Sports Illustrated NFL columnist Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni and discused the final weekend of the regular season and the playoff picture.
The Patriots have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the home-field advantage that comes with it, but King noted the lack of importance regarding home playoff games in recent history.
"I would argue, after the last seven years, what really does home field mean?" King said. "You had a 6 seed seven years ago, the Steelers, win the Super Bowl. You had the Giants twice go on the road for a total of five games in January, win them all and go on to win the Super Bowl. You had the Packers a couple of years ago as a 6 seed go on the road for all three games in the playoffs. So, I'm not really sure what home field means.
"I think what is important at this time of year is who's playing the best. I would much rather be the New England Patriots traveling to Houston, right now, than the Houston Texans hosting the playoffs. Because the Patriots are playing so much better than Houston right now."
The Patriots also could be eliminated from contention for one of the AFC's top two seeds by the time they take the field Sunday at 4:25 to play the Dolphins. However, King said it's unlikely they'd sabotage the game, even if dropping to the fourth spot might give them what appears to be easier matchups in the first two rounds.
Said King: "Honestly, think about it for a second. If you're sitting there, and you're the New England Patriots right now, and if this were even going through their mind -- 'Hey, let's lose so that Baltimore can jump over us' -- it's hard for me to imagine that especially Tom Brady would come out and blister his team in Jacksonville for playing poorly and then on the last game of the year go out and either purposely lay an egg or play Ryan Mallett and call plays that they hope don't work.
"It's just very hard. Even if Ryan Mallett were to play, it's very hard to try to lose a game. And I'd be very surprised if the Patriots did it."
Touching on the situation with the struggling Jets and Friday's New York Daily News report that Rex Ryan will ask the team to spend some money this offseason to fix the offense or else find another coach, King said Ryan isn't the quitting type.
"Watching Rex Ryan over the last month of so since the Patriots handed him his lunch on Thanksgiving, watching him day to day and listening to what he's saying in talking to the press and talking publicly, he's a different guy," King said. "He's totally chastened. It's like he's a beaten dog. That's what he sounds like to me.
"As I look at him, I basically say, this is not him. And there's no question in my mind that whoever the general manager is, whatever happens, early in this offseason he's going to say to [owner] Woody Johnson, he's going to say to the personnel brain trust -- Terry Bradway, Mike Tannenbaum and whoever else is brought in -- 'You have got to beef up this offense. We have been playing with a minor league wide receiver corps this whole year, just an average-at-best running back in Shonn Greene, an offensive line that's way too leaky, and quarterbacks who stink. Figure it out or else please do me a favor and put me out of my misery.' But Rex Ryan is from the old school. He ain't quitting. I guarantee you that.
"I don't really think he wants to be fired. I think what he wants is for this thing to get fixed. Being in New York, Woody Johnson has to realize now that he's got to find some way, whether it be free agency or through the draft, he's got to find some way to get better on offense fast."
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder and home run machine, Mookie Betts, after Mookie's three home run game propels the Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2.
Danny recaps the Red Sox 7-2 win over the Orioles
Danny Picard recaps the Red Sox 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
John, Gerry and Kirk discuss the Red Sox win over Baltimore on Memorial Day Monday and the team's surge to a two game lead in the AL East
Gerry, John and Kirk are astounded at Howard Bryant's latest effort in ESPN the Magazine. Are patriotic displays at ballparks stifling athletes? What?
John, Gerry and Kirk discuss the killing of Harambe the gorilla to save a four-year old boy. Was there another option besides shooting? Should the boy's parents be held accountable?
ERod is back on the mound for the Sox tonight, and the guys break down what the expectations should be for the young pitcher's first major league start after his injury.
The guys talk about Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, and also give you their thoughts on the upcoming NBA Finals rematch between the Warriors and the Cavs.
ESPN's Howard Bryant is release a feature story about sports teams honoring the military and police at their games and he thinks those ceremonies do not belong in sports. Glenn, Lou and Christian go at Bryant and talk about why he's wrong.
We discuss Jackie Bradley's leave of absence to be with his wife for the birth of his first child, and that drums up the old caveman debate about whether men should miss work while their wives give birth.
We discuss the frustration of Clay Buchholz in moving to the pen, and whether or not this is the right move not only for him but for the Sox as a whole.
We discuss the ending of the Western Conference finals, and also look ahead to KD's plans and the NBA Finals match-up.
Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.
Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.
The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.
Mike Mutnansky, Jon Meterparel and Butch Stearns discuss the Celtics and their level of interest in Kevin Durant after Oklahoma City's losses in games five and six; also what should the Celtics do with the third pick in the draft coming up in June?More from this show