After a one day hiatus, I’m back. 

If you opened up Wednesday’s newsletter and thought that I had been hacked by someone named Cody Benjamin, that’s only partially true. Cody did hack my email, but it had nothing to do with the newsletter. Instead, that’s just part of our weekly rotation here. From now until the end of time, Cody will be handling the Wednesday newsletter and I’ll be on duty the other four days of the week. Cody said something about wanting to be our weekly tour guide for “Hump Day” and who was I to disagree. 

If you like the newsletter so far, you should click here and send this link to every friend you have. To make sure that link gets seen by as many of your friends as possible, make sure to share it on Facebook with your most controversial political opinion. I hear people on Facebook love that stuff.

Also, since you’re probably wondering, I’m writing this from a bunker in Nashville, because based on what’s happening with the Titans right now, a bunker is the only safe place in this city. Anyway, let’s get to the football, because we have a lot to talk about today. 

1. Today’s Show: Getting you ready for Buccaneers-Bears


USATSI

We had to wait three years, but we’re finally getting the rematch that none of us ever knew we wanted: Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles. The last time we saw these two on the same field was back in Super Bowl LII when Foles took home Super Bowl MVP after beating Brady’s Patriots 41-33. A few things have changed since that game with the most noticeable one being that both players have had a change of scenery since then. 

On Thursday’s episode of Pick Six — wait, can we even call it that anymore or has Tom Brady trademarked the word, because, man, he’s been throwing a lot of those. Anyway, for Thursday’s episode R.J. White joined Will Brinson to preview the Buccaneers-Bears from a gambling perspective. Tampa has some notable injuries but should the spread really have shifted dramatically towards Chicago’s side? The spread opened at Tampa -5.5 but has moved down to -3.5. The guys also offer their game picks before issuing some player props that you should be thinking about betting. Also, Brinson and White worked to construct the perfect ‘Showdown’ DFS lineup. If you want to make some money heading into the weekend, make sure you listen by clicking here.  

2. By the numbers: Tom Brady’s off to a hot start in Tampa

Instead of watching the vice presidential debate on Wednesday night, I decided to hold my own debate in my basement and that debate only had one question: Who’s the best quarterback in Buccaneers history?

My head is still hurting from trying to answer that question. I spent 11 hours trying to figure it out and I’ve gotten nowhere. Jameis Winston? Ryan Fitzpatrick? Brad Johnson? Trent Dilfer? Ha Ha, just kidding, it’s not Trent Dilfer. The crazy thing is that you could actually make a pretty solid case that the answer to that question is TOM BRADY. Even though he’s only played four games in Tampa, Brady is on a historical start for the team and CBSSports.com’s Jeff Kerr has all the numbers. 

Brady already has more touchdown passes (11) through four games than any other player in team history. He also has the second-highest QB rating of any quarterback through four games in team history. He’s also 43, which has to count for something. 

If you’re wondering just how good Brady has been through the first four weeks, be sure to click here to check out Kerr’s piece.

3. Status of Bills-Titans game up in the air 


Getty’s Peter Aiken

For the second straight week, the outbreak of coronavirus in Tennessee might cause the postponement of a game. The status of Sunday’s game between the Bills and Titans is now in jeopardy after another Tennessee player tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. If you’re scoring at home, that means the organization has now had 23 positive tests since Sept. 24, including 12 players. The Titans players that have tested positive include Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, DaQuan Jones, Kristian Fulton, Jefferey Simmons, Kamalei Correa, Beau Brinkley, Isaiah Wilson, and practice squad players Cameron Batson, Greg Mabin, and Tommy Hudson, plus one unidentified player who tested positive Thursday. 

If the Bills-Titans has to be postponed, the NFL is hoping to still play it in Week 5 with the game being held on either Monday or Tuesday. Of course, if that happens, it will create a ripple effect that will likely force the league to change a few other things. For Instance, the Bills are scheduled to play the Chiefs on Thursday in Week 6 and that can’t happen if their Week 5 game gets moved to Monday or Tuesday. According to ESPN.com, if Bills-Titans gets moved by a day or two, then Buffalo’s Thursday game against Kansas City will be moved to Saturday. This stuff is not easy to keep track of, so you should probably write all of this down.  

