Patriots

Curran: No surprise Deflategate 2.0 over before it began

Curran: No surprise Deflategate 2.0 over before it began

It was reported Sunday morning that the New York Giants tested a pair of footballs during their game last week with the Steelers, found that they were underinflated and were taking things up with the “proper authorities” according to FOX’ Jay Glazer.

And within an hour, that report was stamped out by the NFL’s Axis of Evil, the league office, ESPN and the Giants.

That could have been fun. But we all knew it wouldn’t be. The aim of Deflategate wasn’t making sure that no team ever competed with a football under 12.5 PSI. It wasn’t about a noble desire to protect the integrity of the game and make sure no team doctored footballs. It was about agenda-driven individuals from the Ravens and Colts dropping a match in a tinderbox of league-level Patriots hate. From there, dimes were dropped and propaganda was pushed and the blaze got out of control so quickly that the NFL Commissioner decided that, if he couldn’t snuff it out, he might as well watch it burn and collect the insurance money himself. Ultimately, it blew up and everybody got scarred.

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Here are three quick thoughts on the stillborn scandal that never was:

- Giants owner John Mara puffed his chest and finger-wagged during Deflategate but ultimately expressed regret that the whole thing wound up hijacking attention from the league. Mara won’t want to look like he’s not supporting his coaching staff but, as a member of the league’s management council, he knows that another mudwrestle over air pressure won’t help the “Shield.” And that’s what it’s all about.

- The Patriots' “priors” were held against them in terms of the league’s intensity in presuming guilt, conducting their investigation and meting out punishment. Consider the Steelers. Head coach Mike Tomlin paid a $100K fine for tripping Ravens kickoff returner Jacoby Jones in 2013 when Jones was en route to a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger who – as every blathering former quarterback told us during Deflategate would have been the one ordering ball deflation – had off-field behavior issues that resulted in a suspension in 2010. Would those have entered into the league’s mind as the Patriots’ videotaping incident from 2007 did?

- The NFL demonstrated how fully it moved the goalposts from air pressure to “chain of command” in their statement refuting the Glazer report. "The officiating game ball procedures were followed and there were no chain of command issues," the NFL statement said. "All footballs were in compliance and no formal complaint was filed by the Giants with our office." Initially, the Deflategate investigation was about soft footballs, nothing else. When light dawned on Marblehead at the league office and they realized that stuff shrinks in the cold, they abandoned the PSI information and instead decided they’d monitor whether anyone say, took a leak, before getting to the field. With that circumstantial, subjective, suspicion-fomenting standard established, waaaayyyy easier to pick and choose your targets.

 

Ex-Pats Podcast: Patriots need to "burn the tape" after embarrassing loss to Titans

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Ex-Pats Podcast: Patriots need to "burn the tape" after embarrassing loss to Titans

NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Phil Perry is joined by Rob Ninkovich to break down the Patriots 34-10 Week 10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

2:51 - "This is the worst loss in November under Bill Belichick." Phil observes that the Patriots seemed confused in the locker room after the tough loss to the Titans.

4:12 - Rob Ninkovich says that the big-picture takeaway from the loss is that the Patriots "got their ass kicked" and that they need to "take that whole day and bury it."

7:09 - Phil wonders if this team has a problem with focus based on their poor performance on the road throughout the season. Nink makes some suggestions for what the Patriots can do to mix it up and what the defense needs to do differently to get better results.

15:38 - "Did the inside knowledge the Titans had of the Patriots on their calls on the offensive line have an impact?"

22:46 - Phil and Nink discuss what Josh Gordon has brought to the team and if he's figured out the Patriots offense yet.

26:39 - Nink breaks down the failures of the Patriots defense, including the shortcomings of the pass rush and the tough day Stephon Gilmore had in the secondary.

36:25 - Ninkovich on Dion Lewis' postgame comments: "That's bulletin board material if they play the Titans again."

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Phil Perry's report card for Pats Week 10 loss to the Titans

Phil Perry's report card for Pats Week 10 loss to the Titans

Phil Perry gives his grades for the Patriots embarrassing 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE