In the era of free agency what the New England Patriots have done since 2000 is maybe the greatest sports accomplishment ever. I don’t like them but I think the Patriots have to be considered the greatest dynasty especially if they win next Sunday against Atlanta.
“USA Today” noticed that there are a lot of, quote, “eerie similarities” between this year’s New England Patriots team the Patriots team that beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 38 back in 2004.
There’s 13 . . . because 13 is such an “eerie” number. (???) Here they are:
1. Both Patriots teams played, or will play the big game in Houston.
2. Both played or will play an NFC South team in the Super Bowl.
3. Both teams went 16-2 to get to the Super Bowl.
4. The Super Bowl 38 Patriots were two seasons removed from beating an NFC West team (in that case the Rams). The Super Bowl 51 Patriots are two years removed from beating an NFC West team (the Seahawks).
5. Both Patriots defenses finished FIRST in the league in points allowed . . . meaning they allowed the LEAST points of any team.
6. Both teams were the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs . . . and managed to avoid the #2 seed, the Chiefs, in the AFC Championship.
7. Both teams finished first in the AFC East with a 14-2 record. The Dolphins finished second with a 10-6 record both times.
8. Both teams suffered their first loss of the season by being shut-out by the Bills.
9. During the 2004 playoffs, Tom Brady threw five touchdowns and two interceptions. Entering Super Bowl 51, he’s thrown five touchdowns and two interceptions in the playoffs.
10. Before playing Super 38, the Patriots hadn’t trailed in a game since Week 12. The current Patriots team hasn’t trailed since Week 12.
11. This year’s Patriots beat an AFC South team that plays in Houston (the Texans) in the divisional round. The Super Bowl 38 Patriots beat an AFC South team that used to play in Houston (the Titans) in the divisional round.
12. Both teams beat the Jets in Week 16 . . . then another divisional opponent in Week 17 to finish the season with a record of 5-1 in the AFC East.
13. And #13 is . . . these two seasons are 13 years apart. (Mind BLOWN! Just kidding. I added this last one because I wanted to have 13, and couldn’t find any other similarities. In 2003, Tom Brady DIDN’T miss the first four games because he was being punished for cheating.)