the title, as they did in the first decade of the millennium, which once again underscores the remarkable and unprecedented nature of the Bill Belichick era in Foxborough. With Tom Brady as his only constant, Belichick had filed through personnel with a success rate that other coaches and executives can only imagine.

Other franchises have not been as fortunate. Whether it’s the Browns, Jaguars, Buccaneers or Raiders, the teams at the bottom of the pile in any decade tend to have one thing in common — a listless and headless lunging for success without the personnel or the staff to make it happen. In these cases, the tendency is to throw everything out the window every two or three years and start all over again. Which, of course, never works.

So, with the 2010s coming to a close, here are our All-Decade Power Rankings, rating every NFL team from 32 to 1. Teams are ranked by several factors — overall record, consistency of success from season to season, postseason success and success above or below quality of personnel.

32-25 | 24-17 | 16-9 | 8-1

All-Decade Power Rankings: Patriots prove to be the team of the 2010s

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