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#241

I suppose you can put part of it down to the division the team is in. With only 1 team guaranteed to make the playoffs then sharing a division with a model franchise makes it really though. The Jets, Fins and Bills have all suffered from being up against the Pats for the last 20 years. The Lions have 3 well run franchises in the Bears, Vikes and particularly Packers in their division. The Steelers and Ravens have been consistently strong which makes it tough for the Bengals and Browns to get a look in.


#242

but the bears, vikings and packers have not been great for the entire 20 year period. they have all had hot and cold spells. in the case of the bears, pretty much cold since their heyday until now.

no one has managed to do what the pats have done for this period of time. not evemn close.

brady has more superbowl appearances than any franchise! that is mad. more than the packers, cowboys, steelers, 49ers.

franchises that had years of glory and success. Brady has more SB appearances than any of them.


#243

I was just making the point it’s hard to be successful when you’ve got a juggernaut in your division. And for the NFC North, that division is just very competitive. It’s not always the same team that’s the strongest year after year, but it feels like it’s rare that there isn’t a legit Super Bowl contender in the division (with the Packers being that team for most seasons since Favre turned up). By contrast, the playoff record for teams in the AFC South haven’t been nearly as bad by comparison, despite the Titans, Jags and to some extent Texans having been inconsistent at best over the last 20 years or so.

The Pats’ sustained success is unprecedented though I agree. It’s the perfect storm of the greatest coach of all time, who has outstanding defensive credentials, being paired with an outstanding team-first QB (he’s basically been underpaid for most of his career, as he’s sacrificed salary to help the team add more talent and stay under the cap). They’ve consistently scouted and acquired talent better than everyone else, game-planned better, adapted their systems better, had consistently among the best O-lines, cheated more effectively… Belichick’s attention to every last detail is probably the single biggest factor for me. I watched an NFL Films documentary about his time as the HC in Cleveland, and people were talking about the granular detail involved in them breaking down video footage of opponents, and how nobody else did it like that. I bet they do now…

Incidentally I found an interesting article earlier today about NFL dynasties. They have the Pats at number 2, but that’s because they included pre-Super Bowl era teams…


#244

agree with all that but still no reason why the lions should have been as consistently bad over such a long period of time. for them to have not won a playoff game in 9 attempts over 27 years is quite something!


#245

Oh absolutely. I think the rest of it would be a combination of culture, bad cap management, drafting, lack of stability and long term planning and poor ownership decisions in general.

A classic example would be Matt Millen’s tenure as GM in Detroit. When he was hired, he apparently told the owner he wasn’t qualified, and the reply was ‘You’ll figure it out.’ Over his 7 years they lost at least 9 games every season, and had a record of 31-81. Their drafting was just terrible - routinely squandering top picks. He didn’t figure it out. Eventually it becomes a culture of losing, and that gets harder and harder to change. Of course, they drafted Matt Stafford the season after he was fired and things started to improve after that.

It’s a similar thing with the Browns. Ownership couldn’t seem to settle on the right GM or Head Coach, so there was no long term planning or consistency. They regularly made the wrong choices at the draft and went without a franchise QB for about 20 years. Even as recently as the last 2 years, they had a plan to acquire draft picks and build through the draft (adopting a ‘moneyball’ strategy) under GM Sashi Brown but then sacked him before they could start using all the picks! And they retained Hue Jackson who is literally the worst head coach of all time! I genuinely think they’ll be competitive for a while now. There’s a lot of talent on the roster and they still have a lot of picks in the draft this year. I’m not sure Kitchens will turn out to be the right Head Coach, but he’ll definitely be better than Jackson.

Whereas the Pats seem to just turn most of the decision making over to Belichick, who is probably a genius and possibly a wizard. It’s almost unfair.


#246

So Super Bowl weekend is looming large. Any predictions for the game? And how are you planning to watch it? I know @woodap will be decked out head to toe in Bears merch and taking in the game in a bar in Covent Garden. I’m off to Norfolk with my siblings and our assorted families for a jolly weekend away, which will end with me and my brother staying up on Sunday night with a glass or two, spicy chicken wings, chips and dips, and probably the painful reality of another Patriots win.

I’m predicting a fairly comfortable win for New England this year. Not that I don’t rate the Rams - I think they’re a fine team and very well coached - but the Pats have been outstanding for the last few weeks and I just don’t think anyone can live with them on this form. I really hope I’m wrong…


#247

Haha. Spot on re my Sunday night! Will be taking in Man City v Arsenal by way of a warm up to the main event also.

I fear you’re spot on re the result and feel it could turn into a bit of a procession, though I’m not giving up all hope just yet…


#248

It’s the big one and cometh the hour cometh the Brady and Belichick.

Can’t see how you can bet against them doing it again, but how America and the rest of the world will cheer if the Rams win.


#249

This thread went really quiet in the last few days for some reason… one would have thought it would be really busy at this time of year…


#250

Oh well. Let’s just look forward to next year then.


#251

Reminds me of that (now out of date) Gary Lineker line about football (soccer). ‘It’s a simple game. 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.’


#252

I suspect it was an uneasy sense of foreboding.


#253

It’s hard not to be disappointed with the Super Bowl this year. Defenses were clearly on top, and I was very impressed by the Patriots’ ability to consistently get pressure on Goff. Reading some of the articles now, there was evidently a lot of clever defensive scheming from both sides that led the game to go the way it did. Unfortunately, I’m not clued up enough to have been able to pick up on it and for the game to have been enjoyable as a result. I guess I was hoping for more fireworks, and I certainly wanted the Rams to make it more competitive. Ultimately, I was in no doubt the Patriots would win from fairly early in the second quarter - the Rams couldn’t get anything going, and the Patriots were slowly squeezing the life out of the Rams D. For all the attention paid to McVay as an offensive genius, he didn’t look like he had any answer to what the Pats were doing, and the Rams were just stuck as a result. It all made for a slightly drab and anti-climactic end to the season really. What a shame!

Oh, and it was the worst half-time show I can remember. Not that I was surprised, but it totally lived down to my extremely low expectations.


#254

We watched it the following morning on playback so we could have a decent night’s sleep and fast forward through the chat and the half time show. Agree it was a tight affair and even though the scores were low it was clear the Pats would win from quite early on. All that time on the field had to take its toll on the Rams’ defence.


#255

I saw the highlights last night. Actually, watching any NFL game on the highlights is the way I only do it - but I thought it great. The defences were brilliant and I liked that.