During last week’s appearance on The Greg Hill Show, CBS analyst and WFAN host Boomer Esiason maintained that he didn’t think Cam Newton and the Patriots were a great match.
It looked like a pretty good match on Sunday, though, as Newton completed 15 of 19 passes for 155 yards while also running 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-11 win over the Dolphins.
So given his previous reservations, was Esiason surprised?
“Not really,” Esiason said Monday morning on The Greg Hill Show. “I knew, and I think we all knew, that Josh McDaniels would come up with something that would play to Cam Newton’s skill set. Sure enough, when he’s taking off for 75 yards -- I don’t think Tom Brady has had 75 yards in 10 years running the football for the New England offense. You adapt, you adjust, and you try to put the player that you have at the most important position on the field in the best situation for him to have success. It turned out great.”
Esiason noted that Miami wasn’t the toughest opponent, though, and made sure to give the Patriots’ defense some credit as well.
“They didn’t play a great Miami team,” he said. “Their defense was awesome yesterday, I will say. I think that’s going to be the strength of their team. Cam’s going to continue to learn and get more and more comfortable. It’ll be tougher when they play tougher competition, but I just thought yesterday was what I would call a very solid win that was not surprising, especially with the way the defense played.”
Esiason had high praise for McDaniels’ offensive game plan, giving him an A+, but also noted that the Patriots asked Newton to do a lot Sunday and that it will be interesting to see if he can hold up an entire season with that kind of workload.
“Coach Belichick is going to hate this. I’d give him an A+,” Esiason said. “Coach Belichick likes to keep everyone on edge, coaches included. But again, you’re playing to a man’s strength. Cam looked great. It’s one game out of 16. It’s a long season. They’re asking him to do a lot of physical stuff. One of the reasons why Cam has been hurt over the last two years is because of the physical stuff that he does bring to the game.
“So yesterday, he looked like the 2015 MVP, at least physically. I’m sure he made his share of mistakes that we didn’t see, that the coaches sees, whether it be maybe a wrong formation somewhere along the line or maybe a wrong snap count, something along those lines. Maybe he missed an audible here or there. But for the most part, what we saw was the athlete that we saw in 2015 that is a tremendous asset to have when used correctly, and certainly Josh McDaniels did that yesterday. I think as the season goes on, he’ll do more and more stuff.”