Remarkable two decade Dynasty ends
By LORENZO RECUPERO
The Patriots lost on Sunday.
In the red zone, in a potential game-winning position with 37 seconds left on the game clock, quarterback Cam Newton fumbled the ball, helping cement yet another New England loss.
Which team (Bills) the Patriots lost to and the final score (27-24) means nothing in this story, though.
The latest loss, the Pats fourth straight, hasn’t been a thing since they dropped four in a row back in 2002.
Incidentally, via that factoid, we are pulled back in time enough to evoke memories of just one year before that, the 2001 season — the year the New England Patriots football dynasty began in earnest with a guy they call Tom Brady.
Those fortunate to have seen the start of that dynasty in 2001, Patriots fan or not, can recall how dominant they were from ‘01-2005. In that span, the Pats won 10 straight playoff games and 21 total combined (playoff and regular season), both still NFL records.
We all know about Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and the true berth of TB12 during the undefeated 16-0 regular season in 2007. That squad, though losing in the Super Bowl, still featured 50 touchdown passes by Brady and 23 TD grabs by Moss, still the most ever by an NFL wide receiver in one season.
The period was marked by constant references to NFL records broken by the Pats. Pundits and statisticians everywhere scrambled weekly to gather all the info on the next record-setting headline, and prime time football most certainly meant Patriot football.
We can go on.
Talk about the 2010s and the rise of Rob Gronkowski, probably the most dominant TE in football history. With Gronk’s sure hands and size the Patriots played in 5 super bowls from ‘10- 2019, remaining relevant and atop the game for an entirely new generation of football fans.
In total, since 2001, the Patriots have won 17 AFC East division titles (11 straight), played in 10 su- per bowls, and became the most colossal figure in the NFL.
Sunday’s loss proved the Patriots couldn’t be any farther from their past greatness extending into their immediate future.
These current Patriots (2- 5) have just a 10% chance to make the postseason.
And they will not extend their divisional title win streak.
Heck, it’s hard to picture them even winning another game in 2020.
So, to the true New En- gland Faithful, my sincere advice is hold tightly onto those glory day memories, because the dynasty is as long gone as Tom Brady, and these Patriots won’t be getting it back.