Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
According to TMZ, Swift is planning to be in Kansas City to take in another one of Travis Kelce's games even though it's not even clear if the Chiefs tight end will even be suiting up against Denver. Kelce is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 5 against the Vikings. According to NFL.com, Kelce is in a "good position" to play, and with Swift expected to attend, you have to think he'll be on the field.
If you want to have a full Taylor weekend, you can watch her at the game and then go see her "Era Tours" movie tomorrow. I've already bought tickets to seven different showings. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Two former NFL players break down the fatal flaw for every contender
During Thursday's show, they were joined by host Will Brinson, and the three of them covered a multitude of topics, including each contender's fatal flaw. Some teams, like the 49ers, are so stacked that they don't have a fatal flaw per se, but Quinn thinks they have at least one weakness some teams might be able to exploit.
"If you look at their cornerbacks, that's probably an area where you say, if they're facing a team like the Eagles, who do have really talented wide receivers, that's going to be a tough matchup for the 49ers to match up with consistently man-to-man," Quinn said.
Basically, a team with several talented receivers might give the 49ers trouble, but Quinn also added that San Francisco could overcome that because it has players like Nick Bosa.
"I think the 49ers pass-rush and coverage so far have been phenomenal," Quinn said.
We'll definitely find out soon if the 49ers secondary is a weakness. Five of their next eight games are against teams that might be able to exploit their secondary with the Bengals (Week 8), Jaguars (Week 10), Seahawks (Weeks 12 and 14) and Eagles (Week 13) all coming up. The 49ers were supposed to face Justin Jefferson in Week 7, but they caught a break this week after the Vikings receiver
If you want to hear Quinn and Douzable talk about the fatal flaw for a few other teams, then be sure to click here so you can listen to today's episode. The two also debated whether the Vikings should trade Kirk Cousins, plus they made some predictions for tonight's game between the Broncos and Chiefs. 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 Broncos at Chiefs
If the Broncos can taken down the Chiefs tonight, they'll do something they've never done before: beat Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs quarterback has a career record of 11-0 against Denver, which is the second-best record in NFL history by a QB against one team (Otto Graham went 12-0 against the Cardinals). Overall, the Chiefs have won 15 straight against the Broncos, and they're a huge favorite to keep that streak going, with Kansas City currently favored at home tonight by 10.5 points.
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 Broncos can win: The Broncos have the worst defense in the NFL, which isn't ideal when you're about to play the Chiefs. If the Broncos want to take control of this game, they're going to need a huge night from their ground game, which will feature Javonte Williams, . If Williams and Samaje Perine can get rolling, that would allow the Broncos to control the clock, which will keep Kansas City's offense off the field (and Denver's defense off the field). The Broncos are also likely going to need a huge game from Russell Wilson, who hasn't really been able to provide that since being traded to Denver.
- Why the Chiefs can win: This game will feature Patrick Mahomes going up against the defense that's given up the most yards per game (450.6) in the NFL and the most points per game (36.2). Mahomes might not put up 70 like the Dolphins did, but there is a very real chance he'll have a big night.
You can get.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, here's one prop I like:
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Russell Wilson OVER 19.5 rushing yards (-115). This is the part where I usually take a kicking prop, but with 40 mph winds and possible storms Jets. , I'm going to sit out all kicking and passing props. Instead, I'm going to say Wilson gets to 20 rushing yards. Wilson has gone over this number in two of his past four games, including Sunday, when he had 29 in a loss to the
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Jared's pick: Chiefs 31-14 over Broncos
My pick: Chiefs 27-17 over Broncos
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, our eight experts unanimously picked the Chiefs to win, which probably won't come as a surprise to anyone.
3. Ranking panic levels for every team that's under .500
Heading into Week 6, there are a total of 15 teams that are currently under .500, including the 1-4 Broncos, who will be playing tonight. Although it's not ideal to be under .500 through at this point in the season, some teams should definitely be panicking more than other teams right now.
With that in mind, Cody Benjamin decided to rank all 15 sub-.500 teams based on who should be panicking the most, and we're going to take a look at five teams on his list.
- Panic Level 1 (AKA you don't need to panic): Bengals (2-3). "The Bengals looked supremely ugly for four weeks, but against the Cardinals in Week 5, Joe Burrow finally looked himself, slinging it downfield. ... And, really, that says it all in Cincinnati. Provided he doesn't suffer further injury, Burrow's pocket poise, coupled with the Bengals' top-10 pass defense, should make them an AFC contender again."
- Panic Level 2 (Things could improve): Texans (2-3). "They're probably a year away from making legit noise, but rookie C.J. Stroud has been so composed and polished as a pocket passer that it wouldn't be stunning if Houston hung around the wild-card picture."
- Panic Level 3 (Implosion could be coming... or not): Bears (1-4). "Justin Fields finally came alive through the air in a rout of the Commanders in Week 5. Chicago still profiles as a week-by-week hit or miss, but Fields' tools are once again a factor."
- Panic Level 4 (Things are probably going to get worse): Cardinals (1-4). "The Cards have been much feistier than expected under Jonathan Gannon, but the talent disparity between Arizona and its opponents will eventually take its toll."
- Panic Level 5 (Please pray for us): Broncos (1-4). "The Broncos are somehow even worse under Sean Payton than they started under Nathaniel Hackett."
