Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I hope everyone had tea and crumpets for breakfast this morning, because that's what I had, and I had it to celebrate the fact that the NFL announced the teams that will be hosting international games this year.
There will be a total of five international games in 2023 with three being played in London and two being played in Germany. We'll be going over the five home teams in those games in today's newsletter, plus we'll be talking about the playoffs, because this would be the worst NFL newsletter ever if we didn't talk about the playoffs.
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: Brady Quinn breaks down the latest NFL news
If you're going to listen to just one episode of the Pick Six podcast every week, then you should definitely make sure that you're listening every Thursday, because that's when Brady Quinn joins the show. For today's episode, the former first-round pick chatted with Will Brinson about multiple topics, including where Tom Brady might land in 2023.
With Brady set to hit free agency for just the second time in his career, Quinn looked at multiple options for the 45-year-old quarterback and he didn't really like any of them, including the Raiders.
"You have to look at what options are out there for you and I don't know how many there are," Quinn said of Brady. "Obviously, the Raiders are one of the teams. Everyone wants to connect the dots with Josh McDaniels. They have Davante Adams, they've got some pieces, but what's the point? Is it to win the Super Bowl? Because I don't know that their roster is any better than the other three teams in the division. Obviously, not the Chiefs. Then you have to deal with the Chargers and the Broncos, who should be improved. That's not an easy spot."
Another option for Brady could be the Dolphins, but Quinn isn't necessarily buying that option, either.
"I do wonder if the Miami ship has sailed because of how well Tua played," Brady said.
One thing that Quinn did mention during the show, which was recorded on Wednesday, is that Brady might be willing to return to Tampa Bay if the Bucs revamped their coaching staff.
"Maybe if Byron Leftwich isn't there and they bring in someone he's more of a fan of, maybe that entices him to come back," Quinn said.
Less than 24 hours after Quinn's comments, the Bucs fired Leftwich, so that could be a sign that they're going to do whatever it takes to get Brady back.
If you want to hear Quinn's full thoughts on Brady -- and everything else the two guys talked about on today's podcast -- then be sure to click here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Ranking the final eight playoff teams: Chiefs at the top, Giants at the bottom
As you've probably noticed, we love to rank things here at CBS Sports, so in news that probably won't come as a huge surprise, we decided to rank the eight remaining playoff teams. And let's be honest, with no Power Rankings from Pete Prisco this week, we needed something to fill the rankings void, and that's where Jeff Kerr comes in.
Kerr ranked all eight remaining playoff teams, and not surprisingly, he has two No. 1 seeds in the top two spots. Here's a look at his entire rankings:
- 1. Chiefs. "Yes, Kansas City lost to Buffalo and Cincinnati this year, but this team has the ultimate advantage in Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. That puts the Chiefs as the best team remaining in these playoffs."
- 2. Eagles. "The Eagles are one of the most complete teams in the NFL, and Hurts has had plenty of rest to get that shoulder right. This team wins when Hurts is on the field."
- 3. Bills. "This Bills team is good enough to win the Super Bowl, and they'll get the benefit of playing the Chiefs in a neutral-site title game if it comes to fruition. If Josh Allen can take care of the football, Buffalo is going to be very hard to beat -- even if its path to the Super Bowl includes Cincinnati this week."
- 4. 49ers. "San Francisco is the hottest team in the NFL, but its path to the Super Bowl is very difficult. This is a team that has a legitimate argument to be No. 1."
- 5. Cowboys. "Dallas has the most experienced quarterback of the remaining NFC clubs in Prescott, but can this team beat San Francisco? Can it beat Philadelphia with a healthy Jalen Hurts? This is a Super Bowl contender, yet there are questions."
- 6. Bengals. "The offensive line injuries are why the Bengals are this low. Losing La'El Collins and Jonah Williams are huge blows for a team that needs to protect Joe Burrow (and Alex Cappa is also week-to-week). These injuries may be too much for Cincinnati to overcome, but any team with Joe Burrow shouldn't be counted out."
- 7. Jaguars. "The Jaguars have a top-10 offense in points scored (23.8) and yards per game (357.4), while Mike Caldwell's defense has allowed just 13.0 points per game over the past four. Its 27 takeaways is also fifth in the NFL. Don't sleep on Jacksonville, but the Jaguars have a tall task against Kansas City."
- 8. Giants. "New York needed Daniel Jones to play his best game of the year against a bottom-three defense to get past Minnesota. The Giants are 3-6-1 in their past nine games, but have made it to the final eight."
As the resident Bengals homer here at CBSSports.com, I would have put the Bengals at No. 1, so it's probably a good thing I wasn't in charge of making this list. If you want to the full explanation for why Kerr ranked each team where he did, you can read his entire story by clicking here.
