LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT'S SUPER BOWL WEEK!
Normally, I wouldn't start with all caps, but it's the Super Bowl, so how could I not? For the next five days, we'll be covering anything and everything there is to know about the Super Bowl.
Of course, the Super Bowl won't be the only thing we talk about this week and that's because there are still coaches being hired. The Colts and Cardinals are both still searching for a new head coach and it seems that Arizona could be on the cusp of making a hire, which would be perfect, because I'm actually IN Arizona right now and I'll be here all week for the Super Bowl. If you want to follow along with my Super Bowl shenanigans on Twitter, you can do that by clicking here.
If you want to see me in video form this week -- and who doesn't -- the higher-ups decided to give me an hour each day to talk about the Super Bowl with Ryan Wilson and Will Brinson. That will be coming to you at 5 p.m. ET every week day and you can watch it for free on CBS Sports HQ by clicking here.
Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Ranking all the starters in the Super Bowl
I have to admit, I was under the impression that Pete Prisco was taking two weeks off between the conference title games and the Super Bowl, but apparently, it turns out I was wrong. The reason we haven't heard from Pete in a while is because Prisco has been busy ranking EVERY SINGLE STARTER on both teams for the Super Bowl.
There are 11 starters on offense for both teams and 11 starters on defense for both teams, which means there are 44 starters in the game and Pete ranked those starters from 1 to 44.
Here's a look at his top five and his bottom five:
1. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs QB)
2. Travis Kelce (Chiefs TE)
3. Chris Jones (Chiefs DT)
4. Jason Kelce (Eagles center)
5. Lane Johnson (Eagles OT)
42. Kadarius Toney (Chiefs WR)
43. Jaylen Watson (Chiefs CB)
44. Quez Watkins (Eagles WR)
45. George Karlaftis (Chiefs DE)
46. Derrick Nnadi (Chiefs DT)
Based on the top three, I feel like I already know who Prisco is going to pick to win the Super Bowl.
If you want to see Prisco's explanation for his rankings and if you want to know who falls in the 6 through 41 slots, be sure to click here. Most importantly, if you want to argue with Prisco about his list on Twitter, be sure to click here.
2. Super Bowl Opening Night -- AKA media day -- is today
For the first time in three years, there's going to be an actual Super Bowl media day. Technically, there was one last year and there was also one the year before that, but those don't count because both teams weren't in attendance due to COVID. This year, both teams will be at the same venue for Super Bowl Opening Night for the first time since February 2019. That venue will be the Footprint Center in Phoenix, which will be hosting both the Chiefs and Eagles.
The first night of Super Bowl week can get a little crazy and it won't be surprising at all if things get crazier than usual this year due the fact that this is the first true media day in three years. Here's a look at when each team will be available to the media tonight:
- The Eagles coaches and players will be front-and-center from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET. There will be a total of 11 podiums set up for media night, and for the Eagles, those podiums will be for Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham. Fletcher Cox, Darius Slay and Miles Sanders.
- The Chiefs coaches and players will meet with the media after the Eagles during a session that's scheduled to run from 10 p.m ET to 11 p.m. ET. For the Chiefs, Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Orlando Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Isiah Pacheco, Nick Bolton, L'Jarius Sneed and Jerick McKinnon will be the headliners who get their own podium.
If you want live coverage of the event, NFL Network, FS1 and ESPN2 will be airing Super Bowl Opening night from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET. You can also get full coverage by streaming things live on CBS Sports HQ (Click here) and I would highly suggest that you go that route since I'll be involved in that coverage.
For more information on Super Bowl Opening Night, be sure to click here.
3. Pro Bowl recap: Cousins shines, Carr runs out of gas
After two days of action, the Pro Bowl came to an end on Sunday with multiple events and three different flag football games. I'm still not sure how the scoring works, but I can tell you that the NFC ended up winning the entire thing 35-33 despite the fact that the conference only won three of the eight skills competitions. The NFC got the win because it won two of the three flag football games, which is where the most points were awarded.
