Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I can’t say this for sure, but I’m guessing everyone reading this had a better weekend than Urban Meyer. Unless your car got stolen, you almost certainly had a better weekend than Meyer. The Jags coach is already on the hot seat and based on how things have gone over the past 48 hours, that seat is now hotter than the surface of the sun.
Over the weekend, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on the dysfunction in Jacksonville and you can read his story by clicking here. To sum up La Canfora’s story: Things are not going well for Meyer.
Although I thought about making the entire newsletter about Urban Meyer today, I didn’t want everyone to quit reading 12% of the way through, so we’re going to cover everything from Week 14, plus we’ll be grading every game from Sunday and making some Rams-Cardinals picks, so 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: Week 14 winners and losers, plus full recap
It’s Monday, which can only mean one thing: I stayed up until 3 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson that touched on everything you need to know about Week 14, and let me just say, it’s probably for the best that you listen. We covered all 12 games from Sunday and those games included some insane finishes. As the resident Bengals homer on the podcast, I would like everyone to know that I wasn’t emotionally present when we talked about the Bengals’ wild loss to the 49ers.
One thing we do every week is hand out our weekly winners and losers from Sunday’s action. For this week’s losers, we all went with an AFC team.
- Winner: Micah Parsons. With Mike McCarthy guaranteeing a win over Washington last week, Parsons made sure his coach didn’t look like a fool. The rookie linebacker had two sacks and a forced fumble and was so good that he might have wrapped up the defensive rookie of the year award with four weeks still to play.
- Loser: Everyone associated with the Jaguars. The Jags aren’t just losers on the field, they’re also losers off the field thanks to this Urban Meyer stuff. Everyone in the organization already looks like they’ve given up on the season, especially Meyer. If you missed Meyer’s grim handshake with Mike Vrabel, make sure you check it out by clicking here. It’s possibly the most downtrodden an NFL coach has ever looked after a regular-season loss.
- Winner: Colts The Colts didn’t even play in Week 14, but they’re a winner because everything fell into place for them. Thanks to losses by the Bengals and Bills, the Colts jumped from the ninth seed in the AFC to the sixth seed and they made that jump while they sat at home on their couch.
- Loser: Bengals. Every time you think the Bengals are going to take a giant step forward, they fall flat on their face. The Bengals had a chance to take over first place in the AFC North, but Darius Phillips fumbled it away with two muffed punts. Zac Taylor also seemed to forget that he had Joe Burrow on his team in overtime.
- Winner: Tom Brady. In reality, Tom Brady is a winner every week just for existing, but he’s even more of a winner this week and that’s because for the 21st straight year, he crushed the soul of everyone in Buffalo. Just when it looked like the Bills were going to pull off a wild comeback win, Brady tore their heart out with a 58-yard game-winning TD pass in overtime that also happened to be his 700th career TD pass.
- Loser: Raiders. If you go on the road and trample on the home team’s logo, you’re supposed to back that up by actually playing well, but the Raiders did the opposite. They mocked the Chiefs in pregame and the Chiefs decided to respond by completely embarrassing the Raiders.
Not only did we list our winners and losers, but we also recapped every game from Sunday. 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 today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Week 14 grades: Jaguars get an ‘F’ in shutout loss
Every week I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, we failed the Jaguars out of our imaginary football school.
Here’s a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Tennessee 20-0 over Jacksonville (Click here for full recap)
- Titans takeaway: Tennessee went into Sunday’s game on a two-game losing streak, but that streak is no more and the Titans have their defense to thank for that. In what was easily the Titans’ most dominant defensive performance of the season, they absolutely destroyed the Jags offense. Not only did they sack Trevor Lawrence three times, but they also picked him off four times. The Titans also pitched just their second shutout over the past 20 years and their first home shutout since 2000. The Titans’ offense wasn’t anywhere near perfect — it totaled under 300 yards — but it did more than enough for Tennessee to pick up the win. Grade: A-
- Jaguars takeaway: If this game was any indication, it appears that Urban Meyer might have officially lost the team. Leading up to the game, CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported of mounting turmoil in the Jaguars locker room and that turmoil is probably only going to boil over after this loss. The Jaguars showed zero effort on a nightmare day where they never came close to scoring. Lawrence had an embarrassing day, throwing four interceptions, which all came in the second half. Grade: F
Denver 38-10 over Detroit (Click here for full game stats)
- Broncos takeaway: On a day where the Broncos were celebrating the life of Demaryius Thomas, Denver gave an effort that Thomas would have been proud of. The Broncos dominated the Lions in every way you can possibly dominate another NFL team. Offensively, the Broncos used Melvin Gordon (111 yards and two touchdowns) and Javonte Williams (73 yards and one TD rushing, another TD receiving) to control the ball. Defensively, not only did the Broncos shut out the Lions in the second half, but they also forced two turnovers that led to two Denver touchdowns. The most fitting part is that Denver’s’ final touchdown drive of the game was 88 yards long, which also happened to be Thomas’ number while he played in the Mile High City. The Broncos have now positioned themselves to make some noise in the AFC playoff race. Grade: A+
- Lions takeaway: The Lions were in this game at halftime, but unfortunately for Detroit, their offense decided not to show up for the second half. The Lions had the ball five times during the disastrous half and they came away with nothing. Their five possessions ended with a fumble, two fourth-down failures, an interception and the end of the game. Defensively, the Lions had no answers for the Broncos in the red zone. Denver’s offense made five trips inside of Detroit’s 20-yard line and came away with five touchdowns. Grade: F
3. NFL playoff picture heading into Monday night
Here’s a look at the top seven teams from each conference:
Although the Colts jumped back in the wild card race this week, don’t look for them to jump back in the race for the division title and that’s because it’s going to be almost impossible for them to win it. If the Titans go just 2-2 over their final four games, they’ll lock up the AFC South title and 2-2 definitely seems possible with games against the Texans, Steelers and Dolphins still on the schedule. If the Colts lose to the Patriots this Saturday, the Titans would clinch the division with just ONE more win over the final four weeks. Basically, the AFC South feels like the one division in the AFC that’s already locked up.
