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Friday, February 28, 2020

End of Patriots’ dynasty is so clearly upon us

Tom Brady

The New England Patriots’ dynasty came to an end with their Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last season, and the team’s downfall is now so clearly upon us.

The Patriots lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-10 on Sunday and looked bad in so many regards. Tom Brady threw an ugly red zone interception late in the game — the second straight week where he made a terrible play in the red zone. He was getting rid of balls early like he was worried that the offensive line wouldn’t hold up. Rob Gronkowski has looked old, slow, injured, and unmotivated for much of the season. Julian Edelman has displayed shaky hands. On the whole, the offense is in a class behind the NFL’s elite units, like the Chiefs, Rams and Saints. Bill Belichick seems to recognize that, which is probably why he surprisingly kicked a field goal rather than go for it on 4th-and-1 from the six late in the third.

The stats following the loss to the Steelers scream the end of the dynasty.

– New England’s five losses this season are their most of the decade (since 2010, they were no worse than 12-4).
– This is the first time since 2002 that they’ve lost consecutive games in December
– This is the first time since 2009 that they’ve had a losing road record

The Patriots will still probably win the AFC East and a playoff game or two, but they do not look like a Super Bowl team. You get the feeling that this would have been a perfect time to start transitioning towards Jimmy Garoppolo, but we all know it’s too late for that.

The Patriots’ Super Bowl window with this core has shut.

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