All good things come to an end, as did the Dynasty of the New England Patriots.
Patriots fans have nothing to hang their collective heads about. The Patriots run of the last decade is one that will go down in history. In addition to the first three Super Bowl victories, and the only 16 game undefeated season, the Patriots can now focus on being called the team of the 00's.
But, Sunday in Gillette Stadium, the Dynasty officially ended when the Baltimore Ravens imposed their will, beating the Patriots like a team that did not belong in the post season.
Some will argue that the Dynasty officially ended last year, when the Patriots, sporting an 11-5 record, failed to make the playoffs. Without one of the best signal callers in the game, though, it can be understood why.
After a slow start to the season, where Brady seemed to be favoring his repaired left knee, Brady seemed to be morphing back into the player that he was before the injury. The Patriots took care of business at home, like they usually do, but the hard times came on the road.
This is part of the reason the beat down against Baltimore was so surprising. The Ravens defeated the Patriots in the trenches, and forced Tom Brady to act like he was a fifth round pick.
Sure, the loss of Wes Welker hurt the team. But if you are getting a pass for Brady missing last year, you don't get to use the loss of Welker this year.
Now, Patriots fans will say that the defense is young, and growing. They will also say that Brady and the offense will be back to full strength next year. Both statements are true.
However, if the Patriots are going to rise to the top of the league once again, it can not be considered part of the Dynasty that once was.