You gotta run the football, and be able to stop the run, to win championships. That is still true to this day.
Last year's Patriots along with the Colts of old had the type of aerial assault that gave most DB's nightmares. Yet for both teams in their Super Bowl, runs they had a running back, whether it was Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon, or Joseph Addai, that performed.
The G-Men took down three of the best passing games last year in the playoffs with a stout defense, a solid running-game, and a lucky QB (still very bitter about the SB).
One thing most people do not realize about the Patriots offense last year is that before Sammy Morris got injured he produced quite a few 100 yard games. Maroney also ended the year with more than most people might expect.
For a few weeks the Patriots offense was a machine that could run over defenses and light them up through the air and the loss of that balance was the ultimate undoing of those 2007 Patriots.
After losing Tom Brady, New England needs to utilize all of its running backs to earn a spot in the playoffs. The four running backs in the starting rotation for the Patriots are all perfect complements of each other.
Using all four of them would allow for defenses to always have to keep up with a fresh running back, and because all of them run differently you don't have to rely on one being an all-star.
Along with four running backs you also have two guys like Moss and Welker playing receiver, that should definitely open up the middle if Cassel starts passing the ball like a NFL QB.
The guy that is going to get it done is Lamont Jordan. He is reminds most Patriots fans of Corey Dillon and he will be the bruiser we will need to beat down the finesse teams.
Jordan will get solid yardage and for anybody who watched Maroney last year he has the explosiveness to take it all the way on any given play, the running game should be one of the strongest units on the Patriots team this year.
If balance is obtained New England will be a deadly team next year with Brady back to light it up, a running game, and a younger defense with some of the most veteran players in the game.