Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Every few months, our buddy Manish Mehta gets suitably bored or his bosses at the New York Daily News get sufficiently impatient with him and he goes off with some prediction that winds up being the absolute direct opposite of what actually happens.

He would be like the drippy-nosed kid at his own birthday party trying to bust open the piñata for an uncomfortable length of time. Except, eventually, somebody takes pity on that kid. With Manish, nobody ever feels bad and he’s left out there swinging long after the party’s over and everyone’s gone home.

Tom Brady’s suspension has provided multiple opportunities for Manish to walk into screen doors.


First, after Brady bailed in July on taking his suspension to the SCOTUS, Mehta spun it forward and said the Jets would be looking real good after four games with Jimmy Garoppolo driving the bus.

Brady will be in full-fledged F.U. mode by the time he faces the Jets for the first time in Week 12. But what if the Patriots start off winless or 1-3 with Garoppolo? Will Brady's greatness be enough to overcome such a sluggish start given that his team has the second toughest strength of schedule in the AFC (behind the Jets and just ahead of the Bills and Dolphins)?

"I feel like, in this division, you got to win 10-plus games, maybe 11-plus games," Decker said. "That means you almost have to go perfect the rest of the year (after a 1-3 start). You can be in a situation where you play a hard Sunday game and, all of sudden, you got a (quick turnaround) on a Thursday night. … You can factor those things in and make a case that it's more difficult to go on a run after starting 1-3."

After the Patriots started 2-0 and Garoppolo broke, Mehta waded in again.

Not even the greatest football mind of the generation will be able to wiggle out of this jam.

The Patriots face a new reality now that Jimmy Garoppolo wrecked his shoulder on Sunday: The Evil Empire will be looking up at the Jets in the AFC East standings when Tom Brady returns….

(Jacoby) Brissett has been a NFL player for FIVE MONTHS. He'll have THREE DAYS to prepare for his first start. Belichick is brilliant, but let's be realistic. He's not going to climb this mountain.

Friday, Manish made a Mehta Culpa in the New York Daily News and on CSN's SportsNet Central. His prediction of Brissett going bellyup and the Patriots being behind the Jets by the time Brady made his return was, “one giant swing and a miss,” wrote Mehta.

“I was wrong like pre-Socratic philosophers, who thought the world was flat. I was wrong like the Chicago Daily Tribune headline writer, who prematurely buried Truman in '48. I was wrong like Lex Luthor, who thought he could destroy Superman three or four hundred times.

Mehta got an avalanche of “You’re a ******* moooooorrrrrrooooonnnnn!!!!” tweets Thursday night. This was his blanket attempt to say, “Yes. Yes I am.”

And for a second, you worry. Is Manish done? Has he taken his blindfold off, put down his stick and gone into the house for good? No more wild swings and misses?

And then you realize it is his raison d’etre. He’ll be back. And – like this guy – he’ll be gloriously mistaken.


Report: Brady and Gisele spotted on Italian island of Capri


Report: Brady and Gisele spotted on Italian island of Capri

Anyone know any good receivers Tom Brady can work out with on Capri?

With a little over a week left before he can return to the Patriots, Brady and wife, model Gisele Bundchen, were spotted in a restaurant on the island of Capri in Italy in photos published by TMZ.

Brady, of course, is serving his NFL-imposed, four-game Deflategate suspension. He will be allowed to return to the Patriots practice facility on Monday, Oct. 3 and is expected to play in the game in Cleveland on Oct. 9.

Last week, Brady traveled to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to serve as honorary captain for the Wolverines game against Colorado. 


Devin McCourty slams the idea Tom Brady is a 'system QB'

Devin McCourty slams the idea Tom Brady is a 'system QB'

You’ve probably heard the word reductive? Just a fancy way of saying something is being grossly oversimplified.

We’ve got a clear case of reductive reasoning right under our noses this week.

The thinking goes that, because Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett combined to win three games for the Patriots this year and Matt Cassel won 11 in 2008, Tom Brady is merely a schmoe who happened to be in the right place at the right time in 2001, plugged into a can’t-miss system.

Tom Brady is...a system quarterback.

MORE PATRIOTS: Brissett's thumb injury "minor"
Belichick gives game ball, bear hug to Brissett
Report: Brady, Gisele spotted on Italian island of Capri


Patriots safety Devin McCourty was presented with this piece of reductive logic Friday on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football program (nice to see two-thirds of a Quick Slants reunion with McCourty and our great friend Kay Adams).

McCourty’s response?

“That may be taking it a little too far,” said McCourty. “Just a system guy? That’s wrong. Obviously, everyone knows Tom Brady’s legend. His game speaks for itself. We obviously can’t wait to have him back in the locker room, he’s the leader on our team. To say that is ridiculous. Obviously, here in New England we find ways to win. It’s a little different here without Tom but to try to say he’s a system quarterback I don’t even think you should waste your time asking questions like that.”

For anyone who’d like a more detailed dismissal of the notion of Brady being a system guy, let’s look at the season that is most often used to discredit Brady’s singular excellence, 2008.

In 2007, the Patriots set NFL records for points (589), touchdowns (75), highest point-differential (315), Tom Brady set the NFL record for touchdown passes (50) and Randy Moss set the record for touchdown catches (23). The team recorded the NFL’s first 16-0 regular season and got to 18-0 before losing the Super Bowl.
In 2008, the Patriots scored 410 points, put up 43 touchdowns, Cassel threw for 21 touchdowns (Moss catching 11 of them) and the team won five fewer games than when Brady was there. I mean, 11-5 is still pretty good even if those Patriots did miss the playoffs, but the offense was barely half as effective.

Every team has a system. Every quarterback is a system guy. You know what system the Texans run? The same system the Patriots run. They didn’t score on Thursday. You know who else was a system quarterback? Joe Montana. And Steve Young.

Anyway, McCourty also had this to say about Bill Belichick and the trait that sets him apart.

“Consistency,” said McCourty. “You come into a short week, third-string quarterback, rookie quarterback, I think a lot of people would be expecting the head coach to come in and try to draw up all these different things you have to do, give you a big Kumbaya speech. He came in the same way he was three years ago, week one, week, two and let us know, ‘We need to do this, this and this and we can win the game.’ I think as players, you see that and the head coach comes in focused and you say, ‘Oh, he knows. We’ll follow him. We’ll do these things and see how it turns out. Over the years you see it. You do those things, you come out as a winner.”

Good system.