EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 24, 2014

Editorial: Patriots never gave up in a tough season

(Continued)

The season’s high point came on Nov. 24 in an improbable come-from-behind win against the Broncos in Foxboro, with the Patriots overcoming the biggest deficit in their team history. It was won with grit, solid play and determination. These are the kinds of games that are remembered for a lifetime.

As the playoff season began, the Patriots found themselves where few had really expected them to be -- seeded second in their conference, and contending for the Super Bowl.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Sunday’s game played out like a three-hour-long paper cut. The Patriots were never able to establish momentum, and seemed helpless to turn things around. It wasn’t what we had come to expect from this scrappy, come-from-behind team. After the game, interviews with both Brady and Belichick displayed pained responses that are rarely seen from them. Perhaps it was this season’s unlikely rise from the ashes that caused them to feel a particularly acute hurt.

Their disappointment was shared by their fans, but most never expected them to get this far anyway.

It’s said that polls suggest the Pats are the most despised team in the rest of the nation’s eyes, but for us New Englanders, we wouldn’t want them to be anything different. They never give up on their fans.

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