In response to agill1970's comment:
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about our winning Superbowl years. About how Brady was more of a compliment to the team than a focal point, and victories were achieved by hard nosed players being phsyical, a strong running game, strong defense, -short passes and screens, superior special teams play. Those teams had an edge, and you could feel a certain magic in the air as well with a timely play, a fortunate ball bounce, the unlikely being commonplace.
I had written this team off after Mayo went down. Seeing him on IR next to Wilfork put a Superbowl date for this team all but out of reach in my opinion. When Gronk went down, that was it. I started looking at next year, draft prospects, free agents, contracts. I overlooked the fact that they were still winning games. I didn't realize it at the time, but that magic I spoke of was back. It returned with guys stepping up and emerging from the bench. It returned with the feeling that the Patriots thrive on, the underdog, the overlooked, the chip on the shoulder.
They still have a hell of a mountain to climb in Mile High against Manning. And even if they win, pick your poison because both NFC teams are absolute beasts. I don't know if they'll do it, but one thing is for sure. There is no way I would bet against them right now because I am definitely feeling that old Patriot magic.
Amen, brother. They have made a believer out of me too. This group is something special.
DeadAhead, there is no question that this is a more balanced offense in many years. And the reason you feel good is that the bad guys can't just focus on rushing Brady and stop our offense. Blount and Ridley (and Vereen) will kill them if they do that. But in the years when Brady was throwing 55 times a game, he did not have that alternative. He played heroically in games that should not have required heroics. I am a huge supporter of Bill Belichick's leadership but he loaded up on receivers and understaffed the running game because he knew he had a special quarterback. But no single heroic effort is sufficient to create a sustainable advantage in a game against a team of 53 overachievers. You make it a Brady issue, which is patently unfair and gets the proper response from this forum. He did as much as or more than can be asked of anyone in the game.