All 15 teams fell in one of these five categories, and if you want to know where each team landed, you can.
4. Five takeaways from the NFL season heading into Week 6
With Week 6 getting set to kickoff tonight, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at some of the biggest storylines that hit the NFL during the first five weeks of the season.
Here are Jared Dubin's biggest takeaways from the season so far:
- The 49ers are better than everyone else. "After their Sunday night destruction of the Dallas Cowboys, the 49ers have emphatically asserted themselves as the best team in football. ... The Niners are the only team in the league ranked inside the top five on both sides of the ball. Consider that they are second in both yards per play and points per drive on offense, as well as third in yards per play and tied for fourth in points per drive on defense. Again, they are the only NFL team ranked inside the top five in each of those categories."
- C.J. Stroud is the real deal. "Despite playing behind a depleted offensive line that has also been missing several starters for most of the season, he's averaging 7.9 yards per attempt and has taken a sack on only 5.6% of his dropbacks. In Pro-Football-Reference's adjusted efficiency metrics, he ranks better than league average in every category except for completion percentage and touchdown rate. ... He's the real deal, and as the Texans surround him with more talent, he should only get better."
- The NFL is a copycat league, so expect everyone to copy the Dolphins. "We have already seen teams adopt the new 'cheat' motion Miami has been using. We should see more and more teams incorporating Mike McDaniel's ideas about how to use multiple backs in the run game, and how to get them to the second level with relative ease."
If you want to see all of Dubin's takeaways, be.
5. NFL trade deadline: Five teams that need to be buyers
In yesterday's newsletter, we took a lookat the trade deadline, so today, we're going to flip things around and look at five teams that need to be buyers.
Jordan Dajani came up with a list of five teams that need to seriously look at making a move before the deadline, which is on Oct. 31 this year.
- Eagles. "The Eagles have the eighth-worst pass defense in the NFL this season (247.6 passing yards allowed per game) and watched as Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua combined for 189 yards and a touchdown last week. Despite being undefeated, the Eagles haven't locked down the passing attacks of opponents, and that's something general manager Howie Roseman could look to address." Possible targets: S Budda Baker, S Justin Simmons, DB Rayshawn Jenkins, S Kareem Jackson.
- Lions. "The Lions have lived up the 2023 hype thus far, sitting atop the NFC North at 4-1. However, that improved defense has suffered a large amount of injuries. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is out indefinitely with a torn pectoral while Emmanuel Moseley is out for the year with a torn ACL, and rookie Brian Branch is dealing with an ankle injury. If the Lions want to compete into 2024, they would be smart to add on the defensive side of the ball." Possible targets: S Jalen Mills, S Budda Baker, CB Kristian Fulton, DB Jabrill Peppers, S Kareem Jackson.
- Cowboys. "The Week 5 loss to the 49ers was a wake-up call for Dallas. Jerry Jones is going to explore every opportunity when it comes to finalizing and fortifying his roster before the trade deadline, which is why Dallas should be buyers this month." Possible targets: CB Patrick Surtain II, DT Calais Campbell, LB Josey Jewell, LB Denzel Perryman, CB Kristian Fulton, EDGE Frank Clark.
Jordan also has the Chiefs and Jets on his list, and if you want to know why, you can.
6. Extra points: Broncos have a new controlling owner
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.
- Broncos ownership structure undergoes change. Wal-Mart heir Rob Walton spent $4.65 billion to buy the Broncos, but he's no longer the controlling owner. Walton has transferred that power to his son-in-law, Greg Penner, according to the Associated Press. Penner has basically been running the day-to-day operations since Walton took over as owner, so this shouldn't cause any drama in Denver.
- Frank Clark to be traded or released. The Broncos are planning to part ways with their defensive end, according to ESPN. The team will either cut him or release him in a move that's expected to happen somewhat soon. Clark, who won't be playing tonight against the Chiefs, just agreed to a pay cut that will see him give up roughly $1.7 million in salary, according to NFL.com. The silver lining for him here is that the pay cut makes him much more tradeable, which means he could soon be playing for a better team.
- Browns could be turning to P.J. Walker this week. If Deshaun Watson can't play due to his shoulder injury, then P.J. Walker will get the start Sunday against the 49ers, Kevin Stefanski announced Wednesday. When Watson was forced to sit out in Week 4, the Browns started rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson in a 28-3 loss to the Ravens, but clearly, they're now more comfortable with Walker.
- Dolphins star rookie placed on IR. De'Von Achane has been one of the most electrifying players in the NFL this year, but unfortunately, we won't see him on the field again for more than a month. Achane (knee) was placed on IR on Wednesday, which means he has to miss at least four games. Achane will miss Weeks 6 thru 9 and then the Dolphins have a bye in Week 10, which means he won't be able to return until Week 11 at the earliest, which is a Nov. 19 game against the Raiders.
- Former NFL DB arrested for connection to death of his mom. Former NFL player Sergio Brown was taken into custody this week in San Diego in connection with the death of his mother. Brown's mother was found dead near her Illinois home less than a month ago. Brown spent seven seasons in the NFL during a career that included stints with four different teams (Patriots, Colts, Jaguars, Bills). You .