Before we get started here, I'd like to say hello to everyone who is now a millionaire thanks to GameStop. Of course, even if you are a millionaire, you probably still can't afford Super Bowl tickets and that's because prices are going through the roof this year.
I won't try to explain the economics of the GameStop situation, but I can tell you the economics of the Super Bowl ticket situation and it all comes down to some simple supply-and-demand that I learned in eighth grade. The NFL is only allowing 22,000 people to attend the Super Bowl and with 7,500 of those tickets going to health care workers, that means there will only be 14,500 tickets for everyone else. If you combine that with the fact that the Buccaneers are playing at home in a game that features Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady, that means high demand, which gives you one of the craziest secondary markets ever for Super Bowl tickets.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub right now is $6,700 while the most expensive ticket is more than $360,000, which means at this point, the only people who can afford to go are GameStop shareholders. I hope they all go. Those guys deserve it for taking down the Man.
Although Super Bowl tickets are expensive, this newsletter is free and we've got a lot to cover today, so let's get to the rundown. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link.
1. Today's Show: Coaching cycle winners and losers
It took almost four months, but the Houston Texans finally have a new head coach, which is notable, because it means the coaching cycle is now complete. There were seven open jobs this offseason and since those seven positions are now filled, we decided now was the perfect time to record a podcast where we listed the winners and losers of the coaching cycle.
If you weren't keeping track of all the coaching hires, don't worry, I did that for you. Here's a list of all the coaches who were hired this offseason:
Chargers: Brandon Staley
Eagles: Nick Sirianni
Falcons: Arthur Smith
Jaguars: Urban Meyer
Jets: Robert Saleh
Lions: Dan Campbell
Texans: David Culley
To find out which hire we thought was the weirdest (cough, Dan Campbell) and which ones we thought were the best, be sure to click here so you can listen to today's episode.
2. Texans hire a new coach
If wisdom truly does come with age, then the Houston Texans just made the best coaching hiring in the history of football and that's because they've just hired the oldest first-time NFL head coach ever in 65-year-old David Culley.
Since you've probably never heard of Culley, here are a few quick facts about him:
- He's been an NFL coach for 27 years, including 18 under Andy Reid (1999-2012 in Philadelphia, 2013-16 in Kansas City).
- For the past two years, Culley served as the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator in Baltimore (The Ravens finished dead last in the NFL in passing this year).
- He's already put together a staff that includes offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, defensive coordinator Lovie Smith and assistant Josh McCown (Kelly has been with the Texans since 2014 and has been the team's offensive coordinator since 2019).
I have no idea if this hire is going to work out, but things are definitely already off to a rocky start since we know that Deshaun Watson is now demanding a trade. Culley waited 27 years to become a head coach and now, he's walking into a firestorm of a situation in Houston: The team has no quarterback, no draft picks and a dysfunctional front office. Not exactly where I would want to be if was starting my head coaching career.
After Culley was hired, we recorded an emergency podcast and you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast by clicking here.
3. Deshaun Watson still wants out of Houston
Hopefully, David Culley wasn't expecting to have Deshaun Watson under center this season, because it's starting to look like that's not going to happen. Just hours after the news broke that Culley would be the team's new coach, Watson made some news of his own by demanding a trade.
Although it's been known that Watson wants out, this demand makes it feel like we've reached the point of no return. If you're wondering where Watson might end up, that question is almost impossible to answer at this point and that's mostly because there are so many moving parts. If the Texans do trade Watson, they can't just ship him off to Detroit. Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, which means he'd have to sign off on any potential deal. The other complicated part here is the compensation. The Texans are going to want a lot of draft capital in return for Watson, but teams might try to lowball them since they know he wants out.
According to the Miami Herald, Watson's top-two preferred destinations are the Jets and Dolphins (in that order). The Dolphins are stacked, they have multiple first-round picks and they could even throw Tua in any potential deal, so that's a trade that could actually make sense. As for the Jets, the one upside there is that Watson would get 500 times more marketing opportunities in New York than he was getting in Houston.
As for other potential landing spots, here are eight that would make a lot of sense:
- 49ers: Deshaun Watson in Kyle Shanahan's offense would make the 49ers one of the scariest teams in the NFC.
- Bears: The Bears have been searching for a quarterback for the past 30 years, this would end their search.
- Patriots: Everyone in the Texans front office used to work for the Patriots, so it's not hard to imagine those two teams working out a deal.
- Saints: With Drew Brees out, you have to think Sean Payton would prefer to have Watson over Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston. The Saints don't really have the cap space to add Watson, but that's never stopped them from acquiring someone before.
- Washington: This is a playoff team that would only get better by adding Watson.
- Broncos: The Broncos have a strong defense and a lot of offensive weapons, the only thing they need now to get over the hump is a QB who's better than Drew Lock.
- Steelers: With Big Ben's future up in the air, Watson going to the Steelers isn't as crazy as it sounds.
- Lions: Matthew Stafford wants out of Detroit. Watson wants out of Houston. These two teams should call each other just to console one another and if there's time, they can work on a trade.
