Do you not understand that Vilma, Harper, and Smith were probably 3 of the 4 biggest reasons our defense was horrible, along with Shanle?
Vilma and Smith were slated to start. Fact.
The D is doing good without them. Fact.
The D is better without them. Opinion. Fact is, we don't really know. We think, but we don't. Fact is they were starters. Yes, Wilfork is a bigger loss than either, and probably both. But, its two defensive starters vs one.
Harper is a different story. This D was playing great with him there. Is Bush better? Don't know. So, 3 starters from Sunday vs One.
Shanle? frick dude, he isn't even on the roster.
To the Gronk/Hernandez point. Both of these guys were out long before the season started. I have no sympathy for the Hernandez loss.
I compared Gronk to Butler because both teams had a chance to make up for these losses. We have no idea how important Butler was going to be for the D, but its safe to say that he was a pretty big loss at the time. 20/20 vision allows you to say, "yeah, we're fine", but we all panicked whenever his injury was announced.
Fact is, both teams were pretty beat up going into the game. Saying one was more injured than the other is pure stupidity.