CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning. Esiason praised BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead for their performances in the Patriots' win over the Vikings on Sunday, and he said the Patriots have earned their spot atop the AFC.
"You're beating the best of the best," Esiason said. "You can't say right now that the New England Patriots aren't the best in the AFC. Their record not only amplifies that, but the teams that they're beating tells you that. Because they've beaten some of the best teams in football."
Esiason said he's not concerned that the Patriots will have a letdown next Sunday when they play the lowly Browns in Cleveland. "The Patriots aren't a normal team," he said. "They don't seem to get too caught up in everything that's going on around them. I guess the coach does a pretty good job of keeping a lid on it. He's not [Jets coach] Rex Ryan sitting there telling you that they're the best team in football. He's not [Buccaneers coach] Raheem Morris trying to tell his team, his fan base that they're the best team in the NFC. He just kind of goes about his daily routine and his business, and I think the players kind of follow that. I don't necessarily know that I could ever remember a time where the Patriots didn't beat somebody that they were supposed to beat."
Asked about Brett Favre's press conference Sunday that has drawn criticism for Favre's eagerness to talk about himself and his injuries, Esiason said: "Brett's got a lot on his plate, man. I think any of us who played the game completely appreciate who he is as a football player. I love the fact that he came back this year, because he does create stories, he does create drama. For those of us in the media, it makes it easy for us to talk about Brett. At the end of the day, I hear where you're coming from. I think most fans are probably tired of it. I think most people who cover the team probably are tired of it. And I understand it can be nauseating at times."
Esiason said Favre's desire to talk about his ailments and keep the focus on himself clearly is driving a wedge between him and his coaches and teammates. "You don't generally talk about your own injuries," Esiason said. "You leave that up to the coaches or the trainers, if in fact the trainers are allowed to talk to the media. It's always about keeping everything under your own roof and under your own hat, and not really expanding some of those thoughts. That's probably one of the reasons Brad Childress is a little bit miffed. And to say that that relationship is frayed is probably being a little bit kind.
"I would imagine that most of the players are sick of it," Esiason added. "Especially when you're losing. When you're winning, it's one thing. When you're losing — and I think you put the nail right on the head there — when you're talking about yourself in that context, I'm sure it's rubbing a few people the wrong way."
The Cowboys lost to the Jaguars on Sunday to fall to 1-6. Esiason said he likes Wade Phillips but wouldn't be surprised if the coach does not last the season in Dallas. "I would say that it's very much a chance because of the way they have looked the last two weeks," Esiason said, adding: "The team looks completely listless. ... I do believe the players in this case have overrun him and have quit on him. If the owner senses that and the fan base is loud enough, I would not be surprised to see something happen there and happen soon."