Hello and happy Wednesday to all. John Breech is busy agonizing over his big prediction for the Bengals' season (more on that below), so I, Cody Benjamin, am here to guide you through all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got AFC North predictions, holdout updates, and much more:
- Today's show: Projecting AFC North win totals
John Breech joined Will Brinson on Wednesday's "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to predict records for all four AFC North contenders in 2022. Some highlights:
- Breech isn't shy about projecting another big Bengals season, suggesting their worst-case scenario in 2022 is a repeat of their 10-7 finish of 2021, when they ultimately advanced all the way to the Super Bowl.
- Brinson sees the Ravens as a good value bet to win the division, especially after they went 8-9 in 2021 despite tons of injuries.
- The guys agree that it's almost impossible to bet on the Browns at this point, with a potential Deshaun Watson suspension looming; Breech believes the suspension will be "longer than shorter," and Brinson feels an over bet on their projected 9.5-win total is unwise with Jacoby Brissett possibly on track to start under center.
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Holdout tracker: Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield among no-shows
Big names across the NFL are steering clear of organized team activities (OTAs) for various reasons. Can't keep track of them all? Tyler Sullivan has you covered with a rundown oftheir respective practices:
- Buccaneers QB Tom Brady: Offsite training
- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: Offsite training
- Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: Contract dispute
- Browns QB Baker Mayfield: Trade request
- 49ers WR Deebo Samuel: Trade request
- Commanders WR Terry McLaurin: Contract dispute
- Rams DT Aaron Donald: Contract dispute
- Bengals S Jessie Bates III: Contract dispute
3. Insider notes: AFC West headlines divisional power rankings
CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora hasfrom first to worst ahead of the 2022 season. Not surprisingly, after such a busy offseason, the AFC West headlines the pecking order:
Do I really need to belabor this point? Did you pay attention to the offseason? And yeah, the Chiefs still reside here. And they have been good for at least the AFC title game since Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes started hanging out on a regular basis. Any of the other three teams may be able to make a case for most improved, and I don't think anyone would blink if at least three of these four are in the expanded postseason. I'm gonna go ahead and crown 'em here.
- AFC West
- AFC North
- NFC West
- AFC East
- NFC South
- NFC North
- AFC South
- NFC East
4. 2022 travel miles tracker: Buccaneers get brutal schedule
Wondering which teams have to travel the farthest (and the least) this coming season? Wonder no more, because John Breech has you covered with. Tom Brady's squad gets the biggest hurdle when it comes to traveling this year, as he notes:
The Buccaneers will be traveling a total of 26,562 miles this season, which is more than the Steelers, Ravens and Lions will travel combined this season (23,052 miles). The Buccaneers' biggest trip in 2022 will be a flight to Munich in November where they'll play the NFL's first game in Germany. On that flight alone, the Buccaneers will rack up more travel mileage than six teams will for the entire season. The flight to Germany and back will cover 9,992 miles, which is almost fitting, because Tom Brady holds roughly 9,992 NFL records.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Steelers will be traveling just 6,512 miles for the entire season. This year will mark the fourth time since 2014 that the Steelers have traveled the fewest miles, and it's probably worth noting that in each of the three prior years (2014, 2016, 2017), they ended up winning the division.
5. Burning questions for AFC and NFC North
The new season is fast approaching, and there are lots of big questions to be answered in the AFC and NFC North.
- Bears: Can QB Justin Fields overcome his supporting cast?
- Lions: What's going on at QB for the long term?
- Packers: How will Aaron Rodgers thrive without Davante Adams?
- Vikings: Can Kevin O'Connell eclipse the team's wild-card ceiling?
- Bengals: Can they match last year's success?
- Browns: Where will Baker Mayfield end up?
- Ravens: Is there enough help for Lamar Jackson?
- Steelers: Who will be the Week 1 starting QB?
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Steelers' new GM, Garoppolo trade update
Hungry for more headlines? You came to the right place:
- : After a long, winding search to replace Kevin Colbert
- : We've heard this before
- : A suspension could be coming soon
- Titans QB says he'll be a 'great teammate' : The
- : An old friend chimes in
- : The former Bears corner spent 2021 in Denver
- : And he likes what he's seen so far
- : Draft expert Chris Trapasso dives in