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The countdown to kickoff is officially on. 

In just over 48 hours, the Buccaneers and Cowboys will be opening the 2021 NFL season with a game Tampa, but before that happens, we have about 300 more season predictions to get through, so we better get started.  

For today, we have the return of Pete Prisco's Power Rankings and in what might be the biggest surprise, he doesn't have the Chiefs ranked as the best team in the AFC. Also coming today, I'll be unveiling my picks for Week 1 and in what is not a surprise at all, I'm picking the Bengals to win. That's what they get for letting a Bengals homer write this newsletter. Alright, let's get to the rundown.  

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: What's next for Cam Newton, plus the Texans finally name a starting quarterback


After making bold predictions on Monday, we dove straight back into NFL news for Tuesday's episode of the Pick Six Podcast, which featured Will Brinson, who was joined by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones

During the podcast, the two of them focused on three main topics: 

  • 1. What's next for Cam Newton? With just two days to go until the NFL season kicks off, Newton still doesn't have a team to play for. Will he sign with someone at some point this season or will he end up taking the year off? Jones has the lowdown. 
  • 2. Texans finally name Tyrod Taylor the starting QB. Everyone has known for months that Taylor would be the starting quarterback, so why did the Texans wait so long to announce it and is it possible that he could have a little bit of success this year even though he's on one of the worst teams in the NFL?
  • 3. Will T.J. Watt actually skip the Steelers' opener? Watt has made it clear that he won't play until he has a new contract and with less than a week to go until the Steelers' opener, he still doesn't have a new deal. Will the two sides get a deal done? Would Watt actually sit out the game? Jones answers those questions and more. 

To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here

2. Prisco's Power Rankings heading into Week 1

After spending the entire NFL offseason on a tropical island, Pete Prisco has finally returned to civilization this week just in time for start of the NFL season and just in time to unveil his first power rankings of the season (Note: I don't actually know if Prisco spent his entire offseason on a tropical island, I just assume that's what he does every year because he's always so tan). 

Here's a look at Prisco's top five teams heading into Week 1 with the defending Super Bowl champions at the top:

  1. Buccaneers
  2. Bills
  3. Chiefs
  4. Packers
  5. Browns

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 Prisco's last power ranking, which came out after the draft ended in early May: 

  • Prisco was apparently a big fan of the Julio Jones trade because the Titans made the biggest jump of any team since May. Tennessee moved up from 11 spots from No. 21 to No. 10.    
  • The biggest tumble went to the Seahawks, who fell SIX spots from 12th to 18th. Prisco thinks that the Seahawks are the worst team in the NFC West and that their defense is going to struggle this year. I think Prisco is wrong on both accounts and I'm probably going to tell him that on Twitter. 
  • The biggest surprise in this week's power rankings is probably the 49ers. After finishing 6-10 last year, Prisco apparently has high expectations for them in 2021 and I know that because he has them ranked as the SIXTH best team. I'm not even sure they're the sixth best team in the NFC. Just kidding, I picked them to win the division. 
  • In news that probably won't surprise many of you, the Houston Texans are ranked dead last. They edged out the Jets, who are the second-worst team in this week's rankings.    

If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's Week 1 Power Rankings, be sure to click here. If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything. 

3. Breech's Week 1 picks

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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. The newsletter will feature three of my picks and then if you feel like reading the rest of them, you can click through and check them out. I get paid 8 cents every time someone clicks through, so I encourage you to click through early and often. 

With that in mind, here are three of my main picks for the week, starting with the NFL opener on Thursday:  

  • Dallas at Tampa Bay (-8):  Dak Prescott is coming off two injuries, he hasn't taken a game snap in 11 months and in his first game back, he has to go up against one of the best defenses in football and he'll likely have to do that with one of his best offensive lineman out (Zack Martin). This seems like a disaster waiting to happen for the Cowboys. PICK: Buccaneers 31-20 over Cowboys. 
  • L.A. Chargers at Washington (+1): The NFL schedule-maker must hate the Chargers, because this is a rough opener for them: They have to travel across the country for a game that kicks off at 10 a.m. PT. Also, Justin Herbert is going to be playing in front of a capacity crowd for the first time in his NFL career, which I find very interesting, especially considering that he went 1-3 last season in games where 5,000 or more people attended. So he's going to have to deal with screaming fans and he has to do that while going up against one of the best defenses in football. As long as Fitzmagic doesn't throw six interceptions, I like Washington. PICK: Washington 26-23 over Chargers. 
  • Cleveland at Kansas City (-6): The Browns haven't won an opener since 2004 so by principle alone, I have to take the Chiefs. Also, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have both been unbeatable in openers. Not only are they 3-0 together in openers, but they've averaged 37.3 points per game in those three wins. Oh, and Patrick Mahomes has never lost a game in the month of September in his career (10-0). PICK: Chiefs 37-27 over Browns.  

