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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-02-2007, 07:57 AM
Patriots not quite at level of greatness
'90s Cowboys and '70s Steelers rank as top NFL dynasties
02:00 AM CST on Sunday, December 2, 2007


New England needs eight more wins to achieve perfection and stake its claim as the greatest team and dynasty in NFL history. Realistically, we're all going to be surprised if that doesn't happen.

Sure, the Patriots reign over today's watered-down, parity-driven NFL, but let's stop all this chatter about New England being the league's greatest dynasty.

Frankly, it's not even worth discussing.

I was reminded of that the other day, when the Cowboys recognized their 1977, 1992 and 1993 championship teams at halftime of their win over Green Bay.

You take the Patriots of the new millennium and give me the '90s Cowboys or '70s Steelers and I'll beat you every time ? or almost every time.

If you're honest, you know it's the truth.

By the way, this is not some pom-pom waving piece because I grew up in Oak Cliff and religiously watched every Cowboys' game from the third grade until I left for college.

This is based, in part, on the research done by Norm Hitzges, a fixture on the Dallas-Fort Worth sports scene for more than 30 years, and common sense.

We all know Hitzges' fascination for statistics borders on obsessive compulsive behavior, but he dug up some intriguing numbers and theories that's he's put in an interesting book he co-authored with longtime Cowboys' photographer Ron St. Angelo.

In their book, Greatest Team Ever: The Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s, Hitzges compared the dynasties of the Cowboys (91-95), San Francisco (1988-92), New England (01-05), Pittsburgh (1975-79), Miami (1970-74) and Green Bay (1963-67) in several categories.

They are: number of wins, playoff wins, 12-win seasons, player honors and free agency impact. From that, he concluded the Cowboys were the greatest dynasty of all time.

I arrived at a similar conclusion.

My criteria: How many great players did each team have, how good were the teams they had to beat to win their championships and how decisively did they win their titles.

Let's deal with one issue off the top. When we're talking about the best of the best, splitting hairs is a necessity.

It's not New England's fault that it plays in an inferior era because of expansion and free agency, but it is what it is.

Bill Belichick and his right-hand man Scott Pioloi have done a wonderful job of filling their roster with more good players than any other NFL team.

Some teams might have more great players, but the Patriots win because they never put a bad player on the field ? and they exploit the bad players their opponents use.

Understand?

Look at it this way, other than Tom Brady, Randy Moss and probably Junior Seau what other Patriots are going to the Hall of Fame? If you open your mouth to say Wes Welker, our conversation is over.

Maybe Richard Seymour? Or Asante Samuel? That's my point. Brady was the Patriots' only great player on their previous championship teams.

When it's all said and done, the 90s Cowboys will have at least five Hall of Fame players in Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders and Larry Allen. If Charles Haley eventually makes it, as he should, Dallas will have six.

As for the Steelers, you could easily make the argument they have some undeserving Hall of Famers, but you can't argue about the merits of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount.

When you're talking about greatness, it matters who you beat to win your title. Joe Frazier helped make Muhammad Ali "The Greatest" because he brought out the best in Ali.

The Cowboys had to go through Steve Young, Jerry Rice and one of the most potent offenses in NFL history to win their championships.

Ask anyone and the NFC championship games between the Cowboys and the 49ers from 1992-94 were among the best in league history. San Francisco, a team with championship pedigree, made the Cowboys raise their level of performance to win.

And don't sleep on Buffalo, the only team to lose four consecutive Super Bowls. Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas are already in the Hall of Fame, and Bruce Smith and Andre Reed should soon join them.

Pittsburgh had to go through great teams in Miami and Oakland for much of the '70s.

The Patriots biggest rival is the Indianapolis Colts, who won a championship last year. The teams were each 8-0 when the Patriots beat Indianapolis earlier this season.

Perhaps, history will remember the Colts as the Patriots' Frazier. For now, they're not.

New England slowed down a terrific offensive team, when it slipped past the 2000 St. Louis Rams. Still, the Patriots have never won a Super Bowl by more than a field goal.

