Good write up. This part jumped out at me:
"They executed Bill's game plan to make the rookie win the game, and the rookie won the game."
The above part of your post reminded me of post-game comments from Braylon Edwards:
"It was good for the coaches to see that this is what we can potentially be," said Seahawks wideout Braylon Edwards, whose graceful, 10-yard touchdown catch on fourth down cut Seattle's deficit to six midway through the fourth quarter. "We've got to build off this. We can't have a game like this and go backwards.
"We can't go back to throwing the ball 15 times a game. It's a new NFL. You have to attack through the air. I mean, we can throw it and run it." http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl--morni ... mates.html
I think Braylon expressed the frustration that his team mates have been holding back with their politically-correct comments to the press. I was hoping the Hawks would play a team with a good enough defense to stop Lynch, and an offense that would force them to throw the ball in order to keep up. The Pat's filled that bill to a Tee!!
If this doesn't open the coaches eyes to what is being under-utilized nothing will. I seriously feel the 'hawks could have played this game with a semi-comfortable lead, but any kind of progress in opening-up the passing game makes me a happy camper.
I hear ya on the defense. It's crazy how they seem to get better and gain energy as the game progresses. I don't know how many people have watched Star Trek and know what the Borg Continuum is, but for those geeks in the know, this defense seems to play so together and learn so quickly on the fly it's almost freaky. Add the late-game second wind and they really become a pleasure to behold.