Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
If you're a Buccaneers fan or a Packers fan, I'd probably just go ahead and skip today's newsletter because it's just going to make you even sadder about your team than you already are. The only thing worse than Aaron Rodgers getting outplayed by a guy (Taylor Heinicke) who was in the XFL two years ago was Tom Brady losing to a team (the Panthers) that traded away its best player last week while also getting outplayed by a guy (P.J. Walker) who was in the XFL two years ago. Maybe that's a sign that we should just turn this into an XFL newsletter.
Anyway, the Packers and Buccaneers won't be the only two teams we talk about today, we've got a lot to cover, 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: Week 7 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 7, and let me just say, it's probably for the best that you listen. We covered all 12 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: Joe Burrow. Burrow threw for 481 yards on Sunday, which is the highest total in the NFL this year, the second-highest total of his career and third-highest total in Bengals history. The Bengals offense is nearly unstoppable when Burrow is playing his best football, and right now, he appears to be playing his best football.
- Loser: Kenny Pickett. The Steelers rookie went through some growing pains on Sunday night and everyone in Pittsburgh went through those pains with him. Pickett threw three interceptions against the Dolphins and the worst part for Pittsburgh is that all three interceptions came on drives where the Steelers had moved the ball inside of Miami's 25-yard line. Pickett obviously could still end up being a successful QB, but he has to play smarter football.
- Winner: Geno Smith. The Seahawks have officially taken over first place in the NFC West and a big reason for that is because Geno is playing at an MVP level. Last week, he outplayed Kyler Murray. This week, he outplayed Justin Herbert. If we're only counting the 2022 season, Smith looks like one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL.
- Loser: Aaron Rodgers. It might be time for Rodgers to take his teammates on an ayahuasca retreat, because whatever Green Bay is doing right now, it's not working.
- Winner: Josh Jacobs. The running back is doing his best to make the Raiders regret the fact that they declined the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Jacobs rushed for 143 yards on Sunday and has now topped the 140-yard mark in THREE straight games. I capitalized three because only THREE running backs have accomplished that feat over the past 12 years (Adrian Peterson, Derrick Henry). If Jacobs keeps running like this, he might run his way into a new contract with the Raiders.
- Loser: Tom Brady. I'm not sure what rock bottom is in the NFL, but only scoring three points against the Panthers has to be close. Brady is probably starting to wish that he would have stayed retired.
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 7 injuries: Ryan Tannehill suffers ankle injury, Breece Hall might be out for the season
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 7:
- Ryan Tannehill could miss time. The Titans QB injured his right ankle against the Colts and was in a walking boot following the game. It's unclear if Tannehill will be able to play in Week 8 against the Texans, but he said he'll be "doing everything he can" to get it right.
- Breece Hall likely out for the season. Hall injured his knee against the Broncos and the the prognosis is "not good," according to Robert Saleh. According to the Jets coach, the belief is that the electrifying rookie tore his ACL, which would knock him out for the season.
- Chargers hit with two big injuries. Mike Williams and J.C. Jackson both had to leave Sunday's loss to the Seahawks due to an injury. According to NFL.com, Jackson dislocated his kneecap, which could keep him out for a substantial amount of time. As for Williams, he was carted to the locker room after injuring his knee in the Chargers' loss. The Chargers have plenty of offensive weapons, but they can't stay healthy. Keenan Allen had just returned this week before Williams' injury.
- Giants rookie taken to hospital, team hit with rash of injuries. Daniel Bellinger was taken to the hospital on Sunday after taking a hand to the eye during the Giants' win over the Jaguars. According to Newsday, Bellinger still has his vision, but he might have to undergo surgery near the eye. The Giants are also dealing with an injury to right tackle Evan Neal, who appears to have an MCL issue that might keep him sidelined. The team will know more today.
- DK Metcalf carted off the field. The Seahawks receiver injured his knee against the Chargers and had to be carted off the field. The good news for Metcalf is that x-rays came back negative. However, Metcalf will have to undergo an MRI today before the team knows whether he'll have to miss any time.
- David Njoku in walking boot. The Browns tight end had to be placed in a walking boot on Sunday after spraining his ankle against the Ravens. According to ESPN.com, Njoku's injury isn't serious, but it's unclear if it will force him to miss any time.
- Cowboys lose corner for the season. Jourdan Lewis had to be carted to the locker room after injuring his foot against the Lions in the second half. According to the Dallas Morning News, Lewis suffered a Lisfranc injury and is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery Sunday night.
- Carson Wentz placed on IR. The Commanders QB will be sidelined for at least the next three weeks after being placed on IR over the weekend following surgery to an injured finger on his throwing hand. When you go on IR, you have to sit out at least four games and Wentz's first one came on Sunday, which means he could return as early as Week 11.
- Russell Wilson could return in Week 8. After sitting out Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, the Broncos QB could be back on the field on the field for Denver's Week 8 game in London against the Jaguars. Following Denver's loss to the Jets, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Wilson is "trending" in the right direction to play.
