Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Every time the Broncos play in prime time, everyone on Twitter spends three hours complaining about the fact that the Broncos are playing in prime time. Maybe I'm a masochist, but I've actually enjoyed every Broncos' prime-time game this season.
Following their 19-16 loss to the Chargers on Monday, they've now played four prime-time games, and those games have been decided by one point, one point, three points and three points. I don't care if their offense puts me to sleep; all I want with my prime-time games is a wild finish, and the Broncos have delivered that four straight times.
GIVE ME MORE BRONCOS IN PRIME-TIME.
Anyway, we'll be talking about last night's game in today's newsletter, plus we'll check out Prisco's latest Power Rankings and I'll be doling out some Week 7 picks.
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: Recapping the Chargers' win over the Broncos
The Chargers had a wild win over the Broncos on Monday night, and the only thing crazier than the game was the podcast we recorded afterward. Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I spent roughly 45 minutes going over every major aspect of the game, including whether Russell Wilson is finally washed up.
With that in mind, here are four key things from the game that we talked about during the podcast:
- Dustin Hopkins saved the day. There was only one Chargers player who had a perfect night -- Dustin Hopkins -- and he almost didn't even make it through the game. The kicker, who missed Week 5 with a quad injury, suffered a hamstring injury on an extra point in the first half. The injury was so bad that Hopkins couldn't even follow through on his kicks. After the game, he said he felt like he was being "stabbed" with a knife every time he tried a field goal. The good news for the Chargers is that Hopkins was able to overcome his injured hamstring to hit four field goals, including the game-winner from 39 yards out in overtime. (You can see Hopkins fall to the ground in pain after making his kick by clicking here.)
- The Chargers offense got shut down. The Chargers ran into a brick wall known as the Broncos defense and simply couldn't do anything to ignite their offense Monday night. Justin Herbert threw the ball 57 times, but he only threw for 238 yards and zero touchdowns. To put that in perspective, Herbert became the first player in NFL history to throw at least 55 passes with zero touchdowns in a game that his team won. Herbert also became just the fourth QB ever to throw for under 240 yards in a game where he threw at least 55 passes. The Chargers couldn't move the ball through the air or on the ground. This game probably would have ended in a tie, except the Broncos muffed a punt in overtime, which the Chargers recovered at Denver's 28-yard line to set up Hopkins' game-winning field goal.
- Russell Wilson looked good...for one quarter. For the first time all season, the Broncos offense actually looked competent, but that only lasted about one quarter. Denver scored 10 of its 16 points during a first quarter where Russell Wilson finished 10 of 10 for 116 yards. When the Broncos made the trade for Wilson, the guy who showed up in the first quarter was the guy they were hoping to get. However, after the first quarter, he went just 5 of 18 for 72 yards. The Broncos offense also continued to struggle with issues they've been plagued by all season: It couldn't score in the red zone (0-for-1) and couldn't convert on third down (4-for-14). If the Broncos can get those issues figured out, they might be able to turn around their season, but that's not something that's looking very likely right now.
- Two big-named players got benched. The Broncos and Chargers both made a surprising benching Monday night. For Denver, Melvin Gordon . The Broncos running back rushed just three times for eight yards. It's somewhat surprising Gordon didn't get benched earlier in the season considering he led all players (non-quarterbacks) in fumbles heading into Week 6. For the Chargers, J.C. Jackson , which wasn't a great look for Jackson. The cornerback has struggled with his play and with injuries since signing an $82 million free agent contract with the Chargers over the offseason. If he struggled while going up against one of the worst offenses in the league, the Chargers probably won't feel great about having him out there when they play better teams.
We talked about those four things, plus everything else you could possibly want to know about Monday's game. If you want to listen to the rest of our recap, be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Prisco's Power Rankings heading into Week 7
The NFL has been so unpredictable this year that I thought this might finally be the week where Pete Prisco gives up on ranking teams, but then I forgot that Prisco has never given up on anything in his life. The NFL season is now one-third of the way through, and it's hard to tell who's good and who's not, but that's Prisco's job and here's what he came up with this week.
