CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan Monday morning and talked about Monday night’s Patriots-Texans game, the injury to Julian Edelman and more news from around the NFL.
Some in Houston are calling this game the biggest in the history of Texans franchise. Esiason said putting the game on a pedestal could give the Texans a needed edge.
"I’d say [it's] an advantage, I would imagine. Simply because maybe it gives a little bit more focus," Esiason said. "They have room to play with here. They can lose this game and it wouldn’t kill their season. … Tonight, they’re going to have to be great on the run game. The best way to play defense against Tom Brady and his offense is to control the football. That’s the kind of team the Texans are. But what really concerns me about them is their defense. Their defense has been kind of ripped up pretty good the last couple of weeks. A lot of that was due to injury, and they’re going to get some guys back it looks like tonight.
"Their team is a very good football team. I know they’re looking at this as a major measuring stick for them because, quite frankly, if they can come away with this victory, I think in the back of their minds they feel like they can probably beat anybody and get all the way to the Super Bowl."
Esiason noted how important the running game will be for the Texans -- and how important it will be for the New England defensive line to stand tall.
"They’re going to fall back on Arian Foster, and rightfully so," Esiason said. "He’s one of the best running backs in football. That’s what they do. That’s Gary Kubiak’s background from Denver. It will be a tremendous fight for Vince Wilfork, the defensive line of the New England Patriots are going to have to come up with stop after stop after stop because they will not stop running the football. This is a running game where the offensive linemen like to dive at the knees of the defensive linemen of the opposing team. So, there is going to be a lot of nastiness on that line of scrimmage tonight. And it’s going to be pretty intense, I would imagine."
Esiason said the key to the game could be turnovers, which neither team allows often. He said it’s important for the Texans to keep Brady off the field.
"Neither one of these teams turns the ball over," Esiason said. "So, obviously if you get a turnover or something, especially in the negative part of the field for one of these offenses, that’s going to be a huge thing if in fact that happens. But if not, first and foremost, how well is Arian Foster running and is he gaining big chunks of yards. … Is everything kind of keeping Tom Brady and his offense off the field. If that’s happening, then it could be a long night for the Patriots. If that’s not happening, then it could be a long night for the Houston defense. I do like New England to win the game tonight. I think it’s going to be high scoring. I think Tom Brady will have the opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter."
Esiason said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will be a problem for the Patriots, and that New England needs to be aware of his presence at all times.
"J.J. Watt is a pain in the neck," Esiason said. "It’s going to be a war on the offensive line for the New England Patriots. And they know it. … Any time you have a great, active defensive tackle who can move all around that offensive line and create mismatches for you, you have to be aware where he is at all times. You have got to be sure you have enough guys going his way. You’ve got to make sure that it’s not usually one-on-one because he’s better than most offensive guards and tackles. They’re very good up front, there is no question about that. This is going to be a late-fourth-quarter game. I believe the quarterback that has the ball in his hands late in this game is going to win it."
The injury that will keep Julian Edelman sidelined could be a major stumbling block for the Patriots.
"It’s going to be interesting to see how they replace that," Esiason said. "Because Edelman has done so many little, quality things for them out of the backfield, on special teams, catching balls from the slot and things of that nature. Donte' Stallworth, I don’t know if he’ll play tonight or not, but he is not Julian Edelman. Or certainly not what Julian Edelman has become to be in this offense. To me, that is a major, major loss for them and we’ll see how they react to that.”
Matt Schaub is undefeated on the road this season and heads into Foxboro looking to lead the Texans to 12-1. Esiason said he doesn’t think Schaub is an elite quarterback.
"No, not yet," Esiason said. "I think he probably is a top-12 quarterback, which would put him in the upper 50 percent of the league, obviously. … He’s kind of an under-the-radar guy. He’s more of a play-action passing guy. He’s not a guy that you’re going to have drop back 45 times out of the shotgun and say, ‘Go win the game for me.’ … He’s never played in a playoff game. These are opportunities for him now to show that he belongs and try to win a game on the road. I think it will be difficult for him tonight."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' tendency to blitz: "He can’t help himself. He’s going to blitz somewhere tonight. I always think the best thing to do with Tom Brady is not blitz him. I always think it’s better to sit back and just kind of play the rope-a-dope with Brady like [Bill] Belichick plays on [Peyton] Manning or Belichick plays on any other great quarterback and tries not to force the issue. And to see whether the quarterback in question is going to make a mistake. Now, obviously it’s a pick your poison with Tom. He can rip you when you’re blitzing. He can also be patient just to keep taking underneath stuff until you decide that you’re going to blitz and then he’ll find somebody open."
On the Ravens, who suffered a 31-28 overtime loss to the Redskins on Sunday: "Boy, they caught a heck of a break yesterday with Pittsburgh not showing up. Who saw that coming? And, of course, Dallas beating Cincinnati. I think by process of elimination, they’re going to make the playoffs, but they’re going to be a one-and-done team. This defense is not what it used to be. … They have a quarterback who is frustratingly inconsistent. … Joe Flacco, even though he had his opportunity last year, he’s waiting for that big contract right now. If you’re Baltimore, there’s no way in the world you give him an extension to the tune of $15 million a year."
On the Jets after Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Jaguars: "I know it wasn’t pretty offensively. We had virtually no passing game. It looks like they lost their second-round pick, Stephen Hill, yesterday. I didn’t see anything from Mark Sanchez that made me feel any better about his performance than I felt on Friday. It’s a major work in progress."
On the death of Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown and the arrest of his teammate, Josh Brent, on charges of intoxication manslaughter: "It is about personal responsibility, as far as I’m concerned. Personal responsibility has been lost somewhere along the line here. It is a microcosm of society in my estimation. … These things are certainly going to garner a lot of attention. … But he knows better, Josh Brent. He obviously had a DUI back in college when he was in Illinois. He’s going to have a long time to think about this."
On the AFC wild card race: "I still think it’s going to be Pittsburgh. It’s a team with nine lives. … Yesterday was just a horrific loss for them. I honestly believe that Ben Roethlisberger will somehow get his team to the playoffs. So, it will be Indianapolis and Pittsburgh."
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.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Christian talks about the Patriots visiting the White House and Gronk interrupting Sean Spicer during his press conference. Aaron Hernandez was the big story of the day and alot of people had their theories of what happened and why now. The Bruins lose another close one to the Senators and Christian talks about how the offense needs to perform better because they got a great game from the goalie and defense.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
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.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut believes Hernandez may have killed himself because of a threat. Trump is “done” with Brady after the quarterback skipped the White House visit.More from this show
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.More from this show