CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk briefly about footballs, the Super Bowl and what Sunday will bring. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
As a former NFL quarterback, Esiason weighed in on Deflategate, noting that people have been “manipulating the ball for as long as I can remember.”
“It goes all the way back to when I was playing,” he said. “They started playing with brand new balls out of the box, we were all angry about that. Then it was that the home team had to furnish the footballs, we were angry about that. Then it was Tom [Brady] and Peyton [Manning] who went to Roger Goodell back in 2006 and said, ‘Hey, we want to bring our own footballs.’ And I’ve been saying over the last five or six years, I don’t care if they’re underinflated, overinflated, the fact is when you look at those footballs, they all look like they’re 100 years old. They don’t look anything like the balls that we played with. So I think everybody has gained an advantage at the quarterback position.”
Esiason then mentioned that it sounded to him like “the officials didn’t really do their due diligence” in terms of checking the balls carefully.
Aside from the unrelenting talk of deflated footballs, the story this game is that both the Patriots and the Seahawks match up to an astonishing degree. For Esiason, it’s the strength of both secondaries that interests him most.
“I can’t remember the last time both defenses, in terms of the secondaries, had a decided advantage against the wide receivers,” he said, adding: “I think this is going to be a struggle for both of these offenses, and even Tom Brady said it last week, with Seattle, nothing’s easy, and the same thing can be said for the New England Patriots.
“The interesting thing here for me is whether or not Seattle can generate any sort of big play in their passing game. They were able to do that towards the end of the game against Green Bay and certainly did it in overtime. They did it against Carolina, but those secondaries aren’t nearly as good as the New England secondary.”
Esiason, who predicts a 23-20 Patriots victory, stressed that these are “the two best rosters in football” and that the game most likely will be down to the wire.
“This is why you went out and got Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis,” he said. “This is when you take a look at what Russell Wilson has been able to do in his young career. I believe this is going to be a great game. I think it’s going to go all the way down to the fourth quarter. I think it’s a field goal game, and I think the quarterback who has the ball last is going to have a chance to win the football game.”