Patriots' second-half surety is gone

New England no longer predictably wins with a late lead

Updated: September 23, 2010, 2:25 PM ET
By Jeremy Lundblad | ESPNBoston.com

Remember that feeling of inevitable victory?

During past decade's dynastic stretch, New England Patriots games became predictable. Maybe it caused some complacency among their fans.

Up in the third quarter? An extended kitchen trip seemed forgivable. Ahead going into the fourth? Just sit back and ride the wave to victory.

The outcomes seemed so predetermined, fans almost felt guilty. Almost.

Back then, the Patriots were like vintage Jonathan Papelbon. Give them a late ...

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