Is the dynasty over? Ravens wax Patriots in Foxboro.

Consider this:

– A Bill Belichick-coached team has never allowed 24 points in the first quarter of any game.

– The Patriots haven’t allowed more than 20 points in a home playoff game since 1978, when they lost to the Houston Oilers, 31-14.

– The most points New England allowed at home this year was 24 to the Bills in Week 1. The Pats were undefeated while playing at Foxboro this season.

To say the Ravens beat the Patriots on Sunday would be a vast understatement. In its 33-14 blowout, Baltimore dominated in every phase of the game, was clearly the more prepared team and set the tone from the first play (which was a 83-yard touchdown run by Ray Rice, by the way) to the last.

I don’t want to sound like another member of the media that overstates things after just one game, but you have to wonder whether or not we just witnessed the end of the Patriots’ dynasty. There were signs all season that this wasn’t the same team that we had grown accustomed to over the past decade and all of their faults were on full display on Sunday.

I don’t know if he was hurt or not, but Tom Brady didn’t look right. Like many times this season, he looked uncomfortable in the pocket, was high with his passes and made poor decisions. There were times when he didn’t have any time to throw, but even when he did he was inaccurate. It was just a brutal effort on his part, and on Belichick’s for that matter.

Based on the way they recognized formations and diagnosed plays, it was almost like the Ravens were in the Patriots’ huddle every snap. That’s on Belichick and his coaching staff for not having a better game plan in place. I realize New England was shorthanded without Wes Welker, but even if he had played I don’t know how much he would have helped.

Give credit to the Ravens – they were outstanding. Rice (159 yards), Willis McGahee and the rest of the running game was excellent and so was the defense. They had the right game plan, were fired up from the start and they executed. They’ve proven two years in a row that they can win on the road in the playoffs and John Harbaugh deserves a lot of credit for having his team prepared.

The Ravens came thisclose to beating the Colts in the regular season, so next weekend should be interesting. Of course, Joe Flacco will need to throw for more than 34 yards to match Peyton Manning, but a Colts-Ravens matchup should be a great one to tune into.

Is the Patriots' Dynasty over?
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