Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
First, let me officially welcome the Miami Dolphins to the 2021 NFL season. Apparently, the Dolphins didn't think the season started until November because that's the only way to explain how they're 2-0 this month after going 1-7 to start the season. If the NFL moves this year's Super Bowl to November, I'm betting all my money on the Dolphins.
Also, let me say that I'm never skipping another NFL prime-time game ever again. They've almost all been crazy and last night's game was no exception with the Dolphins shocking the Ravens 22-10. Things got so crazy at one point that an OFFENSIVE LINEMAN caught a screen pass for a TD, but the refs decided not to count it because apparently he was ineligible or something. Dumb. Even though the TD didn't count, it's definitely worth watching and you can do that by clicking here.
Alright, let's get this show on the road because we've got a full newsletter for you today. We'll recap the Dolphins' win plus we'll take a look at Odell Beckham Jr.'s contract and we'll also be making some Week 10 picks, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Recapping the Dolphins' shocking win over Baltimore
If you decided not to watch Thursday's game because you thought it was going to be a Ravens blowout, I have some bad news for you: It wasn't a Ravens blowout. In one of the most surprising games of the year, the Dolphins flipped the script and absolutely dominated the Ravens in a 22-10 win that no one saw coming (And when I say no one, I pretty much mean no one: Of the 350 experts over at Pick Watch, not a single one of them picked the Dolphins to win).
The only thing crazier than the game was the podcast that Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I recorded afterward. Here are a few key aspects of the game that we touched on:
- Dolphins defense shined. The Dolphins went with a risky defensive game plan against the Ravens, but the gamble ended up paying off big time. Basically, the Dolphins decided they were going to blitz on nearly every play to see how Lamar Jackson would handle it and let's just say, he did not handle it well. The Dolphins had their safeties blitz Jackson a combined 38 times with some of those blitzes coming on the same play. Overall, the Dolphins' defensive backs blitzed Jackson a total of 24 times, which was the most in an NFL game since 2015. Jackson faced pressure on almost every play in a game where he was sacked four times. More importantly, Jackson never escaped from the blitz to make a big play with his legs. The Ravens QB only totaled 39 rushing yards on nine runs. Speaking of the Dolphins' defensive backs, Xavien Howard came up with the play of the game in the fourth quarter when he stripped Sammy Watkins and then proceeded to return the fumble 49 yards for a touchdown (You can see the play by clicking here).
- Tua to the rescue. Tua Tagovailoa didn't start on Thursday night, but he did finish the game after Jacoby Brissett went down with an injury in the second half. In less than two quarters of action, Tua was phenomenal, going 8 of 13 for 158 yards. His biggest play came with 3:29 left to play. With the Dolphins facing a second-and-10, the Ravens were expecting Miami to run the ball in an effort to burn some clock, but instead, they called a pass and Tua ended up connecting with Albert Wilson for a 64-yard gain. The throw basically iced the win for the Dolphins. Tua didn't start because he was dealing with a broken middle finger on his throwing hand. The good news for Tua is that the injury will now have 10 days to heal.
- Ugly overall night for the Ravens. It wasn't just the Ravens' offense that was bad, it was basically the entire team, even Justin Tucker had an off night. The Ravens kicker missed a 48-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter and that probably should have been the first sign that it was going to be a long night for Baltimore. The 10 points ended up being the fewest the Ravens have ever scored with Jackson as their starting QB. Watkins might have had the worst night of all for any Ravens offensive player. Not only did he appear to give up on a possible touchdown pass in the first half, but he also lost a fumble in the second half that ended up being returned for a touchdown. Two other uncharacteristic issues for the Ravens is that they couldn't convert on third down (2 of 14) and they couldn't run the ball (just 94 yards). The rushing total was the second-lowest since Jackson became the starter. Basically, it was an ugly night all-around for everyone on the Ravens.
To listen to or watch today's episode on YouTube, be sure to click here. (Seriously, you can WATCH the podcast.) You can also check out our takeaways from the game by clicking here.
