Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
We have Week 8 kicking off tonight in Buffalo, which might not be a good thing for the Buccaneers, because they've NEVER won a game in Buffalo. The Bucs have existed since 1976 and in that time, they've gone winless in Buffalo (0-2). As if that's not bad enough, they have to play a quarterback in Josh Allen who has NEVER lost a Thursday game in his career (5-0). I would say I'm going to bet all my money on the Bills, but I don't have any money left because I bet it all on them in Week 7 when they lost to the Patriots.
Anyway, we'll be previewing tonight's game in today's newsletter, plus we'll be ranking the seven teams that have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl.
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1. Today's show: Two former NFL players break down why the trade deadline could be a dud
During Thursday's show, they were joined by host Will Brinson, and the three of them discussed a multitude of topics, including why the trade deadline could be somewhat boring this year.
One reason it's tough to do a deal at the trade deadline is because if you trade a player, they usually need time to acclimate to their new system. When you sign a player during the offseason, they get to learn the new system during training camp, but if you trade for a new player during the season, they have to learn on the fly.
"I think it's becoming hard for players to immediately adapt to a new system, adapt to the new style of play," Quinn said. "It has to make sense for both parties and it has to be an easy transition for that player, otherwise it becomes really difficult to make the impact that the [new team] wants to see."
Douzable also noted that the trade deadline can be hampered because a team that's looking to sell isn't necessarily going to be taking calls from every team.
"A lot of teams, they don't want to trade someone within the same conference, and also, division trades rarely happen," Douzable said.
This doesn't mean there won't be any action at the trade deadline this year, but don't be surprised if it's somewhat quiet. Trades tend to happen when you have a team that's motivated to sell and a team that fits that bill this year is the Titans. They've already traded away Kevin Byard and it wouldn't be a total surprise to see them deal away Derrick Henry (You can see ).
If you want to hear Quinn and Douzable talk about the trade deadline, then be sure to click here so you can listen to today's episode. The two also talked about the Deshaun Watson situation, plus they made some predictions for tonight's game between the Buccaneers and Bills. If you prefer your podcasts in video form, you can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Thursday night preview: Prepping you for Buccaneers at Bills
For the first time in seven years, the Bills are hosting a Thursday night game and it's a big one for both teams. The Bills (4-3) are looking to get back on track after a shocking loss to the Patriots on Sunday. The Buccaneers are also coming off a rough loss in Week 7 after losing by three points to the Falcons. The Bills are favored by nine points, but don't count out the Bucs, who just happen to be the only team in the NFC that is still undefeated on the road this year.
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together CBS Sports' deep-dive preview for this game, and here's how he sees things playing out:
- Why the Buccaneers can win: The Bills defense is banged up, which could open the door for the Buccaneers to have a big game. The Patriots and Giants had been struggling on offense before playing the Bills, but both teams were able to top 315 yards against Buffalo. If the Buccaneers can keep pressure off Baker Mayfield, they might be able to pull off the upset. The Bucs are 3-1 this season when Mayfield is sacked one or zero times, but 0-2 when he's sacked multiple times. The Bucs have the receiving weapons to move the ball, the offensive line just needs to make sure that Mayfield has time to get them the ball. Getting their run game going would also help Tampa Bay, but that seems unlikely, considering the Bucs average just 77.8 yards per game on the ground, which is the fourth-lowest number in the NFL.
- Why the Bills can win: This could end up being a huge game for Josh Allen and that's because he'll be going up against a Buccaneers defense that is surrendering 246.7 passing yards per game, which is the sixth-worst number in the NFL. Allen has the weapons to take advantage of that and as long as he doesn't turn the ball over, the Bills should be in good shape. The Bills are 0-2 this season when Allen turns the ball over multiple times, so he'll need to do his best to play mistake-free football.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, here's one prop I like:
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Chase McLaughlin OVER 5.5 points (+100). The Buccaneers have played six games this year and McLaughlin has gone over this total in five of them. Todd Bowles is generally a pretty conservative coach and if the opportunity comes to attempt a field goal, he doesn't usually pass it up by going for it on fourth down. Also, McLaughlin has averaged seven points per game this year, which makes the over feel pretty comfortable here.
My prime-time prop record is 10-5 this year.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Jared's pick: Bills 28-16 over Buccaneers
My pick: Bills 20-13 over Buccaneers
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, all eight of us are taking the Bills to win straight-up, but only three of us are taking them to cover as a nine-point favorite.
3. Ranking the seven teams that have a legit shot at winning the Super Bowl
Since we've now made it through seven weeks of the NFL season, Jeff Kerr decided to rank the seven teams that currently have the best shot of winning the Super Bowl this year, and I have bad news for everyone in Dallas: The Cowboys did not make Kerr's list.
Let's check out the top-five teams on his list:
- 1. Chiefs (6-1). "The defending Super Bowl champs are tied for the best record in the NFL and have the league's longest winning streak at six games.... Patrick Mahomes is looking like an MVP again and Travis Kelce has been excellent in games Taylor Swift attends. The defense is second in the league in points allowed and a top-10 unit overall. There are still questions at wide receiver, but this group is as good as it gets in the NFL."
- 2. Eagles (6-1). "Jalen Hurts is turning the ball over a lot, but still showing he's one of the best quarterbacks in football, despite working with a new offensive coordinator. A.J. Brown has been playing at an insane level (five straight 125-plus-yard games) as the offense is a top-five unit in spite of its red zone woes... Philadelphia shut down the high-flying Miami Dolphins offense. That victory secured the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC."
