Curran: Uncharacteristic ending for the Pats


Curran: Uncharacteristic ending for the Pats

By Tom E. Curran

FOXBORO Jack Brady didnt care his father Toms season had just ended. He didnt care what Antonio Cromartie called his Dad just four days earlier.

What mattered to Jack was the huge green truck with the airplanes on the side that had a huge thing going up in the air.

Daddy, look! Jack exclaimed, pointing at the huge hydraulic lift loaded with Jets equipment rising up to the back of the 18-wheeler. Do you see that?!

Tom Brady saw it. But he didnt share the same enthusiasm.

Tom Brady had seen all he needed to of the Jets on this Sunday their linebackers, their blitzes, their corners, their interceptions, their round and proud coach. He likely wishes he could have seen it all through Jacks innocent eyes instead of his own.

Because at that particular moment, Bradys eyes were moist and red. Hed just spent time with his head on the shoulder of Wes Welker, two tough teammates sharing a good cry while a cadre of close friends and relatives looked at the floor and scuffled their feet.

It wasnt what anyone expected to see by 8 p.m. on this particular Sunday. The presumed 2010 MVP crying on the shoulder of his 5-foot-8 receiver. But few things happened Sunday that anyone expected.

Not the pick Brady threw into the arms of Jets linebacker David Harris on the Patriots' first drive. Not only had it been 339 attempts since Brady threw it to the wrong team, it was the kind of dunderheaded, unanticipatory throw that lesser quarterbacks make. And so ended a drive that until that point felt like a continuation of the Patriots 45-3 dismantling of the Jets in Week 13.

That was the first uh-oh.

The second came when Alge Crumpler dropped a certain touchdown pass on the Patriots' second drive. The Patriots settled for three. Points off the board on their first two drives? And poor plays made by guys whove been in the league 20 seasons combined?

And so it went from there. A third-and-6 play from the Patriots 45 on which Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was flushed from the pocket turned into a 37-yard completion. And an LT touchdown two plays later.

A strange replay challenge on a third-down pass to Santonio Holmes at midfield when there was no clear shot making it seem Holmes dropped it (he didnt).

Punt protector Patrick Chung calling for a fake punt with 1:14 left in the half and the ball on the Patriots 38. Then dropping the snap. And a Jets touchdown four plays later.

An out-of-sync offense. A defense that for once was only able to watch big plays not make them.

What. The hell. Happened?

Was it the Jets crap talk? Did it get into the Patriots heads? Did it make them tighten up, want too much to shut New York up and send them home sniveling and shamed?

No, said Matt Light and Bill Belichick.

Ask them, said Jets center Nick Mangold.

This much is true. For all the speculation that the Jets talk was a smoke screen being used to cover up their own insecurities, they didnt look too insecure Sunday. They looked confident. And every Patriots mistake only served as another log on the fire.

Anytime you take a beating like we did in the last game, it just fuels us, said Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis. We felt like we were totally disrespected the last time. Granted, they ran the score up on us, Brady with his emotions. They were doing our Jet run on certain plays." (Aside: how ridiculous is it for grown men to get angered by someone mocking their team logo or their "Lights out" dance?) "Going into this game, we just wanted to get them back."

To do so, the Patriots would have to be complicit in their downfall. They would have to play unlike they did since Cleveland. They were. They did.

We picked the wrong day to play our worst football," Deion Branch said. "I think today was worse than Cleveland. We just didnt make no plays.

"The Jets have always been a good team, said left tackle Matt Light, a member of an offensive line that allowed five sacks, scads of hurries and plenty of Brady knockdowns. They present some unique challenges and we didn't rise to the occasion. This is a different level when you get to this time period. We all talk about it and everybody says the playoffs are a different beast. I'm just not 100 percent sure if everybody understands that.

It wasnt for lack of care or effort. Or chemistry. Thats what the 2009 team that got waxed by Baltimore was about. It was a lack of . . . on-field cohesion? Self-belief?

We didnt make the plays when we needed to and thats unfortunate, said Light. We got a great team, we got great guys, we had great chemistry throughout the year. Unfortunately in this game it doesnt mean much at the end of it. Its not every day you get an opportunity like this and to fall short, thats a tough pill to swallow.

A pill so tough it can leave a Hall of Fame quarterback choking on tears.

Playoff football comes down to who makes the plays and we made too many mistakes, Brady lamented. Its totally a new season. There is a sign back there that said 0-0 and thats the truth.

And the Patriots who authored an amazing and unexpected 2010 season are 0-1. Oh, one and done.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

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

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Phil Perry analyzes  whether Danny Amendola will take another pay cut to stay with the New England Patriots.