The Greatness Of The New England Patriots Radiates Like The Sun In NFL Since 1970’s Animated Rank

I Like to think all my blogs are read by fans that love the NFL enough to read about my thoughts on other clubs. Probably not a safe assumption that all fanatics share that enthusiasm so I mention early in each posting of my undying love of the Denver Broncos as I write on other franchises! NFL Since 1970 is my unbiased compilation of all games played from kickoff 1970 to present in the regular season and then ranked in each of the 52 seasons that have taken place. I love odd sports facts and to me none are more strange than the fact the Denver Broncos pulled up their Gold & Brown vertically stripped socks to play football in or near the towns of my ancestors before those earliest fans in Colorado saw them in person. My Dad’s side has roots in New Bedford, Massachusetts and when last there I was amazed to see my Grandfather’s picture on the wall of the New Bedford Regional Airport. He was a key figure its planning and aircraft maintenance there. The fact it does not allow commerial aircraft means Providence RI is the best flight destination to get there. It was there in the biggest city in the smallest state that the Bronco organization took to the field for first time. In addition, my Mom’s side is from Rochester NY and that city, an hour from Buffalo, followed the Rhode Island city as the second site of a Denver Bronco game. Ironically they opened that preseason with 2 loses but followed up by going 2-0 in the regular season by beating the same Boston Patriots & Buffalo Bills at their real home field locations. All that to say I am not in agreement with all the fans that hate the New England Patriot success because they have lavished it on their fans in such Biblical proportions. Lets get started on how that success has played out…

An NFL Team Has Boston In It’s Name For Only One Season After Merger

Can a city get exited after the acquisition of a QB with Super Bowl experience or what? We are talking of course of Patriot’s fans not Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans here. The 1969 season ended with Joe Capp’s Minnesota Vikings losing Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs and now the 1970 Boston Patriots are getting Capp to open its NFL history after the AFL/NFL merger. Joe is a blast to watch on old NFL Films interviews and in ’69 he lead the Vikes to a 12-1 record in its 12-2 season in which they won the NFL Championship after beating the Cleveland Browns. Optimism must have been overflowing for fans as as he pulled ashore in the Boston Harbor that summer. My publication has allowed me to meet many people with connections to the NFL and I have become friends with the son of All-Time all-AFL Patriot’s linebacker Jim “Earthquake” Hunt. 1970 was his last full season as a Patriot after being a team member since the beginning in 1960… so I wonder what that disappointment was like for him and the rest of the organization that were so excited to be playing in the NFL for the first time. Jim’s son, Greg, is a great conversationalist when reminiscing about his Dad that passed away way too young in the mid-1970’s. I wish Jim and his teamamates had seen more success than the AFL Championship game the Pats lost to the San Diego Chargers in 1963. By the end of 1970 Capp QB’d only 1 win while being the starter in 9 of the 12 loses and tossed 14 more INT’s than TD’s(3) over the season. Joe Capp never played an NFL game again and I don’t think the city caused the team to remove the Boston name from the team out of the embarrassment of being not only the worst NFL club in the new bigger league but even the New Orleans Saints had a better winning percentage that season. New England Patriots became the name because the club moved from playing at Harvard to the town they still call home. Foxboro Massachusetts is about a 40 mile drive from Boston for fans. Jim Hunt retired in 1971’s preseason and there will never be another #79 in Patriot history. In ’71 they needed one more win to get to .500 on the year but with just 8 wins in the team’s first 2 NFL seasons the Patriots could only get better…

Magical Run For Bicentennial Season But It Runs Out Too Soon Plus II Super Bowl L’s

The 2-12 1970 team was rock bottom until the 2-14 1981 season but in between they had a huge surprise in the 1976 victory total when they went 11-3 under Chuck Fairbanks. 11 wins that year was only good enough for the wildcard after they failed to beat the team that went on to win 12 & the AFC East, the Baltimore Colts. The Patriots were the only club to beat the Oakland Raiders in their 16-1 season but New England was also the first victim of the swashbucklers in the playoffs that year. In 1976 I was not yet a football fan but it was soon after becoming one that I looked back and felt major frustration in the fact the Patriots were denied sussess in the most patriotic year of many of our lifetimes!

