You guys have heard me mention my worry about top defenses a lot over the past 2 months. And for the most part, it was true. We couldn't score on a top defense like we want to. I wasn't sold even after our routing of Houston because to me they didn't look much like a top D with the way they played. I know it's been repeated quite a bit but last night we scored 34 points despite 4 turnovers on arguably the best defense in the NFL and it could have easily been 38 but we opted for a FG at the end. I saw what I needed to see, win or lose. And now, I'm ready to raise my expectations. I don't want to take away anything from the 49ers because they played a great game, but we also shot ourselves in the foot. Two of those turnovers were on them and great defensive plays. Putting your helmet on the ball to force a fumble is text-book defense. But honestly, 2 of them was on our own sloppiness. Brady's pass to Wes Welker in double coverage and the interception that bounced off of Hernadez's hands. I feel I'm being objective when I say I can't honestly credit the 49ers defense for those. I thought it was a bad decision on Tom's part from the moment he threw it, as Welker was outmatched and the other one was just bad luck. Turnovers aside, I want to talk a bit about what went different. In the past, whether it was the Giants last year, Arizona and Seattle earlier this year or Miami, there was something in common. Our offense stalled. These defenses made our offense play their type of football game. We couldn't score on any of these guys the way we are used to, and it always felt unconvincing even when winning against teams like Miami or the Jets earlier this year in over time. Last night, even in a loss, it was different. For the first time in a long time, I think we won the battle of willpower, after taking their best shot. In all previous grudge matches, it felt like their defense were beating Tom and our O into submission to the point where perhaps they lost faith too. At least I know some fans did. Even last night I saw some fans thinking the game was over when we were down 14 points early against them, and who can fault them for thinking this way given our history and the typical 17-14 scoring finale of such games. So much for that idea now. I know we lost the game, but this time, we didn't lose our identity. I still believe the last thing these types of teams want to be in is a 41-34 type game with the Patriots. They want lower scoring games. They want to frustrate us. They want it ugly. And even though we lost the game the Patriots proved to me they can figure these defenses out. They can exploit even the best ones and impose the willpower of their offense, ultimately making them play our type of game. And that's without our offense being at full strength. This is with an offense that's missing Gronkowski. Some say the defense started playing softer but this is also against a defense that dropped back in coverage and sat on a 31-3 lead, knowing we had to pass, rendering our sloppy run game ineffective. This is despite a -2 turnover differential. Last night the announcers mentioned the fact the 49ers double teamed Hernandez and Wes Welker. I'd love to see this again if lady luck throws us a bone, and keeps Wes, Gronk and Hernadez all healthy. Not even the 49ers can double team all 3 of them and cover some of those throws I saw from Tom last night if we get our offense back to full strength. Not to mention Lloyd is now becoming a factor as well. We will force them to pick their poison, something we did not have at our disposal last night. Our offense, is a highly specialized offense that requires precision and impeccable timing between Tom and our receivers. In the past when teams messed with that timing, we wouldn't have an answer. We didn't know how to play a little grittier to win or just go out there and make something pretty out of ugliness. To make some unconventional plays. To make plays that are may not be in the playbook. If we get back to full strength, I really don't think we can be stopped and mainly because of the mental attitude Tom is showing this year. Brady was simply in a different zone. The comeback was impressive, but how about Tom's hustle after his pick to save the touchdown early on? They didn't score despite getting the ball at our 20 because our defense responded as well. Or his rush for a first, that should have been a TD later in the game. His quarterback sneak on 4th and goal! Or how about when we were thinking about punting on 4th down he seemed to overrule BB, and came back on the field to get that conversion. It's all the little things I'm seeing from him that restored some of my faith I may have lost in him before and makes me believe in him completely once again. He made big play after big play in the clutch. And I think he showed our younger guys to believe in him as well, trust him in the worst of situations, and keep fighting until the very end, not just simply take his past accomplishments and reputation as proof. Tom was definitely the catalyst last night. I'm used to seeing Brady be Mr. Perfection, a robotic surgeon, a specialist like the Floyd Mayweather of the NFL, but last night, I didn't just see that. Instead I saw Rocky Balboa. I saw him be whatever he needed to be. I saw something he hasn't been since his early days in New England, pre-2007. Personally it's something I really needed to see again to make me believe without the hesitation and fear that's been instilled in me by past losses. And honestly, there is still room for more. We could have won that game, if we didn't stall on that final drive with a poor throw, and he knows it. He came up a bit short last night, but I believe he'll do even better next time around. To use Skip Bayless's phrase, last night, it was Tom Brady that was a force of competitive nature. He made all kinds of plays that made me say wow and impressed me even after all this time of watching him playing at such a high level. Somehow, he still managed to surprise. He raised his standards, and his playing level, so now I feel safe raising my expectations. Gillette, Mile High, Reliant or Mars...I really don't give a damn where we play. I'm really feeling great about our chances in the playoffs, about this team, about Tom and about our chances to return to the big game. It's about time for a high scoring Superbowl. And win or lose I know this time we're going to go down fighting, playing our type of football and imposing our will driven by a competitive force of nature. What say you?