The New England Patriots, no matter how hard some of us may wish it wasn’t a reality, are headed back to the Super Bowl for the eighth time in the last 17 years.

No matter the personnel changes, no matter the other threats that come and pass in the AFC, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick find ways to keep this dynasty afloat and continue to rewrite the history books.

Leading 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Jacksonville Jaguars suffered the same fate as last year’s Atlanta Falcons — watching Brady storm back to rip the hearts out of their fans, as well as the people across the country who are sick and tired of watching this franchise reach the mountain top.

A lot of that hate is warranted, though, and look no further than this season. In a story released by ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham, it was said that Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft were in a power struggle against each other and egos were beginning to get in the way of what was best for the team.

So, instead, the Patriots used a controversy that they created to motivate themselves heading into the playoffs, but here we are, two weeks away from another Super Bowl featuring the Brady, Belichick and Kraft trio.

And how could we forget “Deflategate” or “Spygate” and all the other “gates” involved during this run? As the Steelers felt, we’re still not sure what is and isn’t a catch when playing the Patriots. All of the bounces always seem to go in their favor.

Let’s take a look back to last year’s Super Bowl against the Falcons. After botched offensive chances by Atlanta over and over again, Brady nearly threw his second interception to Robert Alford. Instead, Alford tips the ball to a waiting Julian Edelman, who catches the ball lying down with an inch to spare.

In overtime, Vic Beasley almost picks off Brady in the end zone, but it was just out of his reach. The next play, James White scores the winning touchdown.

Two years prior, in one of the worst calls in NFL history, the Seattle Seahawks elected to throw the ball on a slant at the goal line, rather than hand off to all-pro running back Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted by Malcolm Butler and the game was over — Patriots win again.

The Patriots met their biggest nemesis in their prior two Super Bowls, the New York Giants, losing both games to Eli Manning. But, as we know now, those were just blips on the radar.

Adam Vinatieri was the difference in the first three Super Bowls of this dynasty, booting game-winners against the Rams, in Super Bowl 36, and the Panthers, in Super Bowl 38.

A Vinatieri field goal was also the difference in the Super Bowl 39 win, against the Eagles.

No matter how hard most of us want this dynasty to fall and for Brady to be pushed off his throne, there is no denying that this is one of, if not the best, dynasties in sports history.

The biggest culprits for this run are the rest of the AFC East: The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. None of those teams have stepped up to consistently challenge New England. The Patriots have won 15 of the last 17 division titles.

Don’t worry, though. This run has to end soon. Brady is 40 years old, while Belichick is 65. At some point, the magic has to run out, right?

Right?

Follow Sean Manning on Twitter @SeanManning_DP. Email: smanning@dominionpost.com.