There has been discussions and debate aplenty about why the Offense was not performing up to expectations, about why Brady was struggling, and how Belichick had been wrong to squander away one of the few remaining year's Brady had by bringing in all the new receivers on Offense.
The truth was, the decision to make those changes was bold and brilliant, or at least, solid team building decision making. They had two exceptional TEs in their prime, they had two solid young RBs coming into their own, and the talent they were bringing in at WR was younger and had more potential then what they were letting go... Lloyd, Branch and Welker were replaced by Amendola, Dobson, and Boyce (Thompkins was not drafted).
If Belichick had known what was to come with Hernandez, if he had known Gronk's injuries would linger well into the season, if he had known Amendola and Vereen would be injured in the first game of the season, and miss most of the remaining season until after the BYE week... its likely the choices made would not have all been the same.
The players that were supposed to carry the Offense, while the rookie WRs were worked slowly into the system, weren't there. It's tough to judge what an offense's real capabilities are, if after the first week, you are missing the top four (the best four) weapons you had penciled in to be starting on the Offense back in June (and earlier).
Without Hernandez, Gronk, Amendola, and Vereen... the rookie WRs weren't only pressed into action, but other than Edelman, they were the only real options Brady had to try and go to. Sure Hooman, Bolden and others caught a few passes during the past eight weeks... but we are talking clear cut second, and third rate talents as receivers and playmakers.
Against the Steelers, Brady once again had a legitimate threat at TE for defenses to worry about, Brady finally had a relatively healthy Amendola out there to throw to... just those two being back and able to perform close to normally, allowed Dobson to be utilized in the way he was meant to be, on the outside, stretching the field, making the defense pay for not keeping a safety over the top...
Yes, against the Steelers, we saw a glimpse of what they had planned on doing with the offense all along... they are still missing two major players in that equation, neither Vereen or Hernandez can be replaced production wise by any player that has taken the field in place of them... but with Gronk and Amendola out there, we could see the 'pick your poison' scenarios this offense can generate with the players they have, when the majority of them are healthy.
We can only wonder, on what might have been, if all the pieces to the puzzle had been in place, as had been planned on, when they were putting the offense together back in March, April, and May.