Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Over the course of the year, I would say there are roughly eight weeks where the NFL is put on the back-burner of the national sports scene, and I'm starting to think we might be in that eight-week stretch. Between the PGA Championship, an NBA postseason with LEBRON JAMES STILL ALIVE, and the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NFL isn't exactly a major headline right now. Well, except in this newsletter.
We cover the NFL all the time here, and we'll continue to do that for the rest of eternity or until the universe collapses upon itself, whichever comes first. If you're wondering what we have in store today, we'll be ranking the NFL's top offenses and regrading the entire 2020 draft. Plus, Will Brinson will be unveiling the 14 teams he thinks will make the playoffs this year.
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1. Ranking the NFL's best offenses
We're going to start things off here today by ranking the NFL's best offenses, and as far as I'm concerned, this is the only offensive ranking that matters because of how complicated it is. Jared Dubin created a system so that he could rank each offense in the NFL, and here's a quick summary of that system:
- He used a weighted grading system where each team was given a 1-5 ranking (1 = terrible, 3 = average, 5 = elite) in the following areas: quarterback, play-caller (head coach or offensive coordinator), offensive line, pass-catchers (WR/TE) and running backs.
- Each team's score was then weighted so that the quarterback was the most important component of the offense, followed by play-caller, offensive line, pass-catchers and finally running backs, so that the weights reflected as closely as possible the reality of the way modern NFL offenses work.
- In the event that teams ended up with the same weighted score, the first tiebreaker was the quarterback ranking. The second tiebreaker was the combined rankings of the play-caller and offensive line.
Hopefully that explanation makes sense, because we're moving on to his actual rankings. Based on Dubin's formula, here are the top-10 offenses in the NFL heading into 2023:
If you want to see the rest of Dubin's ranking, ARIZONA CARDINALS. They have the worst offense in the NFL, according to Dubin's formula, and according to anyone who's ever watched more than five seconds of football in their life. I feel like it's going to be a long year for the Cards.. One thing I will spoil for you is the team at the bottom of the list is the
2. Regrading the 2020 NFL Draft
I haven't heard from Pete Prisco since the end of the NFL Draft, so I figured he was on vacation in the Caribbean or something, but as it turns out, that's actually not the case. The reason I haven't heard from Prisco is because he's been busy regrading the entire 2020 NFL Draft.
This is actually a fascinating exercise and that's mainly for two reasons: For one, Prisco now has three years worth of film from each player, so he can determine whether a team's draft class actually ended up being good or bad. Also, we get to see how good (or bad) Prisco's original grade was for each team when he handed them out on the night of the draft in 2020.
Prisco didn't hold anything back with his new grades. Not only did we see one team get an 'F,' but we also saw six teams get hit with a 'D' or 'D-.'
With that in mind, let's take a look at the teams with the highest grades in Prisco's regrading system, starting with the Bengals, who scored the only A+ (and no, I did not pay Prisco to make that happen).
- Bengals regrade: A+. "This is the draft that transformed the Bengals into one of the best teams in the league. It started with first overall pick Joe Burrow, who has become a star quarterback. This is his team. They followed it up with a great pick in the second in receiver Tee Higgins, and then in the third they took defensive leader Logan Wilson. That's a star in Burrow, a close-to-being-a-star in Higgins and a good linebacker in Wilson." Prisco's 2019 grade: B+
- Browns regrade: A. "They had seven picks, with all seven still on the roster, with five likely starters in 2023. That's good drafting. First-round left tackle Jedrick Wills is a solid player, but he didn't play as well last season as in the first two. Second-round safety Grant Delpit, third-round defensive tackle Jordan Elliott, third-round linebacker Jacob Phillips and sixth-round receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones are the other projected starters." Prisco's 2019 grade: B-
- Bears regrade: A. "They didn't have a first-round pick after trading it as part of the deal to land edge player Khalil Mack from the Raiders. But they did well with the picks they had. They got starters in tight end Cole Kmet (second), corner Jaylon Johnson (third), receiver Darnell Mooney (fifth), edge Trevis Gipson (fifth) and corner Kindle Vildor (fifth)." Prisco's 2019 grade: C
- Colts regrade: A. "They traded their first-round pick to get defensive lineman DeForest Buckner from the 49ers. He's been a really good player in his three seasons with the Colts. They took receiver Michael Pittman and running back Jonathan Taylor in the second round. Both players are starters, with Taylor being one of the best backs in the NFL." Prisco's 2019 grade: B-
- Chargers regrade: A. "This was the Justin Herbert draft, which makes it special. They landed their franchise passer in the first round, even though many wondered if he would turn out to be a franchise talent. He's shown he is that and more. They also took linebacker Kenneth Murray later in the first, and he's been a quality starter." Prisco's 2019 grade: B-
Those were the only five teams to receive an 'A' in Prisco's grading system. On the other end of the spectrum, only one team was given an 'F' and that team was the Raiders.
- Raiders regrade: F. "They had seven picks, including two in the first round, and the only one of those seven still on the roster is fourth-round corner Amik Robertson, who is a backup. That's bad drafting. First-round picks Henry Ruggs and corner Damon Arnette both had off-field issues and were released." Prisco's 2019 grade: B
Although the Raiders got the lowest grade, the Lions, Jaguars, Jets and Titans almost matched them. All four of those teams were given a D-. If you're wondering how all the other teams graded out, you're .
3. Way-too-early NFL predictions for 2023: Here are the 14 teams that will make the playoffs
No one loves making early predictions more than Will Brinson. Earlier this week, he, and now, he's here to tell us what the playoffs are going to look like in 2023.
