With another disappointing season in the books for the New England Patriots, one has to wonder if this is the beginning of the end for a team that was so dominant for so long. Although they have made the playoffs 11 times in the last 12 seasons and have made it to the Super Bowl 5 of those years, there is something that has changed. The aura of the Patriots has not been the same ever since the New York Giants beat them in the 2007-2008 Super Bowl after they went 18-0 prior to the big game.
Tom Brady has not missed a beat in the regular season but the postseason has not been so kind. Brady is 7-7 in his last 14 postseason games; he was 10-0 in his first 10 postseason games. His supporting cast also seems to not bring it in the postseason like they do in the regular season.
The recent Patriot teams do not have that attitude the team once had in the early 2000s that won the Super Bowl 3 times in 4 years. The comments that Tom Brady’s wife made after the Super Bowl last year were pretty accurate, Brady can’t throw the ball and catch it too.
Nevertheless, Brady did not command the second half of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Brady was a perfect 67-0 in his career when leading at halftime at home. Each time they had the ball, you were expecting a takeover, but it never happened. Tom Brady had his worst 2nd-half QBR (22.6) in last 4 postseasons on Sunday against Baltimore. New England is 0-4 when Brady’s 2nd-half QBR is less than 50 in that span.
Not taking away anything from the Ravens, they certainly outplayed the Patriots in the second half. The defense, led by Ray Lewis, did not budge and gave up 0 points. Joe Flacco stepped up and threw for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Ravens improved to 13-7 all-time in the playoffs, the best postseason record in NFL history. This team is showing the same unity that last year’s New York Giants team had in their late run to a Super Bowl Championship.