Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
First, I'd like to start things off here by offering a hearty congratulations to anyone who sat through the entire game last night. Amazon should give you a free Prime subscription for life. I mean, the game was so bad that not even Broncos fans were willing to sit through the entire thing. Thousands of them left before overtime, and I'm not sure what rock bottom is for the Broncos, but when your fans decide that they'd rather sit in traffic then be subjected to 10 more minutes of watching you play, that seems like it has to be close.
The Colts' 12-9 win over the Broncos wasn't just ugly, it was historically ugly and we'll be covering it in today's newsletter. We'll also be making some picks for Week 5 and taking a look at the five teams that Odell Beckham would apparently be willing to play for.
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. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Recapping the Colts' win over the Broncos
The Colts' win over the Broncos wasn't all that exciting, but we more than made up for it afterward with our postgame episode of the Pick Six Podcast. Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I spent nearly 45 minutes rehashing the game and we spent a good chunk of that debating whether Russell Wilson's career is cooked.
If you missed the game, here's a quick rehash of what happened and what we talked about on the podcast:
- Russell Wilson looks washed up. You don't want to say a guy is washed up after just five games with a new team, but Wilson definitely looks washed. Wilson pretty much single-handedly cost the Broncos the game. Let's start with the fact that he missed a WIDE OPEN K.J. Hamler on fourth-and-1 at Indy's 5-yard line in overtime. (You can see how wide open he was by clicking here). Of course, the game never even would have made it to overtime if Wilson didn't throw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. The first pick was one of the worst interceptions you'll ever see (You can check it out here). The second interception was arguably worse because of the situation. With 2:19 left to play, the Broncos were facing a third-and-4 from Indy's 13. All you have to do here is NOT make any mistakes and you're basically guaranteed a field goal, but Wilson ended up throwing a pick in the end zone to Stephon Gilmore. Overall, Wilson went 0-for-6 on passes into the end zone for a team that has the worst red zone offense in the NFL.
- Matt Ryan also looks washed up. The Colts' win is going to overshadow the fact that Ryan also had a pretty bad night. He wasn't as bad as Wilson, but he definitely still struggled. Ryan's biggest problem is that he can't hold on to the ball. The Colts QB went into the game with an NFL-leading nine fumbles and he added TWO more to that total on Thursday. Ryan also threw two interceptions, including one in the third quarter that set up a Broncos field goal. Unlike Wilson, though, Ryan actually came through in the clutch. On Indy's final drive of regulation, Ryan went 5 of 7 for 52 yards to set up Chase McLaughlin's game-tying field goal. In overtime, Ryan was even better, going 4 of 4 for 33 yards to set up a 48-yard field goal from McLaughlin that ended up being the game-winner.
- Colts special teams and defense save the day. Although the Colts offense struggled for most of the game, it was able to sneak out a win thanks to the play of its special teams and defense. The special teams performance included three field goals from 48 yards or more from McLaughlin, Matt Haack had three of his punts downed inside the 15 and the Colts blocked a Broncos field goal attempt in the third quarter. Defensively, the Colts came up with two picks and they were both big because Denver had driven inside Indy's 35-yard line on both possessions that ended with a interception.
- Broncos fans actually left the game early. When NFL fans leave early from a game, it's usually because their team is on the wrong side of a blowout, but that wasn't the case for Broncos fans. After the Colts sent the game to overtime, thousands of disgusted fans decided they didn't want to stick around for the extra period. That's right, Broncos fans actually left this game before the start of overtime. (You can see the full story here). Of all the crazy things that happened in this game, fans leaving a tight game early might be the craziest one of all.
- Two key injuries. The Colts lost Nyheim Hines on their first possession after he went down with a concussion. Hines showed "gross motor instability" while trying to get up and as soon as that happened, it was pretty clear he wouldn't be returning. On the Broncos' end, left tackle Garett Bolles broke his leg in the game, an injury that will keep him out for an extended period, if not for the rest of the season.
If you want to hear our entire recap of the game, be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Eight crazy facts from the Colts' ugly win
The game on Thursday wasn't just bad, it was historically bad. As a matter of fact, it was so bad that we were able to compile nearly 10 facts to show you just how bad it was.
Let's check out the sad facts from this game:
- Colts and Broncos combine to make some ugly history. The Colts' win over Denver marked the first time in NFL history where two opposing quarterbacks threw for at least 250 yards in a game where neither team scored a touchdown (via ESPN Stats and Info).
