NFL Rankings: Top Ten NFL Dynasties
Learn About the Top Ten NFL Dynasties in History
2014 NFL Off-Season
If you’re like me (and three-quarters of the rest of America), you were flipping between baseball and the Game of Thrones premiere last night. This of course (my mind is sports-addled, y’all) made me think of sports dynasties, rather than actual dynasties. So, today, we’re taking a look at ten of the top dynasties the NFL has ever seen.
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1. The Pittsburgh Steelers have brought the Lombardi trophy home 6 times, more than any other team in the league. Since the Super Bowl era began, the club has had just four coaches, so they’re clearly doing something right in the Steel City. The Steelers dynasty that existed from 1972-1979 is perhaps the most prolific; these teams brought home 4 Super Bowl championships in a 6-year span. Also, in ’72 there was this little play called the “Immaculate Reception” that you might’ve heard of…
2. From 1981-1994 the San Francisco 49ers took the Lombardi home on 5 occasions. They also had just two head coaches and two starting QBs (a couple of guys named Joe Montana and Steve Young) during this timeframe. In fact, until February 3, 2013, the club had never lost while making a Super Bowl appearance (Niners loyalists will probably always use the fluke power outage as a scapegoat for their now 5-1 record). Going into 2014, the 49ers are coming off of two consecutive NFC championship appearances, so we could be on the cusp of another NorCal dynasty.
3. Even though the Dallas Cowboys haven’t quite held up their end of the bargain as “America’s Team” of late, they have made more post-season appearances than any other team in the NFL and won 3 Super Bowls between the 1992 and 1995 seasons (including back-to-backs against the Buffalo Bills in ’92 and ’93). There’s no denying that Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, under the coaching prowess of Jimmy Johnson, are one of the most memorable NFL trios in history.
4. When Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers lost the pre-Super Bowl era NFL championship game in 1960, he swore they wouldn’t be defeated in a post-season contest from that point on. Lombardi kept his word during the remainder of his tenure with the Pack. From 1961-1967, Green Bay won 5 championship titles, including Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. Just might explain why Lombardi’s name graces the league’s most coveted trophy, guys and gals.
5. The pre-Super Bowl era Chicago Bears were a force to be reckoned with. The 1940 team beat the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the NFL title contest and the following year, the 1941 Bears led the entire league in total yards, rushing yards, passing yards, and points scored (you can thank the T-formation for that). The Bears enjoyed another dynasty under legendary coach Mike Ditka in the modern era of the game. Does the year 1985 ring a bell for anyone?
6. The Oakland Raiders (yes, you did read that right) could strike fear into opponents with the best of them during the late-60s through the mid-80s. The club won three Super Bowls during that time, including a 38-9 blowout over the Washington Redskins on January 22, 1984. While Raiders fans are still some of the most loyal in the league, they’ve got to be hoping someone can right the ship for their squad soon. Though I’m not entirely certain 30-year-old Justin Tuck and 32-year-old Antonio Smith (or, for that matter, Johnny Manziel, who is in town as I type) are the answers they’ve been searching for…
7. The Denver Broncos only have a 2-5 record in the Super Bowl, but they have had two of the best QBs to ever play the game on their roster (no, not Tim Tebow). Both John Elway and Peyton Manning have led the club to the Super Bowl and the team never had more than a 2-year gap between play-off appearances for two decades, from 1985-2005. With the team Denver has built, if Manning can stay healthy for the remainder of his contract, they could post at least one more Super Bowl win before he hangs-up his cleats for good.
8. The Miami Dolphins made 3 consecutive Super Bowl appearances after the 1971, 1972, and 1973 seasons. After being trounced by the Cowboys 24-3 on January 16, 1972, the ‘Phins silenced the critics. Their undefeated 1972 team has gone down as one of the greatest in history and they brought the Lombardi to South Florida twice in succession.
9. Though the New England Patriots haven’t actually won a Super Bowl since 2004 (that’s already been a decade, y’all…time flies when you’re having fun), they’ve made 4 total appearances in the big game since 2002. This, combined with their 6-1 conference championship record, makes them one of the modern era’s undisputed football dynasties. QB Tom Brady will surely find a place in the Hall of Fame and head coach Bill Belichick has one of the most calculating minds in all of football. Now we just have to wait and see who steps-in to carry this club when Brady finally decides he’s ready to spend more time with Giselle.
10. I hesitated to include the Buffalo Bills on this list, given their 0-4 Super Bowl record. However, Jim Kelly and Co. did win 4 consecutive AFC championships, thus leading them to 4 consecutive Super Bowl appearances after the 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994 seasons. Despite their losses, this is no easy feat. In fact, no other team in league history has made this many championship appearances, so I feel it’s only fair to include Buffalo here.