The '90s Cowboys never won a Super Bowl by fewer than 10 points; the Steelers won two of their four titles by at least 10 points.

Still think the Patriots can hang with the '90s Cowboys or '70s Steelers?

The Patriot
12-02-2007, 05:01 PM
I'm not saying that the Patriots are the best team ever. I was more certain in 2004 that we'd win the Superbowl then I am this year but I disagree with this article. Football has changed alot. Athletes have gotten better with superior weight programs, better diets, and in many cases steriods. There are also tons of more players in the sport today and with no more racial barriers you can expect to see the very best playing in the NFL. Players have also specialized themselves to master certain positions. In the 50s and 60s any big guy who could withstand a beating could play football.
Older men will always believe that their teams and players of the past were the very best there ever was. But for that to be true, there would have had to be a freak surge in human evolution of amazing athletes 40 years ago. Records are made to be broken. The first guy raises the bar so the second guy can later raise it again. The Patriots might be the best dyanasty ever, if you can make that assumption, but I'm sure that in a decade or so there will be several other teams that are even better.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-02-2007, 05:15 PM
I'm not saying that the Patriots are the best team ever. I was more certain in 2004 that we'd win the Superbowl then I am this year but I disagree with this article. Football has changed alot. Athletes have gotten better with superior weight programs, better diets, and in many cases steriods. There are also tons of more players in the sport today and with no more racial barriers you can expect to see the very best playing in the NFL. Players have also specialized themselves to master certain positions. In the 50s and 60s any big guy who could withstand a beating could play football.
Older men will always believe that their teams and players of the past were the very best there ever was. But for that to be true, there would have had to be a freak surge in human evolution of amazing athletes 40 years ago. Records are made to be broken. The first guy raises the bar so the second guy can later raise it again. The Patriots might be the best dyanasty ever, if you can make that assumption, but I'm sure that in a decade or so there will be several other teams that are even better.

So players like Stallworth, Lambert, Greene, Emmit Smith & Aikman couldnt have played in todays game against the Patriots?

Gotta call BS on that one.

Mosca
12-02-2007, 05:19 PM
I, too, have to disagree, on a couple grounds.

First, with all respect, this season isn't over, and any talk about the '07 Patriots and eternal greatness is premature. They haven't won anything yet, other than their division. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But either way, it's only Dec 2nd.

Second, the game changes. The rules change, the players change, the styles of play change, the way a franchise has to be managed changes. You can't fault the team. They aren't being called on to win in the'70s or '90s; they are being called on to win TODAY. Call it what it is. Do you REALLY think you could transport the '70s Steelers, with their O-line that averaged around 250 lbs, into today's NFL? I don't. At 6'4" and 220, Lambert would be a hell of a safety. You can say that they would bulk up for today's game, but that's not the point; that would be the same as saying that the Patriots would have built their franchise differently in the '70s. Well, yeah.

I like to look at the great teams, like everyone else. But I'll settle for wondering rather than trying to figure out absolutes.

The Patriot
12-02-2007, 06:53 PM
So players like Stallworth, Lambert, Greene, Emmit Smith & Aikman couldnt have played in todays game against the Patriots?

Gotta call BS on that one.

Ofcourse they would have been able to play. They would be recognized as excellent players but wouldn't dominate the league.

tony hipchest
12-02-2007, 06:55 PM
belichick would never survive w/o free agency to plug the holes.

Big D
12-02-2007, 07:01 PM
[QUOTE=The Patriot;331260]in many cases steriods.

something your pattys know alot about. 30 year old athletes dont exactly normally have strokes.

MACH1
12-02-2007, 07:11 PM
One thing not to be forgotten is the BIG * next to everything the cheatsies did under belicheat.

The Patriot
12-02-2007, 08:34 PM
something your pattys know alot about. 30 year old athletes dont exactly normally have strokes.

Bruschi had a blood clot that travelled to his brain due to the altitude change after a long flight home from Hawii. He was in critical condition for a while and during the months he spent in the hospital he never once tested positive for steriods. But thanks. It's a great time to be joking about death in the NFL right now.