The game between the Rams and the Cardinals could have a monstrous impact on the current playoff standings, but only if the Rams win. If the Cardinals win, the top seven will stay the exact same. However, if the Rams pull off the upset, the top three spots will be shuffled around with the new seedings looking like this: 1. Packers 2. Buccaneers 3. Cardinals. The final four spots would remain the same.
4. 12 crazy facts from Week 14
Every Sunday night, I get an email from our research department here at CBS Sports, and every Sunday, that email always includes some amazingly wild facts about the games that were just played.
With that in mind, here are 12 crazy facts about Week 14:
- Tom Brady sets NFL record for completions. With 31 completions against the Bills, Brady now has 7,156 for his career, which is an NFL record. Going into the game, Drew Brees was the record-holder with 7,142 completions, but Brady blew past him in Tampa Bay’s overtime win. Brady also now has 33 wins against the Bills, which is the most by any quarterback in NFL history against one opponent.
- Josh Allen joins rare company. The Bills QB finished with 308 passing yards and 109 rushing yards against the Buccaneers, making him just the third QB in NFL history to hit the 300-100 mark. Allen now joins a rare club that includes only Cam Newton (340 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in Week 15, 2015) and Russell Wilson (313 passing yards and 106 rushing yards in Week 7, 2014).
- 49ers receiver is leading their rushing attack. Deebo Samuel added another rushing touchdown on Sunday, which means he now has six on the season. That’s the most rushing touchdowns by a receiver since 1961 when Lenny Moore ran for seven. If Samuel can get to eight, he’ll set the NFL record.
- George Kittle etches his name in the NFL record book. Samuel wasn’t the only 49ers player making history in Week 14. Kittle caught 13 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown, making him the first tight end in NFL history to finish with at least 150 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in consecutive games
- Cincinnati sack master. Trey Hendrickson of the Bengals picked up a sack on Sunday, marking the ninth straight game where he has gotten to the opposing quarterback. That streak is tied with Chris Jones for the longest in NFL history (The sack didn’t officially become a stat until 1982, so the record only dates back until then).
- NFL finally gets a punt return TD. Jakeem Grant returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown against the Packers, which was notable for multiple reasons. For one, it was the longest punt return in Bears‘ history, which is pretty impressive, considering Devin Hester played for that team. Also, it was the FIRST PUNT RETURN TD by any player in the NFL this year.
- Packers-Bears scoring spree. There were 45 points scored during the second quarter of the Packers’ win over the Bears, but that’s not even the crazy part, the crazy part is that there were five touchdowns of 35 yards or more, which set an NFL record for one quarter.
- Herbert makes history. Justin Herbert threw his 30th touchdown pass of the season against the Giants and if you combine that with his 31 TD passes from last season, he’s now the ONLY player in NFL history to throw 30 or more TD passes in his first two seasons.
- Texans rookie starts hot. Davis Mills completed his 14 passes against the Seahawks, which was the most consecutive completions to start a game by a rookie since at least 1991, according to NFL.com. In other Texans news, Ka’imi Fairbairn set the franchise record for longest kick with a 61-yard field goal just before halftime.
- Raiders get blown out in historical way. The Raiders’ 48-9 loss to the Chiefs was their second-biggest loss of the Super Bowl era. Since 1966, the Raiders have only suffered one bigger loss and that came in 2014 when the Rams beat them 52-0.
