Which NFL dynasties were the most dominant?

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The Golden State Warriors recently won their third NBA championship in four years. Which provided the spark for a PFT Live draft.

Which are the most dominant dynasties in NFL history?

Chris Simms and I battled it out on Monday, and Stats issued a (misguided) verdict. You can check out our choices and chime in with your own thoughts.

And if those thoughts include an assessment that Simms and/or Stats is wrong, good.

94 responses to “Which NFL dynasties were the most dominant?

  1. There is simply no way to compare. I personally think the 70’s was the golden age of football. The undefeated dolphins, the cowboys, the steelers, raiders , chiefs and vikings. The 75 super bowl between dallas and pittsburgh had so many hall of famers in it it was like an all star game. The raiders/ steelers and cowboy redskin games were tong wars and completely different than say patriots/eagles last year. The NFL rules are so slanted toward the offense now that it is common for qb’s and WR to have insane numbers. Different games completely. I would say the Patriots in a landslide from 2000 on but nobody wll convince me this patriot team would have done the same in the 70’s and for that matter in the 90’s either. So here it is simple, 60’s packers, 70’s steelers, 80’s niners, 90’s cowboys 2000s pats

  2. Patriots, by a mile. What Patriot-haters like to overlook is the sheer length of dominance since 2001 AND it’s all in the era of Parity Rules designed to stop dynasties. Yes, the Steelers, 9ers etc all had dominant phases but if you look closely they weren’t half as long and just the same group of guys able to be kept together for a long time because of no cap and limited player movement. By contrast the Pats, by being the cream most years have to cope with an annual roster turnover around 30%.

  3. I would love to see the mighty New England Patriots take on the Lombardi Packers, something I will focus on after testing my latest time machine by giving the Patriots an epic comeback win in that Super Bowl they lost to the Falcons. Stay tuned!

  4. I don’t know that they’ve necessarily been the most dominant of dynasties, but the Patriots have been far and away the most impressive. League parity is far better now than it was in the 60s, 70s or 80s. That plus having to manage a salary cap and continually losing good players to free agency is a feat none of the other dynasties can lay claim to.

  5. Pats fans, it’s not DOMINATION since 2001 if just because they have winning records for 16 years. 5 in 7 years is dominating.

  6. NE loses Super Bowls as often as they win them, it’s Lombardi’s Packers and it’s not even close.

  7. Pre free agency and salary cap, Packers/Steelers/49ers. Since players are no longer considered “property”, I.e. baseball pre Curt Flood/Reserve Clause decision, and have the freedom to sign with any team after 4/5 years of being drafted and all teams have the same salary floor and cap, thus forcing parity throughout the league, only one team has year after year of unprecedented success at or near the top of the league and we all know who that is. Yet despite the challenges that this mandated parity brings to every team in order to prevent such dynasties from being formed, they continue to amaze. While the aforementioned dynasties of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s May have had better players and teams, the fact that New England’s run of nearly 20 years has survived these obstacles that the earlier generations never faced is what makes them the most accomplished dynasty of all.

  8. marvin1958 says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    Pats fans, it’s not DOMINATION since 2001 if just because they have winning records for 16 years. 5 in 7 years is dominating.

    —-

    …and 7 years is just about the exent of it. After that 4th title, they got old and played .500 football for the next decade or so.

  9. What do you consider a dynasty? The Brady-led Patriots had 3 in 4 years, mostly thanks to their defense. That they’ve managed to continue reaching (and winning) superbowls for 16 years, with significant roster changes, is the impressive part. I wouldn’t call that a dynasty, it’s sustained success, a lot like the Spurs did with Tim Duncan. For a consistent roster, not sure you can top the 70’s Steelers who had 4 titles in 6 years, with 22 players winning four rings. Going back further, the Browns had an amazing run of 10 straight championship game appearances, and I doubt anyone tops that.

