8) 2001 New England Patriots
This championship is one that nobody saw coming. The Patriots were picked by many to finish at the bottom of the AFC East and just making the playoffs would have resulted in an enormously successful year. But in the second game of the season, the franchise changed forever when Jets linebacker Mo Lewis injured Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, which opened the door for Tom Brady to establish himself as one of the greatest players in NFL history.
When Bill Belichick decided that Brady would start even when Bledsoe was ready to return, the team took off and marched into the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 2 seed.
Despite the excitement and controversy surrounding the “Tuck Rule” game in the divisional round against the Raiders, the most memorable moment(s) from this team was the final drive in the Super Bowl versus the Rams. Brady’s march down the field, after FOX’ Sports’ John Madden suggested the Pats play for overtime, resulted in the first Super Bowl to ever be decided on the final play.
This Patriots team wasn’t loaded with elite skill, but the combination of great coaching, an opportunistic defense and a quarterback who thrived under pressure was enough to overcome opponents with superior talent.