when you look at the Patriots, and other teams in recent years, all teams have gaps and holes to fill, and all of the Super Bowl champions have won despite having some huge ones. In 2001, Drew Bledsoe went down, and Terry Glenn was suspended. Basically the two best offensive players on our team, to our knowledge, had just gotten knocked out. Of course, we all know the story: a team of nobodies stepped it up, patched it together, and won on grit. In 2003, Lawyer Milloy was released before the season. Roosevelt Colvin, our biggest free agent signing, was injured for the season early on. That team set a record for injuries and different players, yet won it all. In case you don't remember, our whole secondary was injured by the Super Bowl, Antowann Smith was our running back. Still, the bread and butter was the defense, who collapsed in the Super Bowl, while the offense stepped it up. In 2004, we lost both of our starting corners in Ty Law and Tyrone Poole. If this isn't a gap, I don't know what is. This team, like the one before, went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl in pretty dominating fashion. In 2005, we had no running game or defense... still Brady worked his magic and we were very close to another AFCCG, before getting knocked out in the house of horrors, Denver, which basically came down to a few plays. 10-6, could have been 11-5 if we played our starters week 17 at Miami. Although the defense struggled, they played admirably and shut down the Denver offense until a phantom PI call. Ironically, an offense that made few mistakes was the achilles heel in the playoffs, with a key interception and several fumbles in the second half. In 2006, the problem all season was the passing game, with a bunch of scrub receivers, yet in the end the problem was the defense. Granted if bug eyes had caught a key play late in Indy, we are probably in the Super Bowl... yet the irony is, again, that the defense was much more to blame... the defense that on paper had no holes. Injuries, age, and a fierce Indy offense did us in. Yet I don't recall ever seeing this team having as big a hole as that receiving corps, and they racked up 34 points in the AFCCG. In 2007 we had the best laid plans of mice and men. This team was perfect on paper and nearly perfect on the field. We had the most explosive offense ever assembled, yet in the Super Bowl, it was that group, and not the questioned defense that lost it. Sure, the defense let up a late touchdown, but that high powered offense scored only 14 points on the biggest stage. The defense played admirably for much of the game. In 2008 the biggest hole was quarterback, yet I think Matt Cassel would be one of the last men to blame in missing the playoffs. Nothing to be ashamed of at 11-5; the Pats offense was still great, and the defense was more problematic. Still, it came down to a few plays (against NYJ and IND) that eventually cost this team... it certainly wasn't the QB position, which everyone was afraid of. Looking at some other teams that have won it all: 2000 Baltimore Ravens- Do I need to say more than Trent Dilfer? Proof you can win by being great on only one side of the ball. Their entire offense was a hole. 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs- Ummm... Brad Johnson. Another entire offense that was definitely not elite, and probably not even average. 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers- Weak passing game; offensive line problems throughout the season... was a shadow of their 2004 team, with Plaxico gone and their domianance gone, yet they won it all. Makes no sense. 2006 Indianapolis Colts- Horrendous run defense; just overall bad defense that was not Super Bowl caliber. Not even close to the best Colts team, not even close to 2007, and probably not as good as 2005 or 2004. Even more irrational stat: Manning 3 TD, 7 INT in the postseason, and this was the most solid, failproof position on their shaky team. Huh? 2007 New York Giants- To begin with, 6 losses. Lost star tight end in Shockey for the season without much replacement; solid, but not spectacular on offense and defense. Peaked at just the right time, played a tight, undefeated team in the Super Bowl, and took advantage of their one great strength in the big dance. 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers- Well below average offensive line- did not replace Alan Faneca with another great guard; 23rd ranked offense in the league. Like in 2005, won by being the last team standing of non-spectacular squads. The league's best defense allowed two fourth quarter TDs and almost lost it, but ironically the offense bailed them out in the final seconds. Make sense of that one. The Steelers went 15-1 and lost in the AFCCG in 2004, yet won the SB going 11-5 and 12-4. Make sense of that one as well. Bottom line is this: Jason Taylor would have made this team better, but by no means would have guaranteed anything. In all honesty it takes the right timing, luck, and execution to win a championship. If 2007 taught us anything, it's that you need to play game well to win, despite what great options and stars you have. Looking at past championship teams from the Pats, all of those teams had, in my opinion, inferior players on paper to the team as it is now constituted. As you can see, things change during the course of a season. It appears you are weak in one area, and two weeks later it's something else. Who would have thought that the 2003 team's defense, probably the best in the BB era, would have collapsed in the SB against Carolina? And the offense, one of the worst in the BB era, would have scored 32 points? I could go on and on, but the bottom line remains that each season will present obstacles and challenges, and it's about the team's chemistry and mentality more than how much star power we have. That said, while I'm disappointed we did not get JT, I don't think it alters our chances that much for number 4.