3. Week 7 grades: Buccaneers get an 'F' for shocking loss, Packers not much better against Commanders
Every week I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady both failed out of our imaginary football school.
Here's a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Panthers 21-3 over Buccaneers (Click here for full recap)
- Buccaneers takeaway: It took 23 years, but Tom Brady's career might have finally hit rock bottom. Since starting 2-0, the Buccaneers have now lost four of their past five games and a big reason for that is because the offense looks broken. Part of that is due to Brady, who threw multiple errant passes, but even when he was throwing accurately, his receivers couldn't hang on to anything (Mike Evans dropped an easy TD pass in the first quarter). As bad as the offense was, the defense might have been worse. The Buccaneers couldn't stop a Panthers rushing attack that just traded away its best player. Carolina steamrolled the Buccaneers defense for 173 yards on the ground. All of a sudden, it's starting to feel like the Buccaneers are going to be in a dog fight in the NFC South, a division most people thought Tampa Bay was easily going to win. Grade: F
- Panthers takeaway: After the Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey on Thursday, some people accused them of tanking, but no one will be making that accusation anymore after this upset win. The loss of McCaffrey didn't seem to have any impact on the Panthers, who ran for a SEASON-HIGH 173 yards, marking the team's second-highest rushing total since the start of the 2020 season. Most of that production came from D'Onta Foreman (15 carries, 118 yards) and Chuba Hubbard (nine carries for 63 yards and one TD), two backs who proved to be more than capable of filling McCaffrey's shoes. The only thing more surprising than Carolina's rushing attack was the way the Panthers' defense was able to shut down Brady. The Bucs quarterback faced relentless pressure on a day where Tampa Bay didn't score its first points until the fourth quarter. Grade: A+
Commanders 23-21 over Packers (Click here for full recap)
- Packers takeaway: Over the past three weeks, the Packers offense has somehow gotten progressively worse each game, and it might have finally reached rock bottom in Washington. Aaron Rodgers continues to have a look of perpetual frustration whenever he's on the field and it's somewhat understandable considering his receivers are struggling to get open. Over the first three quarters of this game, the Packers punted five times while only putting together one drive that went for more than 40 yards. The Packers defense did its best to keep things close with a pick-six in the first half, but it couldn't stop the Commanders offense in the second half. At one point, the Packers led this game 14-3, but it was an all-out failure after that. The Packers aren't out of the NFC North race by any means, but with the way they're playing, if they don't turn things around soon they're going to be playing for second in the division. Grade: D
- Commanders takeaway: Early in the second quarter, this game looked like it was going to turn into a blowout in favor of the Packers, but then the Commanders turned things around. The most surprising turnaround came from Taylor Heinicke, who played nearly flawless football after throwing a second quarter pick-six. Terry McLaurin made Heinicke's life much easier by catching nearly every pass that was thrown his way. The Commanders offense came alive in the second half by coming away with a score on each of its first three possessions. Of course, this win wouldn't have happened without a nearly perfect performance from a Commanders defense that didn't surrender a single third-down or fourth-down conversion in the game. Two weeks ago, the Commanders looked to be left for dead at 1-4, but with two wins in a row, they've quickly turned their season around. Grade: B+
As for the other 24 grades we handed out on Sunday, you can check those out by clicking here.
4. 10 crazy facts from Week 7
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 10 crazy facts about Week 7:
- Tom Brady in unfamiliar territory. With the loss to Carolina, the Buccaneers are now 3-4, which makes this the latest into a season that one of Brady's teams has been under .500 since 2002 when the Patriots also started 3-4. Brady is also 1-4 over the past five games, marking the first time since 2002 that he's lost four times over a five-game span. In other Brady news, the Bucs QB threw 49 passes on Sunday, which is the most he's ever thrown in his career without also throwing a TD.
- Packers have historically ugly day on third down. The Packers went 0-for-6 on third down, marking the first time in Aaron Rodgers' career that his team didn't convert a third down and the first time since 1999 that the Packers didn't convert at least one third down in a game.
- Unbeatable after the bye. Thanks to their win over the Colts, Titans coach Mike Vrabel is now 5-0 in games played after the bye, which is tied for the second-best record in NFL history. Only Don Shula, who went 7-0, had a better record.
- Giant accomplishment, part I. Brian Daboll is the first Giants coach since 1929 to start his career at 6-1. The coach back then was Roy Andrews, who led the team to an 11-1-1 record that year. The Giants are the first team in NFL history to start a season 6-1 or better while also having all seven of their games decided by just one score (via NFL Research).
- Giant accomplishment, part II. Not to be outdone by his coach, Daniel Jones also accomplished something that Giants fans hadn't seen in nearly nine decades. With 107 yards rushing against the Jaguars, Jones became the first Giants QB since Ed Danowski in 1934 to cross the 100-yard rushing mark in a game. Danowski ended up winning two NFL championships with the Giants, which fans in New York would gladly take with Jones.
