Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Today’s newsletter is unofficially sponsored by the state of Pennsylvania and that’s mostly because the two NFL teams in that state have provided a Thanksgiving dinner table full of NFL news over the past 24 hours.
Everyone in Philadelphia went to bed happy last night after watching the Eagles pull off a wild 21-17 comeback win over the Chiefs. Not to be outdone, the Steelers made their own headlines on Tuesday morning by firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada. We’ll be covering the Eagles’ win and the Steelers’ firing today, plus we’ll also be taking a look at Prisco’s latest Power Rankings.
Oh, and I should note that the rest of this week is going to be a little different around here. We won’t have a newsletter on Thursday (Thanksgiving), so the next time you’ll hear from me after today will be Friday. Cody Benjamin will be manning the newsletter tomorrow so that I can get an early start on my Thanksgiving wine drinking.
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. All right, let’s get to the rundown.
1. Today’s show: Early bets for Week 12
With Week 11 officially in the books, we decided to get an early jump on Week 12 today by revealing some of our best bets for the upcoming week of NFL action.
During today’s episode, Katie Mox and Will Brinson were joined by SportsLine gambling gurus Emory Hunt and Alex Selesnick.
The crew covered several of their favorite early bets for Week 12 and we’re going to look at a couple of those below.
Selesnick: 49ers at Seahawks UNDER 43 points “If you look at the last two regular-season games between the 49ers and Seahawks, they totaled 34 in both,” Mox said. “I think it’s going be a huge defensive game, lower scoring, I’ll take the under.”
Hunt: Jaguars at Texans OVER 46.5 points. Emory thinks this AFC South showdown is going to be a shootout. “Both of these teams will score, they’ll find the end zone. Both quarterbacks can work deep down the field in the passing game, they have tremendous vertical threats. I like the over. Right now, 46.5 isn’t enough points.”
2. Breaking down the Eagles’ upset win over the Chiefs
There was a lot of hype going into Monday’s Super Bowl rematch between the Chiefs and Eagles, and the game somehow lived up to it. Nine months after beating the Eagles in the Super Bowl, it looked like the Chiefs were going to coast to victory again after jumping out to a 17-7 halftime lead, but the Eagles came back to pull off a stunning 21-17 win in Kansas City.
This is where we usually hand out grades, but there’s a lot to go over here, so we’re going to break down the game:
Eagles ‘tush push’ their way to a win. Jalen Hurts had two rushing touchdowns in the game and his second one came on a ‘tush push’ with just 6:20 left to play. The 1-yard score gave the Eagles their first lead of the night at 21-17. Hurts has now won 13 straight games against teams with a winning record, which is the longest streak in NFL history. He topped Peyton Manning and Vinny Testaverde, who both had 12-game streaks in their career.
Swift and Smith to the rescue. D’Andre Swift and DeVonta Smith saved the day for the Eagles by providing nearly every offensive yard that Philly produced in the game. Swift totaled 107 yards (76 rushing, 31 receiving) while Smith tallied six catches for 99 yards. That means they combined for 206 of the Eagles’ 238 offensive yards. Both guys came up with multiple big plays in the game. On Philly’s first TD drive, Smith had a 20-yard catch and Swift had a 17-yard run. On the Eagles’ second TD drive, Swift had a 35-yard run that helped set up a 10-yard TD by Hurts. On Philly’s game-winning TD drive in the fourth quarter, Swift had a 20-yard catch and that wasn’t even the best play, because Smith topped it with a 41-yard grab that took the Eagles down to Kansas City’s 1-yard line (You can see Smith’s catch here).
Chiefs implode again in the second half. The Chiefs are officially the worst second-half team in the NFL. After putting up 17 points in the first half, the Chiefs didn’t score a single point in the second half, which is starting to become an issue for them. The Chiefs have now gone THREE straight games without scoring a point in the second half. Through 11 weeks, they’re averaging 5.3 points in the second half, which is the worst number in the NFL. They’re also averaging just 1.9 fourth-quarter points per game on the season, which ranks dead last in the NFL.
