In this century, the New England Patriots were responsible for the destruction of various established and up-and-coming challengers around the NFL. The St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons were never quite able to recover after their heartbreaking losses to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick's squad in the Super Bowl. But that's far from the full list.
But when it comes to killing potentially dynastic teams, Bill Belichick and the Pats don't receive nearly enough credit for what happened to the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2017 AFC Championship Game. The Jaguars famously held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but mere minutes away from clinching their first trip to the Super Bowl, they watched Brady pull a rabbit out of his hat yet again and engineer a daring victory.
After that game, many thought the Jaguars would be back next year because their team was stacked. That wasn't the case. In fact, they've been dismal ever since.
That following offseason, the Jaguars had a tough decision to make in regards to quarterback Blake Bortles. He was due for a new contract, but they had the chance to select his replacement in a quarterback-rich 2018 NFL Draft class. The Jags ultimately opted to reward Bortles with a three-year, $54 million contract.
And it was then that everything truly headed downhill.
Bortles reverted back to his incompetent ways, and the overall play of the team suffered as well. Jacksonville finished dead last in the AFC South in the 2018 and '19 seasons.
The way the Jaguars organization was run ticked off plenty of players, and they all wanted out. Linebacker Telvin Smith walked away from the team, while Jalen Ramsey refused to play until he eventually got traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Add franchise-tagged edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue publicly pleading to be moved to another organization and the Jaguars placing former first-round running Leonard Fournette on the trade block, and you've got yourself another dreary Jacksonville rebuild.
It's truly a shame to see a team with so much potential circle down the drain in a rush of incompetence. Yet, here we are, and it's all thanks to the prototypical Patriots comeback that football fans around the world have become oh-so-accustomed to.