- Colts and Broncos combine to make some ugly history, Part II. The Colts' win marked the first time since October 1987 where zero touchdowns were scored in a game where both teams took multiple sacks, threw multiple interceptions and had multiple fumbles. The last time it happened came back in Week 6 of 1987 when the Bills beat the Giants 6-3 (via OptaSports)
- Colts get one of the ugliest wins in history. The Colts' win marked the first time SINCE 1973 that an NFL team won a game where it scored zero touchdowns, threw multiple interceptions, and got sacked at least six times. The only other time that's happened in the Super Bowl era came 49 years ago when the Browns beat the Giants 12-10.
- Colts do something that no one has done since the Colts. Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan combined to throw four interceptions, making Thursday's game the first time in 19 years that there were at least four picks thrown in a game with no touchdowns (via NFL research). The last time it happened came in 2003 when Peyton Manning's Colts beat the Browns 9-6. In that game, Manning and Kelly Holcomb combined for four interceptions.
- Matt Ryan is in a league of his own when it comes to fumbling. The Colts QB has fumbled 11 times on the season, which is the most by any NFL QB through five games since the merger in 1970. Ryan tied the record of 10 with his first fumble against Denver and then set the record with his second fumble, which came on Indy's final possession of regulation. Ryan is on pace for 37.4 fumbles this year, which would smash the NFL record of 23.
- Comparing Matt Ryan to past Colts quarterbacks, Part I. Ryan got sacked six times on Thursday, which means he has now been sacked 21 times for a loss of 168 yards through five weeks. To put that in perspective, he's already been sacked more than Philip Rivers was during the ENTIRE 2020 season (Rivers only took 19 sacks for a loss of 118 yards that year).
- Comparing Matt Ryan to past Colts quarterbacks, Part II. When the Colts traded for Ryan, the thought was that he would be an immediate upgrade over Carson Wentz, but that hasn't happened, at least not in the interception department. Ryan already has seven picks through five games, which is notable, because Wentz only through seven interceptions over the entire 2021 season.
- Broncos red zone woes continue. The Broncos' red zone percentage this season is just 21.43%, which is not only the worst in the NFL, it's the lowest by any team through five weeks since 2006 when the Falcons converted just 17.65% of their red zone trips into touchdowns. A big part of Denver's struggles are happening because of Wilson, who is 2-for-18 on passes thrown into the end zone this season.
I would say we just watched the worst Thursday night game ever, but we have Bears-Commanders next week, so I don't want to make any declarative statements just yet.
3. Today's show Part II: Best bets for Week 5
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 recording the postgame podcast with Wilson and myself, Brinson kicked us to the curb so that he could record his weekly picks show with Pete Prisco and R.J. White.
Those three guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played in Week 5 and we're going to cover three from each guy below.
Pete Prisco (1-2 last week in picks covered here, 7-5 on the season)
Saints (-5) to cover against the Seahawks
Jets (+3) to cover against the Dolphins
Bengals at Ravens OVER 48.5 points
R.J. White (2-1 last week in picks covered here, 7-5 on the season)
Vikings (-7) to cover against the Bears
Commanders (+2.5) to cover against the Titans
Browns (+3) to cover against the Chargers
Will Brinson (0-2-1 last week in picks covered here, 4-7-1 on the season)
Buccaneers (-8.5) to cover against the Falcons
Cowboys (+5.5) to cover against the Rams
Chargers at Browns OVER 47.5 points
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 5 -- and there are quite a few -- be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast.
4. NFL Week 5 picks
This is the final newsletter of the week, which means we will be cramming as many Week 5 picks as humanly possible into this space.
With that in mind, we've got five more Week 5 picks coming your way and those will be coming from NFL senior writer Pete Prisco, along with Will Brinson, Jordan Dajani, Tyler Sullivan and myself.
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.
- Pete Prisco: Jets (+3.5) 24-23 over Dolphins. From Prisco, "The Jets have played better lately and Zach Wilson did some good things at Pittsburgh. Look for the Jets to continue to have momentum here as they pull off the upset." For the rest of Prisco's Week 5 picks, be sure to click here.
