Accomplishments

Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick in 2000, the Patriots have become one of the most successful teams in NFL history. They are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys as the teams with the most Super Bowl appearances overall (eight each), and have the most appearances in the last 25 years. They have twelve AFC East titles in fourteen seasons since 2001, and have not had a losing season since 2000. Before Belichick arrived, the Patriots had only notched consecutive playoff appearances twice in their history. Between 2001 and 2010, the Patriots set a record for most wins in a decade (121, different from conventionally bounded decades, 2000–2009, 1990–1999, etc.; this record references any ten-year stretch; second is the 1984–1993 San Francisco 49ers, with 120 wins); they broke their own record in 2011 (2002–2011: 123 wins), and again in 2012 (2003–2012: 126 wins—nearly 13 regular season wins per season). Between 2001 and 2005, the Patriots became the second team in NFL history (after the Dallas Cowboys) to win three Super Bowls in four years (Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and Super Bowl XXXIX), and the eighth to win consecutive Super Bowls. The Patriots, however, were defeated by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, after winning the first 18 games of their 2007 season. They were defeated again by the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. During Belichick's tenure with the team along with quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots have also compiled the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history, a 21-game streak from October 2003 to October 2004. The Patriots' rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL.