Chicago Sun-Times

Pats greatest ever? It's a great debate already

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The debates have already been fired up when it comes to where the New England Patriots will rank in football immortality should they win Super Bowl XLII and finish a perfect 19-0.

Some favor the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were dominant on offense in 1979 with a still rock solid defense. Previous versions during the decade of disco had more dominant defenses. Pick whichever one you like.

It’s hard to make any case against the 1972 Dolphins, who were a perfect 17-0. But consider this ... the unbeaten Dolphins were actually underdogs going into Super Bowl VII against the Washington Redskins. How is the greatest team of all-time a ’dog on the sport’s ultimate stage?

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers might have been the best team assembled by Bill Walsh. They obliterated Denver 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV, making the Bears' 46-10 romp over New England in Super Bowl XX look less vicious.

And how about those ’85 Bears? They possessed the most swagger of any Super Bowl winner and rolled through the postseason with two shutouts before the whipping of the Patriots.

Well, Ron Rivera is here to tell you if the 2007 Patriots finish off a perfect ride Feb. 3 in Glendale, Ariz., they’re the best of all time. His San Diego Chargers fell victim to New England 21-12 in Sunday's AFC title game in Foxborough, Mass.

``I think it’s a very fair comparison [between the 2007 Patriots and 1985 Bears],’’ Rivera said last week. ``If they go on to win it all, truthfully, I think because of their record and what they’ve accomplished, they should be known as the all-time greatest. And if they don’t they should be known as a team that played great and unfortunately had a slip up.’’

Better than the shufflin’ crew he was a part of?

``Just because of what they have accomplished you’ve got to take your hats off to them and say, `Congratulations,’’’ he added.

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14 Comments

So if the Chargers three main guys on offense were not banged up, (Lt, Gates, Rivers) the game would have been much closer, and possibly won by the Chargers. So then does that mean the Chargers are one of the greatest teams ever assembled? Come on this is all a bunch of bs. How can you compare teams from different eras. One with free agency, one without. The steeler teams had too many hall of famers, and the 85 Bears only gave up 10 points in the postseason? The 08 pats are really good, but benefit from a league that is way watered down in talent. Just look at their division. Plus there is just no dominant defense out there right now to stop them. Going unbeaten is a great accomplishment, but I wouldnt declare them best of all time.

HEY, DID YOU ALL HEAR JIMMY MAC (McMAHON) yesterday on the Dan Patrick show?

When pressed on who would win, the 85 Bears or the 07 Pats, McMahon said the Bears would have won. He went on to say that Bill Belichick's defenses are not as complicated as people think and mentioned that he only lost one time to a Belichick defense which was when he was on the Chargers.

He also said he would take Montana over Brady and asked how good would Brady be on the Lions?

Gotta love Jimmy Mac. The one who still tells it like it is!

I agree with McMahon... Bears over Pats. Tommy g makes several good points. If Pats win the SB they should be in the top ten, maybe top five, no better than that.

No debate! It's the Bears! They're only loss was an odd game where our starting QB was out! Granted, they had some tight games early in the season...and let's not forget how many games Fuller won with Jimmy Mac on the bench. Then once the season winded down and into the playoffs, the Bears DESTROYED people! Not just won, but obliterated them!

The Pats may have better passing game, but the Bears O-Line was just as good and the Bears running game was SUPERIOR! (Walter, anyone?) The Pats D is also quite good, but better than the 85 Bears? Huh? I'd say that the 49'ers and Steelers would have given the Bears much tougher match-ups than these Pats.

Let's also not forget that these era proects offense like no tomorrow...that plays a much bigger factor than most are willing to admit.

It's hard to compare. The '85 defense was the most ferocious, intimidating and fear-inducing defense ever constructed in the opinion of John Madden, sports writers, analysts and QBs of that time. In today's era though they'd probably get tons of personal foul penalties. Also the '46' has been figured out. Still, the players and the coaches were iron-tough mothers. And I couldn't see the Pat's D stopping Walter Payton. But Tom Brady looks like he may go down as the best QB ever. Randy Moss is ridiculous as is the ever reliable Wes Welker. Let's just say it would be one heck of a matchup. I'd pick Da Bears cuz they are my hometeam, but it would be fun to watch that.

P.S. Imagine though, Ditka v. Belichick. Crazy.

I agree with Mike you can love or hate the Pats but if Tom Brady wins the Super Bowl you got to consider him the best QB ever. Here is one point to think about, the two other QB's that won four Super Bowls Montana and Bradshaw went into the Hall of fame with a bunch of their teamates other than Randy Moss for just this Super Bowl who elese will be going into the Hall of fame from the other Super Bowl teams with Tom Brady? Add to that the fact Brady passed for 50 tds this season making Brady the first QB to do so I know some people are going to say it was because Brady had Moss but the only question I have is where was Moss in Oakland? Here is something scary to think about imagine the 85 Bears defense, the great Walter Payton, and Tom Brady on the same team. Your talking unstopable! One last case for Brady he will of been the First QB to start an intire season and go undefeated remember the 72 Dolphians did it with 2 QBs.

