Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been teams that have dominated each decade, winning three or more Super Bowls in short time spans.
They stand atop the mountain of Super Bowl winners, mythical in status. They make their fans proud, put pride into their cities. They bring home Lombardis, hands covered in rings. They are the dynasties.
Before I begin my countdown, here is a brief history of the five predecessors.
The First Dynasty (1960s): The '60s brought change to the NFL, as the merger of the AFL and NFL brought about the Super Bowl era. Leading the charge into this new era were the Green Bay Packers.
They opened up the Big Dance twice and brought home the prize. While as I said previously that a dynasty wins three or more Super Bowls in a decade, this team is the only exception. This is because the Super Bowl didn't come along until the end of the '60s.
Before they won Super Bowl I and II, the Packers won the NFL championship game in 1961, 1962, and 1965 before the Super Bowl was introduced.
The Steel Curtain (1970s): Everyone knows this name. The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the '70s, ripping away four Lombardis in a six-year span (IX, X, XIII, XIV).
The NFL had to make rule changes just to combat the Steel Curtain (This is where the five-yard bump rule originates).
This defense was feared and planted the roots for the tough swagger the team has played with since.
The Gold Rush (1980s): The '80s brought about the greatest quarterback and receiver to ever play the game. They both just so happened to be 49ers.
This famous duo broke records and lead San Francisco to five Super Bowls, four of them within the span of a decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV). The last one coming in the mid-'90s in Super Bowl XXIX.
The "Joe Cool" dynasty stands alone with five rings. But how long will that last?
America's Team (1990s): The Dallas Cowboys captured the spirit of America for a decade. In a four-year span they won three Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) and contributed to the Buffalo Bill's nightmare Super Bowl runs.
This team was dominant and they too had a legendary quarterback and receiver in Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.
The Dallas Cowboys still maintain a swagger about them, and they can thank this dynasty for that.
The Reigning Dynasty (2000s): The Patriots opened up the last decade as a major underdog. Some called them a laughing stock, but after their win against "The Greatest Show on Turf" in Super Bowl XXXVI, Tom Brady never looked back.
He lead them to two more Super Bowls (XXXVIII and XXXIX) and the legendary undefeated '07 season in which lead to the eventual Super Bowl loss to the Giants.
Now that's over, let's look into my crystal ball and see who owns the next decade! (Sorry for the long intro!)
Coming in at number six: the Colts.
I couldn't make this list without them on it. Year-in and year-out they are regular season monsters making their way into the playoffs.
Manning and the Colts have appeared in two Super Bowls in the last decade, winning one. This team, more than any other, knows how to win, but the team breaks down in the playoffs. If Manning can fix his choking problem I could see them hammering down three rings before he retires.
The things they have working against them currently are some contract disputes with Mathis, Reggie Wayne, and Bethea, all of them big playmakers.
Let's face it: As long as Manning is behind center, this team will contend this year, next year, and the year after that until Manning walks to Canton. Just get over your mental block Peyton.
I considered putting New England and the Colts on the same slide as a tie, but the Pats get the edge here. The difference? Brady knows how to win in the postseason.
There are a lot of upsides to this team that many people are overlooking. They say the dynasty has ended. However, The Patriots are entering this decade underdogs once again. That's dangerous.
This team has drafted 24 players in the last two drafts (eight in the top two rounds) and holds four more picks in the top two rounds for next year's draft (two first-rounders). If they are dying they are going to go out like a supernova.
The "Youth Movement" has made 46 percent of the Patriots roster have one year or less experience in the NFL. In some ways, that's good. In some ways, bad.
Last year, New England's youth on defense showed as they had fourth quarter collapses against elite teams, but the upside is they still ranked 11th-best defense and third-best passing offense in the NFL.
Tom Brady now has one season under his belt since his return from tearing his ACL (in which he posted his second-best statistical season second only to 2007), and is poised for a monster season. This team, like the Colts, will contend every year and as long as Bill and Tom lead the way, they have a shot at a few more rings.
(I may be biased, I'm a Pats fan. Just letting you know.)
This could be a surprise to some, but I think the Texans are the team of the next decade.
"Then why not number one?" You might ask? Because they are in the same division as the Colts.
Houston is a young franchise on the rise. They have the tools needed to succeed in today's NFL. They have a very impressive QB in Matt Schaub who showed he can hang with the best of them (Brees, Brady, and Manning), one of, if not the best, receiver in the league right now, and a very strong, young defensive core.
In 2009, the Texans finally broke .500 for the first time in franchise history. They competed for a Wild Card berth but failed to obtain one. In the years to come we will see them make playoff runs.
If the Colts stumble one bit, the Texans are ready to rip the division away from their hands. Even if they don't win the division they will get some Wild Card berths.
The Texans in the playoffs will be a dangerous thing to see, I promise. The next decade can be theirs if they can only step out of Peyton Manning's shadow.
To be honest, if this team gets a playoff berth four times in the next decade I can see them having four rings. Will this be the "Mad Cow" dynasty?
This team has broken the bonds of its past. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have brought hope to a dying city. There is a lot to admire about their team makeup. They have a brilliant head coach, a living legend in Drew Brees, a prolific offense, this team has a bright future.
The New Orleans Saints can grab a hold of the new decade with a repeat win in the Super Bowl. They, more than any other team, has a chance to establish a new dynasty due to their win against the Colts.
Why not number one then?
Because even though the Saints are primed for a run at a dynasty they have some issues, including a drug scandal and a fraud scandal. Darren Sharper will retire soon and Thomas is having a contract dispute right now. On top of that, Brees will have the Madden curse looming over his head. I'll hold my breath for now.
Don't get me wrong, this team has a very good chance at repeating due to their soft schedule, but after not appearing in a Super Bowl until just last year and being considered a snake-bit franchise, top three is the best I could do.
The Ravens show up at number two due to the fact that they have a very strong, young offensive core. Their line is strong and young, Flacco is young and promising, and their attitude on offense now matches their attitude on defense, thanks to the playmakers on that squad.
This team is serious, Boldin and Stallworth are dangerous weapons to have, and Ray Rice adds so much on the ground and through the air. The only worry is how will this team fair when Ed Reed and Ray Lewis retire? If they transition well from it we could be looking at a dynasty.
Their strong defense only got stronger this year after drafting "Mount Cody" and Sergio Kindle, the only worry there is Kindle's knee which is said to need micro-fracture surgery.
The team I see as the number one contender to become the next dynasty is the Green Bay Packers. They may not have all the pieces right now, but if they can get it together, look out.
Even with a paper-thin line, Rodgers performed at a high level, again.
This team can move the ball down the field at will or at least it seems like that sometimes.
Rodgers is a rare talent. He has the intangibles, he has a fire burning inside of him thanks to Brett Favre. He's ready to bust out of Brett's shadow. He wants to. He needs to.
The only way he can do that is with a dynasty and he knows it. Favre owns all the important passing records that probably won't be touched for a very long time so the one thing he can beat him with?
If the defense can come together and play solid and the line can solidify. Well. Then you're looking at the team who will rule the next decade. But like everything else. Only if Rodgers can step out of the big man's shadow.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my slideshow. Let me know whatcha think or which team you think got snubbed from my list! Thanks again!