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Analysis: Patriots' Downfall After Brady Lasted One Season

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, left, hands off to cornerback J.C. Jackson during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, left, hands off to cornerback J.C. Jackson during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

(AP) -- It didn't take long for the New England Patriots to become the New England Patriots again.

After stumbling through a 7-9 season last year while watching Tom Brady win a seventh ring in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick's squad is once again the class of the AFC.