To check out the rest of my picks for Week 1, be sure to click here

4. NFL records that could be broken in 2021: Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes could all make history

With the NFL playing a 17-game schedule for the first time ever this year, there's good chance we're going to see a lot of single-season records go down in 2021. Of course, those aren't the only records that might be broken this year: We could also see a few career records fall.

Our Jeff Kerr spent the weekend hunkered down so that he could find all the records that might get broken this year. 

Here's a list of five records that made Kerr's list: 

  • Tom Brady needs 1,155 passing yards to surpass Brees (80,358 passing yards) for the most career passing yards in NFL history. Brady enters 2021 with 79,204 yards.
  • Russell Wilson needs eight wins to surpass Peyton Manning (105) for the most wins by a quarterback in his first 10 seasons in NFL history. Wilson has won 98 games in his first nine seasons.
  • Patrick Mahomes can become the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 15,000 career passing yards in 50 or fewer games. Mahomes has 14,152 passing yards in 46 career games. 
  • If Lamar Jackson rushes for at least 100 yards in at least three games in 2021, he will surpass Michael Vick (10 games) for the most such career games by a quarterback since the merger. Jackson has eight career 100-yard rushing games.
  • If Derrick Henry hits the 2,000 yard-mark, he'll become the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in consecutive seasons and the only player to accomplish the feat twice. 

To check out the rest of the full list of records that could be broken this year, be sure to click here

5. 2022 NFL Mock Draft


The 2021 NFL season hasn't even started, but we're already going to start looking ahead to 2022 today. With most college football teams kicking off their season over the weekend, we figured that now would be a good time unveil Ryan Wilson's first mock draft of the college season. 

We'll be periodically running these throughout the NFL season, that way, if your favorite NFL team is trash this year, you'll have something to look forward to in the newsletter. 

With that in mind, here's how Wilson sees the top 10 shaking out in the 2022 NFL Drat (Note: Draft order was determined using the reverse order of SportsLine's Super Bowl odds). 

1. Texans: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon 
2. Lions: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma 
3. Jets: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
4. Jaguars: OL Evan Neal, Alabama
5. Bengals: DL DeMarvin Leal, Cincinnati
6. Eagles: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
7. Giants: OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
8. Raiders: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
9. Panthers: QB Carson Strong, Nevada
10. Falcons: LB Christian Harris, Alabama

To check out the entire first-round mock draft, be sure to click here.  

6. Rapid-fire roundup

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. 

  • Ravens are dealing with another running back injury. The Ravens have already lost J.K. Dobbins for the season and now, they've also lost Justice Hill, who tore his Achilles in practice. The Ravens are now looking to add some depth at running back and they started the search on Monday by bringing in Le'Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman for tryouts.   
  • Mark Andrews lands huge extension. The Ravens tight end got some good news before the start of the season in the form of a four-year extension. The new deal is worth a total of $56 million and it makes Andrews the third-highest paid tight end in the NFL. 
  • Julio Jones and Dak Prescott restructure their contracts. The Cowboys ($5 million) and Titans ($11.2 million) both freed up some serious salary cap space on Tuesday by convincing their star players to restructure their deals. The Bears also picked up $4.66 million in cap space by restructuring Jimmy Graham's deal. 
  • Saints expected to sign Desmond Trufant. With less than a week to go until the start of the season, the Saints are still looking for some help in their secondary and they found it on Monday in the form of Trufant, who is expected to sign with the team this week. 
  • Browns land Ifeadi Odenigbo. The Browns filled the final spot on their practice squad by signing defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. The veteran has 59 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in his career, making this a great practice squad signing. 
  • Saquon Barkley inching closer to playing in Week 1. Barkley and the Giants have both been coy about whether the running back is going to play in Week 1 against the Broncos, but apparently, it's starting to look like he's going to be on the field. According to, Barkley is close to being cleared for action.