With a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the New England Patriots captured their sixth Super Bowl, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history. Amazingly, all six of their titles came within a 17-year span under one head coach. That got us thinking, what would an all-time roster of Patriots champions look like?
When assembling this team, players were only graded for their performance during the years they won a championship; nothing before or after was taken into account. Postseason performance was weighed slightly more.
In order to qualify, a player had to win a title with the franchise. Randy Moss, Logan Mankins, and Wes Welker are three examples of legendary Patriots who did not win a Super Bowl with the team and are thus excluded.
So, without further ado, here is our championship version of the All-Patriots roster:
Tom Brady - 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018
We begin with the easiest selection on our list. The one constant (other than Bill Belichick) in all six of the Patriots' titles, Brady has won four Super Bowl MVPs during his illustrious career. It's difficult to argue against his GOAT status.
Corey Dillon - 2004
James White - 2014, 2016, 2018
New England fielded just three 1,000-yard rushers in the seasons it hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, and Dillon was the most talented of the bunch. Though he won just a single championship, he rushed for 1,635 yards and 12 touchdowns during the 2004 regular season. Dillon also totaled 106 yards and a score in Super Bowl XXXIX.
James White grabs the second spot ahead of Antowain Smith and LeGarrette Blount due in large part to his postseason prowess. The versatile back caught a record 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LI.
Julian Edelman - 2014, 2016, 2018
Troy Brown - 2001, 2003, 2004
Deion Branch - 2003, 2004
The trio above won't scare any opponents away with elite speed or athleticism, but don't be fooled. There are 61 Super Bowl receptions and two Super Bowl MVPs between these three wideouts.
Edelman has been Mr. Reliable to Brady over the last 10 years, dominating in the slot and emerging as one of the most clutch receivers in recent memory. Brown is an all-time Patriot, setting a then-team single-season record with 101 receptions in 2001. Branch enjoyed a productive career in New England and torched the Philadelphia Eagles to the tune of 11 catches for 133 yards in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Rob Gronkowski - 2014, 2016, 2018
Martellus Bennett - 2016
Was there ever any doubt here? Gronkowski was on injured reserve when the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, but he dominated during his two other championship-winning campaigns. The decade's premier tight end is perhaps the biggest mismatch that New England's offense has ever featured in the Brady-Belichick era.
Bennett made the final roster ahead of two-time champions Daniel Graham and Christian Fauria after filling in admirably for Gronkowski in 2016. He accumulated 55 receptions for 701 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season and added 11 catches in the playoffs.
Kevin Faulk - 2001, 2003, 2004
Perhaps no player from New England's championship-winning squads personified the word "flex" more than Faulk. Primarily a running back, the former second-round pick also caught 431 passes in his 13-year career and dabbled as a return specialist. Faulk was an integral piece to the Patriots' first dynasty.
Matt Light - 2001, 2003, 2004
Marcus Cannon - 2014, 2016, 2018
Joe Andruzzi - 2001, 2003, 2004
David Andrews - 2016, 2018
Shaq Mason - 2016, 2018
Belichick's Super Bowl squads featured a number of talented blockers, but these are the cream of the crop. Light started at left tackle immediately as a rookie in 2001 and went on to protect Brady's blind side for 11 seasons. Cannon is a strong pass-blocker at right tackle, capturing three titles with the franchise.
The interior trio of Andruzzi, Mason, and Andrews combines youth and experience, with the latter two starring in New England's recent championships. Andruzzi was a classic Patriots free-agent addition who found a perfect fit with the franchise after being released by the Green Bay Packers in 2000.
Willie McGinest - 2001, 2003, 2004
Mike Vrabel - 2001, 2003, 2004
Moving onto the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots were blessed with two talented pass-rushers in the early 2000s. McGinest and Vrabel combined for 39 sacks in their three title-winning campaigns, adding 12 more in the postseason.
