Curran: Patriots offense hits its stride early


Curran: Patriots offense hits its stride early

PHILADELPHIA - You could set your watch to it. Four hours after kickoff, a disconsolate but well-appointed Tom Brady would face the media and lament opportunities missed. Sunday night, Brady still wasn't over the moon. But after a dissection of the Eagles defense, he was at least somewhat pleased. His head coach, rarely one to be too specific, explained that it was Brady that got the offense into surgical mode. "Tom did a good job of really pressing the issue," said Bill Belichick. "We felt like we had them on the run a little bit with some of the empty stuff and some of the matchups. We felt good about our running game, too, but just when we felt like we had some matchups we could take advantage of, Tom just kept pressing it. Everybody got involved and that's what Tom does best . . . find the open guy, put the ball on the money and he did it many times today."Brady is the NFL's version of Steve Nash. (Hey, basketball's back, let's embrace it!) He works matchups as well as any quarterback in the league and understands that you need to feed the heat. The heat on Sunday was Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch and Rob Gronkowski. That was it. No overthinking it. No trying to run ridiculous plays to Chad Ochocinco to try and make him feel a part of things. Just snap, read, throw. "Our guys were getting open," said Brady. "We've got some good quickness on the underneath part of the field and I thought we took advantage of some plays there. I thought we should have hit some other ones, though. But all and all it's a good win and as we do at this time of the year, we've got to move on."It's hard to think the offense is "cured" after a few weeks of sputtering starts when Brady willed the team forward after a switch to fast-break mode. But this week,the Patriots were solid early. It's something they've been striving to do for over a month. An over-reliance on Welker and Gronkowski was evident. Part of it was the knee injury to Aaron Hernandez. He came back way earlier than most players do from MCL injuries and his quickness wasn't back until Sunday, even though he told me he still felt slow on some plays. Part of it was the inability of Deion Branch to get apparent separation. Branch was still well-covered on some of his six receptions for 125 yards, but the offensive line gave Brady time enough to find Branch on restarts, like the 63-yarder he caught. The final part was the unwillingness to simply put the ball in the belly of BenJarvus Green-Ellis often enough even when there wasn't a lot there. On Sunday, BJGE carried 10 times for 42 yards in the opening quarter and that changed the Eagles defense as well. "I thought it was more balanced today," said Brady. "I thought we did a good job getting it to the wideouts, Wes and Deion both obviously had big days and then the tight ends made some plays, too. That's how it needs to be. You got to run it, you got to throw it to everybody and you gotta keep them off balance. You've got to screen, you've got to draw, you've got to trap, you've got to run downhill, you need quick hitters, you need all levels of the passing game. When they're able to take a few of those away, obviously it makes it more difficult to execute but I thought today we did a really good job of maximizing all the guys out there who are playing offense."And the Patriots went back to being a team that's difficult to defend not just because of a Hall of Fame quarterback, the best slot receiver in the league and the living, breathing mismatch that is Rob Gronkowski. They went back to being a team that makes you defend everything and everybody. And, as Sunday showed, most defenses can't.

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Tom Brady's daughter Vivian is a natural on skis.

The New England Patriots quarterback and apparently proud father posted a comical video of his 4-year-old daughter tearing it up on the ski hill. Vivian took on the bottom section of the run while adhering to the all-important instructions from the Super Cool Ski Instructor from the Comedy Central show, "South Park."

Brady added the audio from the "South Park" ski instructor to the video of his daughter skiing, and included a joke about "french frying" and "pizzaing" at the correct moments. 

"That’s my girl! Pizzaing when she's supposed to pizza, French frying when she's supposed to French fry... NOT having a bad time!!" Brady joked on Instagram.

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 


But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents