All through the season and now in, what is for us anyway, the offseason I've been reading the posts of forum members who know what "the problem" was for the team. These posts inevitably deteriorate into religious debates and sometimes even go downhill from there. I would like to take a minute to add my opinion, which amounts to nothing more than that - an opinion - about what the key factor was that resulted in the (relatively) bad season for the New England Patriots. The key factor was all of the things that you all have been debating over and over on this board. Was it the failings of the coaching staff? YES Was it the failings of the "front office" in drafting and FA? YES Was it the decision to trade away veteran talent? YES Was it poor play by key members of the team (through injury or otherwise)? YES Was it the lack of pass rush? YES Was it lack of play making by the WR core? YES Was it poor play in the secondary? YES Bad O-Line play? YES Bad play calling? YES Was it lack of effort/heart by the players? YES everyone can go round and round debating if Seymour would have helped this season, what would have happened if Galloway had worked out, if AD had been the play maker we thought he would be, if Rodney and Teddy hadn't called it a career but make no mistake, this season was a complete breakdown of the Patriots machine at ALL LEVELS. I know, I'm crazy...how can I call a 10-6 division winning season a complete breakdown? well I can and I did. There was about 15mins total during this season that the team played as a team and looked the way we expect while doing it; the rest of the time some piece - or multiple pieces - of the machine where breaking down. games where the offense puts together a good game and the D craps out. games where the D gets it going and the O sputters. looks like we have a pass rush and all of the sudden there's no coverage. O and D look good and they're giving up plays on special teams. at almost every point of the season something was going wrong and as much as you (that's the royal YOU) want to pin it down to your pet peeve issue you can't; it's more complicated than that. I'm still a Patsfan, I still have faith the ship can be righted, but it's not going to be as easy as plugging a guy in there or getting a bit more out of a guy over there. I feel they have talent at most positions, young talent that needs work in a lot of places (O-line, DB, DL, WR, ST) but talent none the less; regardless of how bad some of them looked last season. I just hope I'm right. I'm done venting now.