Goodell: "Patriots dominance paired with playoff newcomers 'great' for NFL"


BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota -- Though the Deflategate sage may have indicated something else, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday that he believes the success the Patriots have had is good for the league and its fans. 

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This year's Super Bowl-week presser for Goodell was the first time in four years that he wasn't asked a question that was somehow related to Deflategate. Asked instead about New England's relative dominance when it comes to Super Bowl appearances and championships, the commissioner explained that their consistency is something to behold. 

"It’s really remarkable," he said, "that they’re going for their third Super Bowl in four years in this kind of a system, where keeping that group together, changing whatever they need to change, whether it’s players or coaches, they do that in a way and still create success.

"I just marvel at that. I think our other clubs marvel at that. I think fans marvel at that."

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For the NFL, having the Patriots back in the Super Bowl, and having a variety of non-playoff clubs from 2016 back in the playoffs this year -- the Jags, Bills, Titans, Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints and Panthers were all back in -- represents all that the league is shooting for.

"I think the balance of having new teams with having teams that continue to find ways to win is a great thing for the NFL," Goodell said. "And I think it’s a great thing for our fans, so you can continue to win, and there are also teams that can surprise you. That’s what makes our game special."