With three Super Bowl titles and five appearances in that game since 2001 and a league-leading record of 147-56 since 2000, it pretty obvious that the New England Patriots have been the NFL’s best franchise this century.
So what has been the reason for their success? Bill Belichick taking over as head coach in 2000? Tom Brady becoming the team’s starting quarterback in the 2001 season?
There are probably a handful of other reasons in addition to the above two men who have led the team in the past decade-plus. But let me offer another reason for the Patriots’ success: The Patriots have been great finishers.
Today starts the last five weeks of the 2012 regular season. If you look at the last five games of each season since 2002 (10 seasons times the last five games of each season equals 50 games), the Patriots have compiled a 42-8 record in those 50 games, by far the best record in the league. This .840 winning percentage in the final five games of the season from 2002-11 shows that the Patriots have been a team that finishes the season on a high note.