Dynasty continues with Patriots’ 6th Super Bowl crown

Fred Jeter | 2/8/2019, 6 a.m.
No, the New England Patriots’ reign doesn’t really date to the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride and the American ...
Legend Gladys Knight adds her unique style to the national anthem before Sunday’s Super Bowl kickoff at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

No, the New England Patriots’ reign doesn’t really date to the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride and the American Revolution.

But it may seem like it to their weary opponents.

What began on Feb. 3, 2002, with quarterback Tom Brady’s superstar unveiling at the Super Bowl continued at Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, with the Patriots and Brady predictably winning the championship.

New England’s 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta was the team’s sixth victory in the Brady-Coach Bill Belichick era.

There were a few chinks in the Pats’ armor earlier in season, but then the cream — the Boston Cream, that is — rose to the top.

“We played our best games when it meant the most,” Brady said after the win.

The Pats’ six crowns since 2002 ties the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL annals. Also during that time span, the Pats were Super Bowl runners-up three times.

With New England’s relentless success, the word “dynasty” often pops up. So how do the 21st century Pats rank with the NFL’s all-time dynasties?

With the Super Bowl being the top prize, here are other dynastic contenders. Keep in mind that the wins are solely for the time period listed, while additional crowns may have been won in other years during the franchise’s history:

• Miami Dolphins (1970 to 1974): Three Super Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl titles.

• Oakland Raiders (1973 to 1983): Three appearances, three titles.

• Cleveland Browns (1950 to 1955): In the pre-Super Bowl era, the team went to six NFL title games, winning three.

• Dallas Cowboys (1991 to 1996): Three appearances, three championships.

• Pittsburgh Steelers (1974 to 2010): Eight appearances, six crowns.

• Green Bay Packers (1960 to 1967): Five NFL titles and two Super Bowl crowns in five trips to the pinnacle game.

• Washington (1982 to 1991): Four Super Bowl appearances, three championships.

• San Francisco 49ers (1981 to 1994): Five Super Bowl appearances, five championships.

• New England Patriots (2002 to 2019): Nine appearances, six championships. And there’s no end in sight with Belichick returning and Brady, looking sharp as ever, vowing to continue playing until he is 45 years old.

This was a typical New England outfit in that it prevailed without many “household names.”

Earning the Most Valuable Player Award was Brady’s favorite target, undersized, former seventh round draft pick Julian Edelman. Brady struck bulls-eyes with Edelman 10 times in 12 throws, good for 141 yards.

Stephon Gilmore had worn out his welcome in Buffalo, but signed this season with the Patriots on the rebound. Gilmore sealed the game for the Patriots with a fourth quarter interception.

Lineman Jonathan Jones, undrafted out of Auburn University, led the Patriots defense with eight tackles.

Then, of course, there was No. 12, quarterback Brady, as dependable as the sunrise, calmly hitting 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards. Not only does the unflappable Brady deserve the tag of GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) on the field, he even gives his team its battle cry.

“We’re still here,” Brady kept saying as the playoffs wore on.

And worse for the opposition: The Patriots show no signs of going anywhere anytime soon.

New England will have one key component missing when the 2019-20 season begins. Talented linebacker’s coach/defensive play caller Brian Flores has been named head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Flores’ defensive maneuvering kept the Rams out of sync throughout the game. The three-point yield ties for the stingiest ever in Super Bowl annals.

Flores becomes just the third black head coach in the NFL, joining Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and Anthony Lynn with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Dates to circle:

NFL Scouting Combine: Feb. 26 to March 4 in Indianapolis, Ind.

NFL draft: April 25 to 27 in Nashville, Tenn. The Arizona Cardinals will have the first pick. The Patriots will pick last out of 32 teams.

But then New England has been picking from near the bottom since 2002, and it hardly seems to matter. After all, the Patriots have become a bigger part of Super Bowl Sunday than salsa and chips.