One thing I have noticed that is consistent with all Patriot Super-Bowl winning teams is that they never looked back after losing a game. This however is solely a pattern that I noticed, and I think that it may amount to something :O !
In 2001, the Patriots started the season 5-5- The 5th loss coming to the St. Louis Rams. After that, the Patriots finished the season on a 6 game winning streak, and won the Super Bowl (Against those same Rams!)
In 2003, the Patriots dropped a game in week 4 to the Washington Redskins. After, they ripped off their famous 21 game win streak that would carry on into next year. (In week 1, they were crushed by the Bills 31-0. In Week 16, they crushed the Bills 31-0)
In 2004, their 21 game winning streak continued into the season, until they were routed by the Steelers. In the AFC Championship game, they defeated the Steelers 41-27.
In 2005, They unfortunately lost in the divisional round. I personally think the game should have been different-not necessarily but the outcome- but the game itself. (Ben Watson's strip tackle of Champ Bailey should have been a fumble). If you haven't seen the play, watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VKUSgHPm4E
In 2006, they lost to the Colts. Some may attribute that to the Reche Caldwell dropped pass in the end zones, others to the horrible play of our defense. Brady though, has to be appreciated for taking a team with almost no receiving talent nearly to the Super Bowl.
In 2007, we went 16-0, possibly got too cocky, got manhandled by the NYG defensive line, and should have won that game. Harrison should have knocked it out of Tyree's hands, Seymour/Green should have sacked Eli, and a holding call should have been called. Regardless, New England losts. (Although I attribute this to having Ellis Hobbs at CB. He was too short)
In 2008, Bernard Pollard happened
In 2009, I have no idea what happened this year other than Baltimore coming prepared and destroying the Pats.
In 2010, the Pats got cocky, Ryan outcoached BB (props to Rex), and New Englans just lacked a pass rush and a big receiver. I think the Jets this time played the role of the Patriots; getting revenge for the 45-3 drubbing..
This post simply states my opinion that losing during the regular season at certain points has helped the Patriots in the past, but not always. Like everything you can probably find exceptions. Just Wondering what you guys think; go disparage/tear apart or whatever you do on Pats Pulpit.