CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason checked in for his weekly visit with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to dissect the Patriots' 52-28 victory over the Bills that ended New England's two game losing streak.
"I would think that the Patriots defense in particular probably heard a lot of criticism last week because of their performance the week before, and just like I guess the Patriot Way is is to go out there and do something about it," Esiason said. "It was extremely impressive all the way around."
New England's 1-2 punch of Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden came up big Sunday, as both running backs surpasses 100 yards.
"They've hit the home run with these two kids, and you could see it," Esiason said. "And now what you have between the two of them is you have a little bit of competition going on back and forth, which is I think every coach's dream scenario. … You talk about an embarrassment of riches. I don't necessarily know right now -- and I can't believe I'm saying this; we're at the quarter-pole, there's still a lot of football left to be played -- but is there a team with a better running tandem in football than the New England Patriots have right now?"
Looking around the division, Esiason said the Patriots have re-established their position as the elite team.
"Yesterday I think the AFC East presents a much clearer picture as to who's still on top in this division," Esiason said. "All three teams in the AFC [East] other than the Patriots all lost yesterday. The Miami Dolphins gave a hell of an effort out in Arizona, but the fact still remains as we sit here this morning that the New England Patriots reign supreme, and there's nobody even close to them right now."
Added Esiason: "[The Jets] just don't have a skill position player that scares anybody. And then when you're a defense like San Francisco is -- I mean, I don't know what people expected. I guess 34-0 was probably a little over the top; I think I said 27-10 on Friday and that it was not going to be pretty, and it certainly wasn't. So, I wasn't surprised.
"Buffalo right now, in my estimation, has got to be the second-best team, even though they got waxed yesterday. But it just kind of shows you how far behind everybody else is in the AFC East behind the Patriots."
The Patriots host Peyton Manning and the Broncos next Sunday. Esiason said the Broncos might be the best of the AFC West, but they're not at New England's level.
"I like the New England Patriots to beat them next week. I don't think that it really should be that close of a game," Esiason said. "But the fact remains that as long as the Denver Broncos are on the field against a lesser opponent, they'll win those games nine times out of 10. That's why I think they're still the best team in the AFC West."