  10. marvin1958 says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    Pats fans, it’s not DOMINATION since 2001 if just because they have winning records for 16 years. 5 in 7 years is dominating.
    ——————–
    12 AFCCG and 8 SB appearances in 16 yrs – the sheer length and ALL in an era of rules specifically designed to stop dynasties, makes it the most dominant of all dominations.

  11. jimkellysrancidjaw says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm
    Patsies are 5-5 in SBs, that’s as average as it gets.. Steelers or 49ers

    ——————–

    So average in your world is going to 10 Super Bowls in 32 years? If that’s true then I can name a few dozen teams that would kill to be your kind of average.

  12. Five world titles in seven years. Lombardi’s Packers. And while free agency can hurt a team, it can also help. If you needed to replace declining players back then, you had to either draft or trade. You couldn’t just sign them away from somewhere else.

  13. NFl is a puzzle of a league when it comes to how the fans view history. MLB will always dig back through their enormous history to compare numbers, and fans get it. The NHL and NBA do also. They focus on it. Why are NFL fans so afraid of teams that did well before their team became competitive or even existed? You won in 60’s, 70’s or 80’s? Loser era – we would own your 80’s team today! I love football, but if you beat the best when you played against the best, then you were the best and Congratulations!

  14. Steelers of the 70s. They beat other great teams. The Raiders and especially the Cowboys teams in the 70s could have been dynasties themselves if not for the Steelers.

  15. The Browns played in 10 consecutive championship games, winning seven. The coaching tree Paul Brown sparked included Landry, Shula and Noll. No team is even close. Really.

  16. With all due respect to Golden State, the Steelers, Packers and my beloved Patriots you can come up with a lot of examples of teams in different sports that won 3 or 4 championships in a short period of time. That means you put together a group that had a good run. But when you say “Dynasty” that begins and ends with the Boston Celtics 11 championships in 13 years and nine in a row. That’s a dynasty!

  17. streetyson says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:45 pm
    Patriots, by a mile. What Patriot-haters like to overlook is the sheer length of dominance since 2001 AND it’s all in the era of Parity Rules designed to stop dynasties. Yes, the Steelers, 9ers etc all had dominant phases but if you look closely they weren’t half as long and just the same group of guys able to be kept together for a long time because of no cap and limited player movement. By contrast the Pats, by being the cream most years have to cope with an annual roster turnover around 30%.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The amount of cheating by the Patriots and favoritism for the Patriots is sickening.

  18. thelastwordyaheard says:
    June 11, 2018 at 9:02 pm
    Pats in a runaway ..not even remotely close
    ———————

    That does seem to be the consensus….among Pats fans that are 30 years old and younger, but nobody else.

  19. Cap Era = Most Difficult

    No brainer.

    Jig is up.

    No one comes close, unless you want to show me a league more difficult to succeed in or one more wrought with cheating from the league office towards one team to slow them down. Show me that league and we can take a look. Until then, it ain’t close.

    Rozelle never tried this nor did Tagliabue. But, Goodell is hellbent on greed anc corruption and will do anything to keep his job.

    What was once celebrated (domination and success) is now reviled, with a wash of Trophy Generation Millennials lapping up every cheating measure that comes out of 345 Park Ave, like the losers they are. Goodell has Millennial kids, too. Just sick how this could all happen.

    The Pats the only sports franchise to take down cheating owners and a cheating commissioner, year after year. They may not win the SB every year, but they come close. They may be missing 1st rd picks due to Goodell’s incessant cheating at every turn, amongst a myriad of other cheating operations like rule changes targeting the Pats or littering the “Competition Committee” with GMs and Coaches who simply cannot get even. Using these platforms to try to weaken the Pats, will live in infamy for the annals of history to consider.

    We’ll never see it again.

    Ever.

    And, Goodell is still cheating. He’s got Edelman with some trumped up charges as his lawyers scour for a way to keep him out for 4 games to try affect AFC seeding.

    An unreal run. So great, they have meetings to try to break it and now use the media to hope to accomplish it, even when caught in federal courts.

