Instead of sending you guys an NFL newsletter today, I thought about turning this into a Thanksgiving newsletter where I share recipes with you, but then I remembered that I don't actually know any recipes, so I had to scrap that idea.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I'm starting to feel like Buccaneers fans aren't feeling so thankful this year about the fact that their team signed Tom Brady. The man goes to bed at 9:15 p.m. ET every night, which I'm only noting because he played like a guy who goes to bed at 9:15 p.m. ET every night. Brady threw two interceptions and arguably had his ugliest game of the season in Tampa Bay's surprising 27-24 loss to the Rams.
Of course, I won't keep talking about that game now, because we've got a lot of Brady stuff planned for the newsletter, so let's get to the good stuff. 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: Tom Brady flops in Buccaneers loss to Rams
I was told that the Buccaneers signed Tom Brady to replace Jameis Winston this year, but I'm starting to feel like all they did was give a Brady jersey to Jamies and that Winston is still Tampa Bay's quarterback, because that's the only way to explain how badly Brady played on Thursday during the Rams' 27-24 win.
Here are three quick highlights from the game:
- Tom Brady was horrible. It's not often that you can put pretty much all the blame for a loss on Tom Brady, but I think we can do that in this game. I'm not sure if Father Time has finally caught up with Brady, but the 43-year-old looked absolutely horrible. Not only did he misfire on multiple deep balls, but he also threw two very ugly interceptions. If you want to see how ugly, click here.
- Jared Goff was unstoppable. The irony of this game is that the way Tom Brady played on Monday is how I thought Jared Goff was going to play. If any QB was going to get flustered and struggle, I thought for sure it would be Goff, but instead, the Rams quarterback had one of his best games of the season, throwing for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
- Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods went off. Goff completed 39 passes and 23 of those went to the combination of Kupp and Woods, who ran circles around Tampa Bay's secondary. Kupp finished the game with 11 catches for 145 yards while Woods tallied 130 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches. Their performance marked just the fourth time in NFL history that two teammates both finished a game with 11 or more catches for 130 or more yards.
As for the podcast, we spent most of our time debating whether Tom Brady is washed up. What that entailed was the three of us -- Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I -- going through nearly every quarterback in the NFL and trying to decide whether we would have the 2020 version of Brady or the other quarterback. You're probably going to want to listen.
To listen to today's episode -- and subscribe to the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Tom Brady handshakegate continues
For some people, getting together with your family for Thanksgiving can lead to a lot of drama, but I'm guessing it won't be as much drama as Tom Brady has single-handedly created this year with his postgame handshakes. Brady has snubbed at least two different quarterbacks after the game this season and one of those snubs came last night with Jared Goff.
If you want to see Goff aimlessly wandering around the field looking for Brady to shake his hand after the game, please click here.
By my count, Brady has played in 11 games this year and has snubbed exactly two people: Goff and Nick Foles. There are multiple theories on why Brady will shake the hands of some people, but not others, so let's take a look at those theories.
- He's a sore loser. This one would make sense, but he shook hands with Drew Brees after the Buccaneers lost 34-23 in Week 1. That being said, both the Foles and Goff handshake snubs did come after Tampa Bay lost the game.
- He has no relationship with Goff or Foles. This is possible, but he did meet with Justin Herbert after the Buccaneers played the Chargers and I can't imagine he has much of a relationship with a rookie quarterback who went to college on the west coast.
- He's trying to follow COVID protocols. The NFL is actually discouraging postgame handshakes this year due to COVID, but this reason doesn't fly, because if Brady were following protocol, he wouldn't have shaken anyone's hand this season.
What all this means is that I now can't wait for the clock to hit zero in the Chiefs-Buccaneers game on Sunday. I never thought I'd be excited for a postgame handshake, but here we are. Brady still has games against Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan x 2, and if I had to guess, I'd say Cousins is the only one who might get snubbed. I have no idea why, but he just feels like he'll be the next guy snubbed based on Brady's pattern.
3. Pete Prisco unveils his Week 12 power rankings
No one loves to rank things more than Pete Prisco. For Week 12, I thought for sure he was going to rank Thanksgiving side dishes, but that didn't happen, so I guess I'll have to go somewhere else for my side dish ranking. However, if you're looking for NFL power rankings, Prisco did supply some of those this week, which was mildly surprising because he usually takes the entire week off if there's anything that even remotely resembles a holiday on the calendar. I think he once took two weeks off for Arbor Day.
Anyway, let's get to the rankings. Prico's top five has one newcomer this week in the Colts. Here's a look at the top five teams in his rankings this week:
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets:
- The Ravens and the Raiders had the biggest falls of the week as they both dropped six spots. The Ravens have lost three of four, so I fully endorse the fact that they dropped from six to 12. However, I think Pete must be drinking his Thanksgiving wine already for what he did to the Raiders. He dropped them from seventh to 13th, even though they almost beat the No. 2 team in his rankings. As for the NFC, the biggest tumble went to the Buccaneers, who fell from fifth to 10th. Tom Brady is clearly dragging that team down.
- Like the rest of us, Pete has no respect for the NFC East. Of the eight worst teams in his power rankings this week, four of them are from that division with the Giants (25th), Eagles (26th), Cowboys (28th) and Washington (29th) all ranked near the bottom. The crazy part is that one of those teams is actually going to make the playoffs.
