It's finally here: Welcome to the opening day of the 2023 NFL season!
That's right, people: After 207 days of waiting, football is finally back.
The last time we saw an NFL game that counted came back on Feb. 12 when the Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. The NFL could have given us a Chiefs-Eagles rematch tonight for the opener, but instead, the league threw a curveball by putting the DETROIT LIONS in the opening game against Kansas City.
The last time Jared Goff faced Patrick Mahomes, he was playing for the Rams and he beat Mahomes' Chiefs, 54-51, in what ended up being one of the wildest games in NFL history. Let's hope we get something similar tonight.
With the opener just hours away, we'll obviously be covering the game extensively in today's newsletter, plus we'll also be looking at the details of Nick Bosa's extension. Also, I know we've been giving you predictions all week, but I hope you're not quite filled up on them yet, because we have even more for you today.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. It's the perfect gift to get for your favorite football-loving friend at the start of the season. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here.
1. Today's Show: Brady Quinn gives his thoughts on who will win MVP and the Super Bowl
If you only listen to one episode of the Pick Six Podcast this week, then you're going to want to listen today and that's because it features Brady Quinn The former first-round pick is back in the saddle for the 2023 NFL season, and he's looking handsomer than ever.
For today's episode, Quinn and Leger Douzable joined Will Brinson and the three of them talked about multiple things, including tonight's game. Quinn also revealed his Super Bowl pick for the upcoming season, and he doesn't think either team playing tonight will end up in the game.
QUINN's SUPER BOWL PICK
- Quinn is picking the CINCINNATI BENGALS TO WIN IT ALL, and no, I didn't beg him for three straight months to make that pick even though it's the same one I'm making. Since Quinn is picking the Bengals, I should point out that he picked the Chiefs to win it all last year, so with the way he picks, we can probably just go ahead and give the Lombardi Trophy to the Bengals now.
QUINN's MVP PICK
- As for MVP, Quinn has one bet he really likes and it involves three different quarterbacks. "I"m taking Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen versus the field at +190," Quinn said. He did add that he thinks Burrow is going to win it, but he likes the fact that he can get all three quarterbacks at plus money.
And let's not forget about Douzable, who spent eight years in the NFL. He also gave his MVP pick, and he thinks Justin Herbert is going to take home the award thanks to the arrival of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who will be replacing Joe Lombardi.
"It felt like Joe Lombardi was withholding the talent that Justin Herbert had last year," Douzable said. "They just refused to throw the ball farther than 10 yards down the field last year. We know that Kellen Moore is going to push the ball down the field. That's what he did with the Dallas Cowboys."
If you want to hear everything Quinn and Douzable had to say on today's podcast, then be sure to click here. If you want to see Quinn's handsome face, then you can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here (Note: I promise we will stop referring to Quinn as handsome after this week).
2. NFL opener is here: Previewing Lions at Chiefs
The 2023 NFL season kicks off tonight with a game that could give us some high drama. Going into this week, the Chiefs were favored by 6.5 points, but after the injury to Travis Kelce (knee), that spread is now down to just 4.5 points. Patrick Mahomes has never lost an opener -- he's 5-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread -- but he's also never had to play without Kelce in an opener.
Basically, there's a lot of reasons to like the Chiefs, but the potential absence of Kelce could give the Lions a chance to steal this game. (Kelce has been listed as questionable with the Chiefs saying that he'll be a true game-time decision).
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together CBS Sports' deep-dive preview for this game, and here's how he sees the game playing out:
- Why the Lions can win: When throwing from a clean pocket, Jared Goff was one of the best quarterbacks in the league last year, and there's a good chance he'll be throwing from a clean pocket tonight. The Chiefs' best pass-rusher is Chris Jones, and he's not expected to play as he continues to sit out due to a contract dispute. With no Jones on the field, the Lions' offensive line should be able to open up big holes in the run game while also keeping Goff relatively clean. Goff has plenty of weapons, most notably Amon-Ra St. Brown, and there's a very real chance the Lions will be able to light up the scoreboard.
- Why the Chiefs can win: This one is simple: They have Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs quarterback has been nearly unstoppable in Week 1. We already mentioned the fact that he's 5-0 in openers, and a big reason he's undefeated is because of his numbers: Mahomes has averaged 308.4 passing yards per game while throwing 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions in Week 1 games. Last year, there was a thought he might take a small step back without Tyreek Hill, but instead, he responded by throwing for 360 yards and five touchdowns. Mahomes will likely take it as a personal challenge if Kelce is out, so it won't be surprising if he puts up huge numbers.
