Eric Mangini has a more substantial history with the New England Patriots than most within the football world.
Mangini served on the Patriots’ coaching staff for five seasons, which included three Super Bowl championships. These successes parlayed into a pair of head-coaching gigs with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, with whom Mangini went a combined 3-5 against New England during his respective stints with each team.
As such, Mangini possesses an above-average understanding of the Patriots’ method of operation. And during Monday’s edition of “First Things First,” he explained what an opposing team must to in order to take down Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Co.
“With New England, you have got to give them something they haven’t seen,” Mangini said. “You have to. If Tom Brady comes out and has pre-snap information, you have zero chance of winning the game. Because if he knows what you’re in, it’s going to the right place and he doesn’t have ego. He doesn’t need to give (Rob) Gronkowski a certain amount of balls. He throws to the open guy. So if you don’t have change-ups and you can’t deal with them bringing out something different defensively, it doesn’t matter how much more talented you are. You have real problems.”
The Patriots certainly will have their hands full in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, as the Kansas City Chiefs offensively can beat you in a number of ways given their loaded arsenal of weapons. Then again, the Los Angeles Chargers boast a pretty dangerous collection themselves, and the Patriots convincingly downed them Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
But even if the Chiefs’ offense finds success, it might be nullified by their porous defense, which could have significant trouble slowing down the Patriots’ attack. And as Mangini pointed it out, it’s anyone’s guess as to how Brady will opt to carve up the opposition.