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Boomer Esiason: Patriots Sorely Lacking In Big Play Capability

BOSTON (CBS) - CBS Sports football analyst and WFAN host Boomer Esiason joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich show Monday morning for comprehensive Patriots talk, as well as a look around the rest of the league.

The Patriots were the victors over the Raiders on Sunday, but a 16-9 win over the worst franchise in pro sports doesn't exactly excite a fan base with Super Bowl expectations.

Still, 2-1 is better than 1-2, and Boomer Esiason tried cheering New England fans up with his "a win is a win" mentality.

"I know you probably don't feel good about your team and the way it won yesterday, but here's the deal; we are a long way from Week 1 aren't we? When they lost to the Miami Dolphins, and the Dolphins sat atop the AFC East feeling like they've accomplished something. The point being is that things change dramatically and quickly in the NFL. I think the Patriots, even though they didn't look great, and haven't looked great offensively this season, still sit atop the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills. That's the amazing thing about this game. You don't have to look pretty winning."

Tom Brady has been criticized for not seeing the whole field and locking in on two receivers, and the offensive line has been taken to task as well. But with every position interdependent of one another, what we're seeing now is a complete breakdown on offense, one currently without an identity at the moment.

Another problem Esiason sees for the Patriots is big-play capability, or lack thereof.

"I think Tom is trying to find somebody down the field. They're limiting the plays that Rob Gronkowski is involved in right now, that to me is why the offense is still a struggle. He played just 44, 45 snaps yesterday. The more he's on the field the more apt they are to get the ball down the field. Right now, that to me is the struggle. Where is the wide receiver that's going to make a play down the field? Julian Edelman has been great. He's been awesome. But they still need somebody to stretch the field, and they're just not getting those types of plays from the offense. There's no continuity and no fluidity for the offense. There's nothing there that is leading to big plays down the field. You have to find somebody that can score a touchdown from 40 or 50 yards out. That's the problem with the Patriots. They have nobody that can make a big play on offense."

Esiason concludes that the lack of big plays stems from the offensive line's inability to protect Tom Brady, and wonders how the loss of Logan Mankins has impacted that group.

Listen below for the full discussion, including Boomer's take on Roger Goodell, Ray Lewis and the Super Bowl rematch:

Boomer Esiason Interview


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