The New England Patriots, currently sitting at 6-9 with one game left, officially cannot finish the season at or above .500. It comes in a year full of change for them, following 20-year future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady leaving to play with the Buccaneers, star wide receiver Julian Edelman unavailable for most of the season and the team having the most players in the league opt out due to COVID-19.
Dominance has been the way in Foxboro. The team isn't just used to winning records, they're used to playoff runs and Super Bowl championships, six to be exact, but the AFC East reign has ended and they are finally knowing what struggle is. The last time the Patriots fell below .500 was in the 2000 season, when Drew Bledsoe was their quarterback. They went 5-11 in Belichick's first year. Brady then took over the next season and helped lead them to a Super Bowl title.
Since it's been a while since New England has faced such a season, so long in fact some people reading this might not have been born yet, let's take a look back at what life was like back then.
Hop in a time machine and travel back to December of 2000, when the first year of the new millennium was wrapping up, there were only 31 teams in the NFL, phones weren't in everyones pockets, television was viewed in standard definition, DVD players were the biggest thing on the market and iPods were not yet invented.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "What Women Want" and "Cast Away" were the number one films in the United States in December of 2000.
"Independent Woman Part 1" by Destiny's Child stood at No. 1 on the charts the entire month of December. Other notable popular songs of the time include:
- "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed
- "Ms. Jackson" by Outcast
- "The Way You Love Me" by Faith Hill
- "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down
In December of 2000, "Black & Blue" by the Backstreet Boys and "1" by The Beatles were the highest selling albums. The best performing album of the whole year was "No Strings Attached" by *NSYNC.
Average gas price
- Google was only two years old
- The first camera phone was invented
- The iPhone was still seven years away
- The PlayStation 2 was released
- The Game Boy Color was popular
- Netflix was invented, but not yet streaming
- Blockbuster was the place to get movies
What the NFL's divisions looked like
The league was broken down into six divisions, rather than eight, and the Texans were not yet in the league.
Here's what they looked like:
- AFC East: Dolphins, Colts, Jets, Bills, Patriots
- AFC Central: Titans, Ravens, Steelers, Jaguars, Bengals, Browns
- AFC West: Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs, Seahawks, Chargers
- NFC East: Giants, Eagles, Washington, Cowboys, Cardinals
- NFC Central: Vikings, Buccaneers, Packers, Lions, Bears
- NFC West: Saints, Rams, Panthers, 49ers, Falcons
Snapshot of the 2000 NFL season
Here is a look at the 2000 season as a whole, including what occurred in the Super Bowl:
- Super Bowl: Baltimore Ravens defeat New York Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV
- Super Bowl MVP: Ray Lewis, Ravens
- Super Bowl National Anthem: Backstreet Boys
- Super Bowl halftime show: Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige, and *NSYNC
- Most rushing yards in a game: Corey Dillion breaks Walter Payton's record, rushing for 278 yards
- Most pass receptions in a game: Terrell Owens of the 49ers had 20 receptions against the Bears, breaking Tom Fears' record
- Receiving touchdowns leader: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, and future Patriot, Randy Moss lead the league in receiving touchdowns with 15
- NFL Draft: Patriots selected Brady in the sixth round of the NFL Draft with the 199th overall pick before the start of the season
Defending Super Bowl Champion
The St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, 23-16.
Defending Super Bowl MVP
Rams quarterback Kurt Warner was the defending Super Bowl MVP, winning the big game in the 1999 season. He would go on to play in the Super Bowl again two years later, but would lose to Brady and the Pats.
Warner was the defending MVP, taking the award in 1999. Rams' Marshall Faulk was the 2000 MVP.
Champions in other sports
- MLB: The New York Yankees beat the New York Mets in the World Series. Derek Jeter was the MVP
- NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers to win their first championship in 12 years
- WNBA: The Houston Comets completed their four-peat by sweeping the New York Liberty
- NHL: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Dallas Stars