2. Today's show Part II: Best bets for Week 10
The best part about Friday -- besides the fact that it's Friday -- is that you get two episodes of the podcast in your feed. After the recap of the Thursday game, Brinson politely asked me and Ryan Wilson to leave so that he could bring in Pete Prisco and R.J. White for a discussion about their best bets for Week 10.
The guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game, and we're going to cover three from each guy below.
Pete Prisco (2-1 last week in picks featured here)
- Falcons (+9) to cover against the Cowboys
- Rams (-4) to cover against the 49ers
- Jaguars (+10.5) to cover against the Colts
Will Brinson (1-2 last week in picks featured here)
R.J. White (1-2 last week in picks featured here)
- Lions (+9) to cover against the Steelers
- Vikings (+3) to cover against the Chargers
- Saints (+3) to cover against the Titans
The guys also have a parlay they like that pays out +595.
- Packers (-3) to cover against the Seahawks
- Saints (+3) to cover against the Titans
- Raiders (+2.5) to cover against the Chiefs
That parlay will pay out $595 on a $100 bet.
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 10 -- and there are quite a few -- be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the trio give out their picks on YouTube by clicking here.
3. Details of Odell's contract with the Rams
After a free agency period that lasted less than 48 hours, the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes finally came to an end on Thursday with the Rams coming out of nowhere to sign the receiver. When we all went to bed on Wednesday night, the thought was that the Chiefs, Packers, Seahawks, Patriots and Saints would be the finalists for Odell's services, but instead, it came down to just the Packers and the Rams.
Here are the details on Odell's contract and why he picked the Rams over the Packers
- Odell signs a one-year deal. The receiver inked a one-year contract that will be worth up to $4.25 million, according to NFL.com. To land him, the Rams offered a $500,000 signing bonus and a $750,000 base salary, which means Odell will pocket at least $1.25 million. The rest of the money will be available via incentives that will be paid out based on how the Rams finish in the regular season and how far they make it in the playoffs. Odell is also getting $4.25 million in termination pay from the Browns, so he's definitely not hurting for money.
- Why the Rams over the Packers? One big part of Odell's decision had to do with money. The Packers were only offering him the veteran minimum, which would have paid him barely over $500,000 for the rest of the season (He got a $500,000 signing bonus alone from the Rams). Odell also told CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson that he was "feeling the love" from the Rams. I'm guessing the option of being in Los Angeles vs. Green Bay also probably played a small role (Beckham has a house in L.A.).
- When will Beckham make his Rams debut? Since he signed with the team Thursday, that means there's definitely a possibility that he could play this week. The best part for Beckham is that the Rams play on Monday, which means he might be able to get two full practices in before the Rams' Week 10 game against the 49ers. If Beckham isn't quite ready to suit up this week, then he'll have to wait until Nov. 28 to make his debut. After Week 10, the Rams have a Week 11 bye before playing the Packers in Week 12.
If you're wondering how Odell is going to fit in with the Rams' high-powered offense, then you're definitely going to want to click here. Beckham will be battling with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson for targets and there's only one football, so there's a chance we could see him get frustrated because there aren't enough passes coming his way. Former Rams safety John Johnson, who now plays for the Browns, doesn't think the union between Beckham and the Rams is going to work and you can find out why by clicking here.
4. NFL Week 10 picks
This is the final newsletter of the week, which means I feel morally obligated to cram as many picks as possible into this space. I once crammed 11 marshmallows onto half a graham cracker while making some s'mores, so I know I'm good at cramming.
With that in mind, we've got some Week 10 picks coming your way and those will be coming from Will Brinson, Tom Fornelli and Jonathan Jones along with CBSSports.com writers Jordan Dajani and Tyler Sullivan.
Here's how things are going to work: I'm going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you'll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on.
- Will Brinson: Saints 21-17 over Titans (New Orleans covers +3). "The Titans are on an absolute heater right now after beating the Bills, Chiefs, Colts and Rams consecutively. Next up? Trevor Siemian! Tennessee's actual concern is the Saints' defense, checking in as a top three unit and No. 1 against the run." For the rest of Brinson's Week 10 picks, be sure to click here.
