Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I'm going to start things off here by saying that if you see a Bears fan today, please hug them, because they probably need it. The Bears have gone nearly a full calendar year without winning a game and they'll be looking to end that streak tonight against the Commanders.
The Bears have lost 14 straight games dating to last season, which is tied for the 13th longest losing streak since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
With that in mind, we'll be previewing Chicago's Thursday night showdown with the Commanders, plus we'll be taking a look at how the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers combined to throw $100 million down the drain over a span of four days this past week.
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1. Today's show: Two former NFL players break down the latest news
During Thursday's show, they were joined by host Will Brinson and the three of them covered a multitude of topics, including how things might work out in Indianapolis with a disgruntled Jonathan Taylor returning to the Colts this week after spending the first month of the season on injured reserve.
The running back demanded a trade during the offseason, but the Colts decided to hold on to him. According to Douzable, staying in Indy is definitely the best option for Taylor right now.
"The best place for Taylor is with the Colts and Shane Steichen," Douzable said. "If you look at the history of Shane Steichen when he was with the Eagles, Miles Sanders had a career year. If you're Jonathan Taylor, if you're healthy at the beginning of the year, I thought he could for 1,800 yards in that offense. ... We've seen Zach Moss have some success in that offense, just imagine Jonathan Taylor in that offense."
Douzable also noted that having an athletic quarterback like Anthony Richardson will help Taylor because defenses will be focused the QB, which should open up holes for Taylor.
In somewhat related news, Taylor spoke with the media today for the first time in months, and here is some of be sure to click here so you can listen to today's episode.. If you want to hear everything Quinn and Douzable had to say about Taylor's situation, then
The two also broke down whether the Tush Push should be legal, plus they made some predictions for tonight's game between the Bears and Commanders. If you prefer your podcasts in video form, you can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Thursday night preview: Prepping you for Bears at Commanders
If you want to fully appreciate how bad the Bears are this year, then you're definitely going to want to watch tonight's game. The 0-4 Bears will be trying to pick up their first win of the season against a Commanders team that has suddenly lost two straight after starting the season 2-0. If the Bears lose, they'll fall to 0-5 for the first time since 1997.
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together CBS Sports' deep-dive preview for this game, and here's how he sees the things playing out:
- Why the Bears can win: If the Bears are going to win this game, they're going to need a strong showing from their rushing attack. If the Bears have done one thing well this season, it's their ability to gain big chunks on the ground. They're averaging 4.7 yards per carry, which is tied for the third-best number in the NFL. On the other hand, the Commanders are surrendering 4.5 yards per carry, which is the seventh-worst number in the NFL. If Justin Fields uses his legs and Khalil Herbert has a big game, that should give the Bears a fighting chance.
- Why the Commanders can win: If Washington's offensive line can protect Sam Howell, the Commanders offense could have a big game. The problem is that the offensive line hasn't been able to do that. Through four weeks, Howell has been sacked 24 times, which is the most in the NFL. The good news for Howell is that he'll be facing a Bears defense that only has TWO sacks on the season, which ranks dead last in the league. Not to mention, the Bears will be missing their top corner (Jaylon Johnson) and safety (Eddie Jackson), which could open the door for Terry McLaurin and the Commander receivers to thrive.
You can get.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Jordan Dajani put together a full gambling preview.
- ONE PROP Jordan LIKES: Terry McLaurin OVER 4.5 receptions (-142): "McLaurin has crossed this number in three out of four games and now he gets to go up against a bad Bears secondary. He caught eight of 10 targets for 86 last week against the Eagles."
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Joey Slye OVER 6.5 points (-137): It finally happened: the primetime kicker prop came up empty on Monday for the first time all season. I bet that Jason Myers would score OVER 6.5 points and he ended up with six. Of course, I should mention that there was a missed field goal and that the Seahawks went for it twice on fourth down in situations where they could have kicked a field goal. I'm only telling you that because that's me trying to convince myself it was a good pick even though it missed. Anyway, if you think the Commanders are going to win tonight, then you should take Slye's OVER here. Slye has gone over 6.5 in the past SIX games that Washington has won. He's also gone over this number in four of five games dating back to last season.
You can. Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Dubin's pick: Commander 23-17 over Bears
Dajani's pick: Commanders 28-17 over Bears
My pick: Commanders 30-20 over Bears
Over on our CBS Sports picks page, we're all taking the Commanders to win, but we're actualy split on whether they'll cover as a six-point favorite. You can see our picks for this game, along with all of our Week 5 picks, here.
By the way the Bears are in the midst of a 14-game losing streak and if you want to see just how ugly things have been during that streak,.
3. AFC West implosion: How Raiders, Broncos and Chargers combined to waste $100 million
It's starting to seem like the other three teams in the AFC West might not ever catch the Chiefs. During the 2022 offseason, the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders all decided that they needed to make some major upgrades on defense so that they could slow down Patrick Mahomes, so they made some big moves in free agency.
Not only did all three of those signings backfire, but in a bizarre twist, all three players got dumped in a four-day span this week.
Here's a quick look at each situation:
- Chandler Jones. The veteran pass rusher signed a three-year, $51 million deal with the Raiders in March 2022. The pass rusher didn't have a huge impact during his first season with the team, but he did win one game for the Raiders when he returned a fumble for a game-winning touchdown against the Patriots. However, things between Jones and the Raiders went south over the past few months with the Jones regularly blasting the team on social media. Jones without playing a single snap for the Raiders this year. According to Spotrac, the Raiders ended up paying Jones nearly $33 million for just 15 games of action.
