Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
It's official, the NFL has gone completely off the rails. There is no league that thrives on parity more and after 102 years of existence, it appears the NFL might have finally reached full parity.
Every game is unpredictable and if you need proof, just consider this: Of the 15 games played so far in Week 4, 14 of them were within one score in the fourth quarter, which is tied for the most in NFL history for one week. If tonight's game is within one score in the fourth quarter, we'll have a new record.
Also, there have been 23 games decided by three points or fewer this season, which is the most in NFL history through four weeks. Basically, every game is close and any team can win. I blame my bad picks on the fact that the NFL is now unpredictable.
Anyway, we've got a lot to cover today, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Week 4 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 4, and let me just say, it's probably for the best that you listen. We covered all 14 games from Sunday, which means we likely spent some time talking about your favorite team.
One thing we do every week is hand out our weekly winners and losers from Sunday's action. Here's a look at who made our list.
- Winner: Geno Smith. Apparently, the Seahawks were on to something when they decided to trade Russell Wilson and give the QB job to Geno Smith. Not only has Smith played much better than Wilson this year, but he has looked unstoppable at times, including in Sunday's 48-45 win over the Lions when he threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns.
- Loser: Steelers. Mike Tomlin's streak of going 15 straight seasons without a losing record could be in jeopardy this year. The Steelers have a lot of issues and they were all on display against the Jets: The defense looks lost without T.J. Watt and the offense looks lost without a quality starting QB. Tomlin tried to spark the Steelers by benching Mitchell Trubisky, but Kenny Pickett put out that spark by throwing three interceptions in just one half of play.
- Winner: Cooper Rush. The Cowboys backup QB is apparently doing his best to steal Dak Prescott's job. For the third straight week, Rush was the starter for Dallas and for the third straight week, the Cowboys won with him under center. Rush is now 4-0 in his career for the Cowboys, which is the best start to a career by any QB in Cowboys history.
- Loser: Baker Mayfield. The Panthers claim they're not thinking about making a QB change just yet, but they might want to at least give it some serious thought. Mayfield had a disastrous day against the Cardinals: Not only did he throw two interceptions and lose a fumble, but he also had five passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
- Winner: Josh McDaniels. Not only did McDaniel pick up his first win as coach of the Raiders, but he did it against the team that once fired him. McDaniels was axed by the Broncos in December 2010 and he didn't pick up another win as an NFL head coach until Sunday.
- Loser: John Harbaugh. The Ravens coach gambled on fourth down in the waning minutes and the move totally backfired. Harbaugh could have called for a field goal to take the lead over Buffalo with four minutes left, but instead, he went for it on fourth down. The gamble was a spectacular failure and ended with Lamar Jackson throwing an interception. Harbaugh isn't exactly a popular guy in Baltimore's locker room right now. Ravens corner Marcus Peters exchanged some heated words with Harbaugh following the game. It's not clear why Peters was mad, but he definitely seemed to be frustrated with his coach (You can see a clip of Peters yelling at his coach by clicking here).
Not only did we list our winners and losers, but we also recapped every game from Sunday. To listen to today's episode, be sure to click here. You can also watch the entire episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Week 4 injuries: Giants lose both quarterbacks, Jonathan Taylor dealing with ankle injury
Hopefully we won't need to have an injury roundup every week, but there were so many injuries around the NFL over the weekend that we definitely needed one for today.
Here's a look at the biggest injuries from Week 4:
- Giants lose both quarterbacks. Although the Giants beat the Bears, the win did come at a cost as Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) were both knocked out of Sunday's game with an injury. Right now, it's unclear if either QB will be available for New York's Week 5 game in London, but there is some good news. According to NFL.com, Jones is considered "day-to-day," so there's a chance he could play. Taylor could also be available if he's able to clear concussion protocol.
- Two Colts stars dealing with injuries. Jonathan Taylor injured his ankle during Indy's 24-17 loss to Tennessee. According to NFL.com, the injury isn't major and it shouldn't keep him off the field very long, but he could possibly miss Week 5 since the Colts play on Thursday against the Broncos. On the defensive side of the ball, Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard suffered a concussion so his status for Thursday is also up in the air.
- Patriots down to their third-string QB. With Mac Jones out on Sunday due to an ankle injury, the Patriots turned to Brian Hoyer. However, Hoyer was knocked out of the game with a concussion during the first quarter against the Packers. The Patriots were then forced to play rookie Bailey Zappe, who could see even more playing time this week if Hoyer and Jones aren't ready to play.
- Jamison Crowder out indefinitely. The Bills receiver broke his ankle during Buffalo's 23-20 win over the Ravens on Sunday. According to NFL.com, Crowder will have additional tests done today to determine if there is any other damage. The injury will keep Crowder out for an extended period of time
- Javonte Williams could be out for season. According to NFL.com, the belief is that the Broncos running back has suffered a serious injury that could keep him out for an extended period of time, if not the rest of the season. Williams is expected to undergo an MRI today and the Broncos will know more once that happens. The Broncos are also dealing with an injury to Randy Gregory. Like Williams, the pass-rusher injured his knee and will be undergoing an MRI today.