Following a pattern, the 1981 season was the low point until the 1-15 season of 1990 for NE football fans. In between, the 3rd place 1985 team went 11-5 and won the tie breaker over a Denver club that had a to stay home and also watch the 8-8 AFC Central champion Cleveland Browns play in the playoffs… enough said on that topic except it is caused a great deal of frustration that became the single biggest reason the NFL Since 1970 publication exists today. Back on topic we see that the ’85 Pats club ran smack into the 1985 Chicago Bears that many say was the best team ever. I think the case can be made for the best defence ever and when I speak about this season of frustration to groups of fans I hold up a Tom Brady picture and talk about how, as an 8 year-old in northern California, Tom was of no help in Boston fan’s first taste of Super Bowl mania. From ’90 to the start of Bill Parcell’s era in 1993 the team was 9-39 but by the end of 1996 they were back at the Super Dome. This time the loss was to a young Brett Favre and his Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. Going into the 2022 season Bill Belichick’s debut season of 2000 was 1 of two losing seasons since he took over the team. (2020’s 7-9 was the other)

Turn Of The Century NFL Logo Should Have Come With An ‘Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here‘ Sign Over The Crest! Especially For All That Called The AFC EAST Home…

Of course the Patriots didn’t win all the titles but they were never far from the conversation no matter how short they fell from 2001-2019. Other teams earned hardware but many like the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets & SD/LA Chargers really had issues getting past NE as had the other 2 teams in their division (Bills & Miami Dolphins). I did bullet-point highlights in my Dallas Cowboy blog recently and it will become an M.O. as I cover all 32 clubs here but I think this list is especially lethal to so many hopes and dreams of players of this era. There is , as of summer 2022, no good reason to believe this team will not stay above .500 for many years to come. It’s debatable what number of generations of Americans have been enthralled with professional sports but there can be little doubt the Belichick/Brady era has be the most significant in which to witness greatness. Here are the facts…ALL of which can be found in NFL SINCE 1970:

  • Had never won more than 11 games prior to 2001; in the years since 9,10,11,11 have been the worst season win totals with only 2 missed postseasons (Den ’85 & NE ’08 have both suffered the frustration missing the playoffs after going 11-5)
  • Franchise had 4 AFC East titles from 1970 to 2001 and have only failed to win the ’02 & ’08 title since then. They only trail the Steelers in division crowns since ’70 (23 to 21)
  • After Belichick’s 1st season as coach (2000) the team was only ahead of 10 franchises in regular season performance in the 30 after the merger in 1970. In the 20 years since the Patriot helmet can be seen be seen in a steady climb up the graphic in NFL Since 1970. At next kick-off 29 franchises will be below them on the list. Pittsburgh & Dallas have to be better than the Patriots every year if they want to stay 1st & 2nd. The meteoric rise is a fun animation to see as you flip pages starting on the 2000 page
  • 6 titles since the Super Bowl started in 1967 are only equalled by the Steelers
  • 11 Super Bowl appearances are 3 ahead of Pitt,Dal & Den with only Den also having faced 8 of the 16 possible foes in that game
  • Pats have a 6 1/2 game lead in wins since 1970 over the Miami Dolphins. At the turn of this century that battle saw the Dolphins with roughly a 87 game lead
  • Early in 2013 the Cleveland Browns lost their 36th game of the just completed decade in comparison the next Patriot defeat will be #36 since the NFL kicked off in 2010. Also, Cleveland suffered loss #84 about mid-2008 after kick-off 2000, again the next Patriot defeat as we head into 2020 will be the Patriots 84th in that time frame. Incredible examples of the extremes in both franchises
  • Of the most recent 50 seasons this team has ended 26 of them with at least 10 wins
  • The best 5 consecutive seasons in team history produced 66 wins and probably an untouchable record if games are held to 17 or less per season going forward (’03-’07)
  • If the team had been able to place just a few spots better than its 23rd ranking for the 1990’s it would have beaten out Miami for the 4th spot on the final page of NFL Since 1970. The page shows how teams rank when taking all 5 decade placements and averaging out an overall performance for the 50 seasons. Broncos, Steelers & Cowboys make up the current top 3 in that stat. Den(6.8 average place) NE(10.4)
  • It’s hard to believe this franchise trails the Dallas Cowboy organization by just 8 games in all games played since the original 8 AFL teams started the same year as Dal. in’60. (The then-wimpy NFL increased the number games each year from 12 to 14 in 1961)
  • Three NE win-loss records highlighted in the publication can not be understated, here they are as seen in it: 2000-2009 112-48 (trailed Indianapolis Colts by 3 games) 2010-2019 125-35 (lead the Green Bay Packers by 22 games) 2000-2019 237-83 (lead the Steelers by 31 games)

The Patriots would have passed the Cowboys in 2021 for the # 2 spot in winning percentage since the merger had they not lost Tom Brady to Tampa. NFL Since 1970 is a fun reference book for all fans but a true must-have for fans of these top clubs as they continue to vie for the top spot. . Please email with comments on this info… scott@nflsince1970.com

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