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The Robles Rant

Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

Patriots’ Playground

Beware the allure of the prospective NFL dynasty; outside of New England, there have been none in the millennium. 

This isn’t the NBA, where simply acquiring the best players, á la the Golden State route, equals multiple shots at the championship. This league eats up great teams and spits them out. With the league’s definitive parity and the topsy-turvy nature of its playoffs, great players rarely have a shot at multiple championships, if any. 

Sure, more teams other than the Patriots have won multiple Super Bowls in the 2000s. The Baltimore Ravens have won two (2001 and 2013), but with the championships coming decades apart, the teams were vastly different, full of different coaches and different players in a different league. Despite being just three years apart, the Steelers two 2000s championships (2006 and 2009) came under different coaching regimes. And while the Steelers have remained one of the most consistent teams in the AFC, they’ve been overshadowed by the Patriots at every step. Finally, the Giants pulled off two of the greatest upsets in NFL history (2008 and 2012), both over the Patriots—I’m noticing a theme here—but was only 102-90 in the Tom Coughlin era, with four losing seasons. 

No team outside of Foxborough has been able to maintain their perch as king of the hill. Just look at the most recent champions.

This year’s defending champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, have struggled to find their identity with their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, attempting to find his pre-ACL form. After dropping two in a row, the Eagles are the NFC East cellar. The 2017 NFC Champions Falcons have regressed two seasons in a row and now sit with one of the league’s worst records 1-4. The Seahawks dominant defense has faded away, one asset at a time, which leaves us with the Broncos. 

To be fair, the Broncos were never set up to be a dynasty. Peyton Manning rode off in the sunset in 2015, leaving no clear successor, but you had to figure their dominant defense would hold them over until they figured it out. 

Well, the merciless hand of the NFL struck again, with the Broncos defense as its latest fatality. After giving up historic rushing yards to the aimless Jets on Sunday, the championship window is indefinitely closed, and a dynasty that never was and never could be, is dead.

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