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."
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg and Chris talk a ton of NFL Draft in hour 1 of the show. They discuss what the Pats might do with their early picks and get Mike Petraglia's thoughts on the issue as well.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Celtics loss in game one, and whether or not they can steal game two before returning to Boston on Thursday.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound you may have missed.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.