Best NFL Dynasties of All Time: Where Patrick Mahomes-Era Chiefs Rank in Top 8

best nfl dynasties of all time: where patrick mahomes-era chiefs rank in top 8

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How should we define the phrase “NFL dynasty“? Is it an NFL franchise that wins no fewer than three Super Bowls in a relatively short amount of time? Or are two championships in three seasons enough? What about franchises that win many division and/or conference titles over an extended period but win no more than one Super Bowl?

We considered those factors and many more while ranking the eight best NFL dynasties of all time.

8 Best NFL Dynasties of All Time

Honorable mentions: 1970-74 Dolphins, 1970-79 Cowboys, 1946-65 Browns

8) Oakland/Los Angeles/Las Vegas Raiders (1967-1985)

So, about that murky “NFL dynasty” definition.

In the years before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Raiders appeared in two Super Bowls and three consecutive AFL championship games. But the Raiders continued dominating after moving to the NFL, including three Super Bowl titles from 1976 through 1983. However, they also missed the postseason three times during those eight years.

It wasn’t a perfect dynasty by any means, and knowing how to weigh the pre-merger dominance is hard. Regardless, the Raiders were one of the best football teams in the world for nearly two decades.

7) Washington (1982-1991)

This might be the most unique dynasty on the list.

Washington won three Super Bowls during this run, with a different quarterback under center each time: Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien. Washington also won five NFC East titles during its decade of dominance.

The one constant: Joe Gibbs, who might be the most underappreciated head coach in NFL history.

6) Dallas Cowboys (1991-1996)

Man, this team was fun to watch.

The Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four years. They also won five straight NFC East titles from 1992-96. Dallas’ dynasty featured two head coaches, with Jimmy Johnson coaching the Cowboys from 1989-93 and Barry Switzer holding the job from 1994-97.

Of course, the Cowboys dynasty is famous for its star power. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin were the stars on offense, with Charles Haley, Erik Williams, and Darren Woodson among the top contributors on defense.

And the biggest star of all might’ve been owner Jerry Jones, who remains one of the faces of the NFL.

5) Kansas City Chiefs (2018-Present)

This is like a mini-Patriots dynasty — and it might be just getting started.

Since Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback in 2018, the Chiefs have won six consecutive AFC West titles and competed in the AFC Championship Game each season. They played in four of the last five Super Bowls, winning three.

In 2024, Kansas City will look to become the first NFL franchise to win three consecutive Super Bowls.

With Mahomes and Andy Reid leading the charge, the Chiefs aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

4) San Francisco 49ers (1981-1994)

You could make a case for this dynasty being in the top three.

All five of the 49ers’ Super Bowls were won during this stretch, with Joe Montana the quarterback for the first four and Steve Young under center for the final title. San Fran also was led by two great head coaches, with Bill Walsh coaching from 1979-88 and George Seifert leading the way from 1989-96.

The 49ers dynasty had it all: legendary quarterbacks, an all-time head coach, and the greatest receiver in NFL history (Jerry Rice).

What a run.

3) Green Bay Packers (1960-1967)

The NFL’s original dynasty, the 1960s Packers were football royalty.

With Vince Lombardi roaming the sidelines, Green Bay went 9-1 in the playoffs while winning five titles (including the first two Super Bowls) and losing another.

Although no team has won three straight Super Bowls, the 1960s Packers did win three consecutive champions. Legendary QB Bart Starr was under center for all five Green Bay championships.

Obviously, the game and the league were different back then. The Packers played in the 12-team pre-merger NFL during part of their dynasty, and their first two championship runs required just one postseason game.

Nevertheless, this is one of the best NFL dynasties of all time.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-1979)

It feels like this dynasty gets overlooked. It’s neither romanticized as often as the Packers and 49ers dynasties nor as recent as the Patriots and Chiefs dynasties. In terms of fanfare, it’s somewhere in the middle.

But make no mistake: This is one of the great dynasties in sports history.

Chuck Noll. Terry Bradshaw. Joe Greene. Mel Blunt. Jack Ham. Jack Lambert. Lynn Swann. Franco Harris. John Stallworth. The list of NFL legends goes on and on.

The Steelers went 4-0 in Super Bowls during the 1970s, arguably making them the greatest decade-specific team in NFL history.

1) New England Patriots (2001-2019)

This dynasty will hold the No. 1 spot for the foreseeable future. Even if the Chiefs eventually earn the right to supplant the Patriots dynasty, they won’t do so until 2030 at the earliest. Ultimately, we likely never will see a repeat of what Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft accomplished during their two decades of dominance.

Six Super Bowl championships, including three in four years. Three other Super Bowl appearances, with all three losses decided by one score. An undefeated regular season. An incredible 18 AFC East championships and 30 playoff wins. A preposterous eight straight AFC Championship Game appearances.

Even in the two seasons in which the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs (2002, 2008), they still finished tied for first in the division and missed out on the playoffs due to tiebreakers. New England also dominated the league during its 10-year gap between titles (2004 through 2014), winning the AFC East in all but one season while appearing in two Super Bowls.

The Patriots had it all: the greatest QB of all time, the greatest head coach of all time, well-rounded rosters dotted with franchise legends, and no shortage of drama.


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