You can get a.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, Jordan Dajani put together a full gambling preview.
- ONE PROP Jordan LIKES: Skyy Moore OVER 45.5 receiving yards (-129): "If there's a wide receiver who could serve as Mahomes' new No. 1 on Thursday night, Moore is certainly a candidate. The second-year wideout caught just 22 passes for 250 yards in his rookie season, but is going to be given the opportunity to step up in the passing game in 2023." NOTE: Moore's production could also go up if Travis Kelce doesn't play. However, even if the tight end is on the field, he'll likely be hobbled, which could help Moore.
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Harrison Butker OVER 7.5 total points (-109): One thing you're going to notice throughout the season is that my favorite prop in any game I bet on is almost always a kicking prop. In this case, I love Butker to score at least eight points. With Travis Kelce banged up, I could see the Chiefs offense struggling a little bit, especially in the red zone, and if that happens, it could open up plenty of scoring opportunities for Butker.
You can. Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Dubin's pick: Chiefs 34-27 over Lions
Dajani's pick: Chiefs 28-23 over Lions
My pick: Chiefs 33-30 over Lions
Over on our CBS Sports picks page, all eight of us are taking the Chiefs to win, but only four of us are picking them to cover. You can see our picks for this game, along with all of our Week 1 picks, here.
3. Nick Bosa finally gets an extension: Full details of his record-setting deal with the 49ers
After missing the entire preseason, including all of training camp, Nick Bosa has finally returned to the 49ers. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year had been holding out for a new contract, and the team finally gave him what he wanted Wednesday when it signed him to a record-setting deal.
- Bosa is the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. Bosa's five-year extension is worth a total of $170 million, which means he'll be making $34 million per year. That number pushes him past Aaron Donald as the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history. Bosa's deal also includes $122.5 million in guaranteed money, which breaks a record that was previously held by his brother, Joey, who . According to NFL.com, Nick Bosa's deal also includes a $50 million signing bonus, which is also a record for a defensive player.
- The 49ers are expecting Bosa to play Sunday. Kyle Shanahan isn't sure how much Bosa will play, but the 49ers star will definitely be on the field for San Francisco's opener against the Steelers. "We'll be smart with it and it'll be based off the next 2.5 practices," Shanahan said of how much playing time Bosa will get in Pittsburgh. Shanahan also said the only way Bosa wouldn't play is if he showed up to practice this week with a "beer belly." I'm guessing that won't happen.
- 49ers made some cap magic happen before Bosa's deal got done. Before getting Bosa officially under contract, the 49ers restructured the deals of Trent Williams and George Kittle. Those two moves helped the 49ers create $23.2 million in cap space for 2023, according to ESPN. It will now be interesting to see what Bosa's cap hit is for 2023.
- 49ers are trying to pay everyone. Now that Bosa is under contract, the 49ers have six players who rank in the top three at their position in average annual salary. Besides Bosa, they have Christian McCaffrey (highest-paid running back in NFL), Kyle Juszczyk (highest-paid fullback), George Kittle (third highest-paid tight end), Trent Williams (third highest-paid tackle) and Fred Warner (third highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL).
Bosa, who led the NFL in sacks last season with 18.5, was headed into the final season of a rookie deal that was scheduled to pay him $17.86 million. He'll still be getting that $17.86 million in 2023, but now, he'll also be getting at least $122.5 million in guaranteed money along with it.
4. Super Bowl predictions from everyone at CBS Sports
With just a few hours to go until the start of the NFL season, we finally got everyone here at CBS Sports to turn in their Super Bowl predictions, and when I say everyone, I mean everyone. We rounded up Super Bowl predictions from 19 different people, including CBS Sports newcomer JJ Watt, who is predicting a rematch of last year's game.
After going through all the votes, I have found that everyone has agreed to disagree on who's going to make the Super Bowl this year. Of our 19 voters, we're predicting 13 different teams to make it to the Super Bowl and six different teams to win it.