Here's a look at Prisco's top-five teams heading into Week 7:
- Vikings (up from No. 5 last week)
- Chiefs (down from No. 3 last week)
- Giants (up from No. 8 last week)
Dropped out: Buccaneers.
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets. Here's what has changed since last week.
- For the second straight week, the biggest jump went to the New York Jets. After moving up 12 spots last week, the Jets made another big jump this week. Following their win over the Packers, Prisco moved them up seven spots from 14th to seventh. That means there are officially two New York teams in the top seven. The Big Apple is back, everyone.
- The biggest jump in the NFC went to the Seahawks. For some reason, Prisco had been ignoring Seattle this season, but he's finally realizing that this team might be for real. After the Seahawks beat the Cardinals, Prisco bumped them up six spots from 27th to 21st.
- The biggest drop in Prisco's Power Rankings went to the Buccaneers, which was mildly surprising because Prisco is the unofficial president of the Tom Brady fan club. Not only did the Bucs drop out of the top five, but they also dropped out of the top 10, with Prisco having them fall eight spots from fourth to 12th.
- As for the bottom of the rankings, we have a new team in the NFL cellar! Going into Week 6, the Commanders were ranked dead last, but now Prisco has put the Carolina Panthers in that spot. I have a feeling that they're going to be there for awhile.
If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything.. If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you
If it's Tuesday, that can only mean one thing: It's time for my weekly picks.
If this is your first season with us, here's how the formula works around here: I stay up until an insane hour every Monday night so that I can give you my picks every Tuesday morning. This newsletter will feature three of my picks, and then if you feel like reading the rest of them, you can do that below.
Last week, I predicted that the Seahawks would upset the Cardinals and that's exactly what happened, so let's just go ahead and assume that all of my picks will be right this week.
Here are three of my picks for Week 7:
- Saints (+1.5) at Cardinals (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime): The Cardinals' season seems like it's spiraling out of control, and if I've learned one thing over the years, it's that you should never pick a team to win if its season is spiraling out of control. The Cards will be getting DeAndre Hopkins back in this week, and although I think that will help them going forward, I don't think it's going to help much with Hopkins only getting two days of practice before playing on Thursday. PICK: Saints 20-17 over Cardinals.
- Giants (+3) at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Fox): For some reason, the oddsmakers still don't believe in the Giants, and although I'm not sure if I do, either. I do think they're better than the Jags. Jacksonville has lost EIGHTEEN straight games to NFC teams, and I see that streak continuing on Sunday. PICK: Giants 27-23 over Jaguars.
- Chiefs (-3) at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): It's hard enough to beat the Chiefs when your team is completely healthy, and the 49ers are the opposite of healthy. They already have several key players banged up and even more players got banged up Sunday against the Falcons. If both teams were completely healthy, I'd probably pick the Chiefs by three. However, the 49ers are definitely not completely healthy so I'm going to take KC by 11. PICK: Chiefs 31-20.
To check out the.
4. Ranking the NFL's three-win teams
Every season, the NFL strives for parity, and this year, the league might have finally reached full parity. Every game is unpredictable, any team can win and the phrase "any given Sunday" now feels pertinent again even though no one has used it in 16 years.
If you need an idea of just how even nearly every team has been this year, just consider this: There are currently TWELVE teams that have exactly three wins. Are any of them actually good, though? Cody Benjamin decided to answer that question by ranking every single three-win team.
Here's a look at his top five:
- 1. Ravens. "Perhaps no team has done more to beat itself this year than Baltimore, but its got the second-easiest schedule remaining out of the AFC North, so it should be fine."
- 2. 49ers. "Injuries are striking them once again, but on the flip side, they should have some of their biggest names, like star pass rusher Nick Bosa, in full health for the stretch run."
- 3. Buccaneers. "As long as Brady is under center, they will be in ballgames, and the truth of the matter is the NFC South remains theirs to lose. Atlanta may be spicy, but there's no way you're betting on Marcus Mariota over TB12 with something important on the line."
- 4. Bengals. "Zac Taylor's play-calling hasn't always been particularly impressive, and their defense has taken some major bruises of late. However, as long as Joe Burrow is upright, they won't ever be out of any game, especially as the Ja'Marr Chase connection heats back up to 2021 levels."
