"Things weren't all blue skies and sunshine when he was here. Last year, I think, we were 6-6 going into our last four games and we had to win all of those games just to get into the playoffs," defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "Of course his absence hurts the team. It has to. He's a Hall of Fame guy, so if you take him out, you're going to fall off. But to say we've fallen off to the extent we have is because of him, that's ridiculous."