- Chiefs and Raiders make history. The final score of Kansas City’s win over the Raiders was 48-9, which is notable, because it was the first time in NFL history that a game ended in that score. In the internet world, that’s known as a Scorigami and you can read more details about what a Scorigami is by clicking here. The 48-9 final was the 1,071st different final score in NFL history.
- Jets playoff drought continues. With their loss to the Saints, the Jets have now been eliminated from playoff contention, which continues the NFL’s longest drought without a postseason appearance. The Jets haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010. Every other team in the NFL has been to the playoffs at least once since 2014.
5. Monday preview: Prepping you for Rams at Cardinals
If the Rams want to have any shot at winning the NFC West, they’re going to need to pull off the upset tonight in Arizona. A win by the Cardinals would all but lock up the division. If the Cards can handle the Rams, they would only need one more win over the final four weeks to officially clinch the NFC West.
My good buddy Jared Dubin wrote our deep-dive preview for this game here at CBSSports.com, and here’s how he sees the game playing out:
- Why the Rams can win: The Rams’ strength is throwing the ball, but stopping the pass happens to the Cardinals defensive strength, so if L.A. is smart, they’ll try to beat Arizona doing something else. You can definitely run on the Cardinals, so if Sony Michel has a big game, that should open things up for Matthew Stafford and the pass offense. Basically, if the Rams offense can control the game with the run and if they don’t turn the ball over — they had two turnovers in the first meeting — they should have a good shot at winning.
- Why Cardinals can win: In the first meeting between these two teams back in Week 4, the Cardinals won 37-20 because they were able to move the ball at will. A big reason for that is because Kyler Murray caught fire, completing 24 of 32 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 39 yards. If Murray is once again in the zone tonight, it’s hard to imagine the Rams winning this game.
You can get a full preview of the game from Dubin by clicking here. The Cardinals are currently favored by 2.5 points and as you can see below, Dubin and I actually agree on who’s going to win the game.
Dubin’s pick: Cardinals 27-23 over Rams.
My pick: Cardinals 34-27 over Rams.
If you’re thinking about betting on the game, Tyler Sullivan put together a full gambling preview.
- ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Kyler Murray OVER 26.5 rushing yards (+100): “Eclipsing 26.5 yards on the ground is a very doable number for Murray, who rushed for 59 yards last week in his return against Chicago. He’s gone over this prop three times this season, and with the Rams likely sending pressure often he could be scrambling quite a bit.”
- ONE PROP I LIKE: DeAndre Hopkins to score a TD AND the Cardinals to win (+275): At +275, this prop almost feels like a steal and that’s because we’ve already seen this happen multiple times this season. Going into Week 14, Hopkins has played in a total of nine games and in SIX of those games, this prop would have hit. Basically, Kyler Murray loves to look for D-Hop in the end zone and when D-Hop scores, that usually means Arizona is going to win. The Cardinals are 6-0 this season when he scores a TD.
6. Key QB injuries piling up: Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers all banged up in Week 14
With the playoff race heading into the stretch run, there are several teams that could be in trouble going forward after their starting quarterbacks were injured on Sunday.
Here’s a look at those quarterbacks and the injury they suffered:
- Lamar Jackson dealing with ankle issue. The Ravens QB had to be carted off the field after injuring his right ankle during the first half of Baltimore’s loss to Cleveland. Although it’s not clear how serious the injury is, it would be devastating for the Ravens if he were to miss any amount of time, especially with their next two games against the Packers and Bengals. Even if Jackson is able to play this week, he’ll likely be slightly hobbled, which would hurt his mobility, which is obviously a huge part of his game. If Jackson can’t go, the Ravens will turn the offense over to Tyler Huntley.
- Josh Allen has a foot problem. The Bills QB was wearing a walking boot on his left leg following Buffalo’s loss to Tampa Bay. After the game, Allen said he didn’t think the injury was going to be a “big deal.” The Bills play the Patriots in two weeks (Week 16) and it’s almost impossible to imagine Allen missing that game. On the other hand, if tests show that Allen might need some time off, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him sit out this week’s game against the Panthers. If Allen can’t go in Week 15, the Bills’ backup QB is Mitchell Trubisky.
- Aaron Rodgers’ fractured toe has gotten worse. The Packers QB has been playing with a fractured pinkie toe and he aggravated the injury during Green Bay’s win over the Bears. After the game, Rodgers said that the toe “feels worse” and that he also didn’t rule out getting surgery. “I can’t make that call right now. We’ll look at it tomorrow and do a film,” Rodgers said. “That would be last resort for sure, but I’ll have to see what kind of setback it was tonight.” Rodgers has been playing through the pain, but if the injury continues to get worse, he might not be able to do that much longer. If Rodgers gets surgery, that could possibly sideline him for at least one game, which means there’s a small possibility that this week’s showdown between the Packers and Ravens could be Jordan Love vs. Tyler Huntley.