- Jonathan Jones: Patriots over Browns (Cleveland -135 moneyline). "The Browns would be my pick if they had their complement of running backs for this game. But they'll be without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and New England's defense is starting to round into Belichick Form. I still believe in Cleveland, just not in this one." For the rest of Jones' Week 10 picks, be sure to click here.
- Tom Fornelli: Eagles 27-21 over Broncos (Philadelphia covers +2.5). "I get the sense that Nick Sirianni has started to figure out what works best with Jalen Hurts and is finding a more healthy balance on offense." For the rest of Fornelli's Week 10 best bets, be sure to click here.
- Jordan Dajani: Packers 28-21 over Seahawks (Green Bay covers -3.5). "Green Bay has won nine straight home meetings, including postseason, against Seattle. That nine-game losing streak to the Packers on the road is the longest road losing streak in Seahawks history vs. a single opponent." For the rest of Dajani's Week 10 picks, be sure to click here.
- Tyler Sullivan: Chargers 24-21 over Vikings (Los Angeles covers -2.5). "This could prove to be a big day for Austin Ekeler as he'll face a Vikings defense that ranks 26th against the run in DVOA." For the rest of Sullivan's Week 10 picks, be sure to click here.
5. Rookie power rankings: Two offensive linemen at the top of the list
With the NFL season officially more than halfway over, now seems like a good time to check in and see how this year's rookie class is doing. Our Josh Edwards put together a rookie power rankings this week and in news that might come as surprising to some people, there are two offensive linemen at the top. Linemen don't get as much love as skill players, so it's nice to see Edwards step up and show some love to the big uglies.
With that in mind, here's the top 10 from this week's rookie power rankings:
1. C Creed Humphrey (Chiefs)
2. LT Rashawn Slater (Chargers)
3. WR Ja'Marr Chase (Bengals)
4. TE Kyle Pitts (Falcons)
5. QB Mac Jones (Patriots)
6. CB Nate Hobbs (Raiders)
7. OG Trey Smith (Chiefs)
8. TE Pat Freiermuth (Steelers)
9. CB Greg Newsome (Browns)
10. WR DeVonta Smith (Eagles)
This isn't an overall season ranking, but a ranking of how each guy played in the prior week. If you want to see the top 15 rookies on Edwards' list and an explanation for why each player landed where he did, then be sure to click here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
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.
- Details of Cam Newton's contract. The Panthers QB got a much bigger contract than Odell Beckham. The one-year deal, which could be worth up to $10 million, will pay out $6 million in guaranteed money in the form of his salary ($4.5 million) and a $1.5 million roster bonus, according to NFL.com. The rest of the money will be paid out depending on how well the Panthers play this season. Also, Newton WON'T be the Panthers starter on Sunday against Arizona, which means his debut will be coming in Week 11 against Washington.
- Russell Wilson admits he's not 100%. The Seahawks QB will be returning to the field this week, but that doesn't mean he's fully healed. As a matter of fact, Wilson admitted on Thursday that he's only going to be about 90% going into the Packers game on Sunday, "I'm not 100% yet, but I'm pretty dang close. I would say 90th percentile if not higher. I feel great," Wilson said, via ESPN.
- Disney in discussions for Sunday ticket. The one media deal that still has to be negotiated is the Sunday Ticket package that's currently held by DirecTV. The DTV contract expires following the 2022 season and after that, it appears Disney would be interested in taking over. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said his company is "in discussions and negotiations with the NFL," according to the Sports Business Journal. If Disney were to land Sunday Ticket, the plan would be to put it on ESPN+.
- 49ers cut former third-round pick. Two years after drafting Jalen Hurd, the 49ers have already decided to move on from him. The team released the receiver on Thursday. Hurd was the 67th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he never played in a single game with the 49ers due to multiple injuries that he suffered over the past two years.
- Stan Kroenke offered to pay St. Louis $100 million to settle lawsuit. With the NFL facing a major lawsuit in St. Louis and things starting to heat up from a legal perspective, the Rams owner decided to try to put an end to the four-year-old lawsuit by offering $100 million to settle the case. The offer was turned down by the plaintiffs, which means this case is now one step closer to going to trial. For more details on the lawsuit, which could eventually lead to a the NFL paying out more than a billion dollars in damages, be sure to click here.
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