I'm not going to say that this year is going to be the most exciting year that the NFL has ever produced, but even NFC EAST games are exciting this season, so I'm starting to think that this year might be the most exciting one that the NFL has ever produced.
Last year, every NFC East game was basically an unwatchable disaster, so I didn't exactly have high hopes for Thursday's game, but then we were all treated to a pleasant surprise: The Giants and Washington played a thriller that wasn't decided until Dustin Hopkins hit a 43-yard field goal with no time left to give the Football Team a 30-29 win.
The craziest part about the kick is that Hopkins actually missed his first attempt at winning the game, but he got a second shot because the Giants jumped offsides* (I'm using an asterisk there because it was a close call and I'm still not 100% sure it was offsides. The guys over at Pro Football Talk feel the same way, so I don't think I'm completely crazy. You can see a clip of the offsides by clicking here).
The fourth quarter was total chaos with the two teams combining for five field goals and a touchdown. There were also three lead-changes in the final 4:33 of the game. We'll be talking about Washington's win in today's newsletter plus giving you your weekly dose of picks, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Recapping Washington's wild win over the Giants
Last year, trying to watch any game involving an NFC East team was almost unbearable and that's mostly because all the teams were so bad. I'm not sure what's changed in 2021, but all of a sudden, the NFC East is my favorite division in the NFL. Last week, the Cowboys gave us an unexpected thriller against the Buccaneers, and this week, Washington and New York did the same.
As a matter of fact, the only thing more exciting than the game was the podcast we recorded after the game. In today's episode of the podcast, we recapped the Washington's wild win over the Giants. If you missed the game, here's a quick rehash of what happened and what we talked about on the podcast:
- Taylor Heinicke was nearly unstoppable. With Heinicke making just the second start of his career, no one really had any idea what to expect, but if Thursday's game was any indication, Washington might have found its quarterback of the future. Not only did Heinicke throw for 336 yards and two touchdowns, he also came up clutch every time Washington needed it. On the Football Team's three TD drives in the game, Heinicke combined to go 15 of 15 for 211 yards. He also led Washington 50 yards down the field in the final two minutes to set up Dustin Hopkin's game-winning 43-yard field goal. Heinicke did have one ugly interception in the fourth quarter, but it didn't end costing Washington the game, so we won't hold it against him.
- Giants shoot themselves in the foot multiple times. No team is better at shooting themselves in the foot than the New York Giants and they lived up to their reputation on Thursday. The Giants made multiple errors in this game. The most notable one came when Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides on the game-winning field goal attempt. Dustin Hopkins actually MISSED the kick from 48 yards away, but he made the second one after the five-yard penalty was enforced. Other errors included: Darius Slayton dropping a wide open TD pass in the fourth quarter that would have iced the game. The Giants also got zero points on a drive that reached Washington's 27-yard line. The reason for that is because they got called for a false start AFTER CALLING a timeout, which was followed by Daniel Jones getting sacked for a loss. Also, a 58-yard TD run by Jones got called back due to holding. This definitely felt like a game the Giants simply threw away.
- Daniel Jones almost willed the Giants to a win. When the Giants lose, it's usually because Jones fumbled the game away, but if there's one team he always seems to play well against, it's Washington. Going into Thursday, Jones had a 4-0 career record against the Football Team and he almost made it 5-0. Not only did Jones throw for 249 yards and a touchdown, he also finished as the game's leading rusher with 95 yards and another touchdown. Unfortunately for Jones, the Giants decided not to really use him on their final drive, which is probably why it ended with a field goal instead of a TD. For their final offensive possession, the Giants started on Washington's 20-yard line after a James Bradberry INT of Heinicke. The Giants decided to play for a field goal by running the ball on both first and second down.
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 check out our takeaways from the game by clicking here.
2. Today's show Part II: Best bets for Week 2
The best part about Friday -- besides the fact that it's Friday -- is that you get two episodes of the podcast in your feed. After the recap of the Thursday game, Brinson politely asked me and Ryan Wilson to leave so that he could bring in Pete Prisco and R.J. White for a discussion about their best bets for Week 2.
Actually, Brinson didn't politely ask us to leave, he had our internet disconnected. How did he know who provides my internet? I have no idea.
Anyway, the guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played in Week 2 and we're going to cover three from each guy below.
The three guys also have a parlay they like that pays out +595 and that parlay is:
- Bears (-2.5) to cover against Bengals
- Steelers (-5.5) to cover against Raiders
- Raiders and Raiders at Steelers UNDER 47
That parlay will pay out $595 on a $100 bet. However, I won't be making that bet because I think the Bengals are going to win on Sunday.
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 2 -- and there are quite a few -- be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast.
3. Colts to headline revamped version of 'Hard Knocks'
If NFL fans had one complaint about "Hard Knocks" this year, it's that the show had gotten a little stale, which wasn't all that surprising, considering that show has now been on for 20 years. To spice things up, HBO and NFL Films are teaming up to unveil a new IN-SEASON version of "Hard Knocks" that will feature the Indianapolis Colts.
