Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter, which should actually probably be two newsletters today because there's so much to go over after a wild Sunday. There were highs (Justin Tucker), there were lows (rookie quarterbacks) and then there was whatever the Bears did. I would say they played like garbage, but that would be an insult to garbage. Tucker had more yards on one kick (66) than the Bears had on offense (47).
Of course, I don't need to pile on the Bears right now, because we're going to do that later on in the newsletter. We have a lot to cover today, so let's get to the rundown, which will feature kickers, quarterbacks and our Week 3 winners and losers (Based on the fact that I've already mentioned the Bears seven times, you can probably guess one of our losers).
As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Week 3 winners and losers, plus full recap
It's Monday, which can only mean one thing: I stayed up until 3 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson that touched on everything you need to know about Week 3, and let me just say, it's probably for the best that you listen. We covered all 14 games from Sunday and I'll be honest, we spent way more time talking about kickers than we usually do, which is what happens when one of them breaks the NFL record for longest field goal.
One thing we do every week is hand out our weekly winners and losers from Sunday's action. For our winners this week, Wilson and Brinson decided to pick teams that play in the same city while I went with kickers because how could I not go with kickers.
- Winner: Chargers. No one is better at blowing games than the Chargers, but somehow, they didn't blow it against the Chiefs on Sunday. Not only did Brandon Staley make a gutsy fourth-down call in the fourth quarter, but Justin Herbert also out-dueled Patrick Mahomes.
- Loser: Big Ben. I'm not sure what rock bottom is in the NFL, but Ben Roethlisberger might have hit it on Sunday. Not only did the Steelers lose, but Wilson, who is a noted Steelers homer, wants to see him benched. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora also thinks the Steelers should consider benching Big Ben and you can check out his thoughts on the subject by clicking here.
- Winner: Rams. The Rams' decision to trade for Matthew Stafford is looking smarter every week. With Stafford rolling, the Rams were able to outgun the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, and as long as everyone stays healthy, the Rams might be the best team in the NFC.
- Loser: Bears. In one of the most inept offensive performances in NFL history, the Bears totaled just 47 yards, which includes exactly ONE NET PASSING YARD. That is not a typo. The Bears finished with one passing yard. The Bears have a lot of offensive questions after three weeks and no one seems to have the answers.
- Winner: Justin Tucker/kickers. It was a banner week for kickers and none of them had a bigger day than Justin Tucker. The Ravens kicker set the NFL record for longest field goal by hitting an improbable 66-yard kick against the Lions. Tucker now has two game-winning field goals in his career of 60 yards or more and they both came against the Lions. I'm guessing he's no longer welcome in Detroit.
- Loser: Seahawks. The Vikings didn't have Dalvin Cook on Sunday and the Seahawks still managed to find a way to lose. The Seahawks' biggest problem is that they continue to disappear in the second half. This team has scored ZERO points in the third quarter this season. I'm not sure what Pete Carroll says at halftime, but he might want to hire someone to write his future halftime speeches, because his current ones are not working.
Not only did we list our winners and losers, but we also recapped every game from Sunday. To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here.
2. Week 3 grades: Bills get an 'A' for torching Washington
Every week I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, Josh Allen was our valedictorian.
Here's a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Bills 43-21 over Football Team (Click here for full recap)
- Washington takeaway: Washington is only going to go as far as its defense takes it this season and right now, it doesn't look like that's going to be very far. The Football Team's defense basically looked helpless against a Bills offense that rolled up nearly 500 yards. The only thing worse than Washington's defensive performance was its offensive performance. The Football Team turned the ball over on two of their first three possessions and things only got worse from there. Grade: D-
- Bills takeaway: If anyone in Buffalo was worried about Josh Allen after watching him struggle through the first two weeks of the season, they're probably not worried much anymore after watching him dice up Washington. After struggling through the first two weeks of the season, Allen rebounded with a huge a game, throwing for 358 yards and totaling five touchdowns (four pass, one rush), which tied a career-high. Grade: A
- Jets takeaway: The Jets are a total disaster right now. After starting the season 0-2, it didn't seem like they could get any worse this week, but somehow, they managed to get worse. They can't run the ball (they finished with 43 yards), they can't throw the ball (Zach Wilson threw two picks) and they can't protect their quarterback (The offensive line gave up five sacks). Also, their defense is basically set up to fail because it's on the field all the time. Did I mention that this team is a disaster? I did? OK, I thought I did, but I also thought I should mention it again just to emphasize how much of a disaster they are. Grade: F
- Broncos takeaway: The Broncos were just one of two teams to earn an 'A+' this week and a big reason for that is because their defense was so dominant. Most importantly, the Broncos didn't give up a single point, marking just the third time over the past 15 years that Denver has pitched a shutout. This game also marked the first time since 2009 that Denver has held an opponent under 200 yards in consecutive weeks. This defense looks dominant and if the offense continues to get better, Denver should be a playoff contender this year. Grade: A+
As for the other 24 grades we handed out on Sunday, you can check those out by clicking here.
