Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
With the NFL's only undefeated team playing one of the worst teams in the league Thursday night, I thought for sure I'd be a asleep by halftime. But the game actually ended up being highly entertaining for the better part of three quarters, which was two more quarters than I was expecting.
Although the Eagles won, 29-17, you could probably argue that fans in Houston got the last laugh since Game 5 of the World Series went to the Astros, who topped the Phillies, 3-2. Of course, this is not a baseball newsletter, so we will not be covering anymore baseball today, but we will be dissecting Philly's Thursday win, plus we'll be making 10 bold predictions for the second half of the NFL season.
As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them. Let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Eagles stave off feisty Texans
The Eagles weren't perfect in their 29-17 win, but they were playing the Texans, so they didn't have to be. The win by Philadelphia means that the Texans have still never beaten the Eagles (0-6 all-time).
Following the game, Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I sat down together for roughly 30 minutes to talk about everything that happened. Here are a few key points from the game that we went over:
- Turning point in the game. Believe it or not, this game was actually tied at 14 midway through the third quarter, but that's when the wheels fell off the wagon for Houston. With just under 8:30 left to play in the third quarter, Davis Mills threw an UGLY interception to C.J. Gardner-Johnson (you can see the play here). It's a ball Mills should have never thrown and it blew the game open because the Eagles ended up scoring the go-ahead TD just two play later when Jalen Hurts hit A.J. Brown for a 17-yard touchdown. Gardner-Johnson's interception was huge because the Eagles offense basically played dead in the second half with just 113 total yards. The pick also gave Gardner-Johnson five interceptions for the season, which currently leads the NFL.
- Jalen Hurts spreads the love. The Eagles QB was nearly perfect against Houston, completing 21 of 27 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. The more impressive part is that not only did Hurts' 21 completions go to seven different receivers, but five of those receivers had multiple catches, including Dallas Goedert, who caught eight passes for 100 yards. The eight catches is tied for the second-highest total in Goedert's five-year career and marked just the fourth time he's hit at least 100 yards in a game.
- The Texans' best player might be Dameon Pierce. The Texans running back might not win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but right now, he looks like the steal of the 2022 NFL Draft. Although he was going up against a solid Eagles defense, Pierce still managed to total 139 yards on just 27 carries (that's 5.1 yards per carry if you don't like doing math). His best run came on a 36-yarder in the second quarter where he broke multiple tackles (uou can check it out here). The fourth-round pick, who was selected 107th overall, is now on pace for 1,440 yards this season, which would give him one of the 15 best rookie rushing seasons of all-time.
- Eagles off to their best start in franchise history. The win over the Texans moved the Eagles to 8-0, which marks the first time in franchise history they have won their first eight games. The Eagles are the 29th team in the Super Bowl era to start 8-0, and the good news is that all 28 prior teams made the playoffs. However, the bad news is that of the eight most recent teams to do it, none of them won the Super Bowl
If you want to hear our entire recap of the game, be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Today's show Part II: Best bets for Week 9
The best part about Friday -- besides the fact that it's Friday -- is that you get two episodes of the "Pick Six NFL" podcast in your feed. After recording the Thursday night postgame podcast with Wilson and myself, Brinson kicked us to the curb so that he could record his weekly picks show with Pete Prisco and R.J. White.
Those three guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over their best bets for every single game being played in Week 9, and we're going to cover three of those bets from each guy below. You actually might want to listen to them this week because they're coming off a pretty solid Week 8 where they combined to go 7-2.
Pete Prisco (3-0 last week in picks covered here, 16-8 on the season)
- Chargers (-3) to cover against the Falcons
- Titans (+12.5) to cover against the Chiefs
- Colts (+5.5) to cover against the Patriots
R.J. White (2-1 last week in picks covered here, 13-10-1 on the season)
- Buccaneers (-3) to cover against the Rams
- Lions (+3) to cover against the Packers
- Bills at Jets UNDER 47 points
Will Brinson (2-1 last week in picks covered here, 11-12-1 on the season)
- Seahawks (+2) to cover against the Cardinals
- Bengals (-7) to cover against the Panthers
- Colts at Patriots UNDER 40.5 points
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 9 -- and there are quite a few -- you can check out the episode on YouTube by clicking here.
3. NFL Week 9 picks: Jaguars and Seahawks pull off upsets
This is the final newsletter of the week, which means we will be cramming as many Week 9 picks as humanly possible into this space.
With that in mind, we've got four more Week 9 picks coming your way, and those will be coming from NFL senior writer Pete Prisco along with Jordan Dajani, Tyler Sullivan and myself.
Here's how things are going to work: I'm going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you'll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on.
- Pete Prisco -- Jaguars (+1) 24-20 over Raiders. From Prisco: "The Raiders failed to score a point in the loss to the Saints, which is concerning. Trevor Lawrence has not played well, which is also a concern for Jacksonville. I think that changes here. Jaguars win it." For the rest of Prisco's Week 9 picks, be sure to click here.
- Tyler Sullivan -- Seahawks (+2) 27-24 over Cardinals. From Sullivan: "I'm a believer in the Seahawks, which is something I thought I'd never say coming into the season. Seattle has played well and has been a good bet this season (including last week against New York), so I'm going back to the well here as it heads to Arizona." For the rest of Sullivan's Week 9 picks, be sure to click here.
