The dynastic reign that the New England Patriots have put together across the last 20 years is legitimately legendary. During that span, the historic Bill Belichick-Tom Brady tandem won a whopping six Super Bowl titles. For context, no other team in the NFL has more than eight appearances in the elusive winner-take-all game.
There's a laundry list of stats that makes the Patriots' unprecedented run of winning seem mind-boggling, so we'll stop there and instead dive into a ranking of all six of New England's championship-winning teams.
6. Super Bowl LIII (2019)
As far as wins recorded by Super Bowl-appearing Patriots teams in the last 20 years are concerned, only the 2001 group had as few wins (11) as the 2018 squad. New England surprisingly only had two Pro Bowlers -- Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore -- and were lucky to walk away with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. They weren't any more inspiring in the Super Bowl as they conquered the Los Angeles Rams by a final score of 13-3 in a genuine snooze fest.
5. Super Bowl XXXVI (2001)
What are the odds that the Super Bowl crown that set the Patriots dynasty in motion was the second-least inspiring of the six teams? That's probably because there were so many underlying variables. For starters, Brady entered the year as Drew Bledsoe's backup and only entered the fold because of injury. In ironic fashion, it was Bledsoe that helped New England dispatch of the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game after Brady was sidelined with a knee injury. Many Boston haters refer to the notorious "Tuck Rule" game as a deserved asterisk to the team's eventual upset over the favored St. Louis Rams, better known as the "Greatest Show on Turf."
4. Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003)
New England's second of three championships in a four-year span came in 2003 when they defeated the Carolina Panthers in a 32-29 thriller in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Ironically enough, this particular team shared uncanny similarities with the Patriots of 2019, who, in many ways, did just enough to win games. In 2003, they finished 14-2 and boasted a defensive unit that allowed the fewest points in the NFL. Their three playoff victories over Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Carolina came by a combined 16 points. That's not the sort of dominance we've grown accustomed to from the six-time champs, and that sees them land No. 4 on this list.
3. Super Bowl XLIX (2014)
Only the Patriots would have a 12-4 season in which they clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs be considered underwhelming. Not only did they not have a running back eclipse the 500-yard mark, but the offense and defense failed to breach the top 10. However, New England would go on to snap their decade-long championship drought against the Seattle Seahawks in an all-time Super Bowl matchup that was capped with cornerback Malcolm Butler's iconic goal line interception on a play after which every football fan undressed Pete Carroll for not handing the pigskin to Marshawn Lynch. Though the accomplishment itself was notable, this Patriots team was by no means a world-beater.
2. Super Bowl XXXIX (2004)
The 2004 Patriots were unquestionably the best of their first trio of championship triumphs. In fact, it was the only group of the bunch that finished with a top-10 offense and defense. They even set the record for consecutive wins (including the playoffs) at 21 games, which was snapped by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. In poetic fashion, Belichick's group avenged that lost at Heinz Field in the AFC Championship Game. Ultimately, New England toppled a 13-3 Philadelphia Eagles team in a Super Bowl that was much more lopsided than the 24-21 final score indicated.
1. Super Bowl LI (2016)
We honestly don't see how the other five candidates could take the place of New England's unstoppable 2016 team. Brady was suspended for the first month of the season for his role in "Deflategate," and he put the NFL on notice after returning. The margin of victory in the Patriots' 14 wins with TB12 under center, including the postseason, was over 15 points. The fact that they capped the campaign by overcoming a 28-3 second half deficit against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI proves that it deserves the No. 1 spot here. It was this championship that Brady asserted himself as the greatest football player of all-time.