I just finished reading a article on ESPN.com written by Bill Simmons talking about the Patriots and how they are at a crossword in their franchise. While reading I started to see a lot of similarities to the Yankees in the early 2000's.
First, the Yankees like the Patriots won their championships not because of the most talented teams, but the right players playing as a team. Both teams had "core" guys that help you win championships.
How many times did you hear this statement about the Yankees when facing elimination in the early 2000s. "It's the Yankees they have been here before, they know what to do." The fact is, it wasn't the same team just like it isn't the same patriots team.
Like those Yankees teams only a few players remain from the glory days, Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte. The patriots only have, Brady, Kevin Faulk, Ty Warren, Vince Norfolk and Dan Koppen.
Those Yankees teams in the early 2000's were not the same teams and as a result the finish to their seasons were not the same just like the Patriots season's have not ended the same way.
Finally one last similarity that I see is how one game seemed to mark a sudden end to each team's dynasty and how one image can show the end.
For the Yankees there is no question it is Luis Gonzalez's bloop single over a drawn in infield to win game 7 of the 2001 World Series. For the Patriot's it is David Tyree making that unbelievable catch against his helmet in the final seconds of the Superbowl.
Whether the Patriots are actually heading towards a rebuilding age is yet to be seen, all I know is that there are many reasons for Patriots fans to not expect a Superbowl for some time.