Here's a brief synopsis of everything that happened on Sunday courtesy of Bryan DeArdo:
- Kirk Cousins shines. During the final flag football game on Sunday, the NFC pulled out a 35-33 win thanks to Cousins, who went 15 of 19 for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the third and decisive game. Cousins' first touchdown strike went to Lions wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, who earlier in the day had defeated Stefon Diggs to capture the best catch skills challenge. After hitting 49ers tight end George Kittle for his third touchdown, Cousins eluded Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby before throwing a dart to Vikings teammate Justin Jefferson for the point-after. You can see the throw to Jefferson here.
- Derek Carr struggles in his final game as a Raider. Fans in Las Vegas got one last chance to cheer for Carr in this game, but unfortunately, he didn't give them much to cheer for. Carr went 6 of 12 for 104 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in what was his final game at Allegiant Stadium as a Raider. He hit Bengals wideout Ja'Marr Chase deep for a score before connecting with Bills tight end Dawson Knox on what was the AFC's final touchdown. You can see his long throw to Chase by clicking here.
- To the victor go the spoils. The one upside of coming out on top is that each NFC player will be getting some serious bonus money for winning. While the AFC players will be going home with $42,000, the NFC players will be taking home $84,000 for winning the game. For a rookie like Seattle's Tariq Woolen, that's a huge day: He'll have made more money in the Pro Bowl than he did in any regular season game this year.
- Eli out-coaches Peyton. The NFC was coached by Eli Manning while the AFC was coached by Peyton, and after the game, Eli made it very clear who the best coach in the family is. "It's official, you can't doubt it, I am the greatest coach of the Mannings. I am so much better at coaching than Peyton. The NFC won, the guys bought in, they played awesome," Eli said after the game, via PFT. Peyton clearly was not happy that his team lost and he let everyone know it following the game (You can see the clip here).
- AFC wins kick tac toe. In the most important competition of the day, the AFC beat the NFC in kick tac toe, but in a twist, kicking didn't help the AFC win the event. Each conference had one punter, one kicker and one long snapper on its team and the AFC won thanks to Titans long snapper Morgan Cox, who single-handedly brought home the win. You can see his performance by clicking here.
- Myles Garrett gets injured. One thing you never want to see in a Pro Bowl is a player getting injured, but that happened to Garrett on Sunday. The Browns star suffered a dislocated toe, although it doesn't appear to be serious.
If you want all the details from the NFC's win, be sure to click here so you can check out DeArdo's recap.
4. Super Bowl news and notes: 49ers star says he would bet everything he owns on the Chiefs
With the Super Bowl just six days away, we'll be sharing plenty of Super Bowl stories with you this week and that will be starting right now with this Super Bowl roundup. When it comes to the Super Bowl, it's been an interesting 24 hours: A 49ers player made a bold prediction and someone pulled off a Super Bowl heist.
Let's check out the Super Bowl news and notes:
- Brandon Aiyuk says he'd bet everything against the Eagles. Aiyuk was asked who he thought would win Super Bowl LVII, and not only did he pick against the Eagles, but he was so sure about his pick that he also said that he'd bet everything he owned on the Chiefs if he were allowed to bet on the game (NFL players aren't allowed to bet on NFL games). "Hypothetically speaking, if I were going to bet on this game, I'd go take everything that I own, get it in cash and put my money on the Kansas City Chiefs," Aiyuk said. If you want to know why Aiyuk is so sure the Chiefs will win, you can read the full story here.
- Super Bowl heist: Phoenix police investigating $100,000 theft from Super Bowl experience. Apparently, someone has decided to pull off their own version of Ocean's 11 at the Super Bowl. According to Phoenix police, someone stole $100,000 worth of property from the Super Bowl experience on Saturday.
- Super Bowl cheat sheet. If you're just a casual fan who hasn't been following the Eagles and Chiefs too closely this season, here's everything you need to know about them.
