10:26 AM - August 6, 2013 by MMChrisS
Ever since Madden's inception in the 1980s, the NFL has changed dramatically. There have been teams in Los Angeles, a team in Houston then no team in Houston, then a team in Houston again, and there have been teams which have defied all measures of time and they have managed to have a consistent enough track record to be among the best over two decades.
The five best franchises since the inception of Madden shouldn't be surprising, as we valued consistency in winning over all other measures. A team like Dallas, which managed a string of very successful seasons in the Madden era before fading to average over the last decade didn't get as much weight as another franchise which managed playoff appearances and just sheer wins over the same time period.
Without further adieu:
- New England Patriots -- The Patriots had a rocky start in the Madden era, with a 1-15 and 2-14 mark. However, their sheer consistency over the last 15 years, with just one losing season since 1996, make the Pats a top choice for any list which includes the best teams of the Madden era.
- Green Bay Packers -- There have only been a few losing seasons since the early 1990s in Green Bay. Brett Favre and then Aaron Rodgers have had two separate but very successful eras in Green Bay in the Madden era, including two Super Bowls.
- Pittsburgh Steelers -- One thing is certain in Pittsburgh: winning is something you just do. The Steelers have won two Super Bowls in the Madden era, but just as importantly have averaged a winning record in the over two decades of Madden. Year in and year out, the Steelers have been a consistent team to choose if you wanted a winner.
- Philadelphia Eagles -- The Eagles have had some clunkers (like last season), but overall they have produced one of the best non-championship Madden era franchises around. The 1990s Eagles were among the best in the league several years with four playoff appearances and a few solid seasons they just missed the cut. Things got really good through the 2000s, as the Eagles managed to make deep runs in the Playoffs over much of the decade. No Super Bowls for Philly, but consistency in winning for sure.
- Indianapolis Colts -- Peyton Manning arrived in the late 90s and turned Indianapolis into one of the most consistent winners over a period of several seasons, with a Super Bowl victory to boot, over the Madden era. The Colts were able to manage a couple of Playoff berths pre-Manning as well, but after Peyton Manning arrived the Colts managed a Super Bowl along with an average of over 10 wins a year for a decade. To top it off, the Andrew Luck era promises to have a fair amount of success at least, guaranteeing the Colts will have a chance to be on this list for a 30th anniversary list.
Which franchises would be on your list?