    History will be very kind to the Pats because no dynasty has ever faced a cheating commissioner before.

  20. I’ll go with the 70s Steelers and their sheer number of HOFers, though I did love watching the 80s Niners.

  21. 81 to 98 49ers without a doubt. 5 and 0 baby. Look at the point spreads against the media greats Elway and Marion and 37.6 points average score in all! Are you kidding me that there is a debate? Patriots are a distant second. Let the rest scrounge for the scraps. Ha Ha Ha

  22. no one has close to being so dominant for so long under rules designed to prevent dynasties as the patriots. they are hands down the greatest dynasty in sports history. bend the knee to bill; you’ll never see anything like it again.

  23. 90’s Cowboys. Then again, I’m biased. Seriously, though, the ’92 team, the architects of the 52-17 Buffalo rout, I’d love to see that team play any squad you want.

  24. The Brady-Belichick Patriots. Of course.

    5 super bowl wins
    8 super bowl appearances
    27 playoff wins

    For some perspective, Brady has more playoff success than Peyton Manning and Big Ben combined. And Brady’s prime has been double the length of Joe Montana’s prime.

  25. Pats 3 in four years is a dynasty. No doubt. But stretching that to 16 years? One player and a coach don’t make a “dynasty,” sorry. If they win one this year or next, I’d allow a second, separate designation.

  26. he Truth says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:41 pm
    There is simply no way to compare. I personally think the 70’s was the golden age of football. The undefeated dolphins, the cowboys, the steelers, raiders , chiefs and vikings. The 75 super bowl between dallas and pittsburgh had so many hall of famers in it it was like an all star game. The raiders/ steelers and cowboy redskin games were tong wars and completely different than say patriots/eagles last year. The NFL rules are so slanted toward the offense now that it is common for qb’s and WR to have insane numbers. Different games completely. I would say the Patriots in a landslide from 2000 on but nobody wll convince me this patriot team would have done the same in the 70’s and for that matter in the 90’s either. So here it is simple, 60’s packers, 70’s steelers, 80’s niners, 90’s cowboys 2000s pat
    _________________________________

    One of the more solid posts I’ve read on this site in quite awhile.

  27. The 5 TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPS,,,49ERS,,amazing teams and didn’t record practice of other team,didn’t deflate footballs,, plus a fun team to watch

  28. What Belichick has done is mind blowing in this era. There are only two things I have to quibble with naming them the greatest dynasty ever:
    1. Twice the NFL has deemed them as breaking the rules to gain a competitive advantage
    2. They never dominated anyone in the Super Bowl like the 49ers and others have done. They have never gone in and “walked away” with a championship.

  29. The Cleveland Browns since 1990. Thats 28 years of horridness, with just 3 winning seasons, has any NFL team approached that?

    The Browns are masters of trading away high draft picks for more draft picks to be used on busts. Like selling a winning lottery ticket for $10,000,000 then squandering the money on swamp land in Florida and buying the Brooklyn bridge.

  30. When it comes to sports dynasties no one else comes close to the Montreal Canadiens. 24 Stanley Cups in 77 years for a winning percentage of .727. The only team to have THREE dynasties – 1956-1960, five Cups in a row. 1965-1969, four out of five Cups. 1976-1979, four cups in a row.

  31. Can’t argue that sports “dynasties” were more dominate prior to Free agency and salary cap rules. That is just the plain, simple truth.

  32. People, it’s the Patriots. To do what they’ve done in the salary cap era is unbelievable. The Steelers did it with the same group of players for a shorter amount of time. The Cowboys, shorter period of time. The Browns couldn’t complete with the teams of today.

  33. Patriots. How do they keep winning with so much turnover in personnel every year? The league also has never had so many competitive teams and the QB position has gotten good. Back in the 70s, you had like 3 good QBs and everyone else was Danny Wuerrfel or Bobby Hebert.

    The Patriots also won their SBs in spectacular fashion or lost nail biters.

    This is as good as it gets.

  34. 1970’s Steelers by a mile. That was dominance.

