Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six Newsletter!
Today marks the final day of November and I'm guessing that some teams will be glad to see it go, like the Rams, Seahawks and Saints, who all had a worse record than the Detroit Lions during the month. Being worse than the Lions at anything should automatically eliminate you from playoff contention, but fortunately for those teams, it doesn't quite work that way, although the Saints and Seahawks have kind of eliminated themselves.
One team that will likely be sad to see November go is the WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM. Thanks to its 17-15 win over the Seahawks on Monday night, Washington ended up being the ONLY team in the NFC that went undefeated in November.
If you're wondering how they beat the Seahawks, we'll be covering that in today's newsletter. Plus, we'll be taking our weekly look at Prisco's Power Rankings and I'll have some picks for you, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Recapping Washington's wild win over the Seahawks
This is probably one birthday Russell Wilson will want to forget. The Seahawks quarterback was celebrating his 33rd birthday on Monday and Washington spoiled it by beating the Seahawks in a game that had a wild finish.
After the game, Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I got together to record a podcast about everything we witnessed in Washington's 17-15 win. Here are three key things from that game that we touched on during the podcast:
- Washington's offense controlled the game. It's almost impossible to lose in the NFL when you hold the ball for more than 40 minutes, but that almost happened to Washington in this game. The Football Team's offense was in total control for most of the game, and that was mostly thanks to a fantastic performance by Antonio Gibson, who rushed for 111 yards on 29 carries. J.D. McKissic also came up big, totaling 56 yards and two touchdowns. Washington's time of possession ended up being 41:25, which was the second-highest in franchise history in a non-overtime game.
- Seahawks offense continues to struggle. In his third game back from finger surgery, Russell Wilson continued to struggle. Although Wilson was erratic and inaccurate for most of the night, he did lead a dramatic comeback in the final minute that Freddie Swain capped with a 32-yard TD to with just 15 seconds left to play. However, Wilson would throw an interception on the two-point conversion, which gave Washington the win, and that interception was basically indicative of his night. Before the final drive, Wilson had only thrown for 161 yards in the game. Overall, the Seahawks offense looked mostly inept on a night where it went three-and-out six times.
- Kicking drama. This game had more special teams drama than almost every game in the NFL combined this week. The drama started in the second quarter after a McKissic touchdown. Following the score, Washington's extra point attempt got blocked and RETURNED for two points by Seattle's Rasheem Green. Instead of taking a 10-7 lead with the TD, Green's return tied the game at nine. Not only did Washington miss the extra point, but they also lost kicker Joey Slye for the night due to an injury on the play. With Slye out, Washington was forced to go for it on fourth down while in field goal range for the rest of the game. One of those fourth downs came with 2:25 left. On a fourth-and-goal from Seattle's three-yard line, Washington should have kicked a field goal to ice the game, but it couldn't do that because Slye was injured. Instead, the team went for it on fourth down and failed, setting up Wilson's TD drive in the final minute. After the TD, the Seahawks needed a two-pointer to tie and the only reason they needed that is because Washington had to go for two after a second-half TD due to the fact that Slye was out. The end of the game had even more drama and that's because after Seattle's late score, the Seahawks actually recovered their onside kick, but it got called back due to a tacky -- but correct -- illegal formation penalty against Seattle.
Besides those three things, we also spent some serious time debating whether the Seahawks should blow everything up and start over. To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here. You can also watch Monday's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Prisco's Power Rankings heading into Week 13
It took 13 weeks, but I think Pete Prisco is actually starting to buy into the fact that that Patriots might be good. For the first time all season, Prisco has New England ranked in his top five and in a twist, he has them ranked right behind Tom Brady's team. I think I'm now secretly hoping that those two teams meet in the Super Bowl.
With that in mind, here's a look at Prisco's top-five teams heading into Week 13:
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 last week:
- The biggest jump this week went to the Las Vegas Raiders. VIVA LAS VEGAS. After watching the Raiders upset the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Prisco decided to reward them by moving them up 10 spots from 22nd to 12th. I don't have the official records in front of me, but that might be the biggest jump in the history of Prisco's Power rankings. The crazy thing is that TWO teams actually moved up 10 spots this week. The Broncos also jumped 10 spots from 24th to 14th after beating the Chargers.
- Two teams tied for the biggest drop this week: the Chargers and Colts, who both dropped six spots. The Chargers dropping from ninth to 15th makes sense because they got embarrassed by the Broncos. On the other hand, if Colts fans want to send Pete some hate mail, I'd totally understand because dropping Indy six spots for a close loss to the defending Super Bowl champs seems mean and wrong.
- The biggest tumble in the NFC went to the Rams, who fell five spots. After getting dominated by the Packers, the Rams dropped from second all the way down to seventh. If Pete had a sense of humor, he would have dropped the Rams to six in honor of all the pick-sixes Matthew Stafford has been throwing.
- In news that probably won't surprise you, the Lions are still ranked dead last. Losing by two to the Bears might have been a moral victory, but it wasn't enough to get them out of the cellar because Prisco doesn't reward moral victories. Sorry, Lions.
If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco's Week 13 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 13 picks
It's Tuesday, and that can only mean one thing: It's time for my weekly picks.
If you want to ignore my picks today, I won't blame you and that's because I went 7-8 last week. I've basically turned into the Rams: After a hot start, I completely fell apart in November. Through the first eight weeks of the season, I was 79-43 (.648), but over the past four weeks, I'm just 29-28-1 (.508). The Rams are glad November is over. I'm glad November is over. I'm never talking about November again. As a matter of fact, I'm not even going to acknowledge November next year.
With that in mind, here are three of my picks for Week 13.