3. Lamar Jackson landing spots: Where could QB end up if he leaves Baltimore?
One of the biggest questions surrounding the 2023 NFL offseason revolves around Lamar Jackson and whether he's going to end up staying in Baltimore. Right now, it's hard to predict what's going to happen. Jackson didn't attend the Ravens' playoff game on Sunday and earlier this week, he posted a cryptic message on social media.
As someone who is an expert in cryptic messages, I can say that people usually only share them when they're trying to be cryptic. Things have gotten so dicey that one Ravens beat reporter is putting the odds at 50/50 that Jackson leaves Baltimore.
Since there is a chance that he would be with a new team next season, Cody Benjamin took a look around the NFL to try to come up with some landing spots that would make the most sense for the 2019 NFL MVP.
Let's take a look at Cody's list.
Lamar Jackson landing spots
- 1. Jets. "They're not flush with cap space, but they are in dire need of a proven talent under center, where Zach Wilson has repeatedly lost the top job. Few teams would offer Jackson such a quick path back to the postseason, with Grade-A pieces at every level."
- 2. Falcons. "If Arthur Smith can operate a decent ground game with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder under center, imagine what he might do with Jackson. A year after pursuing Deshaun Watson, they have the cap space ($56.8M) to make a major splash."
- 3. Dolphins. "Tua Tagovailoa took steps under Mike McDaniel, but with such an extensive injury history, his availability -- let alone his off-script accuracy -- can't be trusted. Jackson, meanwhile, would give McDaniel's 49ers-bred offense a lethal X-factor on the ground, and the QB would gain easily the best receiving corps he's ever had, not to mention a team located less than an hour from where he grew up."
- 4. Panthers. "Owner David Tepper has to be getting impatient with these half-hearted QB gambles, and now a new coach is incoming, making them ripe for a full-on reset at the spot. Despite failing to match teams like the Falcons and Patriots in cap space, they have the kind of ascending lineup that could intrigue -- and grow with -- Jackson, starting with D.J. Moore out wide."
- 5. Patriots. "Bill Belichick has gone on record praising Jackson as MVP-level material, and he's about to reset the offensive structure after 2022's failures, with incumbent QB Mac Jones a middling prospect at this point. He's also 70, and surely ready to make a win-now pivot after three forgettable years post-Tom Brady."
Cody listed 15 different teams as a possible landings spots for Jackson next season, and if you want to check out his full list, you can do that by clicking here.
4. Divisional round viewing guide: Ranking the four playoff games from most watchable to least watchable
We've already ranked every team in the divisional round today, and now, we're going to rank every game in the divisional round by how watchable it is.
Tyler Sullivan handled the rankings, and here's what he came up with:
- 1. (3) Bengals at (2) Bills, 3 p.m. ET, Sunday (CBS): "While the NFL is set to have a great weekend filled with awesome matchups, it's hard not to put Bengals-Bills at the top of this list. The Bills have been one of the main favorites to win the Super Bowl throughout the season, and Cincinnati is looking to get back to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year."
- 2. (5) Cowboys at (2) 49ers, 6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday (Fox): "When you have two all-time franchises going head-to-head with a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, it's a must-watch."
- 3. (6) Giants at (1) Eagles, 8:15 p.m. ET, Saturday (Fox): "These NFC East teams have already faced one another twice during the regular season, and that typically opens up Pandora's box for anything to happen in the third meeting. It's going to be fascinating to see how Philadelphia looks as they come out of the bye week. No team needed a week off to heal more than the Eagles. Now that they've been able to recuperate a bit, I wonder if that will be enough for them to get back to being the dominant team we saw earlier in the regular season that was virtually unbeatable."
- 4. (4) Jaguars at (1) Chiefs, 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday (NBC): "This game does feature the biggest spread of the weekend, so the oddsmakers don't believe this will be a particularly close affair between the Jaguars and Chiefs, who are nearly a double-digit favorite in this head-to-head. These clubs did face one another back in Week 10 and the Chiefs won that matchup, 27-17. However, you could argue that Jacksonville is an entirely different team than they were in that matchup. Since Week 11, Trevor Lawrence has completed 66% of his passes and has thrown 16 touchdowns along with six interceptions. Those numbers are nearly identical to Patrick Mahomes over that same stretch as the Chiefs QB has completed 67% of his throws with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Both teams are also 7-1 over that time. With that in mind, we could be getting quite the quarterback dual, which always makes for an enjoyable watch."
If you want to check out Tyler's entire rankings, be sure to click here.