- J.C. Jackson. The former Patriots star left New England in free agency in March 2022 to nearly $38.5 million for just seven games. with the Chargers. The signing of Jackson backfired almost from the start. The corner never really fit into Brandon Staley's system and it didn't help that he ended up missing 11 games due to injury last season. Jackson started two games for the Chargers this season, but . Less than two weeks later, Jackson had fallen so far out of favor with the Chargers that the team . With the Chargers paying most of his salary this year while he's with the Patriots, L.A. will have paid him
- Randy Gregory. The former Cowboys pass rusher left Dallas in March 2022 to . Gregory's first season with the Broncos was cut short due to injury with the defensive end only playing in six games. Although Gregory has played in all four games this year, Sean Payton clearly wasn't impressed with what he saw. Payton said on Wednesday that the team is going to try to trade Gregory this week and if they can't find any takers, then . When all is said and done, the Broncos will have paid Gregory $28 million for 10 games of action, according to Spotrac.
These teams ended up paying out $99.5 million to try and stop Patrick Mahomes and all of that money has now gone to waste.
4. 2024 NFL mock draft: Bears could end up with the top two picks
The 2024 NFL Draft is still nearly seven months away, but we're going to take a look at a mock draft today and that's mainly because we could see something wild next April: The Chicago Bears could have the first TWO picks.
If the season ended today, the Bears would have the first overall pick and the 0-4 Panthers would get the second overall pick. However, the Bears own Carolina's first-round pick thanks to the trade that gave the Panthers the top pick in 2023.
If the Bears and Panthers end up finishing with the two worst records in the NFL, then the Bears will be getting the top two picks.
With that in mind, let's check out Chris Trapasso's most recent mock draft:
(Note: The draft order below was determined using Caesars Sportsbook's Super Bowl odds, but in reverse order).
- 1. Bears: QB Caleb Williams (USC). "Whomever has the top pick will select Williams, and in this case, it's the Bears. When this happens, they move Justin Fields in a trade."
- 2. Bears (via Panthers): WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State). "While there'll be a push for the Bears to trade back in this scenario, no one should blame them for simply staying put and drafting this stud of a wideout prospect."
- 3. Raiders: QB Drake Maye (North Carolina). "If Josh McDaniels is given another season after the 2023 campaign, he'll need to turn his attention to the quarterbacks in the draft, and Maye has looked like a future top pick for many seasons now."
- 4. Broncos: OL Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State). "Fashanu is an instant franchise left tackle for Sean Payton's offense. He's young, powerful and balanced."
Although Bears fans are likely going to have to sit through a miserable season this year, the payoff to that nightmare will definitely come in April if the Bears do end up landing the top two picks.
If you want to check out Trapasso's full mock draft, which includes four quarterbacks being selected in the top 10,.
5. Travis Kelce calls out NFL for Taylor Swift coverage
If you watched "Sunday Night Football" in Week 4, you may have noticed that the game between the Jets and the Chiefs turned into the Taylor Swift show. During the broadcast, not only did NBC play Swift's music, but they also showed her SEVENTEEN different times.
I'm not sure what a healthy number would have been there, but 17 was definitely too much for Travis Kelce. The Chiefs tight end, who may or may not be dating Swift, said the NFL overdid its coverage on Sunday.
Here's the latest on the situation:
- Kelce politely calls out NFL. During this week's installment of their "New Heights" podcast, Kelce said loves when the NFL shows celebrities at the game, but . "I think it's fun when they show who's at the game," Travis said of showing celebrities. "I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you're watching. But at the same time, they're overdoing it a little bit."
- NFL responds to criticism that it went too far. Not only did the league embrace the Taylor Swift coverage, but the NFL's Twitter and Instagram accounts both listed Swift in their bios for a few hours on Monday. "We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what's happening in and around our games, as well as culturally," the NFL said in a statement, via ESPN. "The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we've leaned into in real time, as it's an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we've seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport."
- NFL apparently called in a big favor for Swift. With Taylor's new movie, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour," set to hit theaters on Oct. 13, the NFL tried to get the singer some free publicity. According to the New York Post, the league asked its network partners to play a promo for the movie during their NFL broadcasts. The promo ended up getting played by both ESPN and NBC.
Although the NFL has been embracing this "Cultural moment," there's another theory on why the league has been embracing Swift. Accordind to the Post, the NFL's ultimate end game here could be to get Swift to eventually do the Super Bowl halftime show. She's arguably the most famous singer on the planet who has YET to do the the halftime show.
6. Extra points: Giants starter apologizes after ripping fans
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.
- Evan Neal gets into spat with Giants fans. The Giants offensive lineman was asked how he felt about the home crowd booing his team on Monday and he didn't hold back. "The person that's commenting on my performance, what does he do? Flip hot dogs and hamburgers somewhere," Neal told NJ.com. Neal also referred to Giants fans as "sheep." Ripping fans is definitely not a smart thing and Neal seemed to realize that because he apologized on Wednesday. You .
- Kenny Pickett planning to play in Week 5. The Steelers QB is dealing with a bone bruise on his left knee, but it doesn't sound like that's going to keep him from playing against the Ravens this week. "By Sunday, I'll feel a lot better and be good to go," Pickett . If Pickett can't go, the Steelers will have to turn to Mitch Trubisky for the key divisional showdown.
- Texans starter to miss rest of the season. The Texans offensive line took a hit this week with the loss of Kendrick Green. According to NFL.com, Green had to undergo surgery to repair a meniscus injury that he suffered against the Steelers. The guard had started in three of Houston's four games this season.
- Tom Brady's final game-worn jersey headed to auction. If you would like to purchase the jersey that Tom Brady wore in his final NFL game ever, you're going to have the chance. Starting on Nov. 17, Sotheby's will be auctioning off the jersey, which is expected to fetch at least $1.5 million ( ). If 10,000 newsletter readers put in $150 each, we could buy it. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. The best part is that we would each get it for 53 minutes per year.