So how dominant have the New England Patriots been?
I decided to dig in and figure it out.
The Patriots, who rallied from a 28-3 deficit Sunday to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51, have won 5 NFL titles and appeared in 7 Super Bowls in the past 16 years.
No one in baseball or the NBA can match that total. Also, the Patriots are much farther ahead of their NFL brethren than those in MLB and hoops.
NBA: The Lakers have made six title appearances with four wins. San Antonio has five appearances and four wins and Miami has five appearances and three wins. Twelve teams have made finals appearances in those 16 years. But it is worth noting that NBA titles are much more clustered than other sports because of the ability of one or two individuals to make a difference (as in Lebron James appearing in six consecutive NBA finals). Not so in the NFL.
MLB: Baseball leads with 18 teams making World Series appearances in the past 16 years. San Francisco and St. Louis have made the most World Series visits with 4. The Giants have 3 wins and the Cardinals have 2. Boston has won all 3 of its World Series appearances in that time frame. The Yankees also have 3 visits, but they lost twice. Baseball’s rosters are less than half the size of those in the NFL, there is no offense-defense platooning in baseball to the extent that there is in football and there is no comparable position importance in football that the pitcher occupies in MLB. Upshot: It's tougher to be dominant in the NFL.
NFL: A total of 17 franchises have played in the Super Bowl in the past 16 seasons. But the Patriots have a 4-game lead on the rest of the league in appearances (Pittsburgh and Seattle have 3 apiece) and a 3-game lead in wins (Steelers and Giants have two apiece). Yes, the Steelers have 6 overall and Dallas and the 49ers have tied New England with 5, but the goal here is to show that the dominance of the Patriots in this era is pretty incredible.