CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss Sunday's conference championship games. Esiason said Colts quarterback Peyton Manning displayed why he is the best in the league. "Peyton had a great game yesterday," Esiason said. "It took a while for him to figure all those things out that Rex Ryan was showing him, but once he did, and he unlocked the combo, it was like a track meet, and that was the last thing the Jets wanted to get themselves into." Added Esiason: "I would probably tell you it was the best playoff performance he's ever had."
Regarding the Jets, Esiason said the future looks bright, with a franchise quarterback in Mark Sanchez and a solid group around him. "Right now, the Jets, from a roster standpoint, with the exception of quarterback — because that's going to be a while before he gets better than Tom Brady — have passed the Patriots in young players who will be impact players as we move forward here."
In Sunday's other championship game, Vikings QB Brett Favre could not stay composed, throwing a key interception in the final minute of regulation. "That's the reckless and careless Brett Favre that we have seen throughout the years," Esiason said, noting that Favre had played more under control this season. "The interesting thing for me was the play before that. How the hell do you come out of a timeout and have 12 guys in the huddle?"
Esiason said the Saints were fortunate to come away with the victory, thanks in no small part to Minnesota miscues. "Turnovers in championship games is like gold in a down economy," Esiason said. "The only reason why the New Orleans Saints won yesterday was because — and I think this is obvious to every football fan out there — were those turnovers, including the last interception by Brett Favre in regulation."
There has been some grumbling about the overtime format after the Saints scored on the opening possession of the extra period, but Esiason said he does not want to see any changes. "I believe it should stay the way it is," Esiason said. "The [Vikings] defense had a chance yesterday for an interception; they didn't make the play. The special teams could have pinned the Saints kickoff return team inside the 20. ... The other guys get paid, too. I don't understand why two-thirds of the team should be let off the hook [when] they're not getting their job done."
Looking ahead two weeks, Esiason said the Colts are a clear favorite to win the Super Bowl. "I think Indianapolis' defense is better than the New Orleans defense, Indianapolis should be able to move the ball right down the field on them, Indianapolis should also be able to contain the New Orleans offense," he said. "Yesterday was not a great performance by any stretch of the imagination by the New Orleans Saints. I thought it was a great second half, in particular, by the Indianapolis Colts. I like Indianapolis, and I like them to score at least 30 points in the Super Bowl."
To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
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