- Jordan Dajani -- Patriots (-5) 23-13 over Colts. From Dajani: "There aren't many worse places for a young quarterback to play than in Foxborough against Bill Belichick. Sam Ehlinger would be the least experienced quarterback to EVER win on the road in the Belichick era if he finds a way to win this weekend, so I'm going to predict that he doesn't." For the rest of Dajani's Week 9 best bets, be sure to click here.
- John Breech -- Chargers (-3) 27-23 over Falcons. Every team that has played the Panthers this season has lost the following week. The Falcons played the Panthers in Week 8, which means they're destined to lose this week. Also, we'll have more on the curse of the Panthers later in the newsletter. For the rest of my Week 9 picks, be sure to click here.
4. 10 bold predictions for the second half of the season
We love celebrating things here, so we decided to celebrate the midpoint of the NFL season by having CBSSports.com's Tyler Sullivan come up with 10 bold predictions for the second half of the season.
Will the Eagles go undefeated? Will the Buccaneers make the playoffs? Sully says yes and yes.
Let's take a look at five of his most interesting predictions.
- 1. Eagles go undefeated. "For just the third time in NFL history, we'll have a team go undefeated in the regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles have been a juggernaut throughout the first half of the season and have shown no signs of slowing down."
- 2. Dolphins reach the AFC title game. "While everyone seems to think we're destined for a Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship, the Dolphins are going to crash the party with a conference title run of their own. When healthy, Tua Tagovailoa has checked off essentially all of the boxes of being a quarterback the Dolphins can build around. The team is 5-0 when he plays a full game."
- 3. Ravens get the top seed in the AFC. "Not only is this team positioned to win its division, but the Ravens have a ceiling of sitting as the top seed in the entire AFC. Baltimore has the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, as each of its remaining opponents is currently either at or below .500 on the year."
- 4. Tom Brady gets the 3-5 Buccaneers to the playoffs. "Tampa Bay hasn't given you much belief that it'll reach the postseason. Entering Week 9, the Bucs are two games under .500, rank 25th in the NFL in points per game and sit dead-last in rushing yards per game and yards per carry. It hasn't been pretty. All that said, we've come to learn that it's never wise to count out Tom Brady.
- 5. Rams finish last in the NFC West. "The Rams will likely be an underdog in the majority of their games over the second half of the season, which isn't good news for a team that's already 0-3 as an underdog this year."
You can check out all 10 of Sullivan's bold predictions by clicking here.
5. Falcons looking to end bizarre NFL streak
When the Falcons face the Chargers on Sunday, they'll be trying to do something that no other team in the NFL has done this season: Win their first game after facing the Panthers.
In one of the most bizarre streaks of the year, every team that has faced the Panthers this season has gone on to lose its next game. Let's take a quick look at the streak:
- Panthers Week 1 opponent: Browns (Cleveland loses 31-30 to the Jets in Week 2)
- Panthers Week 2 opponent: Giants (New York loses 23-16 to the Cowboys in Week 3)
- Panthers Week 3 opponent: Saints (New Orleans loses 28-25 to the Vikings in Week 4)
- Panthers Week 4 opponent: Cardinals (Arizona loses 20-17 to the Eagles in Week 5)
- Panthers Week 5 opponent: 49ers (San Francisco loses 28-14 to the Falcons in Week 6)
- Panthers Week 6 opponent: Rams (L.A. got a bye in Week 7 and then lost to the 49ers in Week 8)
- Panthers Week 7 opponent: Buccaneers (Tampa Bay loses 27-22 to the Ravens in Week 8)
- Panthers Week 8 opponent: Falcons (TBA)
That's seven teams, and they've gone 0-7 after facing the Panthers.
This streak is taking down everyone. Even teams that have been huge favorites have lost the following week after facing the Panthers. For instance, the Browns were 6.5-point favorites over the Jets, but they blew a 13-point lead in the final 90 seconds to lose. The Giants were favored to beat the Cowboys, but Cooper Rush led Dallas to a win. The 49ers were 4.5-point favorites over the Falcons in Week 6, but the curse of the Panthers got them as Atlanta won by two touchdowns.
With the Falcons coming off a game against the Panthers in Week 8, I'm not saying they should forfeit this weekend, but a loss seems inevitable based on this mystic curse.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Jeff Bezos apparently looking into possibly buying the Commanders
It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Bezos apparently interested in buying the Commanders. With the Commanders possibly going up for sale in the near future, multiple reports have indicated that Bezos would be interested in buying the team if that happens. As the fourth-richest person in the world, Bezos could outbid anyone if he's serious about making this happen. There's also a chance he could partner with Jay-Z on the purchase, and you can read more details about that by clicking here.
- Michael Thomas likely out for the season. The injury-riddled Saints star is likely done for the year after being placed on injured reserve Thursday. Thomas is set to undergo toe surgery that's expected to sideline him for the rest of the season. If he doesn't play again this year, that means he'll have missed 40 of the Saints' past 50 games dating back to 2020.
- Ravens lose Rashod Bateman for the year. Last week, John Harbaugh said that Bateman would miss a few weeks, but it turns out that the receiver's injury is more serious than previously thought. Bateman has decided to undergo surgery for a Lisfranc injury, which will sideline him for the rest of the year. The second-year player is currently the third-leading receiver on the team with 285 yards.
- Howie Roseman goes off on Eagles fan. If you want to see the Eagles general manager drop a few F-bombs, then you're going to want to watch this clip. There was a fan at last night's game holding a sign that said, "We forgive you Howie," and Roseman was not amused by that. (You can see the sign here and the NSFW video here.)