Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Well, well, well, "Time" magazine handed out its "Person of the Year" award yesterday, and unfortunately, I did not win. Instead, the award went to Taylor Swift, and I have to say, I spent so much time writing about her this year that I thought they might call me for comment, but they did not.
As the No. 1 Chiefs fan on the planet right now, Swift did mention Travis Kelce several times during her interview for the award, which I would suggest reading tonight during the Patriots-Steelers game, because let's be honest, if there's one prime-time game this season where you might want to consider reading something instead of watching the game, it's this one.
Speaking of the game, we'll be previewing it in this newsletter, plus we'll be unveiling our first MVP Watch of the season.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Two former NFL players break down the latest NFL news
Host Will Brinson joined them during Thursday's show, and the three of them had an interesting conversation about David Carr's latest take on Jalen Hurts. The former NFL quarterback thinks that the Eagles need to BENCH Hurts until he's completely healthy.
Douzable thinks it would be crazy to bench Hurts.
"I get what you're saying, he may not be healthy enough, but let's not forget, they still have the number one record in football," Douzable said. "To me, Carr's point makes absolutely no sense. It would be one thing if they lost three or four games in a row and you're saying, 'Maybe we just need to get Jalen healthy so we can make a run in the playoffs,' but they're still the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so what are we talking about here!?"
As for Quinn, who is a former NFL QB like Carr, he wasn't buying Carr's hot take.
"I don't agree in any way, shape or form with David Carr's assessment. ... I think that's a tough sell to the rest of your team and a tough sell to Jalen," Quinn said of possibly benching Hurts. "I don't think it's even worth wasting our time on or even talking about, because it's just so odd."
As you can tell, Quinn and Douzable do NOT agree with Carr's take.
If you want to hear their full thoughts on the situation, then be sure to click here so you can listen to the episode. The three guys also debated who would get into the playoffs right now if the NFL had a committee that only picked four teams, plus they made some predictions for tonight's game between the Patriots and Steelers. If you prefer your podcasts in video form, you can also watch the episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Thursday night preview: Prepping you for Patriots at Steelers
If you're hoping to see some offensive fireworks tonight, I have some bad news for you: The only way you're going to see fireworks is if you set some off at your house. This game is going to feature two of the worst offenses in the NFL this year. These two teams are so bad that the over/under for total points is currently sitting 30, which would make it the. The Patriots have averaged just 4.3 POINTS per game over their past three games. The Steelers haven't been much better, averaging just 12 points per game since Week 11.
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together CBS Sports' deep-dive preview for this game, and here's how he sees things playing out:
- Why the Patriots can win: If the Patriots are going to win, it's all going to come down to their defense. In New England's past three games, the defense has surrendered just 10, 10 and six points. If they can hold the Steelers somewhere in that range, that will automatically keep them in the game, no matter how badly their offense plays.
- Why the Steelers can win: The Steelers got a small spark after firing Matt Canada heading into Week 12, but that spark was completely extinguished during an upset loss to the Cardinals in Week 13 where Pittsburgh only scored 10 points. With Kenny Pickett out this week, the Steelers will be rolling with Mitchell Trubisky, and if he can do something -- anything! -- against the Patriots defense, Pittsburgh should be able to win. The Patriots have struggled to stop the pass this year and the Steelers have plenty of players -- like Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth -- who can take advantage of New England's secondary. If Trubisky can get them the ball, the Steelers should be in good shape. Trubisky doesn't even have to be good; he just has to be average. If he can lead the Steelers to two touchdowns, that will almost certainly be enough to beat the Patriots.
You can get.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, here's one prop I like:
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Chris Boswell OVER 1.5 field goals. I have no idea if there will be any touchdowns scored in this game, but I do think we'll see several field goals from Boswell. The Steelers kicker has at least two field goal attempts in nine of Pittsburgh's past 11 games. Also, the Steelers offense has struggled in the red zone this season, which means it won't be surprising if we see them kick several field goals.
My prime-time prop record is 18-11 this year.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Jared's pick: Steelers 10-6 over Patriots
My pick: Steelers 13-10 over Patriots
You can see who all of our experts are taking over on our CBSSports.com picks page. Right now, we're split down the middle on whether the Steelers will cover as a six-point favorite.
3. MVP Watch: Dak Prescott and Brock Purdy lead the way in our vote
With just five weeks left to play in the regular season, we thought now would be a time to fire up our "MVP Watch," so that's exactly what we're doing. We rounded up 13 of our NFL writers and had them vote on who they think will win the MVP.
The 50 media members who actually vote on the award will each get to name up to five players on their ballot, so that's exactly how we handled the voting here.
Without further ado, here's a look at our top five, along with each player's point total. (A player got five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.)
As you can see, this race is a dead heat. A total of five different players received at least one first-place vote, including Lamar Jackson, who didn't even make our top five.