5. NFL reveals 'home' teams for 2023 international games
There will be five international games on the NFL schedule in 2023 and the league surprisingly revealed on Thursday the five teams that will be hosting those games. The NFL has been playing games in London since 2007 and that will continue with three more games in 2023. Also, Germany will be hosting two games next season after hosting a regular-season game for the first time ever in November.
With each AFC team set to play nine home games in 2023, all five "home" teams will be coming from the AFC.
Here's a look at who will be hosting and where those games will be played (We're also listing the home opponents for each team in 2023 so you can see who has a chance to be the visiting team for each international game).
- Bills (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium). This will mark the Bills' second trip to London. The team's only other trip came in October 2015 when they lost a wild one to the Jaguars, 34-31. The 2023 season will mark the first time the Bills have been designated as the home team in a London game. HOME SCHEDULE: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Buccaneers, Jaguars
- Titans (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium). Like the Bills, the Titans will also be making their second trip ever to London. Tennessee's last trip came in 2018 in a 20-19 loss to the Chargers. The upcoming trip will mark the first time the Titans have been the designated as the home team in an international game. HOME SCHEDULE: Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks, Chargers
- Jaguars (Wembley Stadium). Except for the 2020 Covid season, the Jags have hosted a game on London in every season since 2013 and that won't be changing for 2023. HOME SCHEDULE: Colts, Texans, Titans, Bengals, Ravens, Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs, 49ers
- Patriots. With a game in Germany, the Patriots will become one of the rare teams to ever play a regular-season game in three different foreign countries (As of 2022, the Seahawks are the only team that has done it). The Patriots have already played in England and Mexico, and they'll now be adding Germany to the list. HOME SCHEDULE: Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Colts, Saints, Bills, Dolphins, Jets
- Chiefs. Like the Patriots, the Chiefs will also be playing in a third different foreign country in their franchise history, which means Seattle, New England and Kansas City will be the only three teams to have done that in NFL history. HOME SCHEDULE: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Bills, Bengals, Dolphins, Bears, Lions, Eagles
Note: The Germany games will either be played in Munich or Frankfurt, but the NFL hasn't announced the specific location for either game.
Note II: The opponents in each game will likely be announced at some point in early May.
The NFL has been holding an annual international game in Mexico, but that has been scrapped for 2023 because Estadio Azteca is undergoing renovations to get it ready for the 2026 World Cup.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Cowboys add kicker, Buccaneers fire Byron Leftwich
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..
- Cowboys add some kicking insurance. After Brett Maher's meltdown in the wild-card round, Mike McCarthy made it clear that he plans to stick with his kicker for this week's game against the 49ers. However, the Cowboys did add some kicking insurance on Wednesday in the form of Tristan Vizcaino, who was signed to the practice squad. If Maher has a bad week of practice, the Cowboys could potentially turn to Vizcaino.
- Byron Leftwich out in Tampa Bay. After four seasons as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich is out. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has reported that Leftwich has been fired. Just 12 months ago, Leftwich was one of the hottest names when it came to head-coaching candidates, but that likely won't be the case this offseason. You can get more details on Leftwich's firing by going here.
- Rams shake up coaching staff. The Rams will be making some major changes to their coaching staff this offseason and those changes started Wednesday when the team parted ways with five assistants: offensive line coach Kevin Carberry, special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley, assistant defensive line coach Skyler Jones and defensive assistant Lance Schulters.
- Seahawks kicker gets huge extension. Jason Myers was scheduled to hit free agency in March, but that won't be happening after the Seahawks rewarded him with a huge extension. Myers is now the second-highest paid kicker in the NFL behind Justin Tucker after landing a reported four-year, $21.1 million deal from Seattle.
- Steelers keeping Matt Canada. The Steelers offense struggled for most of the season, but despite that, the team won't be getting rid of offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The team will be holding on to Canada for at least one more year. This past season, Canada oversaw an offense that finished 26th in the NFL in scoring, 24th in passing, 16th in rushing and 23rd in red zone efficiency. The unit did finish an impressive seventh in the league in third-down efficiency.
- Sean Payton looking for huge contract. If any team is looking to land Payton, not only are they likely going to have to send a first-round pick to the Saints, but they're also going to write a big check to Payton. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Payton is looking for a coaching contract that will pay him between $20 million and $25 million per year. If that's the case, that could make the Broncos' the automatic frontrunner since Denver is owned by the NFL's richest owner (Rob Walton).
In other coaching news, the Jets have an open offensive coordinator job and they interviewed former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett for the position on Wednesday. We're not going to list every coaching interview here, because it would triple the length of the newsletter, but if you want the latest updates on every coaching and GM interview being held this offseason, then be sure to click here so you can follow along in our tracker.