USA Today Lauds Patriots With Numerous Decade Awards

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"At the risk of sounding immodest," Robert Kraft told USA Today, "I believe we are the team of the decade."

That less-than-risky statement by the Patriots' owner was indeed true, as USA Today named the Patriots as its team of the decade on Wednesday. The Patriots were also credited with having their current head coach and quarterback as well as their former kicker named to the all-decade team.

"Nothing immodest about it," wrote Tom Pedulla of Kraft's quote. "Facts are facts. In winning three Super Bowls from 2001-04, among numerous other shining accomplishments, New England secured its place as the NFL's Franchise of the Decade."

The Patriots received 11 out of a possible 12 votes from the newspaper's NFL editors, with just one editor voting for the Colts because of the Spygate controversy.

In addition to the three Super Bowl titles, the newspaper pointed out the following accomplishments as putting them head and shoulders above the competition:

  • Appearing in more conference championship games (five) and Super Bowls (four) than any other team.
  • Winning 126 games (regular season and postseason), which is the most games won in any decade.
  • Becoming the fourth team ever to finish undefeated in a regular season and the first to go 16-0 in the regular season. Tom Brady's 50 touchdown passes and Randy Moss' 23 touchdown receptions were both NFL records.

Brady was also recognized as the quarterback of the decade for his three Super Bowl wins to Peyton Manning's one. Bill Belichick was named to the all-decade team as the head coach, and Adam Vinatieri was named kicker of the decade for his four Super Bowl wins (three with the Patriots).

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