Schadenfreude helps ease the pain of Pats loss

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Schadenfreude helps ease the pain of Pats loss

Theres a certain type of medical treatment that fans in New England thrive on after a difficult Patriots loss. Unfortunately, the antidotes not readily available after every defeat. In fact, its been almost a year since it was even on the market.

But last night in Atlanta, it was re-released to the public to rave reviews. And while the packaging might look different, the name remains the same. Its simply called: Watching Peyton Manning throw interceptions.

Come on, admit it, seeing Peyton come back to Earth last night eased at least a little bit of your Patriots pain. As did watching the Jets get waxed by the Steelers on Sunday (although would have been nice if it wasnt the Steelers) and the Ravens choke down the stretch against the Eagles. Sure, none of that will help heal Aaron Hernandezs ankle, uncover the truth behind the Welker nonsense, teleport Brian Waters from his Texas ranch or give Gostkowski another chance from 42, but even in our darkest moments, NFL Schadenfreude serves as an undeniable source of happiness.

And the truth is, through two weeks, very few of the Pats AFC rivals have escaped early season hardship. As of today, there are only two undefeated teams remaining in the conference Houston and San Diego. Both have been dominant so far, with the Texans outscoring opponents by a combined 57-17 and the Chargers up 60-24 in their two contests. Then again, neither team has been challenged. Youd assume that more than a few teams would start 2-0 against the likes of Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee and Oakland.

Then again, youd have assumed the same about a team that drew Tennessee and Arizona. Regardless of whom theyve played, Houston and San Diego have done the job and deservedly sit atop the early standings. Meanwhile, reality intervened with the Pats, leaving them at 1-1, in a horde among nine other AFC teams (including their three division foes and other presumed contenders like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver). But whatever, its early. We know how much things will change over the next 15 weeks. We know that a 2-0 start guarantees nothing except no worse than a 2-14 finish. Take last year for example. After two weeks, the Bills, Jets and Redskins all stood at 2-0. They finished out the season a combined 11-31.

Starting today, we'll put Week 2 behind us the heartbreak against Arizona, the joy of watching the Jets, Raven and Broncos fall flat on their face and turn our attention to Sunday night in Baltimore, a match-up that will either bring New England a glorious natural high or send us into a depression that will make this week look like a breezy day at the beach. We can only hope for the best. But if the best isn't in the cards, here's hoping that vitamin Schadenfreude is still available in bulk.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 
 

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

Josh McDaniels will be staying put in New England, he said on Monday, because that's what's best for him and his family at this point in time. 

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The Patriots offensive coordinator was a front-runner for the open head-coaching job in San Francisco but has removed his name from consideration.

"I was really impressed with [Niners owner and CEO] Jed York and [Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations] Praag [Marathe] and [Director of Football Administration and Analytics] Brian [Hampton] and the people that came from the 49ers organization. They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process.

"At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

Next season will be McDaniels' sixth full season back with the Patriots since returning during the playoffs of the 2011 season.

"I've always said how grateful I am to have this opportunity to work here with Mr. Kraft and his family, and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff, and to have the privilege to get to work with the players that we work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to be here, and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."