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Facing each other, chasing the Niners

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  November 11, 2009 10:45 AM

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With apologies to the Steelers and their two Super Bowl rings, the Patriots and Colts have defined this NFL decade more than any other teams. Their games have been classics, their coaches are icons, and their quarterbacks are superstars in every sense, able to win MVPs during the games and then sell you expensive watches and Oreos during the commercials.

The Patriots, with their three Super Bowl trophies, would have to hold the edge right now. But the consistent Colts are encroaching. This decade, the Patriots and Colts each have exactly 109 wins. Whoever gets to 110 on Sunday will inch closer to a signifcant milestone. In the 1990s, the 49ers set a record for wins in a decade with 113. Both the Colts and the Patriots will get there. Sunday's game could decide who gets there first.

Including the playoffs, San Francisco won 125 games in the 90s. The Patriots have a substantial edge there over the Colts, 123 to 116. (Think about that -- the Patriots have 14 playoff games this decade, the Colts five.) If the Patriots win two more games, they will have a strong argument for going down as the best team over a decade in league history. But if they lose Sunday, the Colts could have a chance to catch them.

As noted above, the Super Bowls may have already sewed up this argument for the Patriots. What do you think? If the Colts add one more ring this season, can they overtake the Patriots as the team of the decade?

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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