Tomase: Random thoughts on Pats, including our dumbest (like a fox?) Belichick conspiracy theory yet

John Tomase
September 28, 2018 - 10:46 am

Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

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Random thoughts while peering out from the covers to see if Brett Kavanaugh has stopped yelling yet. . . .

The Patriots cannot, will not, no way, no how lose to the Dolphins this weekend. Even those of us who believe the woeful start to this season "feels different" than past stumbles can't see the Pats dropping three in a row, especially against a Dolphins team that's flying high after a 3-0 start against mediocre teams -- the Titans with only half a Marcus Mariota, the Jets, and the Raiders.

There's real 4-0 -- the Rams -- and there's fraudulent 3-0 and that's Miami. The ship will be righted for one week in Foxboro, anyway, and then we'll see what the Patriots look like with a healthy Julian Edelman . . .

Speaking of the Rams, $76 million doesn't buy as much on defense as it used to, but hoo boy, that offense is out of this world. On Thursday against a solid Vikings defense, quarterback Jared Goff threw for almost 500 yards and five touchdowns. The Rams have speed to burn all over the field, and watching Brandin Cooks carve up the Vikings D at all three levels makes you wonder if the Patriots really got the most out of him last year. . . .

I'm starting to come around on the lunatic conspiracy theory that Bill Belichick is making life tough on Tom Brady out of spite. How else to explain a winter purging of Cooks, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis, and the near trade of tight end Rob Gronkowski?

I wouldn't put it past Belichick to be planning a post-Brady future. Consider the audacity to think, "I may be 66, but I'm gonna be here after you're gone, because the clock is ticking, Tommy boy, and I can do this forever."

Just imagine if the Pats had transformed the capital gained from Cooks and Gronk into Baker Mayfield, while leaving Brady with no weapons. That scenario sounds plausible, and there's no other way to interpret it than as an F-U to TB12.

In any event, Belichick clearly wanted no part of moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo, and perhaps Brady is paying for it now. . . .

Speaking of Jimmy G., the crowd who labeled him frail can take a victory lap, because he blew out his ACL and is done for the season. It's worth noting that Brady has suffered exactly two serious injuries in his career -- a sprained ankle in the 2001 AFC title game vs. the Steelers, and an ACL injury of his own in the 2008 opener.

Garoppolo, by contrast, has started 10 games and failed to finish two of them. A separated shoulder left him with six glorious quarters to open 2016, and last Sunday's ACL will sideline him all year. There's something to be said for dependability, but I can't think of any clever phrases that capture its importance. . . .

Wonder if Josh McDaniels regrets ditching the Colts? Lots of rumors percolated late last season that the coordinators recognized a sinking ship and were preparing to flee, a la Matt Patricia to Detroit. But McDaniels reversed course at the 11th hour. Now he's overseeing an offense in tatters with an unhappy quarterback and a head coach who may not be going anywhere anytime soon. . . .

I'm trying to decide the more likely scenario: that the Red Sox bullpen discovers its mojo just in the nick of time, a la the veteran 2003 group that followed a horrible regular season with a sublime playoffs, or that starters such as Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright fill the gaps left by the struggles of Joe Kelly and Co.

It really has to be Option 2, right? There's no Mike Timlin or Alan Embree or Scott Williamson in this current bullpen (those three allowed just 1 run between them in 20 1/3 innings in 2003), unless Kelly catches fire like he did the last two scoreless postseasons.

The Astros illustrated the starters-will-save-us model last postseason, with Lance McCullers delivering over 20 effective innings, including 10 innings and one run vs. the Yankees in the ALCS. . . .

Do the Red Sox have an Ian Kinsler problem? The veteran second baseman arrived at the deadline as a clear upgrade offensively and defensively, but since straining a hamstring in early August, he has produced next to nothing. He's batting .239 with a .570 OPS since returning on Aug. 17. That actually makes Kinsler a worse offensive option than the two men he was acquired to displace, Brock Holt (.715 OPS at 2B) and Eduardo Nunez (.666). . . .

We have reached a new era of Celtics basketball. The eternal wait for the Philly picks, or the incremental improvements like Al Horford, have given way to a team and roster that are SET.

The Celtics don't need to be in on Jimmy Butler, because they dress three players -- Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown -- with ceilings that equal Butler's, especially down the road.

Assuming they can re-sign Kyrie Irving, and signals appeared encouraging this week, the hunt for the perfect roster is over. The Celtics have enough transcendent talent to win a title right now, which means the next couple of years will be spent not so much scouring the internet for Anthony Davis rumors, but simply sitting back and enjoying what Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have built. . . .

Has Kavanaugh stopped ranting about the Clintons yet? Who knew the guiding hand of impartial jurisprudence was actually a clenched fist?

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