- Dallas (-4.5) at New Orleans: The Cowboys won't have Mike McCarthy in this game after he tested positive for COVID-19, which might not be such a bad thing. Not only will they have Kellen Moore running the offense, but they'll have Dan Quinn serving as interim coach, which is a good thing, because no one hates the Saints more than Quinn since they were his biggest rival during his time in Atlanta. Also, I should probably point out that the Cowboys have been been dominating NFC teams this year and last time I checked, the Saints were an NFC team. The Cowboys are 5-1 straight-up and 6-0 against the spread against NFC teams, and I do not dare pick against either of those trends. PICK: Cowboys 24-17 over Saints.
- Washington at Las Vegas (-2.5): Back in August, someone on Reddit attempted to predict how the Raiders season would play out by predicting every game with a coin flip, and so far, the coin flip is a PERFECT 11-0 PICKING THEIR GAMES. The coin says the Raiders are going to win this week and considering I'm 5-6 picking Raiders games this year, I'm not really in a spot to argue. PICK: Raiders 30-23 over Washington.
- Denver at Kansas City (-10.5): As everyone knows, there are no guaranteed wins in the NFL. Well, except for Andy Reid coming off a bye, and Andy Reid will be coming off a bye in this game. Reid has a 19-3 career record off the bye, so picking him to lose here would be crazy and I'm not crazy. The thing about the Chiefs is that it looks like they figured out what was wrong with them before the bye, and now they've had two weeks to refine things. PICK: Chiefs 30-17.
4. NFL coaches on the hot seat heading into Week 13
Every year in the NFL, we see multiple coaches get fired at the end of the season, and there's a good chance that this year will be no different. Although we haven't seen an in-season firing yet this year (Jon Gruden resigned), it might still happen and that's because there are plenty of guys on the hot seat heading into Week 13.
With that in mind, here's a look at our hot seat rankings, which was put together by our Patrik Walker.
If you want to know why Culley is at the top of the list, you'll have to click here so you can read Walker's full explanation for his rankings.
5. NFL hit hard by injuries: Christian McCaffrey headlines ugly injury day
There were some big injuries from over the weekend and since it's not easy to keep track of them all, I went ahead and rounded them up here.
Here's a look at who went down and what they're dealing with:
- Christian McCaffrey out for the season. The Panthers running back left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, which is going to cost him the rest of the season. Carolina announced Monday that McCaffrey is done for the year. By the end of the season, McCaffrey will have missed 23 of Carolina's 33 games over the past two years.
- Deebo Samuel to miss some time. The 49ers receiver, who has also been dabbling at running back this season, is going to definitely miss one game and could end up missing two due to an injured groin, head coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday. The 49ers are also going to be without Fred Warner on Sunday against the Seahawks.
- Dalvin Cook to miss at least two weeks with shoulder injury. If the Vikings are going to stay in the playoff race, they're going to have to do it without Dalvin Cook. The running back, who injured his shoulder against the 49ers, is expected to miss Minnesota's next two games, according to ESPN.com. The Vikings are hoping he'll be able to return to the field in Week 15 against the Bears on Dec. 20.
- Browns lose Jack Conklin for the year. The Browns offensive line took a huge hit Monday when right tackle Jack Conklin was ruled out for the rest of the season. Conklin tore the patellar tendon in his right knee against the Ravens on Sunday night.
- Darren Waller week-to-week. The Raiders got some good news this week: Darren Waller shouldn't be out for an extended period of time. Waller, who injured his knee on Thanksgiving, could play as soon as Sunday if he improves enough. If he can't go, then the Raiders will be hoping that he can return in Week 14.
- Aaron Rodgers not having toe surgery. With the Packers headed into their bye, Rodgers was thinking about undergoing toe surgery this week, but it appears that won't happen. According to NFL.com, Rodgers is going to wait until after the season to have the toe fixed.
- COVID ravages NFL. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has already been ruled out this week after testing positive for COVID, but he's not the only one who's dealing with that right now. Steelers star T.J. Watt, Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson and Titans safety Kevin Byard were all placed on the COVID list, and there's a good chance each player will be out Sunday.
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.
- Taysom Hill could be the Saints starter on Thursday. According to multiple reports, Hill was taking first-team reps in practice Monday, which could pave the way for him to start over Trevor Siemian. If Sean Payton really liked Hill, you'd think he would have been named him the starter after Jameis Winston went down, but that wasn't the case. Hill is either going to prove he's worth these giant contracts he keeps getting or he's going to prove he's not actually a good QB. I don't feel like there's a lot of middle ground here.
- Kliff Kingsbury doesn't rule out Oklahoma job. With Oklahoma apparently interested in Kingsbury, the Cardinals coach was asked about his possible interest multiple times Monday. And each time, Kingsbury refused to rule out the possibility of taking the job. Either this means he's interested or he's just giving himself an insane amount of leverage so that he can land a huge extension from the Cardinals. Either way, Kingsbury is coming out of this as a winner.
- Dan Quinn will serve as Cowboys interim coach. With Mike McCarthy out this week, the former Falcons coach will serve as the Cowboys' coach on Thursday against the Saints. Quinn has coached against the Saints many times, which makes him arguably a better option for coaching this game than McCarthy.
- Cowboys defensive tackle suspended. Trysten Hill has been suspended two games for throwing a punch at Raiders guard John Simpson following Las Vegas' Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas. Hill's suspension will start Thursday in New Orleans.
- Hall of Famer Curley Culp dies at 75. The defensive lineman spent 14 seasons in the NFL with three different teams (Chiefs, Oilers and Lions), and he was dominant in nearly every single one of those seasons. Culp went to six Pro Bowls, was voted an All-Pro four different times and finished second in the defensive player of the year voting in 1975. He also helped the Chiefs pull off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history when they beat the Vikings, 23-7, as 12-point underdogs in Super Bowl IV.
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