BOSTON (CBS) – Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti opened their show on Monday talking about the chess match between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Denver QB Peyton Manning on Sunday Night Football.
Felger & Mazz both feel like #18 was outsmarted by the Hoodie and that he played scared.
“I thought the game was there to be seized for him [Manning] on several occasions throughout the second half, certainly in overtime, and he deferred to Knowshon Moreno over and over gain,” said Mike Felger.
“I think Belichick might still be in his head, because I think Belichick played with that Denver offense last night. He baited Peyton Manning to run the ball and Peyton played right into it, because I don’t think Peyton Manning wanted any part of putting that game on his shoulders in those conditions.”
Part of the reason why Manning checked to running plays so often was because the Patriots defense played a two-high safety look, which is perfect for running the ball.
And it clearly worked, because Knowshon Moreno ran the ball 37 times for 224 yards. As a team, Denver ran for 280 yards.
Maybe given the weather conditions Denver felt that their best shot to win was on the ground, but choosing to throw the ball only 20 times through three quarters speaks to some level of tentativeness.
“Peyton Manning slowed the game down for you, what a nitwit,” said Mazz. “He took the cheese.”
One glaring example for Mike Felger occurred in overtime, where Peyton Manning was given the perfect opportunity to be aggressive and pass against a coverage mismatch. Instead, he checked to a run.
“Manning had a sequence in overtime where both Aqib Talib and Knowshon Moreno get hurt and come off the field. So you’re sitting there and it’s 1st-and-10 near midfield, and the opponent’s best cornerback is off the field. You’ve got Marquice Cole lined up on Wes Welker and you had Demaryius Thomas on Kyle Arrington – massive advantage to Denver – and what does Peyton Manning do? He hands it off to his rookie free agent…twice!” said Felger.
“He is the equivalent of the guy who doesn’t want to take the shot at the end of a game in basketball,” said Mazz.”That’s who Manning is…Belichick rope-a-doped him.”
“The Hoodie was back last night,” said Felger.”
Listen to the full discussion below: