This board seems to be ripe with people who want to tell everyone what is going to happen before it happens (I am one of the guilty) but perhaps we can take a different approach. I start from this premise: The Patriots, at 16-0, and winning by HUGE margins for most of the season, were FAR better than the competition. I think most Pats fans felt that edge was still there, and we were an awful lot better than most teams, and at least marginally better than all. I think that if every one on this board was forced to pick one team that would win the SB and bet everything they owned on it, one week ago, 99.9% would have chosen the Pats. Now, we have lost Brady. We have at least 'come back to the pack'. We may have slid below some of the pack. All because of QB play. My quesiton is very simple, and very complex at the same time. I think there are too many variables to make the goal winning the SB, so I am going to make the goal winning the division, getting a bye and having homefield advantage. How much less than Tom Brady, and his 16-0 2007 performance can we have and still get home field advantage. What does Matt Cassel need to do so that we regress from lasts years regular season perfection, but only as far as still getting home field advantage? Here is my answer. 1) Cassel needs to be consistent. I think we can afford 2 maybe 3 games where he is awful and we either lose or the defense has to dominate and win singlehandedly (or with s/t help) I will give him those 2, maybe 3, and dont really care how bad he is those days (think of Brady in Miami in 2001) 2) Turnovers. Limiting turnovers is important but limiting them WITHOUT having to take the ball out his hands is key. I think 1 Int per 40 passes (aside from those 2-3 bad games that will raise the %) is reasonable 3) I expect 2-3 games where he is one of the main reasons we win. I expect 2-3 very good games throwing for a lot of yards, late scores, comebacks, etc if we are going to get home field advantage 4) I would expect he must approach 60% completion, we would need to average 20+ points per game. I think we will need to be above the middle of the pack in 3rd dwon conversion % 5) Sacks. Sacks have as much to do with the QB as the OL. 32 sacks is 2 a game, and Brady has been sacked less than that most years. I think more than 32 would be an indication that Cassel's awareness may be an issue. I think it needs to stay under 45 for sure 6) I imagine that he shouldn't have all of his better games against awful teams nor his bad ones vs contenders that we are fighting for home field with I actually think 12-4 at least gets a tie-breaker for home-field, i do not see 13-3 or better teams out there. Please respond with what you think Cassel has to do for us to earn homefield. Not what you think he will do, not whether you think he can do what you feel he has to.