3. Week 4 grades: Cowboys get an 'A-' for another win without Dak, Seahawks get a 'B+' for wild victory over Lions
Every week I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, the Cowboys got an 'A-' for somehow winning another game without Dak Prescott.
Here's a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
- Commanders takeaway: When your starting quarterback gets outplayed by the other team's backup quarterback, you're probably going to lose and that's exactly what happened to the Commanders with Carson Wentz being outplayed by Cooper Rush. Wentz was erratic and he never seemed to get into any rhythm, which might have had to do with the pressure he was facing on nearly every play from the Cowboys. If your offense can't score points, it's almost impossible to win in the NFL, and the Commanders simply couldn't figure out how to move the ball on the Cowboys' defense. Grade: D
- Cowboys takeaway: Since Dak Prescott went out, the Cowboys' formula for winning games has been pretty simple: Play great defense and don't make any ugly mistakes on offense. The formula has worked since Week 2 and they used the formula once again on Sunday and it worked to perfection. The defense did its job by forcing two turnovers and sacking Carson Wentz two times. Offensively, Cooper Rush wasn't great, but he got the job done. Rush only completed 15 of 27 passes, but two of those went for touchdowns, including a 30-yard score to CeeDee Lamb on the first play of the fourth quarter that basically iced the game. Rush is now 4-0 in his career as a starter and it's starting to feel like he's never going to lose. Grade: A-
Seahawks 48-45 over Lions (Click here for full game stats)
- Seahawks takeaway: If Sunday was your first time watching Geno Smith, you might have turned off the game thinking he was the best quarterback in NFL history. The Seahawks QB was nearly perfect in the first half against the Lions (he went 12 for 14 for 170 yards and two touchdowns), and he was almost as good in the second half (he threw for 160 more yards). Not only was Smith cooking, but so was Rashaad Penny, who rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries. Although the Seahawks defense surrendered 45 points, the offense was so good that it didn't matter. Also, the defense actually chipped in on the scoring with a pick-six by Tariq Woolen in the second half. The Seahawks are starting to look like a pesky team that might be able to make some noise in the NFC West. Grade: B+
- Lions takeaway: If you can't force the other team to punt, you usually don't win in the NFL and the Lions didn't force a single punt on Sunday. The Lions defense simply had no answers for a Seahawks team that piled up 555 yards of offense. The yardage total was the second-most the Lions have given up in a game over the past 25 years. Offensively, the Lions did put up 45 points, but they also made way too many mistakes, including a Jared Goff pick-six on the first play of the second half that gave Seattle a 31-15 lead. Grade: B-
As for the other 24 grades we handed out on Sunday,.
4. 11 crazy facts from Week 4
Every Sunday night, I get an email from our research department here at CBS Sports, and every Sunday, that email always includes some amazingly wild facts about the games that were just played.
With that in mind, here are 11 crazy facts about Week 4:
- Lions-Seahawks ends with final score that's never happened in NFL history. The Lions and Seahawks combined to pull off a scorigami, which is when we see a final score for the first time in NFL history. The Seahawks' 48-45 win marks the only time that an NFL game has ended with that score. The NFL has now seen 1,073 different final scores in league history.
- Eagles are unstoppable in the second quarter. The Eagles have scored 85 points in the second quarter this season, the most by any team in any quarter in NFL history through the first four games of a season. The Eagles have scored 115 points this season, which means 73.4% of their points have been scored in one quarter.
- Zach Wilson makes Jets history. In his first game of the 2022 season, Wilson caught a one-yard TD pass, which is notable, because it makes Wilson the first quarterback in Jets history to catch a TD pass.
- Lambeau Legend. With his TD pass against the Packers, Bailey Zappe became the first player ever to make his NFL debut as a visiting player at Lambeau Field AND throw a TD pass in that game. Zappe also became the first rookie QB to throw a TD pass this season. This is the latest that the first TD pass from a rookie has come since 2007, when it also happened in Week 4.
- Ravens blow another big lead. Over the course of their franchise history, the Ravens are 101-5 in games where they've held a lead of at least 17 points. The unfortunate part for the Ravens is that two of those five losses have come in the past three weeks. In Sunday's loss to the Bills, the Ravens lost 23-20 after holding a 20-3 lead.
- Trevor Lawrence loses record amount of fumbles. Trevor Lawrence lost four fumbles against the Eagles, making him the first player since at least 1991 to lose four fumbles in a single game.
- Steelers kicker sets stadium record. Chris Boswell drilled a 59-yard field goal against the Jets, which is notable, because it's the longest field goal that's ever been made at Acrisure Stadium, which opened as Heinz Field in 2002.