Big D
12-02-2007, 08:39 PM
Bruschi had a blood clot that travelled to his brain due to the altitude change after a long flight home from Hawii. He was in critical condition for a while and during the months he spent in the hospital he never once tested positive for steriods. But thanks. It's a great time to be joking about death in the NFL right now.

how was i joking? ever hear of hgh? of course he wasnt going to test positive. and if that piss poor excuse makes you feel better knock yourself out

The Patriot
12-02-2007, 08:50 PM
how was i joking? ever hear of hgh? of course he wasnt going to test positive. and if that piss poor excuse makes you feel better knock yourself out

'Human Growth Hormone' can clog arteries but it sure doesn't cause one to burst in the brain. Numerous blows to the head that football players regularly sustain are to blame. Also, HGH can be tested for. Rodney Harrison tested positive for it in the preseason. Talk smack about an actual case instead of this near tragedy.

Hines0wnz
12-02-2007, 10:56 PM
I disagree with that article. How can the Cowboys be called the best when they lost 2 SB games to the Steelers? :funny::juggle::rolleyes:

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 08:38 AM
Ofcourse they would have been able to play. They would be recognized as excellent players but wouldn't dominate the league.

Really....the leading rusher of all time...in his prime....wouldnt be dominating this year?

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 10:31 AM
Really....the leading rusher of all time...in his prime....wouldnt be dominating this year?

No because defenses are now better overall. Look at LT. He had a spectacular season last year but this season defenses closed in and were able to find ways to stop him. His performance is still good but not dominating.

Big D
12-03-2007, 10:33 AM
No because defenses are now better overall. Look at LT. He had a spectacular season last year but this season defenses closed in and were able to find ways to stop him. His performance is still good but not dominating.

i would credit lt's decline this year on a horseshit coaching staff and bad schemes

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 10:40 AM
No because defenses are now better overall. Look at LT. He had a spectacular season last year but this season defenses closed in and were able to find ways to stop him. His performance is still good but not dominating.

Soooo ......even players who were great last year are effected by this sudden leap in genetic evolution that apparantly happened...what...in June of this year?
:huh:

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 11:02 AM
i would credit lt's decline this year on a horseshit coaching staff and bad schemes

Exactly!!!

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 11:03 AM
Soooo ......even players who were great last year are effected by this sudden leap in genetic evolution that apparantly happened...what...in June of this year?
:huh:

No evolution, just competition. The bar is always being raised. If the one mile record is 4:00 mn, the next guy will aim for 3:55 mn, and the next guy will aim for 3:50 mn, and so on and so forth. As the popularity of the sport grows, so does the competition among players. So if Olympic athletes are improving their times with every generation, why are football players an exception? Ofcourse there is the possibility of an anomaly, where one man is so freakishly talented that nobody can challenge him for years to come, but there couldn't have been a whole league of them somehow assembled in what would be "the greatest generation"

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 11:07 AM
i would credit lt's decline this year on a horseshit coaching staff and bad schemes

That is always a factor but there are some traites that can not be coached. They are talents possessed by the player alone. I'll go as far to say that I could be an NFL special teams coach and do pretty well if I had Devin Hester. Maybe I'm exaggerating but you see my point.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 11:11 AM
The last time I checked games were not won by Mr. Olympians and Long Distance Runners. The game is unigue in that fact that its physical. But GAMES are won with HEART...always has been and always will be.

FACT: Thats why the guy who lifts the most..or runs the fastest doesnt always start.

Any other arguement ..whether scientific or philosophic....is a waste of time...(and very telling)

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 11:45 AM
The last time I checked games were not won by Mr. Olympians and Long Distance Runners. The game is unigue in that fact that its physical. But GAMES are won with HEART...always has been and always will be.

FACT: Thats why the guy who lifts the most..or runs the fastest doesnt always start.

Any other arguement ..whether scientific or philosophic....is a waste of time...(and very telling)

So you're telling me that the thousands of inner city kids every year, who's only hope of a bright future is through sports, who push their bodies to the limit everyday, and still come up short, that those few chosen to play in the NFL don't have what it takes to stand up to the mighty Gods of the 70s?