- The Colts made the biggest jump of any team this week, moving up a total of eight spots from 12th to fourth. I've been trying to tell Prisco for weeks that the Colts are actually good and it appears that he finally listened. Actually, I don't think he listened at all. The only reason they moved up is because they beat Prisco's darling Packers. Note to all teams: The only way to get any respect in the Power Rankings is to beat the Packers.
- In a surprise to no one, the Jets are still ranked last.
If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's Week 12 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.
4. Breech's Week 12 NFL picks
If it's Tuesday, that means it's time for my weekly picks. I made my picks this week while trying to make sense of the grocery list my wife gave me for Thanksgiving so if I seem distracted or if I miss all my picks, that's definitely why. I mean, did you guys even know you could buy gluten-free flour, because I had no idea. Anyway, here are two of my main picks for the week.
- Baltimore (+4.5) at Pittsburgh: Last week, I predicted the Ravens would lose, even though they were favored to win by 6.5 points, but this week I'm back on the Baltimore bandwagon. The reason I like the Ravens here is because they moved the ball up and down the field on the Steelers in the first meeting. However, Baltimore ended up losing because Lamar Jackson turned the ball over four times. I think Jackson is going to rebound and lead the very desperate Ravens to a win. PICK: Ravens win 23-20 and cover.
- Kansas City (-3) at Tampa Bay: I'm not sure if you saw the Buccaneers play on Monday, but if you did, you may have noticed that they couldn't stop Jared Goff. If they couldn't stop Goff, there's no way they're going to be able to slow down Patrick Mahomes. PICK: Chiefs win 35-31 and cover.
My betting plan for the week is to parlay the Packers money line (-420 vs. Bears) with the Browns money line (-275 vs. Jaguars) and the Giants money line (-255 vs. Bengals), which will give me odds of +135 (Bet $100 to win $135). Last week, my +107 money line parlay of Chargers-Steelers-Chiefs hit, although I did have to sweat things out in that Kansas City game, but I actually like to sweat, so I was fine with that.
To check out the rest of my picks for Week 12, be sure to click here.
5. Cowboys unexpectedly cancel practice two days before game; Ravens dealing with more positive COVID tests
Due to COVID-19, there have been plenty of NFL practices canceled this year, but one was actually surprising and that's for two reasons: It wasn't COVID-related and it's coming just two days before the Cowboys are scheduled to play Washington.
Although details are still scarce, it appears the Cowboys canceled practice due to an emergency at the team facility. According to one beat writer, the team is being "hush hush about the situation and identity of the staffer" involved in the emergency "due to the potential gravity of the situation."
Whatever happened was serious enough that Cowboys canceled every event that was scheduled for Tuesday. Not only was practice called off, but every press conference for the day was also canceled, including the one that was supposed to be held by coach Mike McCarthy.
This will definitely be something to keep an eye on, as the Cowboys have a game in less than 48 hours.
In other Thanksgiving game news, all of Baltimore's team activities for Tuesday were conducted virtually due to COVID-19 concerns. The Ravens are apparently dealing with more positive COVID tests today less than 24 hours after announcing a first batch of positive tests. You have to think, if the new positives include any more players, the NFL is going to have to start giving some serious thought to postponing Baltimore's game against the Steelers. Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins are already going to miss the game after testing positive on Monday.
6. NFL Week 12 odds: Two Thanksgiving betting trends
Besides eating, my favorite thing to do on Thanksgiving is to bet against the Lions. If you're also planning to bet on the football this week -- against the Lions or otherwise -- there are two fascinating Thanksgiving trends that have been hitting almost non-stop over the past few years.
Let's take a look at those trends.
- Betting on the favored team has been a winner over the past four years. Since 2016, favored teams have gone 11-1 straight-up and 9-3 ATS. This year, the three favored teams are the Texans, Cowboys and Steelers. Two of those teams will definitely be testing the trend as Dallas has been the worst team in the NFL this year against the spread (2-8) while the Texans are tied for second-worst (3-7). On the other hand, the Steelers have been the NFL's best team against the spread (8-2).
- The under has hit six straight times in the primetime game. Since 2014, the under has hit in every primetime game played on Thanksgiving. That's six straight games where the under has hit (The under has actually hit in seven out of nine primetime games since the Thanksgiving night game was introduced in 2011). The primetime game this year is Ravens at Steelers, which has an over/under of 46 points. This trend will also be put to the test and that's because these two teams have hit the over the past three times they've met.
If you're looking for more gambling trends from Week 12, be sure to click here.
7. The Kicker!
There is nothing I like more in the NFL than a good KICKER REVENGE game and that's exactly what we got on Monday night during the Rams' 27-24 win over the Buccaneers. The winning points for Los Angeles came courtesy of Matt Gay, who drilled a 40-yard field goal with 2:36 left to play.
Gay was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2019, but they gave up on him after just one season. Tampa Bay cut him in September, only to see him return last night and kick the game-winning field goal. This is the kind of redemption you usually only see from a male lead in a Hallmark Christmas movie, but we got it in a football game.
Speaking of Hallmark Christmas movies, I'll probably be spending my next two days bingeing them while I'm off. While I'm watching those, Cody Benjamin will take you through the newsletter on Wednesday. We'll then be taking the day off on Thursday, before I return on Friday, and I'm guessing I'll be completely refreshed or possibly hungover from all the wine I'll be drinking on Thanksgiving. One or the other.