- Justin Herbert is streaking on the road. The Chargers QB threw for 340 yards against Houston, marking the seventh straight road game where he's thrown for 300 yards or more. According to NFL research, the streak is the second-longest in NFL history, second only to Rich Gannon, who hit 300 yards in eight straight road games during a streak that ran from 2001 to 2002.
- Geno Smith has been super accurate this season. Through four weeks, Geno Smith has completed 77.3% of his passes, which is the highest completion percentage by a quarterback through four games in NFL history (Minimum of 125 pass attempts).
- Wil Lutz misses making history by inches. With his 60-yard field goal against the Vikings, Lutz became the first kicker in the NFL this year to hit a kick of 60 yards or more. Lutz also attempted a 61-yarder as time expired that hit the upright and crossbar before bouncing out. If the kick had gone in, Lutz would have been the first kicker in NFL history to hit multiple 60-yard field goals in a single game. You can see the 61-yard field goal attempt by clicking here and you can see how close it came to making it by clicking here.
- Buccaneers rushing attack was non-existent. The Bucs only ran the ball six times during their loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night, which is notable, because it's the second-fewest run plays ever in an NFL game. The only lower total came in 2020 when Brady's Buccaneers ran the ball just five times in a game against the Saints.
If you see any other fun facts, feel free to tweet them at me.
The final game of Week 4 is giving us an NFC title game rematch with the 49ers hosting the Rams. Although the 49ers have absolutely owned this series -- they've won six of the past seven games -- the Rams' one win came in January's NFC title game, so they're probably more than happy with how things have played out.
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 Rams can win: In Week 3, the Rams proved that they can be successful on offense without constantly feeding Cooper Kupp. In their win over the Cardinals, the Rams had four receivers BESIDES Kupp who finished with multiple receptions. That's important because if the Rams are going to win, Sean McVay will need to throw some new offensive wrinkles in his playbook. The 49ers have done a good job of slowing the Rams down in the past, which is why McVay needs to make sure that his team is utilizing its other offensive weapons.
- Why the 49ers can win: Through three weeks, the 49ers have had one of the best defenses in the NFL and a big reason for that is because they're surrendering just 148.3 pass yards per game, which is the fewest in the league. If the 49ers secondary can slow down Cooper Kupp and clamp down on the Rams' passing game, Los Angeles will have a tough time scoring points and if they have a tough time scoring points, it will become much easier for the 49ers to win.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Tyler Sullivan put together a full gambling preview (odds via Caesars Sportsbook).
You can, but if you don't feel like clicking over, here's one prop from both of us for tonight's game (We've both hit our props in two straight primetime games, so we'll see if we can keep this roll going).
- ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Jeff Wilson OVER 54.5 (-133): "Wilson will be starting tonight and he's topped this rushing yard prop in both games he's started this season. Also, San Francisco will likely lean heavily on its running game against the Rams."
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Matt Gay total kicking points OVER 6.5 (-103): Dating back to last season, Gay has gone over 6.5 points in 11 of his past 14 games, including the playoffs. In those same 14 games, Gay is also averaging nearly two field goals per game (1.85). Sean McVay has no problem kicking field goals, which is one reason why I think we'll see quite a few points from Gay.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight in a game where the 49ers are currently favored by two points:
Dubin's pick: 49ers 24-21 over Rams
Sullivan's pick: 49ers 23-21 over Rams
My pick: Rams 27-23 over 49ers
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, our eight experts are split down the middle with four of them taking Los Angeles and four taking San Francisco.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Tua's injury has major ramifications on NFL policy
It's been 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.
- Concussion protocol likely to change following Tua controversy. The NFL and NFLPA have following the controversy surrounding Tua's injury. Although nothing is set in stone yet, one change that is likely coming will be that a player can't return to the game if they show "Gross Motor Instability." Tua had trouble walking off the field during Miami's Week 3 game against the Bills.
- Neurologist who examined Tua gets fired. The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who examined Tua during Miami's Week 3 win over the Bills . The controversy involving Tua started in Week 3 when an independent neurologist cleared him to return to the field after the QB showed "Gross Motor Instability." According to the NFLPA, there were "several mistakes" made by the neurologist in the lead up to Tua being cleared.
- Fan dies at Steelers game: A fan in Pittsburgh died at Acrisure Stadium in Sunday after falling from an escalator during the Steelers' 24-20 loss to the Jets. For more details on the situation, you can check out .
- Joey Bosa could be out for up to 10 weeks. When Bosa was placed on IR last week, it wasn't clear how long he was going to be out, but now we have a better idea. According to ESPN.com, Bosa is expected to be sidelined for eight to 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on Friday. Under that timeline, Bosa likely wouldn't be back on the field until around Thanksgiving at the earliest.
- Brett Favre hires former White House lawyer. The Hall of Famer hasn't been charged with anything, but he's retained a high-powered attorney just in case that happens. According to Axios.com, Favre has hired Eric Herschmann, who previously served as a top lawyer in the White House during Donald Trump's presidency.