Everything to know about the NFL on Thanksgiving slate, plus Prisco’s Week 12 picks and Jets bench Zach Wilson
Happy Wednesday, everyone. John Breech is busy mailing invitations to Joe Burrow and the Bengals to join his Thanksgiving dinner, per sources, so you’ve got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL ahead of Turkey Day.
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!
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You don’t want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We’ve got major QB news, Thanksgiving game previews, trade rumors and much more:
Today’s show: Best bets for Thanksgiving games
Tyler Sullivan joined Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL” podcast to break down the full Thanksgiving slate, identifying their best bets and forecasting final results for the trio of holiday matchups. Some highlights:
Both guys are buying into the Lions’ turnaround, but not to the point they’ll bet against Josh Allen. Brinson thinks Buffalo’s game against Detroit “is a Josh Allen nuclear eruption spot,” and wouldn’t be shocked if the Bills won by 20.Brinson and Sully are also in agreement that Dallas is an easy bet against the rival Giants. The former thinks the Cowboys “are gonna destroy” New York on the big stage, and Sully believes America’s Team will do so by selling out against the run.
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The guys are split on Patriots-Vikings. Kirk Cousins in prime time against Bill Belichick scares Brinson, who foresees a one-score game regardless of outcome. But Sully has “no faith” in New England’s pass protection, advising only to hammer the Under on what could be an ugly defensive battle.
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Prisco’s picks: Cowboys rout Giants, Titans upset Bengals
Pete Prisco is on fire with NFL picks as of late, going 11-3 straight-up and 4-2 with best bets for Week 11. Now he’s back with predictions for every single Week 12 game. Here’s a sampling:
Cowboys 31, Giants 14: The Giants are coming off of a horrible showing at home against the Lions, which means they might have been looking ahead to this one. They are too limited on offense.Titans 27, Bengals 21: This is a rematch from the playoff game in which the Bengals upset the Titans on the road. Derrick Henry wasn’t himself when they played then. He is now.Eagles 26, Packers 21: The Packers’ playoff chances are barely alive. Aaron Rodgers did not play well last week, but I think he plays better here. The Eagles haven’t looked great the past two games. The Packers keep it close.3. Thanksgiving preview: Key matchups, top historical moments
Ready to feast on Turkey Day football? Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time:
4. QB changes: Jets bench Zach Wilson, Panthers turn to Sam Darnold
It’s a big week for current and former Jets quarterbacks. In New York, Gang Green has officially benched Zach Wilson, days after coach Robert Saleh refused to commit to the 2021 first-rounder as his starter. Saleh previously defended Wilson, who struggled mightily in the Jets’ Week 11 loss to the Patriots, but changed his tone in the wake of Wilson publicly downplaying his role in the team’s recent offensive struggles. The former No. 2 overall pick will be replaced by Mike White on Sunday against the Bears. In Carolina, meanwhile, Wilson predecessor Sam Darnold is back as the Panthers’ starting QB, taking over for Baker Mayfield against the Broncos. He has yet to play this year while recovering from injury.
5. Aaron Rodgers trade rumors: Potential 2023 landing spots
Rodgers is still trying to get the Packers in the playoff picture, but 2022 has been a real struggle for he and Green Bay. At 4-7, with a game against the 9-1 Eagles approaching, it’s not too early to wonder what lies beyond this season. If the QB doesn’t retire, it’s possible he could seek a fresh start, which he’s entertained before, and especially because it might also benefit the Packers to rebuild. In the event that does happen, we identified 11 different potential suitors for A-Rod. Here are a few:
Jets: Second-year QB Zach Wilson is already on thin ice both on the field and in the locker room, proving to be the weakest link on an otherwise feisty playoff hopeful. And offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, a Kyle Shanahan disciple, is the younger brother of Matt, Rodgers’ coach in Green Bay.
Seahawks: Geno Smith is one of this year’s best stories, but at 32, approaching free agency, he’ll be a risky bet considering 2022 is his only productive season as a starter. Pete Carroll, 71, is probably interested in contending sooner rather than later. He’s got loads of cap space ($30.6M) to use, and even more draft picks from the Russell Wilson deal.Titans: Ryan Tannehill does his job well for a team that never dies, but he’s owed more than even Rodgers in 2023, and another early playoff exit would seem to confirm his ceiling. A-Rod also loves him some Mike Vrabel, who’s yet to feature a superstar at QB despite a proven track record of postseason contention.6. Rapid-fire roundup: Odell sweepstakes, QB Power Rankings, more
Hungry for more headlines? Here you go: