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No Game Is Guaranteed.

If any player on the Patriots needed to have their heads screwed on straight, all they had to do was watch the (7-9) Seattle Seahawks win a shootout against the (11-5) defending champions New Orleans Saints. The Seahawks racked 41 points against the Saints' defense and managed to beat down one of the NFC favorites. What can be learned?

Winning on the road isn't easy.

No game is guaranteed.

The Patriots are lucky that they slugged their way through the regular season to claim homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, meaning that Lesson #1 does not apply. However, Lesson #2 must be examined and then re-examined.

No game is guaranteed.

The Saints had spanked the Seahawks in the regular season. The Seahawks only had two wins outside of the NFC West and those were at the beginning of the season and they were demolished in every game against a strong opponent. Then the Saints marched into Qwest Stadium and the Seahawks somehow found a way to win. Teams are playing their best football right now, regardless of their regular season performance. There's no room for error.

The Patriots are 0-0. They are starting from scratch as a do-or-die season begins. Even though the Patriots' offense was the best in the league and the defense was playing like one of the best, none of that success matters. The Patriots just need to do their job and perform in the playoffs. There are no guarantees anymore. The Patriots need to play their error-free game of football and do their talking on the field.