The Patriots beat the Bills 14-10 in a bizarre Monday night football game starring Peyton and Eli Manning – along with guests David Letterman, Aqib Talib and Joe Buck – onESPN Call from Manning Cast.
Here are the takeaways.
Even Payton Manning can’t land a 1-on-1 Mac Jones.
The Patriots are notoriously stingy on media access, and when rookie quarterback Mac Jones is involved, even Peyton Manning can’t get a pre-game interview.
Eli slammed Peyton in the first half for repeatedly referring to his interview with Josh Allen and asked if he had spoken to both quarters.
“Well, I tried talking to Mac Jones, and he was very respectful,” Peyton Manning said. He said, ‘Peyton, I want to do it, but can you call our PR manager Stacey? [James]? Because he has to supervise all things. I said, ‘No problem.’
“I called Stacey, he was very professional. I said ‘Stacey, I’m talking to Coach Belichick. Can I talk to Mac Jones? “
Manning created the tension for a minute.
“I have to tell you that I appreciate the way they handle Mac Jones,” Manning said. “They are trying to protect him, to give him as few distractions as possible off the pitch, to let him focus on the football.”
So… Manning got turned down?
“So yes, I was turned down,” he said. “He was the first quarterback I haven’t spoken to.
Manning said the Colts did the same for him in his rookie season at Indianapolis – telling interviewers and potential sponsors to leave their freshman quarterback alone.
“’It’s all football this first season, don’t bother him,” Manning said, citing the Colts’ attitude. “I think the Patriots take the same approach. “
Both Mannings looked amused (and disappointed) by the lack of assists.
As the game wrapped up and the Mannings began to wrap up their broadcast, Eli pointed out to a disgruntled Peyton that he didn’t remember a game like this before.
“I thought the Mac transfers were great,” Peyton said. “He looked at them, he sat the ball, he got the snaps from the center very well, he made his feints. It was a thing of beauty. Textbook.”
Jones, of course, only finished 2 on 3 as a passer with 19 yards.
As the Patriots have made it clear their strategy is to run incessantly in the first quarter, both Mannings agreed that they are probably trying to miss the first quarter.
“Mac Jones’s arm is going to be so fresh in the second quarter,” Peyton said. “It’s going to be live, rested.”
But the Patriots continued to let go. At one point, Peyton predicted a helping hand and tried to take credit for it, but Eli shouted it out.
“If you predict the Patriots’ next pass correctly, then you’ll get credit from me,” he protested. “Until then no credit.”
David Letterman toast Bill Belichick’s cleanliness.
When Letterman joined the show in the second quarter, the camera turned to Bill Belichick wiping his nose with his hand, then wiping his hand on his shirt.
“Oh, look at this guy. Yeah, go ahead and use your hand Bill, then wipe it on your shirt, ”Letterman said with a chuckle. “I love this movement.”
As the second quarter ended, Letterman interrupted a completely separate thought as the camera turned to Belichick again.
“‘Do you have a handkerchief Bill? ” he said. “Take one at halftime.”
In fairness to Belichick, the wild weather could have made anyone’s nose run.
Jones told Manning he doesn’t use his phone during the week.
We already know Jones has his girlfriend to help him go through the playbook. Apparently he’s so locked up during the week that he ignores his phone.
Peyton Manning found out the hard way: Jones didn’t return his text for days, and when he did, he told the NFL Hall of Fame he didn’t always check his posts during the week as he prepared for a game.
Manning, incidentally, was trying to contact Jones to ask for his opinion on his new ESPN Detail video depicting Jones’ play.
Eli berated his brother.
“Stop disturbing the guy during the prep,” he said. “He’s got Monday Night Football. … He has a real movie to watch. Don’t disturb this kid. Leave him a voice memo and get out of his way. Stop trying to take your time.
Aqib Talib has considered a Patriots return.
Talib, whose appearance on the show was so good it likely warrants a return, confirmed to the Mannings that he was considering sacking the Patriots at some point.
Per Talib, he spoke to Belichick who described his role. Belichick wanted Talib to be the tight cap of the team, and when he told Talib about the potential contract, Talib said he had perked up. He told Belichick he would call him back right away.
Then Talib started to think about the tight ends of the league. He thought of Travis Kelce, Brandon Waller and Rob Gronkowski, and he changed his mind.
“I’m not going to lie, I don’t want smoke,” Talib said. “I was too old, too hurt.”
Talib has explained quite a bit about Patriots culture.
The Mannings asked Talib about his time with the Patriots, and he was quite insightful.
Talib noted that Belichick doesn’t have a dress code because he just doesn’t care what a player wears around the establishment – whether in costume or, like Vince Wilfork and Rob Gronkowski. sometimes pajamas or a jumpsuit.
“Bill is not worried about the lack of a dress code,” Talib said. “He’s worried that you know what to do with his passage. “
Talib added that staying in Belichick’s good graces is easier than some would say.
“It’s not that strict,” Talib said. ” Do not be late. … Know your stuff and don’t play with the media. If you stick to these three rules, you’ll have a great time in New England, just like me.
Talib added that Belichick is absolutely the team’s defensive coordinator.
“I used to have a meeting with Bill at the start of the week to talk to me about my job,” Talib said. “Super involved in defense. Bill is the defensive coordinator. Know that.”
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