CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday ahead of the Patriots' Monday night matchup against the Chiefs. On paper, the Patriots have a strong advantage over the Chiefs, especially since Kansas City starting quarterback Matt Cassel will not play after requiring surgery to repair an injury to his right hand.
Backup quarterback Tyler Palko will start in Cassel's place. Palko has made 13 career passes in two years in the NFL and completed nine of them. He was ranked 31st out of 32 backup quarterbacks by Pro Football Weekly entering the season.
"This is a team that has no chance offensively," Esiason said of the Chiefs. "Offensively they're terrible. They get no big plays. They have guys that are capable of it. Dwayne Bowe, certainly, Steve Breaston are both capable players.
"But the fact that they're going to be playing with Tyler Palko tonight, he's going to make his first start as an NFL quarterback, leads me to believe that there's not going to be a lot of offense generated. On the other side, it's Romeo Crennel who's the defensive coordinator. I think he's not very creative. He just sits back. And I would imagine that Tom Brady should have one of his highest completion percentage nights assuming that the weather is going to be OK, which I think it is."
Brady certainly seemed excited to face the Kansas City defense, as he smiled when asked about playing Crennel's defense during an interview last week. The Chiefs enter Monday's game following two tough losses. Their most recent loss came against the Broncos, as Tim Tebow completed just 2-of-8 passes but still completed a 56-yard touchdown pass to lead Denver to a 17-10 win.
The week before the Denver loss, Kansas City was roughed up by the previously winless Dolphins and suffered a 31-3 loss. Because of the Chiefs' recent record, Esiason noted that motivation could be an issue for the Patriots.
"I would always think that when you're a coach and you're playing against a team like Kansas City who comes in, doesn't have a great record and has not played great the last few weeks, who got beat by Tim Tebow, you sit there and you say to yourself, 'How do I motivate these players? How do I get them at the level they were last week?' " Esiason said. "I can't imagine that Andre Carter is going to have 4½ sacks tonight. I just, I don't see it happening because because I don't see that fever pitch is going to be there for the Patriots, but I do think that the Patriots should run away with the game offensively, which will make their defensive performance a little bit easier to deal with."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On what it's like to play defense for a team like Kansas City: "There are some players on Kansas City that I would imagine if you were a defensive player for the Kansas City Chiefs, you'd be really, really frustrated. The one thing I will say about Rex Ryan's defense, Rob Ryan's defense, they do a lot of different things. They bring blitzes. Dick LeBeau's defense in Pittsburgh, a lot of blitzes. I think defensive players love playing in that kind of style for the Patriots and for the Kansas City Chiefs who I think are worse than the Patriots when it comes to being totally vanilla. It's all about keeping the ball in front of them, and if you're just patient, I would think that a guy like Tom Brady will have many opportunities for big plays tonight."
On the way the playoff picture is shaping up for the Patriots: "When you take a look at the Patriots' schedule and you take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers' schedule and the Houston Texans' schedule, the toughest team that either one of those three teams have to play is on the road at San Francisco and that's the Pittsburgh game. The rest of the teams' games are all going to be underdogs to those three teams.
"I think you're looking at one, two and three. That's going to be the lineup I believe in the playoff schedule in the AFC. I think it's going to be New England will be the No. 1 seed. That's the way it looks like right now based on the schedule."
On if Mark Sanchez needed another year of college: "You know what? Part of me says yes, but the other part of me, he goes into New England last year and beats Brady on his own field in the playoffs, he beats Peyton Manning on his own field in the playoffs. The year before was Carson Palmer and it was Philip Rivers he went on the road to beat. There are moments when you look at Mark and you say to yourself, 'Wow, this kid has everything you need.' But then there are those moments in games where he makes boneheaded plays and throws interceptions and is inaccurate. For any quarterback in the league to be under 60 percent completion who has been in the league for three years and who has Plaxico Burress, Dustin Keller, Shonn Greene and Santonio Holmes on the field with him, to me, that sheds a lot of light on a guy that seems to be very anxious and is not playing with great poise. When you have that anxiety that gets the better of you, this is the performance that you see on the field."
On Rex Ryan's verbal debacles: "I said last week, enough with the apologies. They start to ring hollow after a while. ... This is not the only time in some way, shape or form that the Jets had to internally discipline him, and now the league is going to take issue with some of this stuff. You know, maybe this is why Rex wasn't hired in the first place. You know, Baltimore had him there. They saw him for many, many years. We all know Rex and we all loved Rex as a defensive coordinator and he was a personality. I don't want to discount what he has done for the Jets, but every time something like this happens, you now know why he wasn't hired before this."
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Rob Bradford talks with both Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister, about the fascinating project the reliever undertook in the final month of 2016. Barnes explains how he, with the help of others, made a concerted effort to emulate Dellin Betances of the Yankees and how that exercise helped turn around the former No. 1 pick's season.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Red Sox broadcaster Dave O'Brien joins the show.
Hour 3. The guys take more calls on transgender bathrooms. Evan Drellich joins the show...again.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.
Max Kellerman rips Pats fans. Skip Bayless says Bill Belichick is "good, not great." And Dan Le Batard feels the heat from Keyshawn Johnson regarding his criticisms of Magic Johnson.
It took a few hours, but Glenn finally starts to agree with Lou and Mut about Danny Ainge.
Obviously the Celtics aren't expected to overtake the Cavs in the East, but the guys wonder if the team is trying to get a little bit better each year, or hold onto their assets until LeBron is over the hill.
We spoke with Danny Ainge and discussed all aspects of the Celtics, trading deadline, playoffs and beyond.
We close out Freestyle Friday with more Pats, Sox and Celtics talk.
We continue freestyle Friday with Brady and Jimmy G trade talk, plus more on the Celtics and the Vancouver Canucks have the mumps!
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Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap Wednesday and Thursday's K&C shows on location in Ft. Myers
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be.
Dino reunites with the guys at spring training.More from this show
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.More from this show