Patriots ready for the same old Manning in Week 5

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Patriots ready for the same old Manning in Week 5

FOXBORO -- You know how it goes. Just a day after Sunday's win over the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots have already moved on to their next opponent, the Denver Broncos.

And of course, the Broncos are now led by old friend Peyton Manning, who makes his return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, after missing the entire 2011 season.

Four weeks in, Manning has led the Broncos to a 2-2 record, while throwing for 1,162 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

It looks as if Manning hasn't missed a beat.

"Well, I mean, I'm not that surprised," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Monday. "He's a pretty smart guy. He's got a lot of experience. He's got good skills. There are a number of other players that have missed a year with an injury and have come back the next year and are able to play at a high level. It's about what I would have expected him to be at.

"I'm not saying that I'm really excited about having to face him again," Belichick later added. "But, you've got to play somebody. Everybody's good in this league. Everybody has good skills. There's good players, good coaches, good teams. So, it's out of our control. Whoever our opponent is, it is.

"I can't say that this is the quarterback you really want to face."

The Patriots have had many battles with Manning in the past while he was the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback. And while the preparation for Sunday's game against Denver is in its early stages, New England sees some similarities with Manning's Broncos offense and his old Colts offense.

"It looks pretty much like the Colts' offense," said Belichick. "Two tight ends, three receivers. They're very similar to what they did in Indianapolis.

"He looks good," said Belichick. "It's him, it's everybody else, it's the entire offensive team. And he does a good job of managing that offense, getting the ball to everybody. Running it, throwing it inside, throwing it outside. All the things that they have, they have a lot of weapons, and you've got to be careful about giving him opportunities, because he'll find them. So you have to do a good job of disguising, keeping him off-balance, and try to make him figure it out after the snap, or as late as possible. You certainly don't want to just show it to him too many times and let him take a run at it."

Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty agrees that there are similarities between this year's Broncos team and Manning's Colts team. And he's also not surprised to see Manning back on top after last year's neck surgery.

"He's one of those guys that you have to put a little extra time in, to be able to just hold your own, let alone play well," said McCourty on Monday. "You've really got to put your time in.

"I don't think many guys are surprised about what he does. You know he's a great player, and you know he's a competitor. So, my short time time in the league, everything I've looked at from him has been great performances and great leadership. And I think it's incredible what he's been able to do to overcome that injury. I'm really not surprised by him being one of those guys that can do it."

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. 

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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