Prescott and Purdy were the only two players named on all 13 ballots. The 49ers QB is currently the betting favorite at Caesars SportsBook with odds of +300, which makes it a surprise that we have Prescott so far ahead of him. Of course, that could change if Dak chokes on Sunday against the Eagles.
Overall, a total of eight players received at least one vote. If you want to see a full list of every player who got at least one vote,.
If Purdy ends up winning MVP, he would be one of the most unexpected winners in NFL history, which is why we decided to take a look at some other unexpected winners,.
4. NFL hot seat rankings: Bill Belichick's seat is scorching hot heading into Week 14
We've already seen two NFL coaches get canned this year, and with five weeks left in the season, it wouldn't be totally surprising if we see one or two more. Even if that if that doesn't happen, we'll definitely see a few coaches get fired as soon as the regular season ends.
If you're wondering who might lose their job, Garrett Podell put together a hot seat rankings to see who's in the most trouble heading into Week 14.
Let's take a look at his list:
Belichick's seat could get even hotter if the Patriots offense once against struggles tonight. If you want to check out Garrett's full rankings, you.
5. Ex-Jaguars employee allegedly stole $22 million from team
The Jaguars are taking a former employee to court after they noticed that he might have stolen $22 million from the team, according to court documents obtained by The Athletic. And no, the employee was not Urban Meyer. (He legally got to take his money from the Jags.) The employee, Amit Patel, was in charge of the team's virtual credit card program, which was one reason he had access to that kind of money.
Here are the crazy details about the situation:
- Patel worked for the team for nearly five years. Patel started working for the team in 2018 and stayed with them until he was fired in February 2023. During his time with the team, he had several titles, but the big one he had when he left was "manager, financial planning and analysis," which essentially made him the sole administrator of the virtual credit card program.
- Patel spent more than $22 million. Patel is accused of illegally taking $22,221,454.40 from the Jags, and if you're wondering what he spent that money on, we have the answer. Patel went on a spending spree that included purchases of two vehicles (including a Tesla Model 3), a beachside condo and a $95,000 designer watch. He also booked charter jets and luxury hotels for himself and his friends. Not to mention, he also spent some of the money on gambling sites while also investing in cryptocurrency.
- Jaguars confirmed they got bilked by Patel. Although the Jags were NOT named in the court filing, they did confirm that they were involved in this situation, "We can confirm that in February 2023, the team terminated the employment of the individual named in the filing," the team said in a statement. "Over the past several months we have cooperated fully with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida during their investigation and thank them for their efforts in this case. As was made clear in the charges, this individual was a former manager of financial planning and analysis who took advantage of his trusted position to covertly and intentionally commit significant fraudulent financial activity at the team's expense for personal benefit."
If you want more details on this wild case,. I feel like there's an Ocean's 11 sequel in here somewhere, so if anyone wants to write that script during the offseason, feel free.
6. Extra points: One of the top scorers in NFL history just retired
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.
- Robbie Gould retires. The long-time NFL kicker announced his retirement on Thursday, just one day after his 41st birthday. Gould will finish his career ranking in the top-10 on the all-time NFL list in both points scored (10th) and accuracy (ninth). Gould also set an NFL record that will likely never be broken: most playoff kicks without a miss. Gould hit 100% of his postseason kicks in his career, going 39 of 39 on extra points and 29 of 29 on field goals. Gould mentioned that one of his favorite kicks came on a 45-yard game-winner in the playoffs at Lambeau Field that you can see here.
- Mike McCarthy taken to hospital on Wednesday. The Cowboys head coach . McCarthy had been taken to the hospital in the morning after suffering abdominal pain. Although he might be out Thursday and Friday, McCarthy is expected to be back on the sideline by Sunday, when the Cowboys host the Eagles in an NFC East showdown.
- Josh Dobbs set to start for Vikings. After taking the bye week to think about it, Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell has decided that Josh Dobbs against the Raiders. O'Connell wouldn't commit to Dobbs after he threw four interceptions in a Week 12 loss to the Bears. Of course, it won't be surprising if Dobbs plays slightly better this week and that's because the Vikings are expected to have Justin Jefferson back on the field for the first time since Week 5.
- Jets going back to Zach Wilson at QB. The Jets have easily had the most bizarre QB situation in the NFL over the past few weeks and now, there's been another twist: The team is turning back to Wilson. Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed Wednesday that Wilson . Tim Boyle, who started the Jets' past two games, was .
- Panthers tight end dealing with serious trauma. Hayden Hurst hasn't played since Nov. 9 and that's because he's suffering from post-traumatic amnesia after taking a hit against the Bears, according to his dad. You can .
- Von Miller will be available this week for Bills. The Bills star, who was taken into custody last week after being accused of domestic assault, is for Buffalo's showdown with the Chiefs. Miller may not face any repercussions over the incident and that's mostly because his girlfriend is now claiming that no assault occurred, calling the case "insane."