No matter who the receivers are, who the running backs are the play of the O-line determines the success or lack of success of the Pats, especially in the playoffs.
If you look at all the AFC title and superbowl loses you will see that the reason the pats lost was mostly due to the O-line getting manhandled and the Pats struggled to give Brady time and run the ball.
You can say that Brady missed an open receiver or a reciever dropped a ball but the fact is that when the O-line dominates or at least controls the D-line and Linebackers of the oppostiion, the Pats have a much better chance to win.
Same can be said for the D-line also, when we get no pressure on the quarterback the D-backs have a hard time and usually fail. The games the Pats loose you will see little impact to the opposing offense by the D-line.
I think the key to building the team next year and for years to come is to find the key O-line and D-line players.
We need impact players on the D-line that can disrupt the opposing O's game plan. We need some better impact players at DeT and One End. We need to put pressure on the opposing D's offense and force them to be uncomfortable.
With time and a little space, the Offenses skill positions can hurt the opposing D. Of course having better receivers and healthy Gronk make it easier, but even with the people we have, if Brady has time, he will kill the opposing D. So not saying we don't need improvement in skill positions, only saying that If the O-line was better in big games we would have a much better chance of winning.
This has probably all been said before, but for this off season, I would really like to see Pats iimprove their O-line and D-line. They are not the glamour picks but they are essential to us winning big games. When the lines are playing solid and pressuring the opponent we are winning no matter the receiver or DB.
Hope that the new O-line coach can build a mold a more dominant group and that GM BB gives him some better tools to build from. Scarnecchia was a magician and made every player better. BB needs to get the new guy some better players.