As I have been looking at this off season I have thought about how to build long term success, the thoughts given by BShrout recently covering about long term versus short term success, the Colts, Patriots and Steelers were used as examples. I wanted to look at two teams that have established strong showings this past decade and are worthy of the title dynasty for this past decade. I wanted to look at both of these deserving teams. While this is not an in depth look at these two teams, while that would be a awesome article for those stats guys at MHR, I wanted to look at the general facts, now remember this is my first fan post so forgive my weakness and unskilledness.
The first one I wanted to look at may upset some people, but as a football fan more than a Bronco fan I can accept the obvious. For me choosing the San Diego Chargers was a tough decision but after looking back it's pretty obvious that they deserve quite a bit of praise for the last decade of work from 2000 to 2009 these are some of the facts:
Playoff Appearances: 5
Playoff Record: 3-5
Super Bowl record: 0-0
AFC West Divisional champion: 5
Number of coaches: 3
Number of seasons with 10+ wins: 4
Number of starting quarterbacks: 4
Now I was a bit hesitant to chose the Chargers at first, a losing record, lack of Super Bowl wins, among other things, but one trait I found important to lasting success is growth and stability. And considering the Changers started last decade at 1-15 and ended at 13-3, growth is quite obvious. But if you look at their growth since 2004 it becomes quite apparent. Once Schottenheimer became head coach things really started to pick up, they stuck with the same quarterback, Drew Brees, and began to build a winning team. he took a team that had gone 1-15 and 5-11 and slowly transformed it, his last season was 14-2. And probably the most plain sign of coaches getting fired for not getting their team Super Bowl wins was this man, what coach who goes 14-2, finishing best in the NFL gets fired? But the change was made and Turner became head coach. As someone who follows many teams, I''ve found that the situation with Turner is similar to that of Schottenheimer (on a side note, I regret choosing the Chargers for the sole fact that I have to spell his name so many times). Turner has developed Philip Rivers into a top 10 quarterback, taken the Chargers to the playoffs all three years he's been there, and still people aren't happy. This to me is a very strong indicator that there is growing impatience with fans and owners for coaches who don't produce Super Bowl wins. With each passing year the Chargers seem to grow as a powerhouse in the AFC, and I assume they will do so again next season. As I was looking over their past ratings, I saw that on offense over the past five years they've been in the top 5 for points scored and on defense they are in the top 15 in points allowed. These combined show a strong trend. It should be noted that the past two quarterbacks for the Chargers were Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, Bress has already established himself as a great quarterback, and Rivers is, or for some, making a strong case to be one of the better in the league. From this team I pulled growth, stability and quality. While I disagree with some of the decisions, like releasing Schottenheimer and Brees, both Turner and Rivers are proving able substitutes. It should also be noted that in the playoffs the Chargers are 2-0 against the Colts and 0-2 versus the Jets, something to think about.
The next team I wanted to look at was the Philadelphia Eagles. This has been a team that has been the model of stability for the past decade. I have always enjoyed watching the Eagles play and over the past ten years, they have carved out quite a resume:
Playoff Record: 10-8
Super Bowl record: 0-1
NFC East Divisional champion:6
Number of coaches:1
Number of seasons with 10+ wins: 7
Number of starting quarterbacks:1
While over the past decade the Chargers have been rising, the Eagles have been a constant in the NFC. With only one losing season and seven of the past ten season with ten or more wins. And it's eight playoff appearances is only one behind the Colts and one more then the Patriots. Season after season, in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFC, the Eagles have been one of the teams to beat. Donovan McNabb has lead the team for the entire decade. Peyton Manning is the only other quarterback to do that. Other who came close were Tom Brady and Matt Hasselbeck who both started eight seasons. Brady has won multiple Super Bowls and Hasselbeck has started in one. Since the Eagles have gone through less change than the Chargers, so I have less to say about their progression, but their steady success is something to be noted. It should also be showed that the two years the Eagles really struggled, 2005 and 2007, it wasn't one player, but the team underachieving. After those seasons little changed in the organization, McNabb stayed, Westbrook stayed and Reid stayed. The key pieces stayed in place and one of the winningest teams of the decade is formed.
As I'm sure someone can do a more thorough job, I wanted to just look a bit at these two teams. I'm also sure these two teams can be disputed as "Dynasty" teams, but the growth of the Chargers and the consistency of the Eagles should be noticed. As I looked at these two teams, I saw a one thing that really stuck out:
- Stability in key positions. Both the Chargers and the Eagles settled on the QB and stuck with them for more then a few years, or at least had a strong substitute in the wings. Both stayed with the same running back, Tomlinson and Westbrook for most of the decade, which should be pointed out, both were released the off-season. The Eagles have found stability with Andy Reid as coach, were as the Chargers have had two very successful head coaches. While many teams tend to drop quarterbacks and coaches after a few years without Super Bowl success, as seen with Chargers, who seem to be quite luck with quarterbacks and coaches over the past ten years, the Eagles stuck with their players. But as this new decade starts, the Eagles seem to be aging, while the Chargers are starting to come into full swing. As said before I'm sadly no stats guys but I would like to see the growth of Brees, McNabb and Rivers as they stayed longer in their systems. Hopefully this provides a look at two teams, and at least to me showed how sticking with players and coaches for more then just a season or two, cause good things come to those who wait and build.