Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six Newsletter!
First, let me start off here by saying that you guys should be happy that I'm not a Bears fan, because if I were, I would the spend THE ENTIRE newsletter today complaining about the horrible calls that went against the Bears in their 29-27 loss to the Steelers last night. I personally haven't seen officiating that bad since Wrestlemania XII.
The officiating was so bad that we actually will spend some time talking about it in today's newsletter. We'll also be offering some Week 9 picks, plus Prisco's Power Rankings. Also, don't forget that today is "National Odell Beckham might find a new team to play for" day. NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET to make a claim for him on waivers, which means Odell MIGHT have a new team by 4:01 p.m., so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
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. If your friends don't want to sign up, you should trade them for new friends or claim a new friend off waivers. If you do that, I believe you have until 4 p.m. today.
1. Today's show: Recapping the Steelers' controversial win over the Bears
For the first two quarters of Monday's game, it looked like it was going to turn into a blowout and that's mostly because the Steelers quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Hopefully you didn't go to bed at halftime though, because things got wild in the second half. The Steelers had to hold on for dear life as the Bears clawed their way back into the game. In the end, the Steelers and the refs were able to take down the Bears 29-27 in a game that wasn't officially decided until Cairo Santos missed a 65-yard field goal on the final play (You can see the kick by clicking here).
The only thing that had more drama than the game was the podcast that Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I recorded afterward. Here are three key things from that game that we touched on:
- Officiating crew seemed to hate the Bears. We don't usually spend too much time talking about bad calls on the podcast, because they happen in every game, but we definitely made an exception here. The officiating was so bad on Monday that we literally spent an entire segment on it. There were a lot of bad calls and unfortunately for the Bears, most of those calls went against them. The worst call was a taunting flag that was thrown on Chicago's Cassius Marsh, who had just sacked Ben Roethlisberger. After the fourth quarter sack, the Steelers would have faced a fourth-and-15, but the penalty gave them a first down. Earlier in the fourth quarter, the Bears also got called for a ridiculous pass interference that gave the Steelers 30 yards and ended up leading to a Pittsburgh field goal. There was also at least one ugly no-call on what should have been a roughing the passer penalty after Justin Fields took a big hit. Ryan Wilson is a Steelers homer and even he thought the officiating was absurdly bad.
- Big Ben comes up in the clutch. Although some people seem to think that Ben Roethlisberger doesn't have anything left in the tank, it seems he definitely still has some fourth quarter magic in him and the Bears found that out the hard way. With his team trailing 27-26, Roethlisberger engineered a 52-yard drive in the final two minutes to set up Chris Boswell's game-winning field goal. On the drive, Big Ben went 4 for 5 for 51 yards (His only incompletion was a spike). Those numbers are kind of crazy when you consider that he threw for nearly 25% of his passing yards for the entire game on that one drive (he threw for 205 overall in the game). Also, it's a good thing that Chris Boswell recovered from his Week 8 concussion, because the Steelers definitely needed him. Boswell ended up being the star of the game as he made three kicks on the night (40, 52, 54), including the game-winner from 40 yards away.
- Justin Fields shows flashes of talent. One reason it felt like this game was going to be a blowout is because Fields had such an ugly first half, throwing for just 63 yards while also throwing an interception that led to a Steelers touchdown. However, Fields bounced back with a phenomenal second half, going 12 of 18 for 223 yards and a touchdown. The most impressive drive from Fields came late in the fourth quarter with his team trailing 26-20. The Bears took possession with 2:52 left to play and Fields immediately proceeded to lead them on a 75-yard TD drive that took just one minute and six seconds off the clock. On the drive, Fields went 3 of 5 for 64 yards, including a 19-yard TD pass to Darnell Mooney. If Fields can play like this going forward, the Bears could be a dangerous team down the stretch.
Besides those three things, we also spent some serious time debating whether the Steelers will make the playoffs this year. To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here. You can also watch Monday's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Prisco's Power Rankings heading into Week 10
There were a lot of upsets in the NFL over the weekend, which means Pete Prisco had to completely rearrange his power rankings this week. One thing he changed was the team at the top and that's because the Cardinals were able to win in Week 9 even though they didn't have Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins and moved up three spots.
With that in mind, here's a look at Prisco's top 5 teams heading into Week 10:
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets. Here's what has changed since last week:
- The biggest jump this week went to the Chargers, who moved up six spots. Apparently, Prisco was highly impressed with the fact that the Chargers almost lost to a bad Eagles team, because he moved them up from 15th to ninth following the victory.
