Patriots

Boomer Esiason ‘not quitting’ on Patriots after loss to Cowboys

"You guys can all quit on your team if you want. I’m not quitting on the Patriots."

Mac Jones Patriots
Mac Jones. Steven Senne/AP
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Quite simply, the odds are not in the Patriots’ favor as far as making the playoffs after the team fell to 2-4 with Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

As Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal tweeted, only 19 of 205 teams (9.3 percent) that started a season 2-4 have made the playoffs since 1990. The Patriots themselves have had three 2-4 teams since then and have failed to make the playoffs any of those times.

But CBS football analyst and WFAN host Boomer Esiason isn’t throwing in the towel on Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, and this New England squad just yet.

When asked on The Greg Hill Show Monday morning if he believes the Patriots can still make the playoffs, Esiason said, “With a 17-game season, yes.”

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But he didn’t stop there.

“I’m not off the bandwagon. I’m not,” the former NFL quarterback added. “You guys can all quit on your team if you want. I’m not quitting on the Patriots.”

That’s awfully bold.

The Patriots, after all, just completed their first 0-4 start at home in 18 years and have failed to close out winnable games against good teams like the Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while being pushed almost to the brink by a bad Houston Texans team.

But it’s those close losses to Tampa Bay and Dallas that Esiason wants people to focus on.

“They have taken two of the best teams right to the end of the game,” he said. “They’ve gone, as Bill Belichick said yesterday, toe-to-toe with one of the best offenses we’ve seen in the NFL. I’m telling you, when they start getting into other parts of their schedule against other teams that aren’t this good, they’ll rack up some wins. … This is a long, long year. I know it’s disappointing, but I’m still saying that I’m going to stick with them at this point.”

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One reason Esiason is still buying Patriots’ stock even after this weekend? Mac Jones’s performance through six games.

Esiason, a noted Jones enthusiast, especially liked the way the rookie responded to throwing what could have been a game-losing interception with what should have been a game-winning touchdown pass.

“After Mac Jones throws the interception to Trevon Diggs that ends up in the end zone, there would have been an easy place right there to hang your head,” Esiason said. “But then he comes out, they run a double move, there’s a misplay by the safety, and he throws a touchdown pass.

“That moment there, and how that kid handled what had just transpired in the last 60 seconds, was all I need to know about whether that kid can be a pretty special quarterback. … The fact that he was able to do that at the end of the game showed me all I need to know about him as a long-term solution for the quarterback situation in New England.”

That last point might be jumping the gun a bit, but Jones has certainly been the best rookie quarterback to play a game so far in 2021.

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Still, this year is looking more and more like one that will become more about Jones’s development heading into next season than competing for a playoff spot soon if the Patriots can’t start beating better teams than the Texans and New York Jets — their next opponent.

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