This out from Mike Lombardi at the National Football Post: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Diner-morning-news-Pats-loss-was-a-good-thing.html According to Lombardi "the Patriots were really winners last weekend in the sense that they need considerable help and they need new players, not just from the draft, but also from free agency. However, final eight teams in an uncapped year are only allowed to replace players they lose to free agency and cannot add any new players. So had the Patriots won the game and lost in the next round, their ability to be proactive in the free agent market would have been hindered. If you canâ€™t win the Super Bowl with your current roster, which clearly the Patriots could not do, then losing in the first round is the place to be. ... This leads us back to the Patriots. By losing, they are now able to fix their team. As of now, they are one of the lowest committed cash teams for 2010 in the NFL. They will be able to spend freely if they chose because their roster is not loaded with many high-priced players. There will be many changes happening in New England, both on and off the field, and losing to the Ravens will force them to realize they need to improve in every area. Humiliating losses have a way of refocusing an organization, and I suspect the Patriots will be very focused, very well prepared and very aggressive this offseason." I'm not sure I would agree that if you don't make the SB it's best to lose early in the playoffs, but I do agree up to a point. Getting blown out in the WC game should erase any delusions that the Pats are ready to compete with their current coaching staff and roster, and that some significant changes are needed. If this team gets re-focused and makes some of those changes, things could be very interesting next year.