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 check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run in the win over the Mets.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
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!
Schilling emailed Awful Announcing.
Florio gave us the latest on Brady vs Goodell.
The top stories of the day.
Jerod Mayo dropped by the studio to talk with Lou, Christian, and Gary about the stress that some guys go through on "cut-down" day. He also made fun of Christian for his focus on fashion, and how exaggerated he thought HBO's "Ballers" was.
Lou, Christian and Gary (and the rest of us) are all patiently waiting for Judge Berman to decide Tom Brady's future. The guys wonder.... What is he waiting for?
Jay Feely explains why he was in court with Tom Brady on Monday, and what was said in the robing room with Judge Berman.
We discuss the latest from Judge Berman in the deflategate case, and what it might mean.
We close out the Dale and Holley program with some of the best sound of the day that you may have missed.
We discuss the NFL's insistence and inconsistency when they continue to rely on the term 'integrity' throughout this deflategate process.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Danny Picard and Bill Speros discuss the state of the Boston Red Sox after taking two of three from the NY Mets, and the state of the Patriots after their third preseason game.More from this show
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.More from this show
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, reports on Twitter that the "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources." He went on SportsCenter to talk about his report. Mut and his callers reacted to the breaking newsMore from this show
Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford discuss the New England Patriots third preseason game from Friday night, in particular Tom Brady's performance. Also, the guys discuss the most interesting contact in Butch's phone and ESPN's different handling of Curt Schilling and Chris Mortensen.More from this show