Tom Brady and the 2001 Patriots kicked off the title run in Boston. But does that get them in the top five of best teams from the era? Credit: Getty Images
On Feb. 3, 2002, the Boston sports landscape was altered forever as Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal fell through the uprights in New Orleans. Twelve years later, Boston remains the envy of sports towns across the country due to its teams routinely winning titles and appearing in postseason after postseason.
2010 Celtics: Yes, they were minutes away from winning a title against the Lakers in Game 7 in LA. But they woefully underperformed during the regular season and had to settle for the 4-seed in the postseason due to a 50-32 record.
2008 Red Sox: This team got 18 wins out of Daisuke Matsuzaka, so that counts for something. But it was clear in the ALCS that the Rays had the better squad despite the series going seven games. The Rays shredded Jon Lester in Game 2 and took care of Tim Wakefield in Game 3, winning those two games by a combined score of 22-5.
2010 Patriots: Any team that wins 14 games in a regular season deserves credit. But a home loss to the rival Jets makes this team an immediate also-ran.
2011 Patriots: Unlike 2007, the Giants could easily make the case that they were the better team this entire season. New York went into Foxboro in November of this season and dealt the Pats their second straight loss (New England lost the previous week in Pittsburgh).
2014 Bruins: This wound is too fresh, so it’s hard to image many clamoring for this group to shoot up into the top 12. Still, the Presidents’ Trophy! A dominant, 4-1 first round win over the Red Wings! A Vezina winning goalie! A Selke winning center!
Pedro's 2003 and 2004 teams make the cut. But what about those other teams from the early part of the 2000s?
2002 Red Sox Record: 93-69 Did not make playoffs
2005 Red Sox Record: 95-67 Lost ALDS to eventual champion White Sox
2009 Red Sox Record: 95-67 Lost ALDS to Angels
2011 Red Sox Record: 90-72 Did not make playoffs
2002 Celtics Record: 49-33 Lost Eastern Conference Finals to Nets
2012 Celtics Record: 39-27 (shortened season) Lost Eastern Conference Finals to Heat
2009 Bruins Record: 53-19-10 Lost in seven games to Carolina Hurricanes Notes: Clinched top seed in East for first time since 2002.
2013 Patriots Record: 12-4 Lost 26-16 to Broncos in AFC Championship
2012 Patriots Record: 12-4 Lost 28-13 to Ravens in AFC Championship
2006 Patriots Record: 12-4 Lost AFC Championship 38-34 to Colts Notes: Upset 1-seeded Chargers in divisional round
2005 Patriots Record: 10-6 Lost 27-13 in divisional round to Broncos Notes: Tedy Bruschi voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter:@BurkeMetroBOS