Guys, I'll be honest, my only goal with today's newsletter is that it's more exciting than the Bears offense was last night. I'll admit it's a low bar, but hopefully I can hit it.
I'm not sure if you watched the Rams' 24-10 win over the Bears, but if you didn't, that's probably for the best. If you DVR'd the game because you're planning to watch it later today, I have a better idea, burn your DVR. That game doesn't deserve to exist on any technological medium.
As much as I want to sit here and ramble on about how bad the game was, we need to move on, because we have a huge newsletter today: Pete Prisco's weekly power rankings are out, I've got my Week 8 picks ready to go and Cody Benjamin made a list of 75 players who you should keep your eye on between now and the trade deadline (That is not a typo. Cody found 75 players who could be trade candidates).
1. Today's Show: Bears get rolled by Rams
This is usually the part where I tell you that I joined Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson to recap the Monday game, but I'll be honest guys, the game was so bad that we decided to talk about every Rams and Bears-related topic we could think of except for the actual game.
For instance, we spent a few minutes debating whether the Bears made the right decision to trade for Nick Foles this offseason when they had so many other options. There were plenty of quarterbacks available, including Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Tom Brady (Brady actually considered signing with them. You can check out the details of that story by clicking here).
We also had a debate about whether or not Matt Nagy is a good coach. The funny thing about this game is that both teams are 5-2, but with the way we talked about them, you wouldn't know it. Despite the Bears' record, we've lost all faith in them, and although the Rams have been good, you can still make a case that they're the worst team in their division.
Finally, the best part about this podcast is that I got to talk about punting for five minutes without being laughed at or interrupted, so that was truly a highlight of the show for all. OK, maybe not for all. I think Brinson and Wilson fell asleep while I was talking about Johnny Hekker's brilliant performance for the Rams.
To listen to today's episode -- and subscribe to the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Pete Prisco unveils his Week 8 power rankings
"Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!"
I'm not sure if Pete Prisco was watching "The Wizard of Oz" over the weekend, but we definitely saw some Lions and Tigers and Bears make some major moves in his power rankings this week. For instance, the Bears had the biggest drop heading into Week 8, falling from No. 6 to No. 14. As for the Lions, they made the biggest jump, going from No. 23 to No. 16. They should probably go ahead and write a thank you note to Todd Gurley for that ranking.
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets:
- There are three AFC North teams in the top 10. Besides the Steelers and Ravens, there's also the Browns, who are ranked ninth.
- The Washington Football Team is starting to grow on Prisco. After being ranked 31st last week, the Football Team is now up to 24th, which means they tied the Lions for the biggest jump of the week.
- All four NFC West teams are now ranked in the top 15 thanks to the 49ers, who moved up from 19th to 15th this week following their win over the Patriots. The rest of the division falls like this: Seahawks (4), Rams (10), Cardinals (11). Don't ask me why the Cardinals are that far below Seattle after beating them on Sunday. THESE AREN'T MY RANKINGS.
- 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 8 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 8 NFL Picks
If it's Tuesday, that means it's time for my weekly picks. In my weekly picks column, I'm not going to lie, I spent half the thing complaining about the slate of primetime games this week. It's bad enough that we can't celebrate Halloween because there's a pandemic, but now the NFL is making things worse by giving us possibly the worst primetime games ever. I mean, there are THREE NFC EAST teams scheduled to play in primetime this week, which makes no sense, because at this point, all NFC East games are so laughably bad they should be on Comedy Central (Shoutout to Comedy Central, which is also owned by ViacomCBS. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this corporate synergy thing).
Anyway, let's get to the part where I give you two of my favorite picks.
- San Francisco (+3) at Seattle: The 49ers offense has been scoring points at will over the past two weeks and the Seahawks defense has been giving up points at will, which seems like a bad combination for Seattle. The Seahawks defense is giving up 479.2 yards per game, which is crazy when you consider that NO other team in the NFL is even giving up 430 yards per game. The 49ers might score 70 on Sunday. Verdict: 49ers win 34-31 and cover.
- Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Baltimore: During Lamar Jackson's MVP season last year, he had one bad game and it came against the Steelers (Three interceptions). This year, Lamar is not playing at an MVP-level and the Steelers defense is arguably better than it was last season. That's not good news for Lamar or the Ravens. Verdict: Steelers win 26-23 and cover.
To check out the rest of my picks for Week 8, including two more underdogs who I think will win, be sure to click here.