Here are our predictions (we've listed the Super Bowl matchup, along with the person who voted for it):
- Eagles over Jaguars (Bill Cowher, Cody Benjamin)
- Eagles over Bengals (Jordan Dajani, Jeff Kerr)
- Eagles over Ravens (Tyler Sullivan, Kevin Steimle)
- Eagles over Jets (Boomer Esiason)
- Eagles over Dolphins (Phil Simms)
- Eagles over Chiefs (Eric Kernish)
- Bengals over 49ers (Nate Burleson, Joel Magaraci)
- Bengals over Cowboys (John Breech)
- Chiefs over Eagles (JJ Watt)
- Chiefs over 49ers (Jared Dubin)
- Bills over 49ers (Will Brinson)
- Bills over Seahawks (Doug Clawson)
- Chargers over Cowboys (Garrett Podell)
- Chargers over Eagles (Ryan Wilson)
- 49ers over Jaguars (Pete Prisco)
If you want to check out our entire prediction page, which includes all 19 of us predicting the winners of each award, then you're.
We also had six writers predict the final standings for every division along with the 14 playoff teams. If you want to see those predictions,.
5. Five bold predictions for the 2023 NFL season
At this point, you probably thought we were done giving you predictions, but guess what, we're not. We asked CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan to come up with five bold predictions for the 2023 season, and Mr. Sullivan definitely came through.
Here's a look at his bold predictions for the year:
- 1. Saints get the top seed in the NFC. "There are a multitude of factors that play into this prediction. The most obvious is the upgrade the Saints made at quarterback this offseason, bringing aboard Derek Carr. I think this change of scenery will revitalize the former Raider, and he has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including second-year wideout Chris Olave. Pair that expected improvement on offense with a defense that will rival to be a top-10 unit in the league, and New Orleans has itself a well-balanced club." Note: Tyler predicted that the Eagles , and that one ended up coming true.
- 2. Packers win the NFC North. "I think we might be looking at the 2022 Seahawks in the 2023 Packers. Trading away Aaron Rodgers this offseason was a momentous transaction in the franchise's history, but the cupboard isn't bare. Jordan Love has flashed this preseason that he may be a suitable replacement who can keep the franchise afloat. Green Bay has a sturdy offensive line, arguably the best 1-2 punch at running back in the league, and intriguing weapons in the passing game"
- 3. Dalton Kindcaid wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. "Want to know what's bold? Predicting something that has NEVER happened before in NFL history. For as long as the Offensive Rookie of the Year award has been handed out, a tight end has never held this honor. ... I don't believe Kincaid will be used as a traditional tight end within Buffalo's offense (that'll be handled by Dawson Knox). Instead, the Utah product will be a big slot receiver for the Bills' pass-heavy offense, which is an extremely advantageous spot to be in and an opportunity for the rookie to pile up stats. "
- 4. A.J. Brown leads the NFL in receiving yards. "Don't sleep on A.J. Brown this season. The Eagles wideout is coming off a monster season in his first year with Philadelphia, notching career highs in receptions and receiving yards. And that happened even though the Eagles were constantly building up massive leads in the first half, which led to a run-first game script in the second half that naturally decreased Brown's production."
- 5. Trevor Lawrence wins MVP. "The familiarity within Doug Pederson's system should set up Lawrence to take another leap in his development. On top of that, Jacksonville gave him another top-tier weapon after trading for Calvin Ridley, who is poised to be his No. 1 option in the passing game this season."
If you want a more detailed explanation from Sullivan on each of his bold predictions,.
6. Extra points: Cardinals appear to finally have a starting QB
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.
- Josh Dobbs appears to be the Cardinals starting QB. With just three days to go until their opener against the Commanders, the Cardinals still haven't named a starting QB. However, according to NFL.com, they have made a decision, and . That being said, Cards coach Jonathan Gannon refused to confirm this news when asked about it Wednesday, so maybe we won't see Dobbs.
- Caleb Williams might stay in school. The USC QB, currently projected to go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, is thinking about staying in school. Williams' father if he doesn't like the team that has the No. 1 overall pick, which makes it sound like Williams does NOT want to play for the Cardinals.
- Cooper Kupp could end up on injured reserve. The Rams star has already been ruled out for Week 1, and it appears his hamstring injury could keep him out even longer. Rams head coach Sean McVay ." If the Rams make that move, Kupp would have to miss at least four games.
- Chandler Jones could miss opener. The drama between Jones and the Raiders is getting weirder by the day. Jones has been calling out the Raiders on social media for not letting him in the team building. The Raiders that "it's a private matter." Based on how things are going, it doesn't seem like Jones is going to be on the field for the Raiders' opener in Denver.
- Saints rookie QB suspended. Jake Haener won't be with the Saints for the next few weeks after getting hit with for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The former Fresno State QB was taken in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft this year. The suspension likely played a factor in why the Saints decided to officially switch Taysom Hill's position from tight end to quarterback earlier this week.