Here's why I like the Colts as the choice here:
- Carson Wentz is going to add some drama. The Colts have high expectations this year and a big reason for that is because of the huge trade they made for Wentz. So far, it's been a rough start for Wentz. Not only did he have to undergo foot surgery during training camp, but he also spent some time on the COVID list due to the fact that he's unvaccinated. If the Colts struggle this year, fans in Indy are going to blame him and it will be interesting to see how he responds since he was notoriously sensitive while in Philadelphia.
- Jim Irsay is the Jerry Jones of the AFC. The Colts owner doesn't get as much publicity as Jones, but he definitely likes to talk as much as his Cowboys counterpart. It will be interesting to see how Irsay reacts to the season, especially if the Colts start to struggle or if they lose a game because of a bad coaching decision by Frank Reich.
- Behind the scenes of a regular season week. Watching these teams go through training camp got monotonous on the older version of "Hard Knocks," but that shouldn't be the case with this version. Going through a regular season week is a lot more interesting because the Colts will be game-planning for their next opponent. Not to mention, we'll see the aftermath of any tough losses, which should also be fascinating.
The show will premiere on Nov. 17 and then air every Wednesday through the end of the Colts' season, which means this thing could go all the way until February if the the Colts make it to the Super Bowl.
4. NFL Week 2 picks
This is the final newsletter of the week, which means I feel morally obligated to cram as many picks as possible into this space. I once crammed nine pancakes into my stomach at IHOP so I know I'm good at cramming.
With that in mind, we've got five more Week 1 picks coming your way and those will be coming from Will Brinson and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones along with CBSSports.com writer Jordan Dajani.
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.
- Will Brinson: Bills (-3) 35-17 over Dolphins. Since being hired as coach of the Dolphins, Brian Flores is 0-4 against the Bills and Brinson thinks that he's going to drop to 0-5 in a blowout loss. I agree. For the rest of Brinson's Week 2 picks, be sure to click here.
- Jonathan Jones: Bengals over Bears. From Jones, "I'm looking at a Bengals team that finally won a close game under Zac Taylor and is building confidence. A team where Joe Mixon leads the league in broken tackles after Week 1 with six. And a Cincy team that's facing a Bears defense that allowed points on six of seven drives last Sunday night." For the rest of Jones' Week 2 picks, be sure to click here.
- Jordan Dajani: Seahawks (-5.5) 31-24 over Titans. After struggling against Kyler Murray, the Titans defense now has to face Russell Wilson in Seattle, which isn't ideal, because Wilson has never lost a home-opener (9-0). For the rest of Dajani's Week 2 picks, be sure to click here.
5. Tom Brady might play until he's 50
Tom Brady has been saying for years that he plans on playing in the NFL until he's 45 years old, but now that he's just one year away from reaching that age, it seems that he's come up with a new goal: 50.
Brady revealed that news during the latest episode of the "Tommy & Gronky," which is a show I didn't know existed before yesterday and now that I do know about it, I'll be watching every episode for the rest of time. Basically, the show is just Brady and Rob Gronkowski sitting around and answering questions from fans.
Here's what we learned from the episode:
- Brady on playing until 50. "I don't find it so difficult. Plus, in Florida, it's kind of a retiree state, so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it's a yes."
- Would Gisele actually let Brady play until he's 50? "That's a way better question. That was of course, no, that answer.... I'm just kidding. I'm sorry baby, I love you. You would let me. You would let me doing anything as long as I'm happy."
So basically, Brady could end up playing until he's 50, but two things have to happen: Gisele has to be on board with the decision and Brady has to be able to play at a high level. The 44-year-old said during the offseason that he's going to keep playing as long as he thinks he's good enough to help his team win a Super Bowl.
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.
- Britt Reid's DWI trial set for April 18, 2022. The son of Chiefs coach Andy Reid will be headed to court in April to be tried on a felony charge of driving while intoxicated. Reid, who had a BAC of .113, hit two cars and left a five-year-old girl with a traumatic brain injury during a crash back in February. The former Chiefs assistant is facing up to seven years in prison.
- Will Fuller out for Week 2 and could be out longer. The Dolphins receiver won't be playing this week due to a personal issue, according to coach Brian Flores. The Dolphins coach also declined to say whether Fuller would return to the team this season at all, according to the Palm Beach Post.
- Jets getting Jamison Crowder back. The Jets offense could get a spark this week with the return of Jamison Crowder. The receiver missed New York's Week 1 game against the Panthers after testing positive for COVID on Sept. 3.
- Jets lose Mekhi Becton to knee injury. There's finally some clarity on how long the Jets will be missing their second-year left tackle. Becton, who dislocated his kneecap in Week 1, is expected to miss miss four to six weeks, which means he might not be back on the field until Week 8.
- Bengals receiver changing his number. If you have plans to buy a Tee Higgins jersey anytime soon, you might want to hold off. Higgins is currently No. 85 in Cincinnati, but he's planning on making a change to No. 5 for 2022. You can find out why he's making the change by clicking here.
- Browns are historical favorites. The Browns are favored by 12.5 points this week, which is notable, because the Browns are never favored by 12.5 points. Well, almost never. This game will mark the first time since 1995 that the Browns have been favored by 12.5 or more. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the most the Browns have ever been favored by is 11.5.