Five NFL dynasties that never were

Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company

Earlier, we looked at and ranked the five greatest dynasties in NFL history. Really, we figure there have only been about a handful, which makes sense during the Super Bowl era, which is less than a half-century old.

But at least a handful of great teams have come close to dynasty range before falling short for myriad reasons. Today, in a breakdown brought to you by The Ford Motor Company, we give you the five most notable almost-dynasties in modern NFL history…


Indianapolis Colts, 2003-2010
Championships: 1
Playoff wins: 8
Record: 99-29 (2nd in NFL during that span)
Biggest dynasty obstacle: New England Patriots

When you’ve got arguably the best quarterback in NFL history and you win your division seven times in eight seasons, you’re going to flirt with dynasty status. The problem is you can’t earn that distinction merely by being dominant during the regular season.

During this run, Peyton Manning and the Colts were a mere 9-7 during the playoffs, winning just one Super Bowl. They lost Super Bowl XLIV in 2009 but made only one other conference championship game, losing to the Patriots in 2003.

That was Indy’s biggest problem — Manning kept getting beat by Tom Brady and the Patriots. New England knocked the Colts out of the playoffs en route to the Super Bowl in both 2003 and 2004. Had the Colts won those games, they’d have been the dynasty. Instead, the Pats get that label.

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About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.