The League

Matt Infante
Dolphins Blogger

Matt Infante

Matt Infante is the founder, editor, and lead blogger of The Phinsider, which is SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog.

Age of dynasty dead

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I don't think there's any question that the Patriots' era of dominance is over. But that's not a shot at New England, either. In this day and age, it's just impossible to sustain a dynasty for nearly a decade. The Patriots had an amazing run, too. But all you need to do is look at the past four years and you can see that these Patriots just aren't the same team.

If you look at that team, you see a group that hasn't won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season. Most of those players are gone. While their offense is as explosive as ever, it's their defense that is holding them back. Those guys who were there for most of the dynasty -- Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour to name a few -- are long gone and Bill Belichick is trying to rebuild his defense on the fly. Generally, that's not an easy thing to do.

Instead of those trusted veterans on defense, the Pats are loaded with a combination of inexperienced young player and washed-up veterans with a few good players mixed in. The Patriots are learning that it isn't too easy to retool a defense while trying to win a championship.

This isn't to say that the Patriots aren't contenders anymore. As long as they have Tom Brady and those weapons at wide receiver, they'll always be contenders. But their stranglehold on the division is over. Finally, other teams in the AFC East have good young quarterbacks and quality head coaches. It's not a fluke that the Patriots are just 3-3 against the Tony Sparano led Dolphins and Rex Ryan led Jets. It's just a sign of things to come.

The division is getting better and the Patriots are getting older. And over the next couple of years, we're going to see a changing of the guard within the AFC East. The only question is - which AFC East team rises up to claim the division for themselves?

By Matt Infante  |  December 7, 2009; 12:44 PM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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