Boomer Esiason of CBS Sports made his weekly Monday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan to talk about the Patriots' 31-21 victory over the Broncos.
The Patriots offense was clicking for much of Sunday's game. Esiason said the running game has taken this offense to new levels.
"I see a Tom Brady who is so in sync with his offensive coordinator, and the ability to call the plays quickly, and has wide receivers that are getting themselves open and making big plays down the field," Esiason said. "You combine that with [Stevan] Ridley and [Brandon] Bolden and [Danny] Woodhead and [Shane] Vereen, now all of a sudden you've got yourself an explosive offense that is as balanced as any offense in football. … They are, from a competent standpoint, playing as competently offensively as they have ever played. And that's because of the balance that they bring to the table now."
There were some negatives Sunday, including a failure to convert on fourth-and-5 from the Denver 37 in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots allowed the Broncos an opportunity to get back in the game. Esiason questioned the decision to go for the first down there.
"In my estimation it was a 100 percent mistake," Esiason said. "Certainly after the fact, when the play doesn't work and then they have to give the ball to the Denver Broncos with good field position. Clearly, it was a mistake. This just doesn't make any sense as to why you would do what they did there. But in true Patriot fashion, somebody comes up with a play, somebody forces a fumble, and they go on to win it."
Added Esiason: "I love Bill Belichick, he knows more football than I will ever know, but in my estimation, the complete wrong call there, 100 percent wrong call there. If you don't believe you want to attempt a field goal and give them good field position, I get that. Just pooch punt it. Even if they just take it on the 20 and you make them go 80. Especially with the other quarterback on the other side."
Peyton Manning has played well in his return to the NFL, even if he isn't at 100 percent. Manning completed 31-of-44 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns and sparked a late comeback that ended when Willis McGahee fumbled away the ball at the New England 11 with 3:42 remaining.
"I will take an 80 percent healthy Peyton Manning over 90 percent of the quarterbacks in the NFL. That's how good he is," Esiason said. "I've always felt this about Peyton, especially when he plays the Patriots and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, that he's always had to significantly outplay Tom, because Tom is in a much more … consistent environment. He's got the better coaches, he's got the better players around him. Peyton Manning, this is his fifth game with a new team, with a new group of players. As well as he played yesterday, he wasn't the reason they lost. It was a few of his teammates who let him down."
Although the Broncos are 2-3, Esiason predicts they'll be playing in January.
"I've got to believe the they're going to get better as the season goes on, if you can believe that," he said. "I mean, offensively, they're as good as anybody in the league right now. But as they go on here, I do believe that they are the best team in the West. I do believe that they will be in the playoffs. And I would not be surprised to see Denver visiting New England in the first or second round of the playoffs."
Turning his attention to the Jets, Esiason said he'll be interested to see how Rex Ryan's crew performs against the Texans on Monday night.
"I think that their manhood and their pride have been challenged all week down here. And nobody, I mean nobody, especially Rex Ryan, likes that. I think it's the purest form of motivation, is when people are insulted and embarrassed. They'll give a tremendous effort tonight. … [But] the Jets don't have the horses to hang with the Houston Texans. They're one of the best teams in the league. When you lose two of your best players, Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis, that's a major, major problem for the New York Jets.
"Offensively, they don't have anything. They're a bunch of average players running around out there. Mark Sanchez, I believe they've ruined him as a quarterback right now. His confidence is just nowhere to be found. They may start off well tonight, but the more they play, the uglier it gets. And that just goes to show you just how far away they are in terms of personnel, and where they are as a franchise right now."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.
HOUR 3 - ESPN layoffs continue. One time Fauria didn't know Sage Steele's name so he called her "Rashard." ESPN has pretty much decided to punt on hockey. Marcus Smart responds to Jimmy Butler. Glenn dreams of the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in the offseason.
HOUR 4 - The guys kept us updated on the wave of ESPN firings. Paul was blocked by Pete Abe. Fauria still hates Dan Dakich. Will Gerald Green be a factor, again, tonight? The lawyer for Kyle Kennedy (Aaron Hernandez' rumored gay lover) Larry Army gave a press conference.
Some house cleaning is being done at ESPN as reports of employee cuts begin to come out. And how pissed/not pissed should Matt Barnes be?
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Buck and Reimer share their coming out stories and discuss the different ways they decided to reveal their sexualities. Buck waited until more than 30 years into his career, whereas Reimer announced he was gay during his second appearance on WEEI. On that note, Buck presses Reimer on whether he's exploiting his sexuality to further his career.
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show