5 Best New England Patriots Teams That Didn’t Win A Super Bowl
5 Best New England Patriots Teams That Never Won A Super Bowl
Here it is another NFL season down and the New England Patriots are once again in the running for another Super Bowl. Any way you look at it since the year 2001, the Patriots have continuously put up remarkable figures in the win column. Since 2001, the year the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI (back before the Patriots became the most hated team in American sports), they have won double-digit games all but once, and the year they did not was 2002, when the Patriots won nine games.
On top of that, the Patriots have won 11 AFC East division crowns, been to seven AFC Championship games, won the AFC five times, and took home three Lombardi trophies since 2001. Those figures of superiority will very well never be seen again in the NFL.
To help put those numbers in perspective, think about this: the Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999 when they were on the wrong end of the "Music City Miracle." Furthermore, the Cincinnati Bengals have not won a playoff game since January 6, 1991 when they were led by running back Ickey Woods and quarterback Boomer Esiason, 13 NFL franchises have never won a Super Bowl, and four franchises (the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars) have never even sniffed an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Despite the last 14 seasons of excellence, the Patriots have not hosted a duck boat parade through the streets of Boston since winning Super Bowl XXXIX in February of 2005. If Bill Belichick and Tom Brady cannot get it done this year, that would equate to 10 seasons in Foxborough without hoisting Lombardi. New England fans are anxious to end to the drought, given the success of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics in recent years.
The three Super Bowls the Patriots won were nice, but ask any New England fan and they can just about fill up two hands with the amount of championships the Patriots could have won over the last decade plus. Fans tend to forget about things like the "tuck rule," Adam Vinatieri nailing clutch kicks when the game was on the line, and Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasey's illegal procedure penalty to set up the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXXVIII. The faithful remembers the negative things, like Peyton Manning leading a comeback in the 2006 AFC title game and miraculous/cringe-worthy plays from David Tyree and Mario Manningham.
All in all, three Super Bowl titles is quite the haul. It has just seemed like the Brady-Belichick combo should have more after storming out of the gate.
This version of the Patriots stumbled to a 3-3 start out of the gate, but ended the regular season with a 12-4 record. However, the Baltimore Ravens came to Foxborough for the AFC Championship with revenge on their mind, disposing of the Patriots 28-13 en route to a Super Bowl title.
Even though the Patriots were three point favorites heading into Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants, they did not seem to have that Super Bowl moxie that previous winners had. Regardless, the Patriots had a 17-15 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Instead of holding on for the win, the second installment of Eli Manning-to-David Tyree occurred when Manning hit Mario Manningham down the left sideline for 38 yards, igniting the game-winning drive.
The 2006 New England Patriots were far from loaded. Their leading receiver was Reche Caldwell with 61 catches and their leading rusher was Corey Dillon with 812 yards. Even with that lack of potency, the Patriots held a 21-3 halftime lead against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship before losing 38-34. What hurt the most (besides Peyton Manning winning his first Super Bowl) was that the Patriots would have demolished the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl had they not collapsed.
The Patriots were absolutely stocked in 2010. After disposing of all-world receiver Randy Moss early in the season and picking up former Tom Brady favorite Deion Branch, the offense actually got better and the wins piled up. The Patriots went 14-2, but lost in the divisional round to the 9.5 underdog and AFC East rival New York Jets, 28-21. Despite the early playoff exit in 2010, the Patriots beat all four teams that reached the AFC and NFC Championship games during the regular season.
Who else would top this list? Although the 2007 New England Patriots were one defensive stop away from football immortality, they still were the best football team the NFL has seen in recent memory, breaking almost offensive record until the likes of Eli Manning, David Tyree and Plaxico Burress ended the hopes of history's first 19-0 season.
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