As much as people talk about the goal is to win the Super Bowl, when you're building a team, the idea should be to build a team that wins as many games as possible. Success in a single elimination playoff format comes down to a ton of luck, especially when you get rid of the chaff that seems to be in the playoffs every year like the Bengals.
There's some truth to this, but the playoff script has been very familiar as of late. Offense doesn't come close to putting up the same lofty point totals that it does in the regular season (not consistently, anyway). D doesn't step up, and considering how meh the Patriot D has been, I guess that shouldn't come as any surprise. When you're facing some low-win teams in the regular season, and are the better team in well over half your games, you're going to impress, and if you've got a QB like Brady who can usually make any group of receivers workable, the wins are going to come, and when you have your share of 30+ points-for games (with 40+s and even 50+s sprinkled in), the D giving up 20-35 in a lot of games gets glossed over.
But something has to give. BB himself has admitted to getting outcoached in these losses...even admitted it again yesterday. The defensive gameplan, which seems to be "how do we give up more yards than almost everyone else but somehow keep the points-against totals middle-of-the-pack?", just doesn't work anymore.
I agree, finding stoppers on D is not easy to do, especially in the secondary. Pats have tried to address it, but as a guy who looked like he was going to be good corner, McCourty is now a pretty good safety who almost always gets burned on the rare occasions he has to go man-to-man. But I think the Pats have tried the "Outscore everyone" approach long enough. I could see them putting up 500+ next season, allowing about 350, winning 12-13 games, nabbing a bye week, then getting knocked off either in the divisional game or the AFC Championship again, by something like a 28-14 or 33-17 final, and people saying, "Did this really happen again?" I agree, luck is often a factor, getting hot is sometimes a factor (though the Pats have a history of looking unbeatable in the second halves of seasons), but sometimes, changes in philosophies don't hurt. I would love to see a new defensive coordinator working with BB, for that reason...someone with his own ideas who isn't a puppet.