Ranking the New England Patriots' 10 Super Bowl Teams

Which Pats teams tops our list? You might be surprised.

The New England Patriots are the only franchise to make it to 10 Super Bowls. If they beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers’ record of six Super Bowl wins, Bill Belichick will surpass Vince Lombardi’s record of five NFL titles as a head coach, and Tom Brady will break the tie with Charles Haley for the most Lombardi Trophies won by a player (five).

 

With these 10 great teams, determining which is the best and which is the "worst" may be a challenge. Let’s give it a try nonetheless.

 

10. 1985

Regular Season Record: 11-5 (3rd in AFC East)

Finished: Lost to Chicago Bears 46-10 in Super Bowl XX

New England finished in third place in what was the toughest division in the NFL that season. But in the playoffs, the Patriots blew through their divisional rivals the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins thanks to a superb running game and nasty defense. Then they played the '85 Bears in Super Bowl XX and met an even nastier defense.

 

9. 1996

Regular Season Record: 11-5 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Lost to Green Bay Packers 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI

After starting 0-2, the Patriots won 11 of their last 14 games thanks in part to a 4,000-yard passing season by Drew Bledsoe. New England then beat Pittsburgh and Jacksonville with ease in the playoffs to make Super Bowl XXXI. There, they were down 27-21 to the Packers in the third quarter before Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to put the game away for good.

 

8. 2011

Regular Season Record: 13-3 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Lost to New York Giants 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI

After watching the Super Bowl at home for three seasons, the Patriots made it back for a rematch with the Giants. In a game that resembled a knife fight in a ditch, they barely lost to a New York team that had just hit its stride in the playoffs.

 

7. 2017

Regular Season Record: 13-3 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: TBD

Win or lose in Super Bowl LII, the 2017 Patriots have secured the seventh spot on this list. Whether or not they move up depends on if they beat the Eagles.

 

6. 2001

Regular Season Record: 11-5 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Beat St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI

What seemed like a Cinderella season was actually the official launch of the Belichick/Brady era. Tom Brady relieved an injured Drew Bledsoe in the second game of the season and has been the Patriots starting quarterback ever since. Thanks in part to the “Tuck Rule,” New England made Super Bowl XXXVI and beat “The Greatest Show on Turf” in one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

 

5. 2007

Regular Season Record: 16-0 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Lost to New York Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII

Yes, this team lost the one game that counted the most, but it doesn't change the fact that these Patriots were an absolute steamroller (average margin of victory was 18.6 points per game) until they faced the Giants. If not for the most amazing catch and greatest moment in Super Bowl history, the 2007 New England Patriots would stand alone atop this list, and could make a claim as one of the greatest teams ever.

 

4. 2004

Regular Season Record: 14-2 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Beat Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX

New England rolled through another 14-2 season and overcame a brash Philadelphia team to win a third Super Bowl in four years. If the Patriots beat the Eagles again in Super Bowl LII, they will be on the only franchise to accomplish that rare feat twice.

 

3. 2014

Regular Season Record: 12-4 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Beat Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX

I have the Patriots' 2014 squad this high for two reasons: 1) they got home-field advantage in a very even AFC, and 2) they beat the defending champion Seahawks in the Super Bowl, in thrilling fashion no less.

 

2. 2003

Regular Season Record: 14-2 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Beat Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII

On Sept. 28, 2003, New England lost to the Washington Redskins 20-17. The Patriots did not lose again until Oct. 31, 2004. Along the way, they beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII to win the franchise’s second Super Bowl.

 

1. 2016

Regular Season Record: 14-2 (1st in AFC East)

Finished: Beat Atlanta Falcons 34-28 (OT) in Super Bowl LI

Even with Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, New England sported the third-ranked scoring offense, along with the top-scoring defense. While all of the other Super Bowl champions on this list were great, the 2016 Patriots top this list because they had their mettle tested by the Falcons on the biggest stage and rose to the occasion, overcoming a record 25-point deficit to win the first-ever Super Bowl to go into overtime.

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

 

(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 09:01

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