Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Usually, this is the part where I hype you up for tonight's game, but I'm not sure any amount of hype is going to get you excited to watch the Commanders play the Bears. If you thought last week's game was bad (Colts-Broncos), then just wait until you see this week's game, because it might be worse.
Last week, I warned you that Colts-Broncos would be bad -- and it was -- but you know what, I actually have higher expectations for this game. The Bears offense is finally looking somewhat functional after struggling through the first three weeks, and the Commanders have actually already played in three exciting games this year. Also, if you need one reason to tune-in, the Bears will be unveiling their orange helmets tonight and that alone makes the game worth watching.
Speaking of unveiling things, we'll be unveiling our predictions for the game, plus looking at the latest Super Bowl odds, so let's get to the rundown.
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.
1. Today's show: Brady Quinn breaks down the latest NFL news
If you're going to listen to just one episode of the Pick Six podcast every week, then you should definitely make sure that you're listening every Thursday, because that's when Brady Quinn joins the show. For today's episode, the former first-round pick chatted with Will Brinson about a multitude of topics, including the Matt Rhule firing and the Davante Adams incident.
One other topic the two guys talked about is the NFL's roughing the passer problem. When it comes to that specific penalty, there have been some questionable flags thrown this season.
So where does Quinn come down on this issue?
- Surprisingly, the former NFL QB believes the league is overprotecting its quarterbacks with the roughing the passer rule that's currently in place. "It's odd to me that we keep trying to implement rules [to protect quarterbacks], because what we're doing is we're putting more defensive players at risk," Quinn said.
- Quinn specifically pointed to the Chris Jones' sack against the Raiders as a roughing the passer penalty gone wrong. "If you look at Chris Jones and what they're asking him to do in that instance, it's 'OK, I stripped the quarterback, I'm taking him to the ground, and now, not only do I have to get the ball in my arm to get possession of the fumble, but now I have to roll so I don't land on him and I can't hurt myself, either.' Like, where do you want him to fall? The whole thing is absurd," Quinn said.
- Quinn believes the easiest way to fix the rule is for the league to stop being so overprotective with quarterbacks. "The NFL needs to take ownership of it because they're the ones right now that I think they don't have the best interests of the game in mind, even though I know their excuse is, 'Well, we have to protect these quarterbacks,'" Quinn said. "The quarterbacks need to protect themselves, that's why they get paid so much. I'm sorry, they have to protect themselves, they have to get rid of the football or coaches have to learn how to protect them by not having all these five-man protections."
- Quinn, who was a former first-round pick, was in the NFL from 2007 to 2012, and he thought the league's roughing the passer rule was fine then. "I'm a former quarterback, I took my fair share of hits," Quinn said. "There was never a time where I felt like, 'I need more protection out there when I'm running around or staying in the pocket.'"
It's definitely fascinating to hear a former NFL quarterback's take on this topic.
If you want to hear everything else Quinn had to say on today's podcast, then be sure to click here. If you want to see his handsome face, then you can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Thursday night preview: Prepping you for Commanders at Bears
On paper, this might seem like a game between two bad teams, but it could definitely still be entertaining. For one, not only do we have a Bears team that is currently undefeated at home this year (2-0), but they'll be going up against a quarterback in Carson Wentz who's NEVER lost a start on Thursday night (6-0). That makes this game juicy.
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 Commanders can win: Carson Wentz has to play better than he has over the past two weeks, which might not be easy for him to do, because he's reportedly dealing with a strained biceps tendon. Of course, that injury might work out to Washington's advantage, because it might force them to run the ball more, which wouldn't be the worst thing. The Commanders are going up against a Bears defense that is surrendering 170 yards per game on the ground this year, which is the second-most in the NFL. If the Commanders get the run game going, that should help open things up for Wentz in the passing game. It would also make a win much more possible for Washington.
- Why the Bears can win: The Bears haven't really been throwing the ball this season, but if they want to beat the Commanders, this might be the week where they finally open things up through the air. Not only have the Commanders given up 11 passing touchdowns on the season (which is tied for the third-highest number in the NFL), but opposing quarterbacks have a 103.7 QB rating against Washington. Basically, if the Bears can't throw on the Commanders, they likely won't be able to throw on anyone, but if they can, then they should be able to steal a win in front of what should be a fired up crowd at Soldier Field.
You can get a full preview of the game from Dubin by clicking here.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Tyler Sullivan put together a full gambling preview (odds via Caesars Sportsbook). You can check out Sullivan's full gambling preview by clicking here, but if you don't feel like clicking over, here's one prop from both of us for tonight's game. (My prop has hit in five straight prime-time games, so let's see if we can keep this roll going.)
- ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Carson Wentz OVER 0.5 interceptions (-121): "I like the OVER on interceptions here thanks to the pressure Wentz will be under. Washington's O-lIne ranks 29th in the league in adjusted sack rate. Wentz's 20 sacks and six interceptions are the third most in the NFL coming into Week 6. Wentz makes mistakes under pressure, and the Bears should be able to bring pressure."
