With the Pittsburgh Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XLIII many people have already begun talk about the Steelers being a modern day dynasty. Of course, in this day and age it has become nearly impossible to determine exactly what a dynasty is.
So I got to thinking, if the Steelers are to be considered a dynasty then you have to do the same for the Indianapolis Colts.
I know what you're going to say. The Colts have only won a single Super Bowl and the Steelers have won two, therefore the Steelers can be considered a dynasty but not the Colts.
Well, for those who might hold that type of opinion, I'm going to run down the very brief history of the two teams beginning in 2005 when the Steelers won their first Super Bowl this decade.
Over the four-year span, these are the winning records of the two teams (including the playoffs):
Pittsburgh Steelers (2005-2008): 49-24
Indianapolis Colts (2005-2008): 55-16
Looking at the overall amount of victories, the Colts have won six more games, while losing eight fewer. That certainly gives the overall edge to the Colts in my opinion, especially considering that in one of Pittsburgh's four seasons they finished with an 8-8 record, and did not even qualify for the postseason.
The Colts also have the advantage in having won three division titles to the Steelers' two during the four-year period.
So, let's now take a look at the two teams' histories in head-to-head competition over the past four years.
Week 12 (2005): Colts defeated the Steelers, 26-7
Divisional Round (2005): Steelers defeated the Colts, 21-18
Week 10 (2008): Colts defeat the Steelers, 24-20
That gives the Colts a 2-1 advantage over the Steelers during the era that many are considering to be the Steelers modern day dynasty. To take a further look at the equation, let's compare the statistics from each team's starting quarterback over the span of those three games.
Ben Roethlisberger: 61 of 92 for 614 yards, 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions
Peyton Manning: 58 of 103 for 775 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception
Ben Roethlisberger's quarterback rating during that span was 85.41, while Peyton Manning's was an astounding 146.04! That's a huge differential, especially if you consider the fact that Roethlisberger was facing the Colts defense while Peyton was tearing apart the vaunted Steelers defense.
We could talk about individual players all we want. Another important aspect to look at would be the teams as a whole. How many outstanding players did each team put out during that four-year span?
From 2005 to 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers produced an impressive 18 Pro Bowl selections. The Indianapolis Colts during that span, however, produced 23 Pro Bowl selections.
So, if you're going to be as noble as to proclaim the Steelers to be a modern day dynasty, then you must also sit back and think about who else might be deserving of such a title.
I realize that most people would never dare call a team that has won only one championship a dynasty, but why not?
What is the criteria exactly? Most people would tell you that it requires a minimum of three Super Bowl titles. I personally say that a dynasty is a team that has been a consistent winner for a long time and possesses at least one championship, but that's my personal opinion.
How can you proclaim the Steelers to be a dynasty without doing the same for the Colts?
Sorry, but one more Super Bowl victory is not enough to out-set a differential of plus 14 games for the Colts (six more wins and eight fewer losses), the 2-1 head-to-head record that favors the Colts and the fact that Indianapolis had beaten Pittsburgh in each of its Super Bowl seasons.
No offense to the Steelers, but if they are going to lay claim to being a dynasty then they're going to have to get in line.