A positive sign for Pats

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A positive sign for Pats

I know it's hard to focus on this Sunday's game when there's so much quality ref bashing to be had, but I figured I'd interrupt the national crisis with a bit of good news about the Pats' Week 4 opponent.

First of all, it's the Buffalo Bills. And while I know that the Bills are currently 2-1, and thus ahead of New England in the standings, let's not forget that those two wins came against the Chiefs and Browns. In the same breath, we can't forget that this will be a road game for the Pats. A road game within the division. A road game within the division that they lost last year. Obviously, it won't be easy.

But it could be a lot worse.

Especially since the Bills will likely be short their two most dynamic players.

I say "likely" because neither CJ Spiller nor Fred Jackson has been officially ruled out, but both are a long shot to play. Spiller a former first round pick who's blown up this season sprained his shoulder on Sunday against the Browns, and was initially pegged to miss 1-2 weeks. Jackson explosive in his own right hurt his knee in Week 1 and was initially expected to miss at least a month. Both will try to practice, but both will be fighting an uphill battle.

So, there's the good news.

The bad news? Well, the Bills still have a quarterback and a competent fleet of receivers.

And the Pats still have Devin McCourty.

Now, back to killing the replacement refs.

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

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.