Chiefs keep dropping passes. One reason the Chiefs were so bad in the second half is because they keep dropping passes. They dropped a total of five in the game, with three coming on their final offensive possession. The most devastating drop came on a pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling with just under two minutes left that would have gone for a 51-yard TD if he had held onto it, but he didn’t (You can see the play here). Justin Watson also let a pass go through his hands that would have converted a fourth-and-25 with just under 90 seconds left to play.
Chiefs failed by their biggest stars. Another problem the Chiefs had in this game is that two of their biggest stars made uncharacteristic mistakes. In the first half, Patrick Mahomes threw an interception after the Chiefs had driven down inside of Philly’s 15-yard line. In the second half, Travis Kelce lost a fumble after catching a pass that would have put the Chiefs inside of Philly’s 10-yard line. If the Chiefs had scored a touchdown on just ONE of those drives, this probably would have been a very different game.
3. Steelers surprisingly decide to fire Matt Canada
Steelers fans have been calling for the firing of Matt Canada all season and Mike Tomlin finally decided to make the move on Tuesday morning. The Steelers offensive coordinator was fired just two days after a loss to the Browns where the Steelers offense was only able to muster 10 points. This was a surprising move, if only because the Steelers NEVER make midseason firings. Before today, the last time it happened came all the way back in 1941.
Here’s everything you need to know about the situation:
The Steelers offense has been bad this year. Through 11 weeks, the Steelers rank at the bottom of the NFL in nearly every offensive statistical category. The rank 28th in points per game (16.6), 28th in yards per game and when it comes to passing yards per game, they rank almost dead last at 31st overall, ahead of just the Giants.
Steelers offense sputtered. Although the Steelers are 6-4 on the season, you can’t give the offense much credit for that. Under Canada, the Steelers were outgained in EVERY game this year. The Steelers are the only team in NFL history to be outgained in 10 straight games and have a winning record in those games, but that was mostly thanks to their defense. One issue for Canada is that he wasn’t getting the ball to his playmakers. For instance, Jaylen Warren had 129 yards rushing on Sunday against the Browns with just nine carries. You’d think Canada would want to take advantage of a running back who was averaging 14.3 yards per carry, but he decided to do something different.
Players starting to complain. Steelers players have been subtly complaining about the offense for most of the season, but Najee Harris took it to the next level on Sunday. Following the team’s loss to the Browns, Harris vented his frustrations about the offense. “We’re going to have a talk,” Harris said. “I guess, I should say, as a team. That’s the best way I can say it. … There’s just a lot of stuff that just goes around that you guys don’t see. I’m just at a point where I’m just tired of this shit.” Other players to complain about the offense include George Pickens and Diontae Johnson, who got in a sideline dispute with Tomlin on Sunday.
Who will be taking over for Canada? With Canada out, the Steelers are expected to turn to running backs coach Eddie Faulkner at offensive coordinator, according to CBS Sports HQ Senior NFL Insider Josina Anderson. Faulkner is expected to get some help from quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, who will call plays.
Tomlin did his best to defend Canada all season, but it almost seems like the offense was on the verge of a mutiny if the Steelers coach didn’t make a move. The Steelers have been running the ball well this season and it won’t be surprising if they show off a heavy dose of their rushing attack in their first game without Canada, which will come on Sunday against the Bengals.
4. Prisco’s Power Rankings heading into Week 12
The Monday night showdown between the Eagles and Chiefs didn’t have a huge impact on the top of Prisco’s Power Rankings. The Eagles were the No. 1 team heading into Week 11, and now, after their win, they’re still the No. 1 team heading into Week 12.
With that in mind, let’s check out his top five heading into Week 12:
Eagles (Same as last week)
Lions (Up one spot from last week)
Cowboys (Up one spot from last week)
Chiefs (Down two spots from last week)
49ers (Same as last week)
Dropped out: No one
I’m not going to spoil the rest of the Power Rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets. Here’s what has changed since Prisco’s last Power Rankings:
The biggest jump this week went to the suddenly unbeatable Broncos. Denver currently has the longest winning streak in the NFL at four games. Following the Broncos’ win over the Vikings on Sunday night, Prisco bumped them up seven spots from 23rd to 16th.