    As for the Pats – it depends how you look at it. If you think a dynasty is winning a lot, contending for or winning conference championships and Super Bowls just about every year then yes they are up there. With teams like this, other teams look to you as a model of what they should be and you could certainly say that about the Brady/Belichick Pats.

    However with that logic you also have to call the 90’s Buffalo Bills a “dynasty”. I don’t think many people would agree with that.

    If you use only Super Bowls – and in my book that’s is the only way you should measure dynasties – then they don’t belong in this conversation. They’ve never blown anyone out in a Super Bowl and they’ve won 3 in 4 years (so have the Cowboys) followed by a gap of a decade, then 2 in 4 years. Not their fault, as they do have parity to contend with and the playing field is much more level now than it used to be but you have to be able to consistently win titles to be a dynasty and preferably you have to dominate too. The Pats don’t dominate many teams.

  35. tb12greatest says:
    June 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    the steelers of the 70s were known steroiders

    ———-
    So was every other team back then. Steroid use was legal.

    Pat fan should zip it about PEDs for a while, Julian Edelman says so.

  36. 8oneanddones says:
    June 12, 2018 at 12:40 am

    The Brady-Belichick Patriots. Of course.

    5 super bowl wins
    8 super bowl appearances
    27 playoff wins

    For some perspective, Brady has more playoff success than Peyton Manning and Big Ben combined. And Brady’s prime has been double the length of Joe Montana’s prime.

    ========================
    The topic is about dominance not longetivity.

    Pats have no dominating wins in Super Bowls – and Super Bowl teams that they should have dominated in the Super Bowl like the Giants and Panthers either beat them outright or gave them a much tougher game than they should have.

    The Pats do dominate the AFC Least of course but as most fans know, that says a lot more about the Least than it does about the Pats.

  37. the fact is, every legitimate dynasty—that is not the paper machier one’s the NFL have manufactured since the implementation of the salary cap—would wipe the turf with The Patriot Way and Legion of Boom and any other modern team you can offer;

    speed and size would not matter much because the rules back then were everybody hits and everybody is open game, including quarterbacks;

    Brady and the like wouldn’t survive one quarter against the 40s Rams, 50s Lions and browns, 60s Lions, Bears and Packers, 70s Oilers, Chiefs, Steelers and Raiders, to say nothing of the later 49ers, Giants and even Cowboys;

    WRs who think they’re held and impeded today would be crying tears if they had to go through what Swann, Stallworth and the great 49er receivers did;

    it was a different game then that few modern players other than the Beast, Gronkowski, Ajayi, Megatron, Barry Sanders, the Nigerian Nightmare and scant others could adapt to even if you took out the spearing, cut and crack back and blindside blocks and bump-and-run;

    there not a QB today who could, which means there not a team that would;

  38. 20 + years of at least ten wins (minus strike-shortened seasons) 5 Lombardi trophies. Could have been six if the redskins fan in stripes hadn’t called two no-contact pass interferences at the end of ‘83 nfc title to put Washington in field goal range. That was the greatest dynasty. The 49ers. Two plus decades. No tuck rule misinterpretations, spy cameras or soft balls.

  39. The 49ers went 16 consecutive seasons with 10 wins or more, including 4 Super Bowls (two of them back-to-back). That dynasty featured some of the greatest players in NFL History, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Roger Craig, John Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley to name only a few. Starting with their first franchise championship in 1981, the 49ers proceeded to win five Super Bowls, including back-to-back championships in 1988 and 1989, until their seven-year playoff streak came to an end in 1998.

    The Patriots are now 5-3 in their eight Super Bowl appearances since 2001 while the 49ers were a perfect 5-0 in the title game during their run of dominance.

  40. The 9ers 1994 team shouldn’t count toward their dynasty.

    They got their a$$es kicked regularly by the Cowboys and 9ers.

    They’re a stand alone version.