- Three teams tied for the biggest tumble this week and those teams are the Rams, Vikings and Bengals, who all fell five spots. After getting embarrassed on national television, the Rams fell from second to seventh, while the Bengals fell from 11th to 16th. As for the Vikings, Prisco dropped them from 16th to 21st even though they arguably had the most impressive loss in Week 9 (an overtime defeat that came at the hands of one of Prisco's top five teams).
- The most surprising jump in the rankings probably went to the Seahawks, who moved up three spots even though they were ON A BYE. During their week off, the Seahawks looked so impressive that Prisco moved them up from 21st to 18th.
- In news that probably won't surprise you, the Lions are still ranked dead last, which is probably going to be the case until they actually win a game and it's starting to feel like there's only about a 40% chance that's going to happen this year.
If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's Week 10 Power Rankings, be sure to click here. If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything.
3. Breech's Week 10 picks
It's Tuesday, and that can only mean one thing: It's time for my weekly picks.
If you want to ignore my picks today, I won't blame you and that's because I went 7-7 last week. Although, based on all the upsets that happened in Week 9, I kind of feel like everyone went 7-7 last week.
With that in mind, here are three of my picks for Week 10.
- Cleveland at New England (-3): Baker Mayfield is still dealing with an injured shoulder, which is bad news for the Browns, because I have a feeling Bill Belichick is going to put the game on Mayfield's shoulders. I feel like Belichick is going to have his team go all-in to stop the run. Belichick isn't going to let Cleveland's best offensive player (Nick Chubb, more about him in the roundup below) beat the Patriots, which means if the Browns are going to win, Mayfield's going to have to have a huge day. I don't think he's going to have a huge day. PICK: Patriots 23-20 over Browns.
- Minnesota (+2.5) at L.A. Chargers: The Chargers are giving up the most rushing yards per game in the NFL this year and it's not even close. I mean, it's over 160 yards per game and no one else is even giving up 140. If the Vikings are smart, they won't throw a single pass, they'll just keep giving the ball to Dalvin Cook until he tells them he doesn't want it anymore, which I don't think is going to happen. I think Cook is going to go wild in a game that ends with the Vikings pulling off the upset. PICK: Vikings 27-24 over Chargers.
- Seattle (+4) at Green Bay: If I've noticed one thing about players who get COVID, it's that they seem to struggle in their first game back. By the time this game kicks off, Aaron Rodgers won't have taken a single snap with his team in nearly two weeks due to his positive COVID test. I don't think he'll necessarily struggle, but if he's just slightly off, that will open the door for a Seahawks upset and I think Seattle will kick that door open. PICK: Seahawks 33-30 over Packers.
4. One thing we learned about each team in Week 9
Now that all 15 games from Week 9 have been played, CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin decided to wade through the aftermath to figure out what we learned about each team.
Here's a look at what we learned about five teams:
- Cardinals: They have the deepest offense in the NFL. "You could've said this before, but man was it proven Sunday, when Colt McCoy and James Conner led the way in a huge divisional win with Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green all sidelined."
- Falcons: Matt Ryan might not be washed up. "He's quietly been really good for most of this season. And Sunday against the Saints, he helped carry the offense, even lending his legs to the action. Maybe the Falcons aren't done yet."
- Panthers: It might finally be time to bench Sam Darnold. "Like, maybe bench him for good. Matt Rhule won't do it with Carolina barely hanging around in the NFC South, but at this point, what is anyone gaining from keeping the mistake machine under center?"
- Jaguars: Players seem to be buying into Urban Meyer. "He might still be over-matched, but consider the Jags' hard-fought upset over Buffalo came just a week after Jacksonville got stomped by Seattle to fall to 1-6."
- Chargers: Their defense is turning into a major concern. "Not because Jalen Hurts and the Eagles lit them up Sunday, but because Philly ran pretty much at will. Last three weeks: A 34-6 loss to Baltimore, a 27-24 loss to Mac Jones and the Patriots, a 27-24 win over the rebuilding Eagles."
If you want to see the one thing we learned about each of the 23 other teams that played in Week 9, you can check out Cody's entire story by clicking here.
