"It's not supposed to end like this."
It's bad enough we saw the Patriots lay a rare playoff egg in their one-and-done 14-13 Wild Card loss to the Tennessee Titans Saturday, but to hear CBS analyst Tony Romo utter that phrase as if he were droning that we're "on to Cincinnati" was even more disheartening.
In the wake of the surprising home playoff defeat, the first Patriots postseason loss in Foxboro since Aaron Hernandez wasn't wearing jailhouse orange, Patriots social media immediately took to the thoughts that with a quarterback who will be 43 in August, it's time to "blow it up."
Let's just say I'm happy Danny Ainge is not the general manager of the Patriots. Tom Brady would probably be playing in Tampa Bay or Arizona - the result of a trade for a hoard of draft picks - and Bill Belichick would likely be on the NFL Network television desk.
What am I getting at? The world "rebuild" is not one taken lightly around the Boston sports universe.
And there's no need for the Patriots to blow things up and start over. They haven't done that in the nearly three decades the Kraft family has controlled the organization.
During that time, the Pats have finished below .500 two times. Two. One was Brady's rookie year. The other was a 6-10 finish in 1995.
To put it simply, Brady had absolutely zero weapons this season, and that needs to be addressed this spring and summer. Remember in Week 2 when the Patriots had a Madden-type of offense featuring Antonio Brown?
The last thing the Krafts need to do is pull an Ainge and blow the dynasty to smithereens and start over. The Krafts have brought five more parades to New England than Ainge has.
And my money says the last pass Brady throws in a Patriot uniform isn't going to be a pick-6 in a Wild Card playoff loss. There's no chance he goes out like Brett Favre did in Green Bay in January 2008.
Brady will be back in Foxboro next season. Bank on it. But I won't be sad to see Josh McDaniels go to a purgatory such as Cleveland or the Giants.