The Patriots have lost back-to-back games for the third time since 2003. That means it’s time to declare the Patriots dynasty over for the 35th time since 2005.
“Sunday is how dynasties end: with small broken pieces, not large ones,” Ron Borges of the Boston Herald writes.
The paper’s headline Monday morning: “Not so great anymore.”
Borges larger point is about talent eroding in New England. He has a point there, but we also heard the Patriots dynasty was over when the Colts came back to beat New England after the 2006 season.
It was definitely over when the Ravens beat the Patriots in the playoffs after the 2009 season, and it was over again when the Jets beat the Patriots in January.
If Jake Ballard didn’t make an incredible catch on New York’s game-winning drive Sunday, we’d hear how the Patriots are starting to win close games in the clutch just like during their title years. If the Patriots win a playoff game or two this year, perhaps the dynasty will be back on again.
In the meantime, it’s worth remembering the Patriots only have eight players on their roster that played in the Super Bowl against the Giants. The core of any team is “over” after a few years. The connection to the three title teams is tenuous at best beyond Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
This is a good, not great Patriots team that has serious flaws but can beat any team. That’s going to be true for the entire AFC playoff field; we doubt there will be a clear favorite.
Perhaps this is the year the Patriots won’t finish in at least a tie for first place for the first time since 2000. Maybe it will stop being a big deal at some point when the team loses two straight games.
When people stop declaring the Patriots dynasty over after every loss, then we’ll know the franchise has really fallen on hard times.