There has been non-stop talk on ESPN about the players of the decade, plays of the decade, teams of the decade, etc.
All of the talk about this current decade got me to think about the next decade. In the NFL, the next decade will technically start after Super Bowl XLIV.
Which NFL Franchise will be the team of the decade from 2011 to 2020?
The Green Bay Packers iced their way to being named the team of the sixties. Of course there were only three Super Bowls played in the sixties and they won two of them. The Pack was led by quarterback Bart Starr and legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
They also won three NFL Championships in that decade before the Super Bowl era began.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Steel Curtain overpowered opponents on route to being the team of the seventies. In the decade, the Steelers won four Super Bowls in only six years. That Steelers team has too many Hall of Famers to count, and players from that squad are still getting inducted.
The Steelers of the seventies are seen by many experts to be the greatest football team of all time.
The San Francisco 49ers domination through the air led to them becoming the team of the eighties. The 49ers not only won four Super Bowls in the decade, the club changed the NFL offense forever. Bill Walsh's West Coast quick passing attack is still a primary offense in the league today.
The Dallas Cowboys high-stepped into the turn of the century as the team of the nineties. Led by "The Triplets," the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four years. With a little help from Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, and Jerry Jones, the Cowboys became the most loved to hate franchise in the NFL.
Even with one Super Bowl to go, it's safe to say the New England Patriots are the team of the decade. They won three Super Bowls in four years. If the Pats could have completed their 2008 quest for perfection they could have possibly been remembered as the greatest dynasty ever.
The Pittsburgh Steelers could win number three if they win the team's seventh this season, but most likely they won't even make the playoffs.
So, what team will represent the next NFL dynasty?
Examining the past dynasties, each one had a clutch quarterback, a tremendous coach, and a talented defense.
Will it be a team with no expectations and just as much history, but with pieces to the puzzle like the Lions?
One team that has all the makings of that next dynasty is the New York Jets. They have a quarterback with all the tools to become great in Mark Sanchez. Coming out of USC and into New York, Sanchez knows how to play with all eyes on him.
The Jets also have a head coach who is a defensive mastermind in Rex Ryan. Ryan already won a Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff. After just one season under Rex Ryan, the New York Jets have the best defense in the NFL.
The Jets are one of many teams that have the taken steps to becoming the next dynasty. Their road just looks a little less bumpy than most.
Maybe the next dynasty hasn't even started to take shape yet. There could be a star still in college that is the key to the next dynasty. That star could still be in high school for all we know.
One thing is for certain, the next "Team of the decade," will bring something special to the game of football that will be remembered forever.
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