Is the Patriots dynasty on its last legs?

All signs point toward “yes,” though it remains unwise to doubt the most successful sports franchise of the 21st century. But even if New England’s reign over the NFL is near its end, it’s hard to fathom an abrupt descent into irrelevance, particularly if Bill Belichick is the head coach.

Colin Cowherd, for one, believes the Patriots’ current situation is comparable to one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties.

“I’ve been saying this for the past couple years. I think, generally, dynasties end gradually,” Cowherd, reacting to the Patriots stunning loss to the Miami Dolphins, said Monday afternoon. “What the Warriors are doing this year is rare. … What you’re seeing with New England, we’ve seen before, and it’s called the San Antonio Spurs with Tim Duncan.

“The Patriots are good enough, due to a great system and coach, to win a division. But they’re not a home-field advantage through the playoff team, they’re not good enough to get a bye, and they’re clearly not athletic and dynamic like Kansas City, San Francisco, New Orleans or Baltimore.”

Again, doubt the Patriots at your own peril.

The defending Super Bowl champions will begin what many feel could be their final stand Saturday night when they host the Tennessee Titans. It will be the franchise’s first wild-card game since 2009.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images