- One state wants to turn Super Bowl Monday into a holiday. If two lawmakers in Tennessee get their way, the day after the Super Bowl could soon become an official holiday in the Volunteer State. A bill was introduced last week that would make the first Monday after the Super Bowl a holiday in Tennessee. You can get more details on that story here.
- Super Bowl commercials. One of the best parts about the Super Bowl is the commercials, so Cody Benjamin sat down with someone from Rotten Tomatoes to get an idea of what the best commercials might be this year. You can check out that Q&A here.
Finally, Bryan DeArdo sat down and ranked the 15 best Super Bowl quarterbacks of all-time and if you want to know who came out on top, just click here. Actually, we all know Tom Brady came out on top, so if you want to know where everyone else came in behind him, then you should click over.
5. Cardinals coaching search appears to be down to three candidates
You know that meme that features old Rose from Titanic and she's saying, "It's been 84 years," well, that's how I feel about the Cardinals coaching search right now. It has now been almost a month since the Cardinals fired Kliff Kingsbury and they still haven't hired anyone to replace him.
I was starting to think they might just go with no head coach this year, but it actually sounds like they might have finally made some progress in their search.
According to Albert Breer of MMQB, the search is now down to three candidates:
- Brian Flores (Steelers senior defensive assistant). Flores would seem to have at least one edge over the other two candidates and that's the fact that he's very familiar with new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort. The two guys spent 11 seasons in New England together and if Ossenfort is looking to bring the Patriot Way to Arizona, then Flores will likely be the guy who gets hired.
- Mike Kafka (Giants offensive coordinator). From an experience standpoint, this would almost certainly be the riskiest hire. Kafka has only been an NFL assistant since 2017 and he didn't even get his first coordinating job until 2022 when the Giants hired him as their offensive coordinator.
- Lou Anarumo (Bengals defensive coordinator). Anarumo was a late-coming candidate to the search, but he clearly made a good impression on the Cardinals when he interviewed with them last week, because he's now one of the three finalists. The Bengals had a bad defense before he arrived, but he's turned things about in Cincinnati over the past three seasons.
At this point, the Cardinals have waited so long that they might as well wait until the Super Bowl is over so they can interview Jonathan Gannon. NFL Media reported before the NFC title game that the Cards were interested in interviewing the Eagles defensive coordinator, but so far, nothing has come of that.
If you want the latest updates on every coaching and GM interview being held this offseason, then be sure to click here so you can follow along in our tracker.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Cowboys hire coordinator
It was 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.
- Cowboys hire Brian Schottenheimer. After parting ways with Kellen Moore, the Cowboys have announced that they'll be replacing him with Schottenheimer. It's an interesting hire and that's mostly because Schottenheimer has struggled in his time as an NFL OC. In 12 seasons in the role, Schottenheimer has coordinated an offense that ranked in the top 10 in points scored just four times. He's also only managed to produce a top-10 offense in total yards just once.
- Panthers hire defensive coordinator. After serving as the Broncos defensive coordinator for a season, Ejiro Evero is now headed to Carolina where he will hold the same position. Evero will be working under new Panthers coach Frank Reich.
- Saints also hire a defensive coordinator. Four weeks after being fired by the Browns, Joe Woods has landed on his feet. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has reported that Woods will be the new defensive coordinator for the Saints. Woods was fired by the Browns on Jan. 9 after three seasons in Cleveland.
- Aaron Rodgers wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Whenever Aaron Rodgers decides to retire, he might have a future in golf. The Packers QB teamed up with PGA Tour pro Ben Silverman to win the Pro-am by one stroke. For more details on Rodgers' win, be sure to head here.
- Joe Montana says Jimmy Garoppolo should be 49ers staring QB in 2023. The 49ers legend doesn't have any say in who will quarterback the team in 2023, but if he did, it sounds like he would go with Garoppolo. Montana likes the experience that Jimmy brings to the table. Based on the interview, which you can read here, it also sounds like Trey Lance would be his third option.