- 3. Ravens (5-2). "If Lamar Jackson can stay healthy, the Ravens are the biggest threat to the Chiefs in the AFC. They've limped to the finish line over the last two seasons, but this team appears to be too talented for that to happen again."
- 4. 49ers (5-2). "This team has playmakers across the board, ranking second in points per game and seventh in yards per game. ... The defense is third in the NFL in points allowed, not allowing over 23 points in any game this season (15.8 over the last five games). The 49ers are the Eagles' biggest challenger in the NFC, with an opportunity to get back on track with the schedule coming up."
- 5. Dolphins (5-2). "Miami is first in the league in points per game, yards per game, passing yards per game, rushing yards per game, passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns."
4. NFL trade deadline: Teams that should be buying and teams that should be selling
Things could be getting pretty crazy around the NFL over the next few days and that's because the trade deadline is just five days away. We've already seen one big trade this week, with the Eagles acquiring Kevin Byard from the Titans, and it won't be surprising if we see a few more between now and Oct. 31.
With that in mind, Tyler Sullivan decided to take a look at the teams who should be buying and the teams that should be selling.
Teams who should be buying
- Chiefs. "They already made a move to acquire Mecole Hardman from the Jets, but they should be on the prowl for more big-game hunting at the receiver position, especially if names like Mike Evans or Marquise Brown are on the block due to their looming free-agent statuses."
- Ravens. "The Ravens could swing big and inquire about the possibility of plucking Derrick Henry out of Tennessee or adding a depth piece to the likes of Gus Edwards and others."
- 49ers. "They could stand to add to their secondary as they gear up for the stretch run. While they have a dominant front seven, they were gashed by the Vikings through the air on Monday, possibly exposing a weakness in their title hopes."
Teams who should be selling
- Titans. "The club recently traded away star Kevin Byard, which is the type of move that signals that nearly everyone on the roster could be available. And that includes star running back Derrick Henry."
- Broncos. "The Broncos have been circled as a possible seller for weeks with pieces like wideouts Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, and tackle Garett Boles possibly on the block."
- Panthers. "Carolina is 0-6 and there have been rumblings of a potential Brian Burns trade as the Panthers continue to rebuild their young roster."
Overall, Tyler's story includes a total of 10 teams that.
5. Five most unexpected storylines of the NFL season heading into Week 8
Every year, the NFL gives us multiple surprises and this season has been no different. As we head into Week 8, Garrett Podell decided to take a look at the most unexpected storylines of the season so far.
- 1. Texans are good. "If they defeat the Panthers on Sunday, Houston would be above. 500 for the first time since Week 2 of the 2021 season, snapping the longest active drought in the NFL for not having a winning record. Much of the early success is thanks to C.J. Stroud, whose nine touchdown passes to only one interception has him leading the league in touchdown-to-interception ratio through seven weeks."
- 2. Puka Nacua leads the NFL in receptions. "Puka Nacua's 58 catches are the most in the league through the first seven weeks, making him the first rookie with at least a share of the NFL lead in receptions through seven weeks since Eagles tight end Keith Jackson in 1988."
- 3. Sam Howell is on pace to become the most sacked QB in NFL history. "Howell is on pace to be sacked 97 times this season, which would beat David Carr's record by an astounding 21 sacks."
- 4. Derek Carr is struggling in New Orleans. "The Saints have lost four of their last five games after a 2-0 start, which has them sitting at 3-4 and in third place in the NFC South. If Carr doesn't turn things around soon, the Saints front office may start to have buyer's remorse."
- 5. The 'Tush Push' doesn't work for everyone. "There aren't many things in life more certain than the Eagles picking up the yards they need to gain on this play. The unexpected part of this play is that the rest of the league hasn't come close to experiencing the same success when running it: the next closest team has only 11 conversions since 2022 while in 2023, the rest of the league has whiffed 13 times when using it."
6. Extra points: Deshaun Watson ruled out for Week 8
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.
- Deshaun Watson won't be playing this week. For the third time this season, Watson is going to miss a game. The Browns QB, who's dealing with a shoulder injury, has against the Seahawks. With Watson out, PJ Walker will get his second start of the year.
- Brock Purdy in concussion protocol. The 49ers QB could be forced to sit out this week's game against the Bengals. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan is in concussion protocol and if he doesn't get cleared by the end of the week, that means the 49ers will be turning to Sam Darnold.
- Kyler Murray practices in full for the first time this season. The Cardinals QB returned to practice last week, but he was a limited participant. This week, Murray is now practicing in full, which means he could soon be playing. The Cardinals have 13 days to move Murray to the active roster (When a player returns to practice, their team is given a 21-day window to activate the player and Murray is eight days into his window). This sets the stage for Murray to return to the field at some point between Week 8 and Week 10. The Cardinals opponents during that span are the Ravens, Browns and Falcons.
- Tyreek Hill misses practice. The Dolphins offense could be missing its most lethal weapon this week against the Patriots. Hill missed practice on Wednesday due to a hip injury and it sounds like there's a chance that injury will sideline him for this week's game. You .
- Seahawks bring back an old friend. Frank Clark . The three-time Pro Bowler, who was cut by the Broncos on Oct. 14, is signing with the Seahawks. Clark spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seahawks (2015-18) before moving on to Kansas City for four seasons (2019-22). He spent just two games with the Broncos before being cut this year. The Seahawks brought Clark in because they were in need of some defensive help after losing Uchenna Nwosu for the rest of the season due to a pectoral injury.