Since 2007 the Patriots have consistently played small in big games. Their offense has been cautious, TB12 has been ordinary. I thought that maybe they had gotten past that tendency this year, but when it counted they failed to live up to the moment, but they showed that they are close against the Jets. Against the Jets, in the second game, they were HUGE! They played flawless football, beat the hell out of the Jets on both sides of the ball and generally played like Champions, making us forget that they played small the game before against the Giants. Against the Ravens they played well, but still allowed them to drive the length of the field to miss a game tying field goal. Brady played well between the 20's, but in the money zone on the field he stank, and the bomb was a horrible decision on his part, as bad as any I have seen him make throughout his career. Against the Giants in the SB, the Pats played well at points, their defense played very well for 55 minutes, but when the money was on the line they choaked up a chicken bone. I bring this pain up to point out how badly Belichick has managed the roster and how flawed this team has become. On offense they have two tight ends who are All Pro quality, Wes Welker, despite his drop, is the real deal and the rest of the skill players are Jags. On defense their front four are pretty good, their libebacking core is solid but slow and their secondary is the worst in the league. Their pass rush disappears for long periods of the game. If not for the coaching genius of Belichick this would be a 4 and 12 team, maybe 6 and 10. Welker dropped a ball that would have won the Super Bowl, but Brach dropped one right after that would have given the Pats a first down. Bardy launches a bomb to Gonk, and he lets the LB intercept it instead of making sure he couldn't. Hernandez drops a pass across the middle on the last drive wasting 5 seconds. Belichick challenges a catch that all replays show was a catch. Mankins gives up a sack in the last minute of the game. All of those are examples people playing small in big situations. I am really high on the Pats future, but this team was so flawed that even making the playoffs was a miracle. The defense needs to be rebuilt and the offense needs a deep threat, and maybe a running back who can, you know, actually run the ball. Josh McDanials came up small in the last Super Bowl, so here hoping that he learned from that failure. When the Pats won the first time, the play calling came up big, and the bit players on the team delivered under pressure. The next two had a defense that allowed the offense to play conservatively when it had to and rely on field goals at the end. This team has a bad defense and the play calling was pretty timid. We are at a fork between really good and just ok. The choice is for GM Bill to make. Two firsts and two seconds are a lot of ammo, if Bill decides to use them. This is a year to use them all, and maybe trade next years for the missing link.