CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan and talked about the Patriots' dominant win over the Jets, what the Jets have to do going forward, and more news from around the NFL.
Esiason looked at the Patriots' performance over the last few games and said he thought they could be a Super Bowl contender, but he noted that they will have to prove it down the stretch.
“I see their last five games,” Esiason said. “Look who they beat. They beat the Jets twice, I think they beat the Bills, the Colts. They haven’t beaten many great teams but they’ve taken care of business. Meaning, they’ve done it on defense and special teams, they scored with those two units. The offense seems to be unstoppable, they’re running the ball exceptionally well.
"They go to Miami this week. Miami will give them a game. It’s a division game, it’s a road game. And then comes the real test Monday night against Houston. And we’ll find out pretty quickly in back-to-back weeks against Houston and San Francisco whether or not this team truly is a championship team. I’d say it is because they have the quarterback to do it. I wouldn’t place them in front of Houston and Denver just yet.”
Esiason addressed the Jets’ poor performance Thursday and said he was stunned New York played that way.
“I actually had to do that game and I just wanted to poke my eyes out," Esiason said. "It was unbelievable. It was unbearable, actually, to do a game like that because they are professional football players even though in that second quarter it didn’t look like it. When you have a bombastic coach who was really trying to put this franchise on the landscape over the last four years and they get beat like that, it’s a heavy dose of humble pie.”
Even if the Jets were to dump coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Esiason said it wouldn’t be easy to reorganize the team.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard to do,” Esiason said, adding: “The problems with their salary cap moving forward. Who they’ve given money to: Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, David Harris, a number of these guys have big, bloated guaranteed contracts for the year to come. Even if they get rid of their general manager and head coach, the next group of guys that comes in here has really got a major problem on their hands with long-term salaries. … Right now, it looks as bad as it’s been for a long time with Mike Tannenbaum here and Rex Ryan here and they have some major problems to address this offseason. But first they have to take care of business. They have to try to somehow get to 4-1 in these last five and at least feel a little bit better about themselves.”
Esiason doesn’t think that Sanchez is the option going forward for the Jets.
"He’s a reclamation project for anybody who comes in here," Esiason said. "I don’t know how Rex and Mike stay here with him as quarterback. It just doesn’t seem like it can work right now. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. … Under the current set of circumstances, it doesn’t look like he is the long-term future for the New York Jets.”
Esiason said that despite the public embarrassment that was Thursday’s performance by the Jets, it doesn’t mean Ryan will automatically be dismissed.
“If it looks as if the team has given up on him,” Esiason said, adding: "I think the owner has to make a decision on whether or not he can move forward with the same kind of atmosphere on this football team.”
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith: “I was against it. I think Alex Smith was 19-5, completing 70 percent of his passes this year. I understand why Jim did what he did. I think most San Francisco 49er fans were frustrated with Alex Smith. That his game didn’t have range down the field, there weren’t a lot of explosive plays. ... And then all of a sudden comes along this young, great kid who has got a terrific arm. He’s athletic. He’s big. He’s tall. He can move around in the pocket. He looks, to me, like its effortless when he throws the ball down the field.”
On whether the Falcons, after a shaky win Sunday, are a fraudulent team: “I wouldn’t say it’s fraudulent, every game is a tough game. … When you’re playing in your division, all these games are difficult. I think Tampa is one of the teams that is on the rise. They’ve got a good nucleus of young players. Yesterday, they couldn’t seal the deal against Atlanta in their building. I think Atlanta is the real deal. I don’t think they’re as good as San Francisco. I think that Green Bay and the Giants can give them a run for their money. … They might lose another game here or there, but they’re not going to lose home-field advantage.”
On whether having a high-profile backup QB drives the starter to play harder: “I think every quarterback, unless you’re a super-elite quarterback in the league like Tom Brady, needs that. To be comfortable with your performance under the current set of circumstances, you’re fooling yourself, you’re fooling your team.”
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tom Brady joined the show before his trip to Phoenix.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing Belichick's presser Saturday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNEMore from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
Television show writer of Showtime's "Shameless" and Boston native, Mike O’Malley unexpectedly calls Danny from California to react to Belichick’s press conference.More from this show