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."
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Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
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Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?
Dunkin Donuts liked Christian's "bacon covered doughnut" idea. SNL does an ISIS skit. The Pittsburg Pirates issued a statement condemning "Jihadi John's" Pirates hat.
With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.
Barry Melrose joined the show to talk about the NHL trade deadline. Although Melrose likes the trade of Brett Connolly from Tampa to Boston, he thinks the team needs to make more moves to keep ahead of Florida, who just traded for Jaromir Jagr. He also weighs in on the job security of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins before the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
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