Hello all, and happy Wednesday. John Breech is taking an extended walk today to reflect on the Bengals' inactivity during the trade deadline (more on that below), so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got tons of deadline reactions, trade grades and more, as well as Week 9 picks and predictions:
- Today's show: 2022 trade deadline reactions
This year's NFL trade deadline was inarguably the wildest in league history, according to Will Brinson. On Wednesday's "Pick Six NFL Podcast," John Breech and Tyler Sullivan joined him to break down all the moves. Some highlights:
- Sullivan is particularly impressed with the Dolphins, and what they were able to squeeze out of the draft picks acquired from San Francisco via the deal that landed the 49ers Trey Lance, listing Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill and now Bradley Chubb as foundational pieces. He also believes the Chubb acquisition confirms they're content with Tua Tagovailoa beyond 2022.
- Wilson can't figure out why the Packers wouldn't have surrendered a draft pick for one of the receivers available, defending the Bears' move to add Chase Claypool. He thinks Chicago's offense will be instantly improved, and celebrated that Justin Fields "now has someone to throw to who's above 5-8."
- One of Brinson's favorite deals was the Bills' acquisition of Nyheim Hines. Buffalo can utilize the ex-Colts veteran not just as a pass catcher, he argued, but between the tackles as a sort of hybrid weapon.
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Prisco's Picks: Commanders stun Vikings, Chiefs rout Titans
Pete Prisco went a perfect 7-0 on his best bets from Week 8, and 11-4 on straight-up projections. Now he's back within Week 9. Here's a sampling:
- Commanders 27, Vikings 26: This is suddenly a big game as the Commanders have won three straight. The Vikings have ripped off five straight. Minnesota hasn't been blowing teams out, but the Commanders defense has played better lately.
- Buccaneers 24, Rams 17: When the schedule came out, this looked like the game of the week. It's now a survival test. So which one can turn it around? The Bucs are at home and their offense isn't struggling as much as the Rams.
- Chiefs 31, Titans 21: This is the game of the week, featuring Derrick Henry against Patrick Mahomes. It's the runner vs. the passer. Give me the passer. The Titans are playing a second straight road game, while the Chiefs are off a bye.
3. Trade deadline grades: Ridley to Jaguars, Hockenson to Vikings
Struggling to keep track of all the big moves from the deadline? We've got you covered. Ourhas all the major moves, with analysis for each one. Here are some snippets on a few of the big-name swaps:
Calvin Ridley to Jaguars
Ridley will be 28 when he puts on a Jags helmet for the first time. When you look at the stats from his first four seasons, Ridley looks like a legitimate No. 1. He was sixth in receiving yards in 2020, which ranked higher than big names like DK Metcalf, Tyreek Hill, Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown. You have to imagine Ridley will be rejuvenated with this change of scenery, but at the same time, it's fair to wonder if this addition is a sure thing.
T.J. Hockenson to Vikings
With Irv Smith Jr. banged up, Minnesota needed some help at tight end. Instead, they got a massive upgrade. Hockenson has battled his own injuries, but when healthy, he's easily a top-10 pass catcher at his position, rounding out an already-impressive Vikings group that includes Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. All the Vikings are surrendering, to secure Hockenson through at least 2023 on a reasonable deal, is essentially the equivalent of a second-rounder. Detroit has reason to sell, to be sure, but why did their trade chip have to be one of their few proven building blocks, who will now play them twice a year and be difficult to replace even with the improved draft capital?
4. Dan Snyder exploring sale of Washington Commanders
Washington has been mired in off-field controversy surrounding ownership for a while, but it's possible new ownership could actually be on the way. Forbes reported Wednesday that Daniel and Tanya Snyder have retained Bank of America Securities to explore a sale of the Commanders franchise, either to new minority stakeholders or new majority owners. The Commanders have released their own statement regarding the matter, acknowledging their pursuit of "potential transactions."
5. Midseason awards: Eagles' Jalen Hurts is the MVP
Roughly halfway through the 2022 NFL schedule, it's time to dole out some accolades. Check out our full rundown of , headlined by a young signal-caller:
MVP: Jalen Hurts
The Eagles quarterback is the heart, soul and steady hand of the NFL's lone undefeated team. Previously an elite runner and so-so passer, he's looked like an entirely different animal in 2022, also emerging as an authoritative downfield thrower. Besides being a bulldozer on the ground (his six rushing TDs easily leads all QBs), he's been more accurate, more efficient and just as explosive as Allen and Mahomes, with fewer turnovers.
6. Deadline winners and losers: Vikings go big, Packers and Rams whiff
Bryan DeArdo has sorted through all of the commotion from deadline day to identify the. Here's a sneak peek at some of his favorite -- and least favorite -- movers from Tuesday's action:
By acquiring Hockenson, the Vikings reinforced their status as one of the NFC's upper-echelon teams and a legitimate contender to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Hockenson brings another element to a Vikings offense that also features Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins.
The Rams were edged out by the 49ers in the race to land Christian McCaffrey. Los Angeles ultimately didn't do anything at the deadline, which means that the Rams will have to rely on their current roster to get themselves out of the hole they're in. Los Angeles, 3-4 following last Sunday's loss, is in need of several positional upgrades, including on the offensive line, receiver and running back. Speaking of running back, the Rams were unable to deal Cam Akers before the deadline -- a missed opportunity, as it appears Akers' working relationship with the team appears to be over.