The New England Patriots are still the best team in NFL history — at least that’s what the local media would like you to think. Despite not winning a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXIX back in 2005 when they beat the Eagles, the New England media has made a habit of still treating the Patriots like they’re a dynasty.
They dynasty has been over (or at the very least on-hold) for over six years now, and Rob Ninkovich is sick of the expectation. When he spoke to the media after the Patriots 28-13 loss in the AFC championship game, Ninkovich told reporters to knock it off and that they dynasty is and has been dead.
“That whole era is over with. It’s gone,” Ninkovich told WEEI on Monday. “So this is a whole new team. It’s a different bunch of guys. We all have to experience it and learn for ourselves what it’s like. Getting in the Super Bowl last year and losing left a bad taste in my mouth.”
While the Patriots are in the middle of a Super Bowl drought, it really doesn’t seem like they dynasty is dead. This is due in large part to the coverage the Patriots get, but has more to do with the quality of the team.
Other dynasties have had a very distinct end where the team stops being competitive on a consistent basis. That hasn’t happened yet with the Patriots. Sure, they haven’t won a Super Bowl in almost a decade, but they’ve played in two of the last five Super Bowls and have missed the playoffs once since doing 2003.
So, the fact that the Patriots are still a really good team sort of muddies the water when you start to talk about the dynasty being over. Ninkovich is right about one thing, this is a new team. But it’s a team that has consistently made the playoffs for the past 10 years so the expectation isn’t coming solely because the media is creating it.