I doubt Watson would sign off on a trade to Detroit, which is why they're listed last. For a full explanation on why these landing spots would make sense for Watson and for a look at a few more landing spots, be sure to click here. It's worth nothing that there's always a chance the Texans could refuse to trade Watson, but then they'd have a disgruntled quarterback and I don't think they'd want to be dealing with that going into the season.
4. Buccaneers and Chiefs pick uniforms for Super Bowl LV
The Buccaneers are the home team in the Super Bowl this year, but surprisingly, they didn't get that honor because they're playing the game at home. The Buccaneers are the home team because the NFC gets to be the home team in odd-numbered Super Bowls. As we all know, the biggest benefit of being the home team in the Super Bowl is that you get the first pick on which uniform you're going to wear for the game and the Buccaneers have now officially made that pick.
Although the Buccaneers are the home team, they surprisingly decided to wear their road whites for the Super Bowl, which means the Chiefs will be wearing red.
If you're wondering why the Buccaneers decided to wear white, I'm pretty sure it's because they're superstitious. The Bucs have won two straight playoffs game in their white uniforms and the team made sure to note that when they announced their wardrobe choice.
Although white is frowned upon after Labor Day, the Super Bowl seems to be the one place where it's acceptable. Teams wearing white have actually dominated throughout NFL history. Not only have teams in white gone 13-3 over the past 16 years, but they've also gone 34-20 over the history of the Super Bowl.
Some fans were hoping the Buccaneers would wear their classic Creamsicle uniform, but they didn't do that because of the NFL's one helmet rule. When the Buccaneers wear their Creamsicle uniform, they prefer to wear a white helmet, but right now, they're stuck with their pewter helmet, which means no Creamsicle uniforms.
5. Ranking the 12 playoff teams that didn't make the Super Bowl
When the NFL postseason started this year, there were 14 teams, but that number is now down to two because the other 12 teams just weren't good enough to make it to the Super Bowl. Although they weren't good enough this year, they might be good enough next year and that's the basis for the rankings we put together below.
Basically, Cody Benjamin decided to rank the 12 losing playoff teams by their chances of reaching Super Bowl LVI next season and here is his ranking:
I definitely agree with the Bears being last and that's because it's impossible to get to the Super Bowl if you don't make the playoffs (In related news: I don't think the Bears are going to make the playoffs). For a full explanation of Cody's rankings, be sure to click here.
6. Super Bowl LV picks
In case you haven't noticed, we love to make picks here at CBS Sports, which is why I'm about to start giving you all of our staff picks for Super Bowl LV. Although the Super Bowl is still 10 days away, game picks will be trickling in from our writers between now and Feb. 7 and since I love sharing picks, I will be putting EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM in the newsletter. Today's picks are from from Cody Benjamin and Jeff Kerr, who both grew up as Eagles fans, which I'm only mentioning because I'm kind of interested in who they're going to pick since they can't pick the Eagles.
The Chiefs are currently favored by three points over the Buccaneers.
- Cody Benjamin pick: This figures to be close. Brady cannot be counted out. Period. But at the end of the day, the Chiefs are the Chiefs, and as hyperbolic as dynasty talk may have been after their last Super Bowl win, the reality is they all but went half-speed for much of 2020 and still ended up 14-2. They're going to go for it all. And they, despite every effort from Brady, will do it again. Benjamin's pick: Chiefs 32-28 over Buccaneers.
- Jeff Kerr pick: If Kansas City's offensive line can contain Tampa Bay's pass rush -- which there's no reason Andy Reid won't have that makeshift offensive line ready -- Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense will have a hard time keeping up. The Buccaneers will have to score 30 to beat the Chiefs. Just can't see that happening. The Chiefs get their second straight Super Bowl and Patrick Mahomes gets another MVP. Kerr's pick: Chiefs 34-24 over Buccaneers.
If you'd like to read Benjamin's full explanation for his Super Bowl pick, be sure to click here. If you want all the details on Kerr's Super Bowl pick, be sure to click here.
7. The Kicker!
Every year before I decide whether or not I'm going to watch the Super Bowl, I ask myself, "Is there a good kicker angle to the game?" Just kidding, I always watch no matter what, but in a nice twist, there is actually a good kicker angle to this year's Super Bowl and that's because it's a revenge game for Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop.
Succop's career started back in 2009 when the Chiefs made him the VERY LAST PICK in the NFL Draft. That's right, Succop was Mr. Irrelevant that year. Usually, when you're Mr. Irrelevant, your career goes nowhere and you're out of the league within two years, but that's not what happened to Succop. Instead, he's now on his 12th season in the league, including five with the Chiefs (2009-13).
In 2014, he signed with the Titans and he ended up lasting there for six seasons before Tennessee dumped him after he hit just 16.7% of his field goals in 2019 (That's not a typo, he went just 1-for-6, but in his defense, he was injured most of the year). Despite his atrocious season, the Buccaneers decided to take chance on Succop and the gamble paid off because Succop has been one of the best kickers in the NFL this year.
The Buccaneers drafted two kickers over the past five years (Roberto Aguayo, Matt Gay) only to see both of those moves completely backfire, but now, they're in the Super Bowl playing against Kansas City with a kicker that the Chiefs once drafted. I hope someone writes a movie about this some day, but I'll be honest, I want to see a movie about the GameStop situation first.