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Cairo Santos OVER 1.5 field goals (+100): The Bears offense has come somewhat alive over the past three weeks, but they are still having trouble finding the end zone. The biggest beneficiary of that has been the kicking position. Santos hit three field goals in Week 3 and three more in Week 5. In Week 4, he was out with an injury, but his replacement (Michael Badgley) hit four field goals. With at least three field goals in each of their past three games, I won't be surprised if they hit that number again tonight, and if they do, you'll win this prop easily since Santos only needs to hit two to cover.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight in a game that's so close, the oddsmakers currently have it as a pick'em:
Dubin's pick: Bears 17-16 over Commanders
Sullivan's pick: Bears 23-20 over Commanders
My pick: Bears 20-17 over Commanders
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, five of our eight experts are taking the Commanders to win.
3. Super Bowl odds heading into Week 6
With the Bills and Chiefs getting set to play each other Sunday, now seems like a good time to go over the latest Super Bowl odds. That's mainly because those two teams currently have the best odds, according to our friends over at Caesars Sportsbook.
Here are the odds for the 10 teams with the best chance to win it all heading into Week 6:
1. Bills +350 (Bet $100 to win $350)
2. Chiefs +650
3. Eagles +700
4. Buccaneers +1200
T-5. 49ers +1400
T-5. Packers +1400
T-7. Ravens +1400
T-7. Cowboys +1800
9. Chargers +1800
10. Vikings +1800
Worst odds: Texans: +100000 (Bet $100 to win $100,000)
These odds were compiled by CBSSports.com's Jordan Dajani, and here are the three teams he currently views as the best value bets. (You can read his full story here):
- Chiefs. "Remember when people were claiming the Chiefs were going to be passed over in the AFC West this season because of the additions the other three teams made? I do, because I was one of those people. Well, five weeks in and the Chiefs still look like the top dog in the division. If you like the Chiefs, you should grab them now, because if they beat the Bills on Sunday, their odds could change."
- Cowboys. "I can't believe I'm going to make a case for bettors to put money on the Cowboys to win the whole thing, but here we are. Dallas leads the NFL in pass-rush grade, it ranks second in the NFL with 20 sacks and has allowed under 20 points in five straight games to open the year for the first time since 1972. It's the defense that really has me eyeing "America's Team" this year."
- Rams. "This is my obvious long shot. Yes, I know the Rams have been disappointing and that Super Bowl champions do not repeat often, but you could make an argument for the Rams here. First of all, there's nowhere to go but up for this team. The Rams have the worst run offense in the league, Matthew Stafford is tied for the league lead in interceptions and free-agent addition Allen Robinson is not a part of the offense at all. However, it is possible that all of that could change in the coming weeks."
If I had to bet my money right now on a team to win the Super Bowl, I'd probably go with the Packers. They were my preseason prediction to get to the Super Bowl out of the NFC, and I'm NOT jumping off the bandwagon six weeks into the season. (But I might jump off of it next week if they lose to the Jets on Sunday.)
On the other hand, if I wanted to get a little crazy and bet on a long shot, I'd probably go with the Titans, who are currently +5000 (bet $100 to win $5,000). The AFC South doesn't look strong, and it feels like the Titans have an easier path to the playoffs than most teams. Not to mention, it's clear the oddsmakers don't respect them. Of the eight division winners in the NFL right now, seven of them have odds at +1400 or better and are all on our top-10 list above. The only division leader not on that top-10 list is the Titans. Getting 50-to-1 odds with a team that currently leads its division seems like solid value.
4. Here's the latest on the Davante Adams situation
The Raiders receiver is still in hot water over his actions following his team's loss to the Chiefs on Monday night. As Adams was walking off the field, a photographer walked out in front of him, and Adams responded by violently shoving the photographer to the ground.
Here's everything you need to know about the situation. (You can see the push here):
- Adams has been charged, but NOT with misdemeanor assault. Although there had been some reports Wednesday that Adams was charged with a misdemeanor assault, that's not the case. Instead, he was actually charged with violating a city ordinance, according to NFL.com.
- The penalty for a city ordinance is much different. If Adams had been charged with a misdemeanor assault, he could have faced up to one year in prison. Instead, the maximum sentence for a violation of a city ordinance is 180 days in jail along with a fine of up to $1,000. (It's highly unlikely Adams would serve any jail time for being a first time offender.)
- The victim was an ESPN freelancer. The man pushed by Adams was a freelancer who was eventually identified as Ryan Zebley. The freelance cameraman claims to have suffered whiplash, headaches and a possible concussion from the push. Zebley has retained an attorney in Kansas City. "What happened was egregiously unsportsmanlike and an act of violence that should not be excused by the NFL," the attorney told KHSB.com in KC.
