In response to mthurl's comment:
I thinkby more physical teams in the playoffs. Last year we had a bye and played a Denver Bronco team that shouldn't of been there. Then we run into an offensiveless Ravens team, before getting beat up by a good defensive team. We have to be almost perfect on offense to win right now and that realisticly isn't going to happen through 3 playoff games...it just isn't.
When you walk away from this board and have a discussion about the Patriots with normal fans, they tell you how bad this defense is - yet when you come on here, it's an ascending defense that is young and exciting. This place is a microcosm of what is happening, the rest of the world watches this team and would kill for a Tom Brady and this offense...not here...here it's his fault. It makes me laugh so hard that sometimes I fart:(
Really I do think the defense has improved a bit and hopefully will be peaking heading into that first playoff game, but in the end I just think they're not good enough. Weren't good enough last year when they couldn't get off the field all game vs the Giants. Weren't good enough the year before when they couldn't get within shouting distance of Sanchez and let him pick them apart. The year before they got punched in the face from the moment the game began - until it thankfully ended against the Ravens (at home). This year it could be Peyton Manning standing back there all comfy for what seems like an eternity, picking apart our secondary.
I hope I'm wrong, but that's the way I see it and in the end people will be calling for Brady's head because he threw one interception or didn't go 25 for 25 with 4 touchdowns against a number one rated defense. It's laughable.
Like the Colts of the past, a previously more physical Patriots team could beat up on opponents when it counted the most. The Patriots' best game was against the Texans. It was/is very difficult to play physicial football to two hard-hitting teams in a row for this team.
The Patriots will have to play much more physical - and stay on top of their ball-hawking skills during the playoffs. If they do, they have a chance in winning another SB this year. If not, well...it will be an early exit.