There is really one simple reason. TEDY BRUSCHI Since Bruschi's return we are 6-2. One of those losses, to the Colts was right after he came back, the other was a 4 Int game by Brady. Why is Bruschi a cause rahter than effect? Since Bruschi has returned, the Patriot run D has allowed 80 yards per game (which would rank 2nd in the NFL) and 3.1 yards per carry (which would rank first). If we give him a mulligan for his first game back (which by the way was only 3.5 per carry) the Pat run D since he was back, and reasonably ready to play, has allowed 70.4 ypgame and 2.95 ypcarry. Both would easily rank first in the NFL. Before Bruschi came back we allowed on average, 125.3 yard per game, and a 4.3 yard per rush average. With Bruschi back the Pats have not allowed more than 4.1 in ANY SINGLE GAME. They have allowed 3.1 or less in 5 of the 8, the others being 3.5, 3.8 and 4.1. Before Bruschi's return, the Patriots allowed 27.3 points per game, since his return 15.6. (Which by the way is right about what the best Pats D, 2003, did) Before Bruschi's return the Pats allowed 20 or more points in all 6 games. Since they have allowed more than 17 only twice. (Outside of the Colt game, the average allowed is 12.1) This, however, means even more than it seems. In the last 4 years, we have not won the SB only 1 time. What is intersting about that year? Tedy Bruschi was injured. During the games Bruschi did not play, we allowed 180 rushing yards a game. When he played it was approx 110, the same as in 2001. Had Bruschi not been injured, would be looking for the 5th in a row??????????????? Any Patriot gan knows this is a different team with Bruschi, and all knw the leadership and intelligence he brings. But these numbers out his impact in black and white. If we continue to play run defense that allows 70.4 yards a game, and 2.95 a carry, it is very simply, no one will beat us. There has been much talk of the team getting new players in, fixing the secondary, improving as the season goes on, etc. Really, this Patriot season can be divided into 2 halves. The half without Bruschi, and the half with. IMO, the evidence says that the half before Bruschi is irrelevant to what the next 7 weeks will hold. Tedy Bruschi is co-MVP of this team, along with Tom Brady.