- The NFL is reviewing the matter. The league is already looking into the incident, which could lead to a fine or even a suspension for Adams. Between the video and the fact that Adams has been charged, this definitely isn't a good look for the league, and it wouldn't be a total surprise if Adams gets a short suspension.
The only upside for the NFL is that the Raiders are on a bye this week, which means they will get a few extra days to investigate the incident. Although the league hasn't given a timeline for the investigation, the Raiders will probably want to know in the next two or three days whether Adams will be allowed to play in Week 7.
5. One thing we learned about each team in Week 5
With Week 6 kicking off tonight, we decided that we're going to take one more look back at Week 5. Jeff Kerr decided to wade through the aftermath to figure out one thing we learned about each team.
Here's a look at the one thing we learned about five different teams:
- Ravens: Justin Tucker is undisputedly the best kicker in the NFL. "If a game comes down to the fourth quarter against Baltimore, Tucker is automatic. Tucker has never missed a field goal attempt in the final minute of regulation in his career (regular season or playoffs). Tucker has made 75 straight field goals in the second half and overtime and 61 straight in the fourth quarter and overtime -- both NFL records."
- Bears: Chicago's offense finally looks competent. "Justin Fields arguably had his best game of the season against the Vikings, completing 15 of 21 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown (118.8 rating). Fields beat blitzes and commanded the offense with poise, using his athleticism to leave the pocket when necessary -- instead of forcing the issue. "
- Packers: Aaron Rodgers needs a deep threat at wide receiver. "Through five weeks, Rodgers still hasn't found that reliable player who can produce downfield like Davante Adams or Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Christian Watson dropped a deep pass in Week 1 and Romeo Doubs dropped a deep touchdown catch in Week 4, part of the struggles amongst Green Bay's new-look receiver group. The deep passes just aren't there for Rodgers to break the Packers' inconsistent offense out of long droughts, which is part of the reason why the offense goes stagnate."
- Dolphins: Injuries could ruin what once seemed like a promising season. "The Dolphins didn't have Byron Jones nor Xavien Howard in the loss to the Jets. Tyreek Hill was banged up prior to the game -- and was seen after the game in a walking boot; left tackle Terron Armstead left the contest after re-aggravating a toe injury; and No. 2 quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was ruled out after one offensive play with a concussion. The Dolphins have their issues on defense, but the injuries are mounting on both sides of the ball."
- Jets: Breece Hall might be the team's best offensive player. "Hall finished with 18 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown while also finishing with two catches for 100 yards to lead the Jets in rushing and receiving. Hall was the first Jets player in franchise history with 90-plus rushing yards, 100-plus receiving yards and a rushing touchdown in a game. Hall may be the best player in a Jets offense that has a bunch of young playmakers. The rookie back is just getting started."
If you want to see the one thing we learned about all 32 teams, you can check out Kerr's entire story by clicking here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Dan Snyder apparently has dirt on other NFL owners
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.
- Dan Snyder might be around forever. If you've ever wondered why the NFL doesn't just force Snyder out, we now might know why: The Commanders owner apparently has dirt on both Roger Goodell and the league's other owners. That's one of the many interesting facts in a lengthy ESPN.com story that you can read by clicking here.
- Commanders starting corner requests trade. In other Commanders news, William Jackson III wants out of Washington. According to NFL.com, Jackson wants to get a fresh start with a new team. The cornerback doesn't seem to think he fits in with Washington's defensive scheme, and he wants to be sent to a team that would make better use of his talents. Jackson was benched in the Commanders' Week 5 loss to the Titans.
- Kickoff time for Cardinals-Seahawks game could be pushed back. The Seahawks and Cardinals could be kicking off at 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday instead of 4:05 p.m. ET. If the Mariners force a Game 4 in the American League Divisional Series, then the kickoff time will be moved, but if the Mariners get swept, then the Cards and Seahawks will stay in their current time slot.
- Owners to vote on $790 million St. Louis settlement. The NFL has already paid the $790 million settlement that the city of St. Louis was given after a filing a lawsuit related to the relocation of the Rams. However, the league hasn't decided how much each team will be paying toward that $790 million. According to The Athletic, the decision will be made this week in what will likely be a contentious vote. Many owners want to see Rams owner Stan Kroenke pay the entire bill since he got the NFL into the mess that led to the settlement.
- Giants punter finally back in the United States. Jamie Gillan had some issues getting back into the United States following the Giants game in London, but it appears his traveling nightmare is now over. Gillan is back in the U.S. after ironing out the issue involving his passport. The punter is from Scotland and arrived in the U.S. with his dad on a NATO visa, which set the stage for his passport problems.
- QB news: Skylar Thompson and Cooper Rush both expected to start. The Cowboys likely won't be getting Dak Prescott back for their showdown with the Eagles this week, which means Cooper Rush will be getting his fifth start of the season. As for Thompson, the Dolphins rookie is expected to make his first career start on Sunday in a game against the Vikings. Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) has definitely been ruled out, and Teddy Bridgewater (concussion) is unlikely to play.