I believe that somewhere in the past five years, that the offense has shifted from taking what the defense gives you, to getting guys 'their stats'. Does anyone else remember the years from 2001-2004, when you really had no idea who was going to catch the most passes or the TD passes week to week? One week our star receiver could grab 8 balls, another week it would be another guy. We used to routinely see news stats about how many different receivers Brady threw to, or threw TD's to. Somewhere along the line, this has changed. Look at Wes Welker's stats the past few years. Almost the exact same number of catches, yards, TD's, year after year. It's obviously a testament to his talent/skill and consistency, but at the same time indicative of how reliant the offense is on certain guys getting 'their stats' now. It used to not matter if Branch or Brown were out for a week, you knew they would find a way to win. Now, whenever Welker gets hurt people think the team is screwed (like against the blitz now). This is also related to how each of the past three years, we have run shot gun and passed out of shot gun almost the exact same percentage every year. I believe that this point lies at the heart of the play-calling vs. execution argument. The team, nowadays, goes into predictable patterns, relying on the same guys to perform, in certain situations. The opposing defense knows this too. Most of the time our talent is so good it doesn't matter, but there are other times when it isn't good enough. We've changed a lot from the days when we used to have an offense where a dozen different guys on offense could have the chance to be the star that week. The team would find a way to win, regardless of who played. Now, it's like if the same two or three guys don't perform or are out (which includes Brady), the team can't win.