Vrabel, now the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, is perhaps best known for his offensive contributions during Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. He famously caught a 1-yard touchdown against the Carolina Panthers and a 2-yard score versus the Eagles.
Richard Seymour - 2001, 2003, 2004
Vince Wilfork - 2004, 2014
Seymour is one of the most straightforward selections in this squad. A first-round pick in 2001 (No. 6 overall), the dominant lineman earned first-team All-Pro honors following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He's on the shortlist for the top defensive player in franchise history.
Wilfork was one of the few Patriots who won a Super Bowl as a member of both dynasties. A load to handle at 325 pounds, the nose tackle stuffed opponents' rushing attacks with relative ease on a weekly basis.
Tedy Bruschi - 2001, 2003, 2004
Dont'a Hightower - 2014, 2016, 2018
Jamie Collins - 2014
Bruschi was the heart and soul of New England's first dynasty and certainly led by example on the field. In the team's Super Bowl victory over the Eagles, he recorded nine tackles, a sack, and an interception. Hightower saved his best for the playoffs, making a number of game-changing plays as a pass-rusher, an open-field tackler, and in coverage.
Collins' career with the Patriots may have been brief, but he was a menace during the 2014 season. He accumulated 138 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles, and two interceptions.
Ty Law - 2001, 2003, 2004
Darrelle Revis - 2014
Stephon Gilmore - 2018
One constant across all six championship squads has been elite pass defense. The team's secondary featured gifted defensive backs over the last two decades, headlined by this incredible trio.
Law needs no introduction as one of the top defensive players in franchise history. He'll be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this summer. Revis and Gilmore, meanwhile, were the very definition of shutdown cornerbacks during their championship-winning seasons. Both players were named first-team All-Pros in their lone years with the club.
Rodney Harrison - 2003, 2004
Devin McCourty - 2014, 2016, 2018
Rounding out a dominant secondary are two safeties that, unfortunately, never played together. Harrison was incredibly versatile during his time in New England and became the first NFL player with 30 sacks and 30 interceptions for his career. His two Super Bowls were among his best games, where he accumulated 21 tackles, two sacks, and two picks.
McCourty was the defining defensive back of Belichick's defense during the second New England dynasty. Utilized primarily as a deep-lying free safety, he's accumulated two playoff interceptions and countless pass breakups in key moments. His value cannot be understated.
Adam Vinatieri (K) - 2001, 2003, 2004
Ryan Allen (P) - 2014, 2016, 2018
Bethel Johnson (KR) - 2003, 2004
Troy Brown (PR) - 2001, 2003, 2004
Matt Slater (ST) - 2014, 2016, 2018
Special teams played a large role in New England's six Super Bowl titles, and its longtime kicker is at the forefront of the team's success. Arguably the most clutch player in NFL history, Vinatieri nailed two championship-winning kicks in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, igniting a dynasty in the process.
The Patriots also featured a number of talented returners, led by Brown and Johnson. Slater's play shouldn't go unnoticed, either. The receiver-by-trade has excelled as a gunner throughout his career, earning seven Pro Bowl nods.
|QB||Tom Brady||Edge||Willie McGinest|
|RB||Corey Dillon||Edge||Mike Vrabel|
|RB||James White||DI||Richard Seymour|
|WR||Julian Edelman||DI||Vince Wilfork|
|WR||Troy Brown||LB||Tedy Bruschi|
|WR||Deion Branch||LB||Dont'a Hightower|
|TE||Rob Gronkowski||LB||Jamie Collins|
|TE||Martellus Bennett||CB||Ty Law|
|FLEX||Kevin Faulk||CB||Darrelle Revis|
|OL||Matt Light||CB||Stephon Gilmore|
|OL||Marcus Cannon||S||Rodney Harrison|
|OL||Joe Andruzzi||S||Devin McCourty|
|OL||Shaq Mason||KR||Bethel Johnson|
|OL||David Andrews||PR||Troy Brown|
|K||Adam Vinatieri||ST||Matt Slater|