Let's set aside the dark-color glasses for a minute and listen to what these "pundits" have to say: ------------------------- http://patriots.bostonherald.com/patriots/view.bg?articleid=176695 "Hereâ€™s the problem: The past doesnâ€™t mean a damn thing. Belichick himself will tell you that. Week after week, game after game, the coach of the Patriots has made a point of stressing that no prior game has anything to do with the next one. Suggesting that the Patriots will win on Sunday because they beat the Rams in 2002 is nothing more than wishful thinking." http://www.boston.com/sports/footba...time_for_schottenheimer_in_postseason/?page=2 "The Schottenheimer saga has been exacerbated by the fact that two of his beaten Kansas City teams were No. 1 overall seeds who lost in their first playoff game. The '95 team lost that aforementioned game to Indy, while two years later his top-seeded Chiefs lost to Denver, 14-10, in a game after which Schottenheimer's critics no doubt identified at least 20 examples of play-calling cautiousness." http://www.molokaitimes.com/articles/7111143657.asp "This is the game of the week, featuring the NFL's best team versus the NFL's best franchise. What do I mean by that? San Diego had the best season of any team in the league, but the Pats have a winning tradition, playoff pedigree, and experienced brain trust that is unmatched by any other franchise. New England QB Tom Brady has that look in his eyes right now, and the Chargers will need to rely on Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips to pressure the seemingly unflappable signal-caller. Merriman is the best defender in the league, and likely would have been named Defensive Player of the Year had he not been suspended four games for violating the league' substance abuse policy. As it is, he managed 17 sacks in 12 games. On the other side of the ball, the Chargers' offense features league-MVP LaDainian Tomlinson and super-TE Antonio Gates. QB Phillip Rivers looked great in his first season as a starter, throwing 22 touchdowns to only 9 interceptions." http://www.patriotledger.com/articles/2007/01/12/sports/sports01.txt "Schottenheimer has always been looked upon as a conservative coach. Playing it by the book has been his method of coaching, but this year there is a perception he has one of the more wide-open offenses he has ever had." http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=cc-picksix011107&prov=yhoo&type=lgns PATRIOTS' SECONDARY "The loss of Rodney Harrison (right knee) will have an impact on the New England Patriots against the San Diego Chargers, but I think more so in the running game than passing attack. Asante Samuel had the best season of any cornerback other than Champ Bailey, so Patriots coach Bill Belichick has the luxury of putting him against any one of those receivers. Where Harrison's loss hurts is run support. Artrell Hawkins will fill in for Harrison, but he's more of a corner than safety. He's not the tackler that Harrison is and the Pats will need defenders to finish off plays if theyâ€™re to slow down LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers' high-octane offense. The Patriots survived Harrison's absence last week because the Jets don't have quite the same weaponry on offense. This week, it gets a lot tougher." ----------------------- The past is no guarantee of future results, as they say in investing. That maxim also holds true for a team that went 14-2. The more hungry team gets it all.