The Pats are the SMARTEST team I've EVER seen play. When you watch any NFL game you find yourself saying "Why did they do that? What a stupid move. What was he thinking?". You don't get that watching the Pats. If the Pats do get beaten it's because the other team plays a perfect game.
It's not that the Pats are flawless, they're just SO friggin Psychologically sound they won't destroy themselves (see Colts,Cowbums,etc.).
There is nothing that unnerves you more than playing someone who just goes about their business like a machine. Totally unaffected by you. They're just gonna do what they do and there's no way they're gonna crack before you do. Did anyone see them crack this year? No. They mess with your head in and for all the right reasons.
I'm gonna double dip a bit. I didn't get my comment to the Briggs blog, so here it is.

Re-sign Briggs, trade Urlacher and draft Malauaga (USC LB).
I would love to have Brian prove me wrong, but I don't think you get magically better from an arthritic back.
Briggs is the stud LB. Brian simply can't move like he used to. It's a shame, but if this is truly a business you have to sell this investment before it becomes worthless.
Like I said, I truly hope Brian proves me wrong. But I have an arthritic back (cervical and thoracic) also and though I am older than Brian it is difficult to not be diminished by the constant discomfort.
Good luck Brian.
Re-sign Lance.
Draft Malauaga.
The team will be better, everyone will be pleased with the rookie and Brian becomes a pleasant memory.
I don't need to remind anyone about the tragically sad memory of the greatest MLB ever. Watching him hobble and limp around was painful to me. I believe there was an effort to put him down earlier. But who was going to be the guy to euthanize a wounded Grizzly? I think once the idea surfaced to sit Mr. Butkus nobody in the NFL wanted the job.
I want to make a point here but the real story was different. Dick wanted his knee fixed, not just shot up constantly. If the Bear Org. had done just that history might be a little different.

DRAFT MALAUAGA !!!!!

The '85 Bears by far. The Pats D is good, not near great. The Pats O allows the D to play with more abandon. Still, they are in many close games. Remember, the Bears O was excellent, and overshadowed by the 46 D. Once the Bears got up by 10 points, GAME OVER!

Also, if the Bears had a healthy Jimmy Mac for the Dolphins game, and not starting backup Steve Fuller, the Bears go undefeated.

The difference between the two teams is the playoff run. NO TEAM EVER had the Bears' run! The Bears SHUT OUT the top NFC playoff teams - Rams & Giants - to win the NFC! Darn near shut out the Pats in the Super Bowl. The second stringers gave up the TD. The Bears held them to NEGATIVE offensive yards the first half. The second stringers let them get into the positive yards for the game. UNHEARD OF!

Score: Bears 31, Pats 10

As for the best team all time its the 85 Bears.As for the best over time? Steelers,49er's,Pats.

The National Fixed-ball League had things rigged for the Pats to go undefeated this year...first the "Spygate" scandal, which gave rise to the question, "How long have the Pats been stealing signals", which resulted in a mere slap on the wrist for Belichick & Company (if the NFL was on the up and up, they would have kicked Belichick out of the league right then and there)...then the outrageous late calls by the officials late in the Colts game, which kept the Pats undefeated...then the absolutely astoundingly horrible calls late in the Ravens game, which kept the Pats undefeated...then two identical pass routes run by Randy Moss late in the Giants game, on CONSECUTIVE pass plays - during which the defensive backs "blew" the coverage, not once, but both times (cough cough), which was promptly followed by a final four minutes in which the Giants staggered around in the Red Zone, still only down by 10, until the clock had nearly expired, keeping the Pats undefeated...and then the perfect playoff setup, with the Colts losing, the Cowboys losing, and finally, the Packers losing, so the Pats could have the Giants roll over and die for them yet again - but this time, in the Super Bowl...it's time to wake up and use your head - the NFL is now like Professional Wrestling, but the athletes aren't as good (same with the NBA - see "Tim Donaghy").

Mike in fort wayne how true you are brother.... I guess there are people out there with common sense. I've been saying the same thing now for a while. The NFL has stock in the Pats.. How quick we forget this whole 911 thing was actually the year the pats went to the sb. How questionable was that call in the raiders vs pats playoff game when charles woodson stripped brady and they said it was a foward pass. what a bunch of bull i saw it and so did the rest of america. How great was it for this country to have the patriots win the sb after 911 when all of america was heartbroken. This league is a crock a s@#$. Just as in the NBA with the Spurs. they weren't true champions until they became a dynasty. exactly the feel good story the nfl is looking for. please in this day and age going undefeated is near impossible. however, after hearing all the dog fighting, pac man jones cases, and tank johnson gun charges wouldn't you need a perfect story to end the madness.

You guys are talking Super Bowl era greatest. The greatest team in the history of the NFL, most wins, most titles, most hall of famers, is the Chicago Bears. A bunch of tough SOB's. Every Fan should read "Papa Bear".

Da Bears!!!

Seriously if we could use the Wayback machine and put the 2008 Pats against the 1985 Bears, defense would win. To be fair they could flip a coin to see which years rules would be used in the 1st half. One half would be 2008 rules and the other half would be 1985 rules. Fair enough?

While I am not a Patriots fan, it would be nice to shut up those overrated dolphins. You hardly ever hear anyone talk about the schedule they played the year they went undefeated. The combined winning percentage for the teams they played was .375. Yes, the teams they played that year lost two out of three games. Hardly worth bragging about. Only two of the teams they played had a better than .500 record. They had the weakest schedule of any NFL championship team in history all they way back to the 1920's.

So let's hope the Patriots win just so we can tell the Dolphins to shut up already.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 25, 2008 6:52 AM.

Harris bows out of Pro Bowl was the previous entry in this blog.

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