If your argument is true, the 72 dolphins would be able to go undefeated in today's league. Frankly, I don't think there is even a contest. I'll even bet that the unvictorious 07 dolphins would have a chance to beat them.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 11:51 AM
So you're telling me that the thousands of inner city kids every year, who's only hope of a bright future is through sports, who push their bodies to the limit everyday, and still come up short, that those few chosen to play in the NFL don't have what it takes to stand up to the mighty Gods of the 70s?

If your argument is true, the 72 dolphins would be able to go undefeated in today's league. Frankly, I don't think there is even a contest. I'll even bet that the unvictorious 07 dolphins would have a chance to beat them.

Look up straw man arguement....nice try of putting things in my mouth.

Why dont you do some research..learn how to talk football and come back when you have something to offer us....until then:
:wave:

We have already had our quota of Pats Fans who twist peoples words and offer empty bags of gummy bears instead of actaul football conversations....There must be a forum somewhere that is deserving of the "expert" opinions you have formed since 2001.

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 12:00 PM
Look up straw man arguement....nice try of putting things in my mouth.

Why dont you do some research..learn how to talk football and come back when you have something to offer us....until then:
:wave:

We have already had our quota of Pats Fans who twist peoples words and offer empty bags of gummy bears instead of actaul football conversations....There must be a forum somewhere that is deserving of the "expert" opinions you have formed since 2001.

I'm sorry. I didn't know I twisted your words around. Please, do elaborate and explain your argument in clearest form.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-03-2007, 12:19 PM
I'm sorry. I didn't know I twisted your words around. Please, do elaborate and explain your argument in clearest form.

I...Never...Brought....Up....The....'72....Dolphin s....or....inner....city...kids....You....can't... .talk ...football....so...you...are...making....an.....e motional.....argument....based....on....no....fact s.

I cant get any clearer than that...find someone to help you if that is too complex:dang:

TackleMeBen
12-03-2007, 12:39 PM
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u251/beautifulgirl427/penginismack.gif

Preacher
12-03-2007, 12:49 PM
The Patriots might be the best dyanasty ever, if you can make that assumption, but I'm sure that in a decade or so there will be several other teams that are even better.

Don't get ahead of yourself. The Patriots aren't even a dynasty yet. They have to put up one more.

Then... how do they match back to back wins... TWICE?

How do they match the MOST DOMINATING DEFENSE IN OVER HALF A DECADE?

How do they match on the run game?

They aren't even the best PASSING TEAM during their time on top. This year, yes. But over the last 5 years, that would have to go to the Colts.

Nope, Patriots aren't even a dynasty yet. If they become one, it will be behind both the Steelers and San Francisco. After all, this is the FIRST year that they really are completely dominant.

ShutDown24
12-03-2007, 01:05 PM
All I know is that no other dynasty has this* next to their four titles - Actually... The Pats don't even have four yet... So they aren't even in the same book as the Steelers and 49ers forget the same page...

X-Terminator
12-03-2007, 01:06 PM
Why are you guys even wasting your time? No matter what you say, this guy and every other Pats fan will just find some way to justify the crap that Belichick and the Evil Empire has pulled. Even back in the 70s when the Raiders and Cowboys were so hated, they at least had respect for the game and earned the respect of their opponents and opposing team's fans.

Cheat to win? No problem.
Integrity? What's that?
Class? Is for little kids with runny noses.

I might just go ahead and stick to my original plan to put any and all Pats fans who show up this week into the bozo bin, troll or not. It'll save me a lot of aggravation.

Mosca
12-03-2007, 01:13 PM
1) The Pats might be the best dynasty yet, or they might not be. Same goes for the Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, '49ers. Because really, there's no way to compare teams across eras.

2) Any talk of this year's Patriots, good as they may be, is premature. they haven't won anything yet.

3) Basically I agree with The Patriot on a lot of points. I DO NOT think that you could take a team from the past and transpose them into today's game. Certain players, maybe. And the closer to the present you get, the more likely you can do it. But the Steelers O-line of the '70s would be severely outmatched today, and they weren't outmatched in the '70s... what does that tell you? The game changes. It does an injustice to everyone to ignore that; the players of the past were great in their own right. It is an insult to hold them up to today's game. They developed in a different time, and they developed different skills for a different way of playing.

