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."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
The guys discuss their easiest college classes.
After comments by Nick Caserio, the guys discuss if the Patriots should adjust their defensive approach after the additions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
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Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.More from this show
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