New England's astonishing NFL record of 38 consecutive quarters with a score petered out in the fourth quarter, the inevitable result of an exaggerated manpower shortage.
Those days are gone.
Lewis went down with a torn ACL in Week 9. Edelman broke a bone in his foot in Week 10. By the end of Week 11, Amendola and No. 3 receiver Aaron Dobson were watching from the sideline with injuries of their own. Brady was left to battle Ryan's chaos-inducing blitzes with a banged-up offensive line and undrafted rookie receiver Chris Harper.
The loss in efficiency and dynamism is tangible. Defenses have already begun stacking the box versus the run and sending two or three defenders at game-wrecking tight end Rob Gronkowski, stifling a once mighty attack.
The majority of Brady's 19 incompletions versus the Bills were voluntary throwaways due to pressure or coverage. Easy throws were few and far between.
After tossing just one interception in his first seven games, Brady has been picked in each of the past three.
The Patriots' dynasty has taught Bill Belichick a valuable lesson over the past decade and a half: the first third of the season is a period of experimentation, the middle of the season is about establishing an identity and the final month is the time for a playoff contender to hit its stride as a well-oiled machine.
"We'll have to get creative," Brady said Monday night. "Think of different things."
Belichick and Brady will go back to the drawing board to do what they do better than any coach-quarterback combination in modern NFL history: make the requisite adjustments to suit the personnel on hand.