4) Last I checked, heart was only important after you matched up physically; insurance offices and lumber companies are stuffed with guys who had enough heart to get to training camp, but not enough talent to make the team.

5) If the Pats take it to the house this year, then they get to sit in the big thrones with the big boys. Simple as that. I don't have to like them to acknowledge that they achieved to a high level. Greatest ever? The term has no meaning. Is a '66 Ferrari 365P a better car than a 1931 Deusenberg J? Jeez, how can you rank greatness?

The Patriot
12-03-2007, 01:29 PM
1) The Pats might be the best dynasty yet, or they might not be. Same goes for the Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, '49ers. Because really, there's no way to compare teams across eras.

2) Any talk of this year's Patriots, good as they may be, is premature. they haven't won anything yet.

3) Basically I agree with The Patriot on a lot of points. I DO NOT think that you could take a team from the past and transpose them into today's game. Certain players, maybe. And the closer to the present you get, the more likely you can do it. But the Steelers O-line of the '70s would be severely outmatched today, and they weren't outmatched in the '70s... what does that tell you? The game changes. It does an injustice to everyone to ignore that; the players of the past were great in their own right. It is an insult to hold them up to today's game. They developed in a different time, and they developed different skills for a different way of playing.

4) Last I checked, heart was only important after you matched up physically; insurance offices and lumber companies are stuffed with guys who had enough heart to get to training camp, but not enough talent to make the team.

5) If the Pats take it to the house this year, then they get to sit in the big thrones with the big boys. Simple as that. I don't have to like them to acknowledge that they achieved to a high level. Greatest ever? The term has no meaning. Is a '66 Ferrari 365P a better car than a 1931 Deusenberg J? Jeez, how can you rank greatness?

Thank you. My argument was not about the Patriots going undefeated or about them becoming whatever defines a dynasty, I was just arguing that today's football players are much better than yesterday's players.
Thanks for actually reading my posts instead of writing me off as a troll and bombarding me with this 'classless' and 'cheater' crap.

Mosca
12-03-2007, 02:21 PM
Thank you. My argument was not about the Patriots going undefeated or about them becoming whatever defines a dynasty, I was just arguing that today's football players are much better than yesterday's players.


Just different. Sure, you could say that if Lambert were coming into the league today, he'd be bigger and have the advantage of today's training... but he isn't. He played then, and he was one of the best to ever play his position. The fact that AS HE WAS THEN is not physically suited to today's game ignores the fact that 1) he was perfectly suited for the game of the '70s, and 2) today's players aren't well suited physically for the way the game was then, either. The game in the '70s was far too violent for players of today's size and speed, and the equipment of that time wouldn't hold up to the forces generated by today's players, let alone their bodies holding up to playing under those rules.

As a side note, sometimes I look up players to use as examples, and since I don't like to be a moron I check them out before I use them... one guy who I was going to use and didn't was Bronko Nagurski. I'm convinced that he could have played in any era. In the '30s, he played running back at 6'2"/238. His was the largest championship ring ever made, size 19.5. But there aren't many like him. And of course he wouldn't have been able to play offensive or defensive lineman at that size (positions he made the Pro Bowl at; he is the only player to make the Pro Bowl at three different non-kicking positions).

Hines0wnz
12-03-2007, 07:52 PM
Thank you. My argument was not about the Patriots going undefeated or about them becoming whatever defines a dynasty, I was just arguing that today's football players are much better than yesterday's players.
Thanks for actually reading my posts instead of writing me off as a troll and bombarding me with this 'classless' and 'cheater' crap.

That is a very debatable statement because many rules have changed over the years. The fact that receivers cant be touched as much now is a huge difference. Think about it.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-04-2007, 09:13 AM
That is a very debatable statement because many rules have changed over the years. The fact that receivers cant be touched as much now is a huge difference. Think about it.