3. Rookie quarterbacks off to ugly start
The rookie quarterback class received a lot of hype heading into the 2021 season, but after three weeks, they definitely aren't living up to it. Actually, that's an understatement. Through three weeks, the rookie class has been a total disaster.
Rookie quarterbacks are a combined 1-10 this season and the only reason they even have one win is because two of them faced each other in Week 2 (Mac Jones beat Zach Wilson). Here's a look at how ugly things got on Sunday with rookie quarterbacks going 0-4 (Davis Mills also lost on Thursday, so rookie quarterbacks went a combined 0-5 this week):
- Trevor Lawrence continues to struggle. The No. 1 overall pick has been an interception-throwing machine this season and that continued on Sunday. Not only did Lawrence throw two picks, but one of them was returned for a TD in a 31-19 loss to the Cardinals (Final stats: 22 of 34 for 219 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs).
- Justin Fields and the Bears hit rock-bottom. Fields' first start for the Bears was an unmitigated disaster. Instead of designing a new offense to fit his quarterback's skill set, Matt Nagy decided to run the same stuff he was running with Andy Dalton and as you can imagine, things got ugly. The Bears finished with just 47 total yards and ONE team passing yard. Field was also sacked nine times in the 26-6 loss to Cleveland. (Final stats: 6 of 20 for 68 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT). Although Fields threw for 68 yards, the Bears' team total was ONE yard because they lost 67 yards to sacks.
- Mac Jones struggles against Saints. Trevor Lawrence wasn't the only rookie QB to throw a pick-six in Week 3 and that's because Jones also threw one. Jones had his worst game of the season in a 28-13 loss to the Saints. (Final stats: 30 of 51 for 270 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs)
- Zach Wilson has ugly outing against Broncos. As bad as the other rookie quarterbacks were, at least they didn't get shut out. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Wilson, who spent most of the day running for his life in a 26-0 loss to Denver. Wilson was sacked five times while playing behind a porous Jets offensive line (Final stats: 19 of 35 for 160 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs)
Wilson and Lawrence are currently tied for the league-lead with seven interceptions. At that pace, they would end the year with 39 picks, which would smash Peyton Manning's rookie record of 28 interceptions, which has stood since 1998.
4. Justin Tucker breaks NFL record as kickers go wild (Tucker, Carlson, Koo, Hopkins, McLaughlin, Prater)
If we learned one thing from Week 3, it's obviously that kicker is the most important position in the NFL. It was a wild day for kickers and not just because Justin Tucker set an NFL record with a 66-yard field goal, but there were also plenty of other wild plays, so we're going to cover them here.
- Justin Tucker sets NFL record for longest field goal. Tucker broke a record that had been previously held by Matt Prater, who drilled a 64-yard kick back in 2013. Tucker's kick marked the 22nd time in NFL history that a team has attempted a field goal of 66 yards or more. Before Sunday, kickers had combined to go 0-for-21 on the previous attempts. The game-winning field goal from Tucker was his fourth of the game. Before hitting from 66, Tucker also hit from 32, 39 and 50. That last kick is notable, because this game marked the seventh time that Tucker has hit multiple field goals of 50 yards or more in a game, which ties an NFL record.
- Mason Crosby delivers for Packers. The Packers kicker hit a 51-yard field goal as time expired to propel Green Bay to a 30-28 win over the 49ers. Crosby has now hit 22 straight field goals, which is the third-longest active streak in the NFL. The Packers put his streak to the test a few times on Sunday night. Not only was he asked to hit a 51-yarder, but he also nailed a 54-yarder in the first quarter.
- Daniel Carlson kicks Raiders to victory. After missing an extra point in regulation, Carlson more than made up for it by nailing TWO field goals in overtime, including a game-winner from 22 yards out that clinched a wild 31-28 win for Las Vegas.
- Falcons earn first win thanks to Younghoe Koo. Koo only got one field goal attempt on Sunday, but he made the most of it. On the final play of the game, Koo hit a kick from 40 yards out to give Atlanta a 17-14 win over the Giants.
- McLaughlin sets record for Browns. Chase McLaughlin hit a 57-yard field goal for the Browns, which is notable, because it's the longest field goal Cleveland has ever made in a home game.
- Dustin Hopkins does the impossible. In one of the wildest plays from Week 3, Hopkins actually recovered his own kickoff for Washington and it wasn't even an onside kick. If you want to know how that's even possible, you're going to want to click here so you can watch the play.
