Picture a kitchen without a chef. You have the flashy cutlery, the heavy pots and pans, and all the right ingredients. With nobody to use these though they about as useful as a 5 year old girl with an easy bake oven.
A team without a solid quarterback isn't much of a team in my opinion. Who is going to lead the team down the field. sure the running back can do a large part be he isn't the one who has to call out audibles and blocking assignments. The quarterback is the heart and soul of a team he makes the big decisions during the plays he can change something if the defense is set up to well or even poorly. The wide receivers cant catch the ball if the quarterback isn't good enough to get them the ball.A team needs a good quarterback to manage the game and that's all there is to it.
I would have to say in other sports the most important positions would have to be a pitcher or a goalkeeper. In baseball if the pitcher does good chances are the team has a good chance of winning, if he does bad then the team has to rely on a strong offense to win the game. In football(soccer) the keeper has to make the saves and direct the defense sometimes to make sure they keep the ball out of the goal. Im not so sure either is near as important as a quarterback but they sure are important and at least somewhat comparable.
The Patriots, Can they recover? I think they can, I mean they still won the game didnt they. New England has enough weapons and I belive Matt Cassel is good enough to make sure they dont lose. He may not be as much a leader or as skilled as Tom Brady but i he will be able to manage the game and talent enough to win.
Who's going to win the Superbowl you say....Well the obvious answer is the bengals and I will leave it at that.