  41. Five world titles in seven years. Lombardi’s Packers. And while free agency can hurt a team, it can also help. If you needed to replace declining players back then, you had to either draft or trade. You couldn’t just sign them away from somewhere else.
    ======

    The 60s NFL had an entire LEAGUE to compete with for players.

    A League that performed and competed so well, the NFL was forced to absorb them.

  42. 49ers/Bill Walsh football still dominates football. How many teams still run our system?
    =====

    The principles still exist.. frankly, they go back farther than Walsh (Sid Gillman)

    .. I’m sure Walsh would vomit if he were forced to watch these lame spread offenses.

  43. The Montreal Canadiens as a dynasty? Are you kidding me? For decades, they had territorial draft rights to French speaking players. When that unfair advantage was finally taken away from them-their dynasty disappeared. That’s alot worse than deflating footballs.

  44. However with that logic you also have to call the 90’s Buffalo Bills a “dynasty”. I don’t think many people would agree with that.
    ======

    4 consecutive Super Bowls is one of the most impressive feats I’ve witness.

    .. crazy to think about how much different things could have been for them if Norwood would have hit that field goal. Perhaps ‘dem Cowboys aren’t on this list?!

  45. The most dominant team in NFL history is….The New England Brady’s. Tom Brady has been the NFL MVP in one shape or form or another since 2001. No single player has dominated the NFL landscape like he has. The sheer duration of it is icing on the cake, making it not even close. They’ve had lots of good players and coaches come and go due to poaching from other teams trying to re-create the magic in their own franchises (making it even harder to keep pace with pre-salary cap era teams like Pitt, San Fran, Dallas etc), but Brady is the constant. He didn’t have to be the most physically dominant player because it is a team game. He is the most cerebral, most disciplined, most unselfish, most committed, hardest working player, that loves the game and loves to compete, and wants the ball in his hands in the biggest moments. Pressure feeds him, and players feel it, and come along side him. These are just some of the reasons he, and by association, The Patriots, are the greatest. However, I would be remiss not to mention the effect of a great coach/GM like Belichick (all dynasties had that), and the great ownership of Robert Kraft to make it all possible. I should mention the Patriots were handicapped in prior generations by some incredibly foolish ownership. Even so, I still have to credit the Sullivan’s for at least acquiring and building a franchise in NE. I suppose without them the current day Patriots might not exist. Comparing teams from different generations is hard because physically, I don’t think teams from the past match up to today’s teams. For example, Jack Lambert was big for a linebacker at 6’4″ but only weighed 220 at best. Today, this linebacker is 260. He wouldn’t hold up against today’s monster o-lineman. The sheer complexity of the coaching and game plans of today’s teams would baffle teams from generations ago. Brady and many other QB’s would pick them apart, and those older teams would not be able to fool anyone with their game plans. They would have to rely on physical skills, where they would likely be over matched anyway. So it’s not fair to compare apples to apples. You just have to compare against their own generation and own competition. Too hard. But I will take TB12 and 52 other guys against any other team, any time, because I know if they don;t win it will be damn close, because TB12 is never out of it. A chance to win it is all you can ask for, and he delivers that. Regularly.

  46. Only separated by two years, the back to back twice SB champ Steelers were arguably two different teams. SB winners 9 & 10 gave up 23 points and scored 37. SB winner 13 & 14 gave up 50 points but scored 66 points. A team that was carried by an in-their-prime defense and Franco running the ball was followed by the Bradshaw air circus and a defense that was getting long in the tooth. Funny, their best team may have been ’76 when they had 5 (?) shutouts but a beat up running game and they lost to the hated Raiders in the AFC championship game.

  47. aarons444 says:
    June 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    However with that logic you also have to call the 90’s Buffalo Bills a “dynasty”. I don’t think many people would agree with that.
    ======

    4 consecutive Super Bowls is one of the most impressive feats I’ve witness.