- Jaguars get a kick-six. Just before halftime in the Cardinals-Jaguars game, Kliff Kingsbury decided to send Matt Prater out for a 68-yard field goal attempt. After the kick fell short, Jamal Agnew proceeded to return it 109 yards for a TD, tying the NFL record for longest play (You can see the play by clicking here). If Justin Tucker didn't exist, this would have been the craziest play of Week 3.
Hopefully, every week going forward has as many exciting special teams plays as Week 3.
Tonight's game isn't just an NFC East showdown, it's also a BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE in the division, which I consider exciting even though we're only three weeks into the season. The winning team will be in first place all by themselves heading into Week 4.
My good buddy Jared Dubin wrote our deep-dive preview for this game here at CBSSports.com, and here's how he sees the game playing out:
- Why the Eagles can win: With a depleted offensive line -- the Eagles will be without both left tackle Jordan Mailata and right guard Brandon Brooks -- this game is likely going to come down to how well Jalen Hurts can deal with the Cowboys pass rush. The Eagles QB is a threat to both run the ball and pass the ball and if he can make big plays both on the ground and through the air, then the Eagles might be able to pull off the upset.
- Why the Cowboys can win: The Cowboys have the offensive weapons to turn this into a shootout and if that happens, it's hard to imagine the Eagles keeping up. Of course, for that to happen, the offensive line is going to have to keep Dak Prescott upright, which might not be easy with right tackle La'el Collins out. Also, the Eagles have been susceptible to the run, so it won't be surprising if we see a big game from either Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard.
Dubin's pick: Cowboys 30-20 over Eagles.
My pick: Cowboys 31-24 over Eagles.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Jordan Dajani put together a full gambling preview.
- ONE PROP JORDAN LIKES: Tony Pollard OVER 2.5 reception (+105): "Pollard seemingly took over the backfield last Sunday. I'm not saying he does that again Monday night, but he has caught at least three passes in both games so far. With plus money on my side, I'm convinced to take this prop."
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Greg Zuerlein OVER 1.5 field goals (-115): I don't think there's a coach who loves attempting field goals more than Mike McCarthy. In Week 1, Zuerlein had five attempts and then he followed that up in Week 2 with two attempts. I won't be surprised at all if the Cowboys kicker hits two or three more field goals tonight.
- Long shot prop that I'm thinking about betting: Cowboys to win by 7 to 12 points (+400). After playing their first two games of the season on the road, the Cowboys are playing their home opener tonight and I expect them to be fired up. With this prop, you could win if this ends up being a one-score game (7 or 8 points), but you could also make money if the Cowboys pull off a double-digit win, which is what I'm predicting.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
It was a busy weekend 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.
- Panthers make trade for Jaguars corner. C.J. Henderson was on the trading block for most of the offseason and it looks like Jacksonville has finally found a taker. The Panthers pulled off a deal on Monday to acquire Henderson. To make the trade happen, Carolina sent tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick to Jacksonville.
- Andy Reid taken to hospital. The Chiefs coach was hospitalized following Kansas City's loss to the Chargers on Sunday. According to multiple reports, Reid was simply dealing with dehydration and he was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. You can read more about this story by clicking here.
- Josh Norman also hospitalized. The 49ers cornerback was taken to the hospital because he was spitting up blood after suffering a chest injury against the Packers, according to NFL.com. Fortunately for Norman, his tests came back OK and he's hoping to return to the team this week.
- Cowboys La'el Collins tried to bribe the drug collector. In one of the most bizarre stories you'll hear this year, Collins apparently tried to bribe the drug collector, according to ESPN.com. Collins was originally hit with a five-game suspension for missing multiple tests; however, it looked like the suspension was going to be cut to two games because he had a valid reason for missing each test. Once the case went to arbitration though, the five-game penalty stuck after the tidbit about Collins attempting to bribe the drug collector came out.
- Josh Gordon reinstated. The former NFL receiver hasn't played in a game since 2019, but that could soon change. Gordon has been reinstated by the NFL, which means he's eligible to play as soon as Week 4. However, before that can happen, he'll need to actually sign with a team.
- Tua Tagovailoa placed on injured reserve. After turning to Jacoby Brissett in Week 3, the Dolphins will likely be sticking with him for at least two more weeks after placing Tua (ribs) on IR. Due to the move, Tua has to miss at least three games, which means the earliest he could return would be for Miami's Week 6 game in London.
- Andy Dalton could miss multiple weeks. Justin Fields might get another chance to start for Chicago and that's because Dalton's injury could sideline him for one or two more games. According to ESPN.com, Dalton is dealing with a bone bruise in his knee and there's a chance he could be out until Week 6, although if the injury heals quickly, it's also possible that Dalton could return this week.
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