First we saw Danny Woodhead, after hitting a brick wall for no gain, go to the sidelines never to return. A few minutes later, TE Rob Gronkowski goes for a ball that was sailing out of bounds only land right on his healing forearm, still in a soft cast. Woodhead has a thumb injury, which isn't as bad as Gronk, who we all know by now, is done for the rest of the playoffs and will need another surgery.
But this is where the Patriots separate themselves from the rest of the league. The ability to adapt to the current situation and morph into something else that their oppponent isn't quite prepared for.
Woodhead goes out, second year back Shane Vereen comes in, and has the game of his life.
Running hard - short run, big runs; catches - short passes, deep balls. When all was said and done, Vereen walked off the field with 3 touchdowns.
"We had a whole plan built for (Gronkowski) and Woody," Brady said via USA Today. "We run the first series of the game and all those plans change. I think a little of it was, 'What are we going to do now? How are we going to adjust?' But we seemed to settle in there midway through the first quarter and put together a pretty good game.
"Obviously, it's a bummer to lose anybody, but someone of Rob's importance or Danny's importance, we need guys to step in and fill the void."
Two important offensive starters go down and the they go with other options, a great luxury for a team that's built for the playoffs. Of course, there was the man who didn't leave the game, constant Plan A receiver Wes Welker, who was his usual self - 8 catches, all of them big, for 131 yards total.