The loss to Miami has clarified many things. #1. The coaching in the division has improved immeasurably. The reason for this is BB's own intellectual dominance, which scorched the earth and gutted the other franchises in the division (in Buffalo's case, several times over). The natural response to this utter domination was an "if you can't beat them, join them" approach in Miami and New York. They hired the two men most familiar and in tune with BB's intellect and approach: his Wesleyan man-boobed waddling clone, Man-Gina, and his closest football confidante, the megalomanical but extremely competent defensive strategist, Saban. These two traitors accepted obscene amounts of money to turn BB's own methods against him, methods each of them had learned from him in close confidence. This year, OPERATION TURNCOAT began with the Deion Branch fiasco, prompted by Man-Gina's tampering, and reached a head in the last month, when the Pats were beaten 17-14 in Foxboro by the Jets, who employed a Patriots clone defense to stifle Brady, and Miami's 21-0 masterpiece last Sunday. If the Herminator and Wanny, or any other coaches less familiar with inner workings and methods of BB's mind, were currently running the Jets and Fins, the Pats would be sitting today at 11-2 and polishing their resume for a 1st rd bye. The AFC East has become the most well-coached division in football. Even Jauron has stood up to increasingly stiff competition and held his own. While the QB play in the division may still be wanting, IMO the AFC East, week in and out, plays the soundest most fundamental, disciplined brand of football in the NFL. The teams in our division are fast becoming mismatches against outsiders. The Patriots and Jets' destruction of GB in GB, the Dolphins annihilation of Chicago in Chicago, the Pats crushing defeat of Cinci, Buffalo losing by 1 point to Indy in Indy are examples of a developing trend. The Dolphins currently have the best combination of defensive coaching and personnel in the league, The Jets have imported the SD offense and the Pat defense, while even Buffalo is gelling. #2. What is wrong with the Pats? NOTHING. They are temporary victims of their own brilliance, an intellectual weapon stolen from them by industrial espionage and turned against them by former friends. I believe the Pats' lethargic play of late is due to the fact they are being worn down mentally, drained from having to scheme week to week against increasingly competent opponents. I believe the young O-coordinator is going through CORRECTABLE growing pains, but will emerge as a stellar young coach from these bumps and bruises. I believe the Pats offense is lacking a dependable playmaker besides Brady and Maroney, which complicates the already steep task facing the team each week. HOWEVER, those who would use the Pats' "struggles" this year as a vindication of the idea signing Branch was the answer, or keeping Givens or Vinatieri, are missing the bigger picture. The Pats must be MORE DISCIPLINED than ever before in this increasingly competitive climate. They must run a tighter ship, draft better, make more cost efficient signings. Given' into Branch would have been the first sign of franchise rot. IMO, If the Pats can win this division with a healthy Maroney, Wilfork, Watson and Harrison on the roster entering the playoffs, they have a puncher's chance of winning the SB, despite the struggles this season. Why? Because they will have been physically and mentally tested as much as any team in the league. The best advice for hand-wringing fans is, don't give up on team or the season because of the nattering nabobs of negativity. There is an excellent chance the players will use this adversity as fuel for their wounded pride. On a final note, about McDaniels. Consider the alternatives: Any coach between the ages of 35 and 55 hired by BB as a coordinator, on either side of the ball, has a life expectancy of TWO YEARS max on the Pats before being filched to become a HC elsewhere in another OPERATION TURNCOAT. Only a youngster like McDaniels and an old-timer like Peas can stay on to develop continuity with their respective squads. Waiting for McDaniels to adjust to the immense intellectual tests offered by Saban and Mangini, while developing leadership skills, has caused much moaning and groaning in the fanbase, and may contribute at times to a lack of confidence on the field from some players, but I have faith in BB's judgment of the young man and believe in time he will develop into a sound tactician and leader. BB deserves that trust from the fans to whom he has given so much.