Do you think that Josh McDaniels is forcing the issue with the "balanced" offensive attack? Should the Pats go back to airing it out like they have the past few seasons?
Stephen: Because the Patriots play in a rather weak division, I don't see Sunday as a must-win. The Jets will falter without Revis and the Dolphins don't pose much of a threat with their underwhelming offense. The Bills are a solid team, but I don't see them truly posing a threat to the Patriots winning the division. New England could, and maybe should, be 3-0 at this point, if not for a few plays going the other way. As long as they continue to get the offense rolling and put some more heat on the quarterback, they should be okay on Sunday.
Jason: If anything, I'd like to see the Pats run more, not less. Brady kills teams on playaction, and running the ball more often will make those playaction passes even more deadly. I really think the Pats have found something in Ridley. Going to all-out through the air puts the best back we've had since Correy Dillon firmly on the bench. And while the defense has grown by leaps and bounds, they still need help from the offense. A good running game shortens the game and limits their exposure.
Derek: I wholeheartedly agree that the Patriots would benefit from a more balanced approach than they demonstrated the past few seasons. Some of their losses, especially in the Super Bowl may. Have been preventable if they had a running threat like Ridley. That being said, I think that McDaniels is running the ball a bit too much. Every hand-off that Ridley or Woodhead gets is one less throw for Tom Brady. While being balanced has its benefits, ultimately you want to put the ball in the hands of your best player as much as possible. I think that against Baltimore and Arizona, the Pats would have benefited from a few more lobs from Brady instead of 1-yard runs from Woodhead. Instead of two runs and one throw per three downs the Patriots should more often being matching two throws with one run. If you give Brady two tosses, he will get the first down more often than not.