Adam Schein is a regular for WFAN Sports Radio 66 in NYC. Apparently, he gets it:
The Patriots became a dynasty because of their incredible knack to beat the opposition in the clutch. And the three people you always credit are Belichick, Tom Brady, and Vinatieri. I've said this and written it one thousand times; it is why you always pick the Patriots to win. I've talked to countless players who have been buried by the Pats late in games who talk about how the confidence and life of their team is sucked out when Vinatieri comes on for the three-point try. It's the same old script; the Belichick defense makes the key stop, Brady calmly drives the team down the field, and then the kicker makes the difference making field goal.
InBradyWeTrust and I debate this point time and time again: Vinatieri was just as important to the Patriots as Belichick and Brady. InBradyWeTrust doesn't think Vinatieri was on par with Belicheck and Brady. Schein seems to back up my claim that he was that important.
And for those that say Vinatieri can't handle kickoffs, chew on this: