I think this may be one of the shifts that have occurred. I do have strong IBLs to my home page and most people link to it as they like the whole site. But now there may be an expectation that there be inbound links to every individual page. (excluding scrapers that is)
I think you are right but it can be next to impossible to figure out what that other word/phrase might be. I'm talking about articles from 500 to 1000 words and it could be anything in the article.