Alright, so being in neutral territory, I have friends who are fans of various NFL teams and I'm almost the lone Pats fan in my area. So that's given rise to some interesting discussion on what's up with the Patriots. I think last year can tell us something. 2008 opened with some sloppy offensive work. Dropped passes, miscues and, depending on your perspective, a faulty block that cost us TFB. What we saw, though, was a team rallying around the reality that Matt Cassel was the QB for the year, and at times they played really well. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that had we made the Playoff's, there was a decent chance of going all the way. This year is starting the same in the technical miscues dept. We also have a rusty QB of whom expectations are way too high, and a team gelling. More-over, we have a lot of new players. Not a BAD thing, just a thing. Might even turn out to be a great thing. That being established, I think what we've got is another chance for the team settle down and rally around a QB who needs some time. The odd abandonment of the run aside, I think the team tried to do that last week. The X-Factor, though, is Brady. He's not Matt Cassel, so the team has this image of him, like we do, that he'll step onto the field and make everything right. But he hasn't (aside the Buffalo ending) and I think it's causing residual worry and sloppy play through the team a bit. I hated that Jets game, but I think a LOT of good will come out of it as Brady works through his mental hurdles and the team settles down, realizing he's not TFB just yet. I wasn't diggin' the Seymour trade from a "now" perspective, but I can't really harp on the D (so far). They've played well. Especially missing Mayo, that's no small feat. Kudos to them for keeping us in games the offense couldn't. That's going to mean a lot come winter. Guyton is proving himself and Pryor and Brace are unknown but highly anticipated, and the secondary is WAAAAAAY better than last year. Aiken's penalties were pretty unusual and he's going to correct those things, without a doubt. I don't think it's worth panicking or writing the Pats epitaph. I think we're going to get to see how a Pats team plays as the underdogs again, and when all the lunch-pails are in the right lockers, the Patriots are going to show the NFL that they remain a great team. Having said all that, I sure have been enjoying the leg-room here on the Bandwagon (though I'm stuck in coach, still). Just my $0.02, looking forward to the gold star.