- Tyler Sullivan: Vikings (-7) 27-17 over Bears. From Sullivan, "I simply just have no faith that Chicago's offense will be able to keep up with Minnesota. Through four games, the Bears have attempted 67 passes, which is the fewest by any team through four games since the 1982 Patriots. Minnesota's defense is admittedly shaky, but I don't know if it'll matter against this Bears offense." For the rest of Sullivan's Week 5 picks, be sure to click here.
- Will Brinson: Browns (+2.5) 42-39 over Chargers. From Brinson, "The Chargers remain extremely questionable against the run; the Browns are a top-five team running the ball. Nick Chubb could have a big day here. The Browns will probably get Myles Garrett back for this game (if their tweets are to be believed) and Rashawn Slater's absence looms." For the rest of Brinson's Week 5 best bets, be sure to click here.
- Jordan Dajani: Titans (-1.5) over Commanders. From Dajani, "Derrick Henry looks like he's back to his old self, as he rushed for 114 yards and one touchdown last week, and the Tennessee defense is playing with some juice. I expect an entire highlight reel produced this week containing just Jeffery Simmons plays vs. Washington's O-Line, which has given up the most sacks per game in the NFL this year. " For the rest of Dajani's Week 5 best bets, be sure to click here.
- John Breech: Packers (-8) 23-20 over Giants. For the first time ever, fans in London are going to get to see a game between two teams with a winning record, and I actually think it's going to live up to the hype. Daniel Jones might be banged up, but as long as he can hand the ball off to Saquon Barkley, then New York should be able to keep this close. For the rest of my Week 5 picks, be sure to click here.
5. Odell Beckham appears to reveal the five teams he's interested in signing with
As the NFL season heads into Week 5, Odell Beckham is still a free agent and that's because he doesn't want to sign with anyone until he's fully recovered from the torn ACL that he suffered in Super Bowl LVI.
With Beckham still on the market, there's been a lot of speculation about where he might sign, but we might not have to speculate anymore because it appears that Beckham has revealed the five teams that he would prefer to sign with.
During a Twitter exchange with former NFL player Marcus Spears, OBJ asked Spears to guess the five teams Odell wants to play for and after seeing the list, Odell approved of it, "We see eye to eye."
So which five teams made the cut? Here they are (in no particular order)
There aren't any huge surprises on this list. Odell has made it clear he wants to play for a contender and when we made a list of his most likely landing spots earlier this week, we included four of those five teams (We left off the Ravens). Beckham reportedly won't be healthy enough to play until November, so he's got another few weeks to figure out who he might want to sign with. If one of these teams tanks over the next four or five weeks, then Beckham can simply take them off his list.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Patriots place quarterback on IR
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.
- Brian Hoyer placed on injured reserve. The Patriots definitely won't have Hoyer this week and that's because he's been placed on IR after suffering a concussion on Sunday. The move means that New England's starter for Week 5 will either be Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones. The rookie QB will get the nod if Jones' injured ankle isn't quite ready for action.
- Daniel Jones to start against Packers. With Jones battling an ankle injury, there was a chance he was going to have to sit out this week, but that won't be the case. The QB wasn't given an injury designation on New York's final injury report, which means he'll be good to go for Sunday's game in London. However, Tyrod Taylor has been ruled out, which means Davis Webb will be the Giants backup QB.
- Tom Brady is not a fan of parity. The Buccaneers QB got asked about all the parity in the NFL on Thursday and he said it was happening because bad football is being played. "I think there's a lot of bad football from what I watch," Brady told the media. "I watch a lot of bad football. Poor quality of football. That's what I see." It the Colts-Broncos game was any indication, it appears that Brady was exactly right with his take.
- Eagles will likely have a new kicker on Sunday. The Eagles added Cameron Dicker on Thursday with the expectation that he's likely going to be the kicker on Sunday against the Cardinals, according to ESPN.com. Dicker would be filling in for Jake Elliott, who's currently expected to miss the game due to a right ankle injury.
- Patriots facing major lawsuit from fan. In what is easily the weirdest NFL lawsuit that's been filed by an NFL fan this year, a man is suing the Patriots for causing irreparable damage to an American flag that happens to have Tom Brady's autograph on it. The man who owned the flag loaned it to the Patriots' team museum, but the curators there apparently didn't take care of the flag, and now, Brady's autograph has started to fade, which has caused the flag's value to take a huge hit. For more details on this bizarre case, be sure to click here.