It was one of the few times “D-list” CBS analyst James Lofton said something besides a cliche.
In the third quarter of the Patriots’ 54-13 drubbing over the Jets, “create a player” quarterback Mike White sailed a pass over tight end Robert Griffin, and into the outstretched arms of Kyle Dugger. It was a rare sensational play for a member of the Patriots’ secondary. The review confirmed Dugger kept his arms cradled under the ball the whole time.
Lofton, however, disagreed with reality. The former wideout must’ve been watching a different game.
“It’s not an interception,” he said affirmatively.
Andrew Catalon, the play-by-play man tried to interject and save his partner.
“It’s close,” he said.
Lofton opted to ignore the verbal life raft.
“Close, but no cigar,” he said.
Moments later, the officials upheld their call on the field, and the matter wasn’t broached again. That gave Lofton plenty of time to heap praise upon the putrid Jets, who, you know, try. You’ve got to give them that.
“The Jets are coming into this ballgame 1-4, but the one thing that you notice as you watch them play, there is no lack of effort,” he said. “Robert Saleh’s mantra is ‘all gas, no breaks.’ That really is the way this team plays. They may make some youthful mistakes, but it’s still all gas, no breaks.”
Unless Lofton meant the Jets are flooring their car downhill — leading to its rapid descent —it's hard to understand what he's getting at. Fortunately, Saleh appears to be a master motivator. Coming out of halftime, sideline reporter Amanda Balionis relayed the rookie head coach’s objective for his offense in the final two quarters: score points.
Later, we learned White told his teammates in the huddle to “get after it.”
He threw an interception to end the possession.
When it came to the Patriots, Lofton was equally generous with his kind words. Late in the game, he called fullback Jakob Johnson "Derrick Henry-lite."
At one point, he compared Jakobi Meyers to Troy Brown, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, while pointing out just one small difference: Meyers is bigger than those guys.
Yes, because of when one think about the difference between Meyers and three Patriots Hall of Famers, size is the only factor that comes to mind.
Lofton also became the latest talking head to compare Mac Jones to Tom Brady, acknowledging the comparison is popular because they play “a little bit of the same position.”
Then Lofton pointed out Jones, who successfully converted a 3rd-and-10 on his feet, is faster than Brady ever was. Point for the Mac Attack. He attacked the Jets’ beleaguered defense all afternoon long.
The Patriots took a lot of place from inside New York’s 35-yard line, which Lofton told us is the “scoring zone.”
If the Patriots converted in the “scoring zone” against teams other than the Jets, then he probably wouldn’t hear Lofton on so many broadcasts.
They should listen to the man.