    .. crazy to think about how much different things could have been for them if Norwood would have hit that field goal. Perhaps ‘dem Cowboys aren’t on this list?!
    ===============================
    Yup. I don’t think the feat of making 4 Super Bowls in a row will be duplicated in our lifetimes. Definitely impressive… although to be honest if you take a close look at those Bills teams, realistically only the 1990 team should be considered great.

    The other 3 Bills teams that made the Super Bowl reminded me a lot of the Pats last year. Fattening up on an easy schedule with an average or below average defense, but with am offense and coach good enough to win a weak AFC conference and then exposed in the SB.

  48. For example, Jack Lambert was big for a linebacker at 6’4″ but only weighed 220 at best. Today, this linebacker is 260. He wouldn’t hold up against today’s monster o-lineman. The sheer complexity of the coaching and game plans of today’s teams would baffle teams from generations ago. Brady and many other QB’s would pick them apart, and those older teams would not be able to fool anyone with their game plans.
    ======

    Argumentative to say the very least.

    There’s no telling what Lambert would be today with modern weight training regiments, or the PED12 method. Its possible he could be even BETTER.

    That is to say nothing about passion and competitiveness, something EVERY athlete has to have, regardless of the generation.

    And your bit about schemes just doesn’t stand up. At all.

    Bud Grant, Noll, Shula, Landy.. all lasted no less than 20 years. Landry and Shula went over 30 years. Coordinators like Tom Moore and Buddy Ryan did the same.

    Schemes aren’t much different. Carrolls defense is an offshoot of the Bud Grants. The Cover 2 is rooted with the Steelers, a variation of what they ran 40 years ago! Almost every offense can be attributed to Sid Gillman.

    The difference is athleticism, and rules that encourage offense.

    Respectfully, I think your post is a gross exaggeration.

  49. The other 3 Bills teams that made the Super Bowl reminded me a lot of the Pats last year. Fattening up on an easy schedule with an average or below average defense, but with am offense and coach good enough to win a weak AFC conference and then exposed in the SB.
    ======

    The ’91 Redskins are one of the most underrated champs of all-time. Easy to argue the Bills didn’t match up.

    BUT.. just take the Bills first offensive play in that game.. Thurman looking for his helmet.. They called the run, as per the game plan, Kenneth Davis misses the hole. Thomas probably runs for a td. There was a gaping hole open.

    Maybe the result is the same, but its Just a perfect reflection of a team that got no breaks in the SB. Something that could have been vastly different if they carried over confidence from beating the Giants.

  50. Hey where are the shehawks at hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaa

  51. The only “dynasty” was the 49ers. The Patriots don’t get it because they cheated.

  52. Also, no such thing as a Steelroid dynasty. Thank Dr. Ryzde for that one. Hahahaha.

  53. george1859 says:
    June 11, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    Pats have an asterisk behind every championship.
    The Steelers of the 70’s by far.

    ———-

    Uhhhh the Steroiders from the 70’s on have asterisks behind every fake Championship as well. That whole Art Rooney hiring MCD’s to act as Steroid dealers in the locker room and juice all his players to the gills for the last 48 years and all that is also cheating.

    Zero rings for the Pats without widespread cheating at every level and zero rings for the Steroiders without widespread PED abuse.

  54. The greatest dynasty: Paul Brown’s Cleveland Browns and truly, genuinely “it isn’t even close.” 7 Championships in 10 years, 10 straight Championship appearances, undefeated for 2 straight seasons, invented what became the WCO and the Steel Curtain, invented what became the NFL Scouting Combine, invented the first facemask as well as first in helmet system to relay plays to the QB, could decisively beat you running the ball, passing the ball or via great Defense ect. Not to mention the coaching tree spawned from that team and that era. Mindblowing and no other team ever has or ever will match up or compare.

  55. tb12greatest says:
    the steelers of the 70s were known steroiders
    —————————
    the patriots of the 2000s/2010s were known film tapers, spies in opponent’s locker rooms, and equipment manipulators…aka cheaters.

  56. The 70’s Steelers were the most dominant and had the most talent. They also played in a tough division. The Pats of the last 17 years have been a huge fluke.

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