4. NFL Trade deadline: 75 players who could get dealt
With the NFL trade deadline exactly one week away -- yes the deadline is on Election Day, yes the NFL is stupid for doing that, no they're not going to change it -- now seems like a good time to take a look at some players who might get dealt this year and that's exactly what Cody Benjamin did this week. I now know why Cody hasn't tweeted in four days and that's because he's been working on this story, which features 75 PLAYERS who could get dealt. If there's a 5% chance that a player could get traded, they made Cody's list.
These aren't trade proposals, this is just a list of players you should keep an eye on because they might get dealt between now and Nov. 3. Let's take a look at few of the players he has on his list.
- At quarterback, Cody has Ryan Fitzpatrick (Dolphins), Jameis Winston (Saints), Dwayne Haskins (Washington), Sam Darnold (Jets) and Tyrod Taylor (Chargers) as possible trade candidates. I honestly think the Cowboys should think about making a move even though they keep insisting they're not going to do it.
- At wide receiver, we have multiple juicy trade candidates, including A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Marvin Jones and every receiver who plays for the Texans (Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, Will Fuller).
- Another interesting crop of players is at offensive line. Cody lists guard Joe Thuney (Patriots), guard Brandon Scherff (Washington), tackle Riley Reiff (Vikings), center Alex Mack (Falcons) and guard Kevin Zeitler (Giants). Those are all interesting names if only because they would be an instant upgrade to almost any offensive line in the league. The problem with trading for O-linemen is that they're not cheap to acquire.
For a look at Cody's full list of 75 players who could get dealt, be sure to click here. While you're reading that, Cody will be taking a nap.
5. 2021 Mock Draft: Quarterbacks go one-two
The good thing about being a bad team in the NFL is that you get rewarded at the end of the season in the form of a high draft pick. This year everyone is trying to "Lose for Lawrence" so that they can draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Although the Jets have been absolutely horrible this season, they're going to have to fend off some other bad teams who seem equally desperate to get their hands on that No. 1 overall pick. As of right now, there are six one-win teams and the zero-win Jets who all seem to be in the race for the top pick
So who's going to get Lawrence? Glad you asked. Ryan Wilson looked into his draft crystal ball this week to answer that question. Wilson mocked the entire first round, but we're only going to look at his first three picks.
- Jets: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. Not even the Jets can botch this pick.
- Jaguars: Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Wilson doesn't see Minshew Mania lasting too long in Jacksonville. If you bought a pair of jorts to honor Minshew, I hope you kept the receipt.
- Bengals: Oregon OL Penei Sewell. The Bengals do need offensive line help, but I have to say, I'm offended that Wilson thinks they're going to have the third overall pick. They can STILL make the playoffs, RYAN! In other news, the only reason I just mentioned playoffs is because I'm pretty sure I've been brainwashed by the Bengals.
To see the rest of Wilson's first-round mock draft, be sure to click here.
6. All Things Covered: DeAndre Hopkins pops in for a visit
The Pick Six Podcast isn't the only NFL podcast here at CBS Sports and that's because we now have All Things Covered, which is hosted by two-time Super Bowl winner Bryant McFadden and his cousin. The twist here is that his cousin just happens to be Cardinals starting cornerback Patrick Peterson.
You're definitely going to want to listen to this week's show for a multitude of reasons, starting with the fact that you'll get to hear Peterson talk about what it was like to play against and beat Russell Wilson on Sunday night. Peterson also got one of his teammates to join the show this week as a guest and that teammate was none other than DeAndre Hopkins.
During their conversation with Hopkins, the guys talked about some interesting subjects like whether the Cardinals receiver has any type of relationship with former Texans coach Bill O'Brien, who traded him away for next to nothing during the offseason.
7. The Kicker!
I don't want to sound hyperbolic and say that Johnny Hekker gave us the greatest punting performance in NFL history on Monday, but guys, Johnny Hekker might have just given us the greatest punting performance in NFL history on Monday.
The Rams punter had five kicks against Chicago and with those punts he pinned the Bears inside their own 10-yard line all five times. The punts that were downed at the 1, 5, 6, 7 and 10. That's insane. I never thought I'd watch an NFL game where punting would be the most enjoyable part, but it happened. I can't believe anything still shocks me at this point in 2020 -- AKA the craziest year on record -- but here we are.
Anyway, Cody will be taking the reins of the newsletter tomorrow, which is probably for the best, because I'm definitely going to be writing multiple emails to the Rams asking them to build a statue for Hekker outside their new stadium.