- Mecole Hardman makes history. With his three touchdowns against the 49ers, Hardman became the FIRST wide receiver in the Super Bowl era to finish a game with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
- No one does the long ball better than Joe Burrow. With a 60-yard TD pass against the Falcons, Burrow has now thrown 12 touchdowns of 50 yards or more since the beginning of the 2021 season, which is the most in the NFL. To put that in perspective, no other QB has even thrown eight in the span.
- Burrow joins rare club, then starts his own club. Before Week 7, only two players in NFL history -- Norm Van Brocklin (1951) and Billy Volek (2004) -- had ever thrown for more than 475 yards along with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a single game. Burrow joined that club against the Falcons with four total touchdowns and 481 passing yards. Burrow also invented his own club: With 501 total yards (he had 20 rushing yards), Burrow became the FIRST player in NFL history to have multiple games of at least 500 total yards and four total touchdowns.
- Lion-sized scoring drought. Through the first four games of the season, the Lions were one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL, but not anymore. The Lions have scored just six points over the past two weeks, which is their lowest scoring output over any two-week span since 1993.
- Josh Jacobs turns into a touchdown machine. The Raiders running back scored three rushing touchdowns in the second half against the Texans, marking the first time since 1982 that a Raiders running back had accomplished that feat. Marcus Allen did that exact same thing 40 years ago (via NFL research). Jacobs also topped 140 yards for the third straight game, which is pretty crazy when you consider that he had never hit the 140-yard mark in his career before this month.
If you see any other fun facts, feel free to tweet them at me.
5. Monday preview: Prepping you for Bears at Patriots
Bill Belichick earned his 324th career win last week, which put him in a tie with former Bears coach George Halas for the second-most victories in NFL history. Fittingly, Belichick will now attempt to pass Halas by beating the Bears.
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 Patriots can win: Bill Belichick knows how to take advantage of a team's weakness and the Bears' defensive weakness is stopping the run. Chicago is surrendering 163 yards per game on the ground, which is the second-most in the NFL. The Patriots will likely run it early and often, and if they get going on the ground, it's going to be difficult for the Bears to win. Also, the Bears have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, so it won't be surprising if the Patriots don't take to the air very often since Mac Jones will be playing his first game in four weeks.
- Why the Bears can win: The Bears hate throwing the ball, so it would seem that their best chance of winning this game will revolve around whether David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert can move the ball on the ground. The Patriots rushing defense has struggled at times this season -- it has given up at least 185 yards in two of New England's past four games (both losses) -- and if the Bears can get anywhere near that number, that should give them a puncher's chance to win.
You can get a full preview of the game from Dubin by clicking here.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Jordan Dajani put together a full gambling preview (odds via Caesars Sportsbook). You can check out Dajani'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.
- ONE PROP Jordan LIKES: Rhamondre Stevenson OVER 62.5 rushing yards (-106): "Stevenson, who is one of the most underrated running backs in the game this year, has crossed this number in each of his last four games and he's also averaging 74.7 yards per game on the ground this year."
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Nick Folk OVER 7.5 points (-103): The Patriots offense has been on a roll over the past two weeks and one of the biggest benefactors has been Folk, who is AVERAGING 12.5 points per game during New England's current two-game winning streak. I don't love the fact that it might rain in Foxboro tonight, but even with that, I still think Folk can hit this number.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight in a game where the Patriots are currently favored by 8.5 points:
Dubin's pick: Patriots 24-13 over Bears
Sullivan's pick: Patriots 28-17 over Bears
My pick: Patriots 27-16 over Bears
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, the straight-up choice is unanimous with all eight of our experts picking the Patriots to win and seven of us taking the Patriots to cover.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Todd Gurley done with football
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.
- Todd Gurley appears to be retired. The former Rams running back never officially announced his retirement, but it appears that he's done with football. During an interview with NFL Network over the weekend, Gurley said he's done with the NFL. Gurley's last snap came in 2020 with the Falcons.
- Magic Johnson could buy a piece of the Raiders. The former NBA star, who already is a part owner of the Dodgers, is apparently considering buying a small stake in the Raiders. For more details on this story, be sure to click here.
- Two long-time Chargers players retire. Two former Chargers players both retired over the weekend by signing a one-day deal with the team. The players were cornerback Antonio Cromartie and defensive tackle Corey Liuget. The Chargers made Cromartie the 16th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and he spent four seasons with the team. As for Liuget, the Chargers made him the 18th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and he ended up spending eight seasons with the team.
- Lions make Jack Fox the NFL's highest-paid punter. The Lions handed out a record-setting contract over the weekend and that deal was given to Jack Fox. According to NFL.com, the punter's three-year deal is worth $3.775 million per season and includes $7.5 million guaranteed, which are both records for a punter.