5. Russell Wilson is returning in Week 10 and he might have Odell Beckham
For the first time in more than a month, the Seattle Seahawks are going to have Russell Wilson on the field. The quarterback announced on Monday that he's been cleared to return, which means he'll be Seattle's starter when they play in Green Bay on Sunday.
One interesting twist here is that the Seahawks may be planning to get him in a "Welcome back" gift in the form of Odell Beckham. Here's why it won't be surprising if the Seahawks end up getting Odell:
- They're in the perfect spot. Not only are Seahawks reportedly one of the front-runners to land Beckham, but they also have a higher waiver priority than most other contending teams (ninth overall) and they have enough cap space to add Odell's $7.25 million salary, which is something that can't be said for most other teams in the NFL.
- Russell Wilson definitely seems to want Odell. Wilson's close friend Daniel Mogg, who is the co-host of Wilson's podcast, posted an old picture this week of the Seahawks quarterback hanging out with Beckham (You can see the picture here). Call me crazy, but I'm guessing the timing of that picture being sent out wasn't a coincidence.
- Pete Carroll didn't deny having interest in Beckham. The Seahawks coach was asked on Monday if his team would be putting in a waiver claim for the receiver and he gave a very interesting answer, "We'll see how this all goes. As you would think, we're aware of what's going on and we've been involved to understand to know what's happening. We'll let you know as it all happens. So I didn't say yes or I didn't say no. You'll see."
If the Seahawks weren't interested, Carroll could have just said that. Multiple teams -- like the Lions and Saints -- have already said they likely won't be putting in a claim due to the high cost. Due to the fact that Carroll played coy makes me think the Seahawks have something up their sleeve.
We'll know by 4 p.m. ET today if anyone claimed Beckham on waivers. If the former Browns receiver goes unclaimed, then he'll become a free agent, at which point he'll able to sign with any team he wants. According to Pro Football Talk, the teams Beckham would prefer to play for are the Seahawks, Saints and 49ers.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
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.
- Aaron Rodgers is apparently upset with how people are reacting to his controversial interview. Apparently, Rodgers was surprised that people had a negative reaction to his interview on Friday, and I'll say that I'm surprised that he's surprised. Rodgers is notoriously sensitive and hates when people criticize him so it's probably been a rough week for the quarterback now that half the country hates his vaccination stance.
- Nick Chubb tests positive for COVID. According to ESPN.com, the Browns running back has tested positive for COVID. The good news for the Browns is that Chubb is vaccinated, which means there's still a chance he could play this week. If he records two negative tests at least 24 hours apart before Sunday, then he'll be eligible to play. Running back Demetric Felton also tested positive (he's also vaccinated), which means there's a chance that Browns could be extremely short-handed if both guys are out against the Patriots.
- Raiders cut Damon Arnette. The Raiders cut the former first-round pick over the weekend after a video emerged of him waving a gun around and making death threats. Arnette's departure means the Raiders' 2020 draft might go down as one of the worst in NFL history. The Raiders had five picks in the top 100 and only ONE of them is still with the team.
- Wyatt Teller gets monstrous extension from Cleveland. The Browns guard isn't going to be leaving Cleveland anytime soon after he agreed to a four-year extension on Tuesday that's worth up to $56.8 million. Teller has spent the past three seasons in Cleveland after spending his rookie year in Buffalo.
- Chase Edmonds to miss multiple games for the Cardinals. Arizona has the best record in the NFL, but they're also extremely banged up right now and their list of injuries now includes Edmonds. According to ESPN.com, the Cards running back is expected to miss multiple games after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 9.
- Mac Jones explains 'dirty play' against Panthers. After being accused of purposed trying to injure Carolina's Brian Burns, Mac Jones finally came out in defense of himself. The 'dirty play' came after Jones had fumbled and the Patriots QB said he thought Burns had the ball, so he was trying to take him down by any means necessary. It will be interesting to see if the NFL ends up punishing Jones.
- Broncos lose starting offensive lineman to injury. The Broncos pulled off one of the most shocking wins of the weekend, but it came with a cost. Starting guard Graham Glasgow is out indefinitely after suffering a leg fracture in the win over the Cowboys.
- 49ers lose their starting right tackle for the season. The 49ers season is slowly going from bad to worse. Not only did they lose to a depleted Cardinals team on Sunday, but they have also lost right tackle Mike McGlinchey for the season. According to ESPN.com, McGlinchey tore a quadriceps in the loss.
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