FOXBOROUGH — We kept waiting for the big comeback. We waited for the goofy bounce that would go in favor of the Patriots. We waited for the opponents to bow at the altar of Gillette Stadium and melt into a puddle at the sight of Messrs. Belichick and Brady. We waited for Walt Coleman to call the Tuck Rule, or Billy Cundiff to miss an easy field goal attempt. We waited for the football gods to shine some light on the ever-fortunate sons of New England.
None of that happened Sunday night. The ever-lucky Patriots found no horseshoes. Pitted against a mean team of men who were not afraid (hello, Ray Lewis and John Harbaugh), they were beaten and beaten soundly.