In the NFC, the biggest jump went to Los Angeles Rams. After watching them complete a season sweep of the Seahawks with a 17-16 win on Sunday, Prisco moved them up six spots from 26th to 20th.
The biggest drop this week went to the other team in Los Angeles. The Chargers are fading fast and after losing to the Packers on Sunday, Prisco was so disappointed in them that he dropped L.A. seven spots from 19th down to 26th.
Now, let’s talk about the worst team in the NFL. The Panthers have been ranked 32nd for the past few weeks and nothing will be changing this week. The unfortunate part for the 1-9 Panthers is that even if they finish with the NFL’s worst record, they won’t get to enjoy it, because their first-round pick is going to the Bears in 2024.
5. Breech’s Week 12 picks: 49ers top Seahawks to take control of NFC West
It’s Tuesday, which can only mean one thing around these parts: It’s time for my weekly picks.
I almost didn’t have time to make picks this week because I’ve been too busy thinking about all the food I’m going to eat on Thanksgiving. If you like to drink on Thanksgiving, you might want to buy an extra bottle or two, because you’re probably going to need it for this slate of games. I think all three games will be decided by double digits.
Here are three of my picks for Week 12, including two of my Thanksgiving picks:
Green Bay (4-6) at Detroit (8-2) — (Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET — CBS): After getting a wake-up call against the Bears on Sunday, I feel like Detroit is going to roll in this game. The one big thing working in the Lions’ favor is that they’re really good at running the ball and the Packers are really bad at stopping the run. That doesn’t bode well for the Packers. PICK: Lions 30-20 over Packers
San Francisco (7-3) at Seattle (6-4) — (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET — NBC): For me, this game comes down to the quarterbacks. Brock Purdy is playing like Joe Montana, and the Seahawks, well, they’re either going to have Drew Lock or a banged-up Geno Smith and neither of those are good options. PICK: 49ers 27-16 over Seahawks
Jaguars (7-3) at Texans (6-4) — (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET — CBS): All three losses by the Jags this year have come when their opponent throws for at least 275 yards. I feel like C.J. Stroud is going to blow past that number on Sunday and the Texans are going to take over first place in the AFC South. PICK: Texans 34-27 over Jaguars
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.
Jets turning to Tim Boyle for Week 12. Jets coach Robert Saleh has finally decided to bench Zach Wilson. Not only has Wilson been benched, but he’s actually been demoted to third string for the team’s upcoming game against the Dolphins on Black Friday. Tim Boyle will get the starting job and Trevor Siemian will serve as his backup. You can read more about the benching here.
Bill Belichick refuses to name starting QB.In other AFC East QB news, the Patriots still don’t have a starter. Bill Belichick was asked on Tuesday who would be under center this week and he gave the most Belichick answer ever. “I’ve told all the players the same thing: To be ready to go,” Belichick said. Thanks Bill. That clears nothing up.
Joey Bosa likely headed to injured reserve. The Chargers season has gone from bad to worse. During their loss to the Packers on Sunday, Bosa suffered a foot injury that’s likely going to to sideline him for at least a month. On Monday, Brandon Staley said that Bosa would likely be placed on IR, and if that happens, he’ll have to miss at least four games.
Kareem Jackson suspended again. The Broncos safety was hit with a four-game suspension on Monday for violating the NFL’s player safety rules. Jackson had been suspended three games earlier this year for making dangerous hits, but that got reduced to two after an appeal. His first game back from the first suspension came on Sunday against the Vikings and he made an illegal hit almost immediately. This time around, Jackson is being suspended for a first-quarter hit he made on Josh Dobbs that you can see here.
Mark Andrews could return this season. The Ravens star tight end might actually be able to return to the field in 2023. After injuring his ankle against the Bengals, the Ravens thought Andrews was done for the year, but coach John Harbaugh had a more optimistic take on Monday, “My understanding is in talking with our trainer and the doctors is that it wasn’t as bad as initially feared right after the game,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN. “It’s a little cleaner than they thought based on the MRI. … There might be an outside chance he could get back at some point in time.” If Andrews were to make it back, that would be huge for a Ravens team that currently holds the top seed in the AFC.