Pats greatest ever? It's a great debate already

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.

Its 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 sports 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., theyre 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 its 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 theyve accomplished, they should be known as the all-time greatest. And if they dont 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 youve got to take your hats off to them and say, `Congratulations, he added.

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