Hello, hello, you fine folks. John Breech isn't here today (I think he's busy doing some guilty-pleasure Christmas shopping for Ja'Marr Chase jerseys after that rough weekend for the Bengals), but you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to guide you through all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got Week 14 predictions, insider notes on coaching changes, playoff projections and more:
- Today's show: Are the Patriots truly the team to beat in the AFC?
Brady Quinn joined Will Brinson on Wednesday's "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to break down the fallout from Monday night's Patriots victory, which confirmed New England as the AFC East front-runner. Are the Pats truly the team to beat out of the AFC? Which other AFC clubs are legitimate contenders? Here are some highlights from the discussion:
- Brady doesn't buy the AFC South-leading Titans, who have looked much different since losing Derrick Henry
- Will thinks New England could thrive as the No. 1 seed by sticking to the run and hosting visitors in "disgusting weather"
- Both guys are split on the No. 3 team in the AFC, pointing to the unpredictability of the Bills and Ravens
Catch the full discussion (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Prisco's picks: Bucs edge Bills, Washington upsets Cowboys
Pete Prisco is up to 115-78-1 on his straight-up picks this year. Wanna know who he's got in Week 14? Check out CBS Sports for his picks for every single game, including these bold forecasts:
- Washington 23, Dallas 21: This is suddenly an enormous game in the division race. Washington has won four straight and is playing outstanding defense. The Dallas offense hasn't clicked as expected in recent weeks, either.
- Browns 24, Ravens 20: The Ravens are playing a second straight division road game, while the Browns are coming off a bye. Advantage Cleveland. The Ravens have struggled on offense in a big way for much of the past month.
- Buccaneers 33, Bills 32: Buffalo is playing on a short week after playing Monday night and now must travel to play a good Bucs team. That's tough to do. (But) look for a lot of points as Josh Allen and Tom Brady light things up.
3. Insider notes: Surveying potential head coaching changes
Jason La Canfora expects that a good half-dozen teams will make head coaching changes this offseason, as is the norm. Here are some of his thoughts on seven jobs that may or may not open up soon:
- Bears: Many close to ownership expect Matt Nagy will be out, with general manager Ryan Pace possibly to follow
- Broncos: Most around the NFL would be surprised if Vic Fangio isn't replaced amid their "climate of change"
- Giants: Word on the street is that Joe Judge is safe atop the staff, even as more turnover could be coming
- Jaguars: Urban Meyer appears safe, even after a bad debut and amid a "thorny" relationship with the GM
- Raiders: Interim Rich Bisaccia is likely to be one of many casualties of an anticipated rebuild
- Texans: David Culley could survive as a bridge to another reset in 2023, but the GM hasn't committed to him, either
- Vikings: Mike Zimmer is headed for an exit, perhaps even in-season, in the face of a playoff mandate
John Breech has been collecting simulation results from SportsLine's super computer to forecast the final playoff picture. The latest simulations, which predict the rest of the 2021 season 10,000+ times, have Indy and Philly claiming the last spots, with the Bengals, Steelers and Washington among the last eliminated. Here are the full projected postseason standings:
Just missed: Bengals, Steelers, Browns
Just missed: Washington, Saints, Vikings
5. QB Power Rankings: Tom Brady back on top; Russ on the rise
Every week, we rank all 32 starting QBs from first to worst. This week, Tom Brady returned to the top spot, just ahead of Aaron Rodgers, while Russell Wilson jumped back into the top 10 after an encouraging win over the 49ers. Here's a look at the latest top 10 as we enter Week 14:
- Tom Brady (+1)
- Aaron Rodgers (-1)
- Kyler Murray
- Justin Herbert (+2)
- Josh Allen (-1)
- Patrick Mahomes (-1)
- Russell Wilson (+5)
- Lamar Jackson (-1)
- Dak Prescott (-1)
- Matthew Stafford (+3)
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Injury updates, MVP watch, more
Hungry for more NFL news? Here are some more headlines to munch on:
- Jamal Adams out for season: The Seahawks lose their star defender to shoulder surgery
- Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers lead MVP race: But Kyler Murray is making it a three-man race
- Playoff clinching scenarios: How the Packers, Bucs and Cardinals can punch their tickets
- Texans cut Zach Cunningham: Just one year after extending the LB on a $58M deal
- Rodgers gets second opinion on toe injury: The Packers QB is improving after the bye week
- Logan Thomas returns to IR: The Washington tight end is officially out for the year
- Former Saints veteran dies at 31: Glenn Foster Jr. was recently taken into police custody
- Montez Sweat tests positive for COVID-19: The Washington defender will miss Week 14
- Zach Ertz talks Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury: Jordan Dajani speaks with the Cards tight end