- 5. Packers. "No one should be writing Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur off after six games. The personnel is there for a more balanced attack; it's also about execution. They feel like a prime contender to get hot at the last minute, just in time for a wild-card play."
To see how.
5. NFL Week 6: Overreaction or reality
Everyone on the internet loves to overreact to things, and that's especially true when we're talking about the the NFL. With that in mind, Jeff Kerr decided to take a look at several things that happened around the NFL in Week 6 to decide if we're all overreacting.
Situation: The Bills will get home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.
Overreaction or reality: Reality. "Buffalo is the only one-loss team in the AFC and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Kansas City. The Bills are the clear favorite in the AFC East and own a two-game lead on the Dolphins and a one-game lead over the emerging Jets. They also beat the Ravens earlier this year (and Baltimore is 3-3 after six games). The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC looks like it'll go through Orchard Park in January. That's a scary thought."
Situation: Vikings are a Super Bowl contender.
Overreaction or reality: Overreaction. "Minnesota is one of just three five-win teams in the NFC and four five-win teams in the entire NFL. But let's be real, the Vikings are a good team in a mediocre division. They are not in the Super Bowl contending tier yet."
Situation: The Patriots offense is better with Bailey Zappe.
Overreaction or reality: Reality. "Zappe has made two starts with the Patriots, and New England has averaged 33.5 points per game and 381.5 yards per game in those starts. They are also 2-0 in the two starts under Zappe. The fourth-round rookie went 24 of 34 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday's win over the Browns. He's the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win and post a 100-plus passer rating in each of his first two starts. Bottom line: Zappe has done more than enough to warrant another start (at least). The Patriots offense is better with him at quarterback."
There are plenty more of overreactions from Week 6 and.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Cardinals edition
It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, especially with the Arizona Cardinals, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Cardinals make trade for Robbie Anderson. Less than 24 hours after being kicked out of a game by his own coaching staff, Anderson already has a new home. The Cardinals on Monday. In exchange for getting Anderson, Arizona is sending a sixth-round pick in 2024 and a seventh-round pick in 2025 to Carolina.
- Marquise Brown expected to miss extended amount of time. One reason the Cards traded for Anderson is because Brown could be out until December. The receiver injured his foot Sunday, and according to NFL.com, that injury could keep him off the field for at least six weeks.
- Cardinals activate DeAndre Hopkins. Although the Arizona has lost Brown for the next few weeks, it will be getting Hopkins back in the lineup. The Cardinals' star was suspended for the first six games of the season but is eligible to play this week against the Saints in a game that will kick off Thursday night.
- Cardinals lose starting left guard. Brown wasn't the only key player that Arizona has lost to injury over the past 24 hours. Left guard Justin Pugh tore his ACL in Week 6 and will miss the rest of the season.
- Stan Kroenke will be forking over $571 million to the city of St. Louis. Nearly one year ago, the NFL decided to settle a lawsuit with St. Louis by agreeing to pay $790 million. The only problem is that the league never decided who would actually be paying that money. Kroenke wanted the 32 teams to split it evenly, but the teams wanted Kroenke to pay it since St. Louis was mostly going after him. According to ESPN, the sides have come to an agreement that will call for Kroenke to pay $571 million. According to Bloomberg, Kroenke has a net worth of $12.5 billion.
- Desean Jackson to visit Ravens. The speedy receiver made it clear over the weekend that he's not retired and the Ravens apparently heard his message. Jackson , and it will be interesting to see if anything comes of that. The long-time veteran played for both the Raiders and the Rams last season.
- Stephen Jones pumps brakes on talks of Dak Prescott definitely starting in Week 7. Apparently, it's not a lock that Dak Prescott is goign to start this week. "Well, that still remains to be seen," Jones said Monday. "Obviously seeing where Dak is feeling really good about himself, that's the most important thing of all is that he feels like he can throw the ball the way he needs to throw it to be successful." Prescott said on and that he'd like to play, but nothing is set in stone yet. If Dak isn't 100% yet, there's no reason for the Cowboys to rush him out there.