Exactly....and as was stated..."all things being equal"...which means that players from those teams would have access to better training knowledge,techniques and equipment....You will NEVER convince me that those players wouldnt be effective in todays game.
The arguement on Emmit Smith & Aikman are especially lame, since we arn't talking about 30 years ago but rather last decade. Therefore the whole "game has changed" statement falls short. There is a certain amount of arrogance that goes into an arguement that we have reached some sort of evolutional peak in 2007 that wasnt there is the 90's.
Seriously, this is a stupid debate.

Mosca
12-04-2007, 09:38 AM
The arguement on Emmit Smith & Aikman are especially lame, since we arn't talking about 30 years ago but rather last decade. Therefore the whole "game has changed" statement falls short. There is a certain amount of arrogance that goes into an arguement that we have reached some sort of evolutional peak in 2007 that wasnt there is the 90's.

Because the change is a smooth evolution and not an abrupt line, the closer you get players of different eras the more likely they will be able to transpose between them.


Exactly....and as was stated..."all things being equal"...which means that players from those teams would have access to better training knowledge,techniques and equipment.....


And my point is that you CAN'T say "all things being equal", because they aren't equal, and can never be equal.

Today's football players are "better" in the same way that today's cars are "better"; a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon will outperform a '58 Mercedes Gullwing, a 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata will out-accelerate and outcorner a 1977 Ferarri 308GTB. And both are safer and get better gas mileage, with lower emissions.

So what, is what I say. The better car is obvious, in each case. It is the comparison that is flawed.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-04-2007, 01:44 PM
Because the change is a smooth evolution and not an abrupt line, the closer you get players of different eras the more likely they will be able to transpose between them.





And my point is that you CAN'T say "all things being equal", because they aren't equal, and can never be equal.

Today's football players are "better" in the same way that today's cars are "better"; a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon will outperform a '58 Mercedes Gullwing, a 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata will out-accelerate and outcorner a 1977 Ferarri 308GTB. And both are safer and get better gas mileage, with lower emissions.

So what, is what I say. The better car is obvious, in each case. It is the comparison that is flawed.

Sorry Mosca...not buying it.

You sort of touched on this....but there have been no changes, smooth or abrupt, in the past 15 years that are drastic enough to say that Emmitt Smith wouldnt be a force if he was playing "in his prime" in 2007.

Mosca
12-04-2007, 02:16 PM
But there have been huge changes over the past 30 years. See my example of the Steeler's O-line of the '70s, which would be completely overmatched today. And Larry Csonka would be Dan Kreider, or John Kuhn; hardly the force he was. Jim Kiick? Cut. Rocky Blier? Cut.

And running back is one position where players might be more interchangeable than others; even today, a top back could be either a #1 pick or a UDFA.

But what would the Packers of the '60s do against a non-dynasty Superbowl team from this decade? How about, 2002 Tampa Bay? I think Tampa would smoke them.

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-04-2007, 02:21 PM
But there have been huge changes over the past 30 years. See my example of the Steeler's O-line of the '70s, which would be completely overmatched today.

And running back is one position where players might be more interchangeable than others; even today, a top back could be either a #1 pick or a UDFA.

But what would the Packers of the '60s do against a non-dynasty Superbowl team from this decade? How about, 2002 Tampa Bay? I think Tampa would smoke them.

I actually agree with you..but your not taking into consideration that those O-linemen "became" proto-typical lineman for that period...and to not take into consideration that they could "become" prototypical lineman today...takes everything away from talent and heart..and places it on size and speed.

That is why the question becomes mute...how do you translate that from one period to the next?

Mosca
12-04-2007, 07:20 PM
Uh... I think we agree. That's what I've been saying all along. From post #31, "The fact that AS HE WAS THEN is not physically suited to today's game ignores the fact that 1) he was perfectly suited for the game of the '70s, and 2) today's players aren't well suited physically for the way the game was then, either."

My point is that you don't take into account that those guys could be different today, because that was then, and it should be left there. It does a disservice to the athletes of that time, because they became the best they could be at the game as it was when they played it. Which led me to the point that got me into this thread. You can't blame the Pats for building their team according to the rules of today. They did it using the rules as they are now.