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In years past December was the month where the Patriots would put their stamp on the rest of the NFL as being the best team in the league. Sunday's somewhat stunning 22-21 setback to the undermanned Miami Dolphins is another example why New England is not the team that ran roughshod over the NFL two years ago. Maybe it started when the team, one game away from a perfect season, was stunned by the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Or maybe it was losing Tom Brady for all but a quarter last season with a major knee injury.
Whatever the case maybe, the Pats are no longer the elite in the NFL. There will be many that think the Pats will be that dangerous team, in the AFC, come the playoffs. But right now, they are just an above average team looking up at the Colts and San Diego as maybe the third best team in the conference.
New England will make the postseason. But at the end of the day, their dynasty is over, and they are just another team in the middle of the pack in the NFL.
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