Here are the 14 teams that Brinson has making the postseason:
1. Chiefs (14-3)
2. Bengals (13-4)
3. Bills (12-5)
5. Ravens (12-5)
6. Jets (10-7)
7. Broncos (9-8)
The most surprising team on this list is definitely the Broncos, and Brinson is sold on them for one reason: Sean Payton.
From Brinson, "As long as Denver's flying under the radar going into the season, I'll be higher on them. Sean Payton is a massive, massive upgrade over Nathaniel Hackett. It really can't be overstated enough."
The most surprising prediction in the NFC is probably the fact that he has the FALCONS in the playoffs. Of course, we probably shouldn't be too surprised and that's because Brinson has apparently anointed himself the president of the Falcons' fan club this year.
From Brinson, "The Falcons are MY TEAM this year, for better or for worse it seems. I love what they did this offseason, turning a very questionable roster into a Titans-lite type of team that can be physical in the run game and efficient from a passing standpoint."
If you want to read Brinson's explanation for his playoff choices, be sure to let him know on Twitter.. If you disagree with Brinson's predictions,
4. Top-10 selling jerseys in the NFL: Aaron Rodgers shoots to the top of the list
If you're wondering how excited Jets fans are about getting Aaron Rodgers, just consider this: He's been with the team for less than a month, and he already has the HIGHEST-SELLING jersey in the NFL, according to NFL Shop. It appears that Rodgers' No. 8 jersey has been flying off the shelves over the past few weeks.
1. Aaron Rodgers (Jets)
2. Jalen Hurts (Eagles)
3. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)
4. Odell Beckham Jr. (Ravens)
5. Josh Allen (Bills)
6. Travis Kelce (Chiefs)
7. Jordan Love (Packers)
8. Justin Jefferson (Vkings)
9. Micah Parsons (Cowboys)
10. Bryce Young (Panthers)
Rodgers isn't the only player on a new team who has a popular jersey. Fans in Baltimore have been flocking to buy Odell Beckham Jr.'s jersey with the Ravens. The only rookie to crack this list was Bryce Young, who was the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.
I'd say the most surprising name on the list is Travis Kelce, but only because his jersey has been available for 10 years. Kelce has played for the same team since 2013, and at this point, you'd think that everyone who wants a Kelce jersey would have one, but apparently, fans are still clamoring to get his No. 87.
5. Predicting the Eagles' final record for 2023
With Memorial Day right around the corner, that means the dead part of the NFL offseason is almost upon us, and although things can get kind of boring during that period, we're going to keep things spicy around here by going through each team's schedule and predicting their final record for 2023.
Today, we're going to take a look at the Eagles. CBSSports.com's Jeff Kerr went through Philadelphia's entire schedule and picked out all the games they're going to win and all the games they're going to lose.
Here's a look at his predictions from three key games:
- Week 1: Eagles at Patriots. "This game will be a big one for New England, as Tom Brady is being honored in his first game since retirement, but the Eagles will be looking to show the world they're still one of the best teams in the NFL." Prediction: Eagles 30-17 over Patriots.
- Week 6: Eagles at Jets. "The Eagles have never lost to the Jets in franchise history, but will be facing Aaron Rodgers at MetLife Stadium this time around. This will be a tough matchup, one in which the offense may have to score 30 to win." Prediction: Jets 34-31 over Eagles.
- Week 12: Bills at Eagles. "The Bills haven't played in Philadelphia since 2015, so this will be a fun matchup between two passionate fanbases. This is a statement game for the Eagles in what could be a potential Super Bowl preview." Prediction: Eagles 38-35 over Bills.
Overall, Kerr is predicting that the Eagles will end the season with an 14-3 record, which would likely be good enough to get them the top seed in the NFC for the second year in a row.
If you want to see Jeff's prediction for each game,.
Personally, I think the Eagles are going to be good this year, but I don't think they'll match the 14 wins they finished with last season. They lost both coordinators,in the NFL and are going to have a target on their back as the defending NFC champions. In Brinson's playoff prediction, he has the Eagles at 10-7, but I think that's too low. I could see them getting 12 or even 13 wins, but it feels like everything would have to go right for the second straight season for them to get to 14, and things never go right for two straight seasons in the NFL.
6. Extra points: Antonio Brown could soon be returning to football
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.
- Antonio Brown might suit up for an arena game. The former NFL receiver owns the Albany Empire of the National Arena League, and apparently, he's planning to suit up for at least one game this year. Brown told WNYT in New York that he'll either be playing on May 27 or June 17. Of course, he and that never happened.
- Matt Ryan is leaving the door open for a possible NFL return. Although the former Falcons QB is now working with us here at CBS Sports, he's not going to close the door on his NFL career, "I've just learned, at least during my experience in the 15 years I've played, to just not shut any doors," Ryan said of making a possible return, via NFL.com.
- Raiders first-round pick from 2020 indicted on gun charges. Damon Arnette, who was the 19th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is facing felony gun charges after being indicted in Las Vegas. Arnette, who was cut by the Raiders in November 2021, is accused of brandishing a hand gun during an incident in Vegas back in January 2022. His first court case is currently scheduled for May 24. You .
- Giants wearing throwbacks for two games this season. The Giants will be breaking out their throwback uniforms for two games this season. The team announced this week that the throwbacks will be worn Week 7 against the Commanders (Oct. 22) and Week 14 against the Packers (Dec. 11). These are the uniforms that the Giants wore from 1980 through 1999, and you can check them out here.