4. Week 5 NFL Best Bets from someone who’s on a roll

Tom Fornelli is one of our college football writers here at CBS Sports and because of that, I assumed that he spent all his time watching college football along with the occasional episode of “Gilmore Girls.” However, it appears that Fornelli also pays close attention to the NFL because he is on an absolute roll with his “Best bets.” Over the past two weeks Fornelli has gone 5-0-1 against the spread, which has spurred him to 8-3-1 on the year. 

For Week 5, Fornelli has three games he really likes, but I’m only going to tell you about one: Vikings at Seahawks. Here’s his take on the game: 

Any chance to fade Kirk Cousins in a prime-time spot is a chance I’m willing to take. The world is well aware of Cousins’ problems on Monday Night Football. He’s 0-9 ATS on Monday nights, but those struggles aren’t limited to Mondays. Hell, they’re not even limited to night exactly. In his career, Cousins has started 37 games that kicked off after 4 pm ET. In other words, spotlight games. In those 37 games, his teams have gone 12-25 ATS.

Line: Seahawks -7
Pick: Seahawks 31, Vikings 17

For a look at the rest of Fornelli’s “Best Bets” for Week 5, be sure to click here. 

5. Bill O’Brien’s biggest blunders  


Steve Flynn–USA TODAY Sports

It’s not every day an NFL coach gets fired after just four games, but that’s exactly what happened to Bill O’Brien this week. Apparently, the Texans had finally had enough of their former coach, who not only got them off to an 0-4 start this year but also absolutely torpedoed the roster. Over the past few years, O’Brien made multiple bad deals, which was kind of surprising, if only because the law of averages says that he should have made at least one good move in there at some point, but he never did.  

So how bad were the deals that O’Brien made? Former NFL agent Joel Corry decided to wade through all the stink this week so that you don’t have to. Not only did Corry cover everything from the DeAndre Hopkins trade to the Laremy Tunsil deal to the timing of the Jadveon Clowney trade, but he also explained why each of those moves was a mistake. It’s must-read stuff and you can check it out by clicking here. 

6. 2021 Mock Draft 

I have decided to include this as a personal favor to Jets fans. Yes, we’re only four weeks into the NFL season, but let’s be honest, at this point, the only thing you have to root for if you’re a Jets fans is for the team to lose every game so they can get the No. 1 overall pick.  

So what would they do if they got it? Ryan Wilson answered that exact question in his weekly 2021 mock draft. The way Wilson sees it, the Sam Darnold era is going to be over in New York if the Jets land the top pick and that’s because he has Gang Green selecting Trevor Lawrence. 

Lawrence is actually one of THREE quarterbacks that Wilson has going in the top-15. The most surprising team that ends up with a first-round QB in Wilson’s mock is the Raiders. 

From Wilson, who has Las Vegas selecting North Dakota State’s Trey Lance: 

“Derek Carr is a good NFL quarterback, but will he ever be able to take the Raiders where Jon Gruden wants to go? Lance, who is short on experience but long on every other eye-popping quarterback trait, had a nice showcase game last weekend for North Dakota State.”

I guess Derek Carr is going to have to sell his house in Vegas that’s next door to Jon Gruden. That’s sad. 

You can check out Wilson’s entire mock draft by clicking here. 

The Kicker!

This is part of the newsletter where I usually give a shoutout to a special teams play or player, but instead, I’m just going to tell you to watch the Thursday night’s game, if only because we might get a meltdown by Tampa in the kicking game. I’m not sure why or how it happened, but Tampa Bay has become the Bermuda triangle of kicking. Since drafting Roberto Aguayo in 2016, Tampa has used a total of seven kickers and nearly every single one of them has been disastrous. Their current kicker is Ryan Succop, who won the job over Matt Gay, who played exactly one season in Tampa after the Bucs made him a fifth-round pick in 2019. Succop has responded to winning the job by hitting just 71.4% of his field goals, which is the second-worst percentage in the league. 

The Bears kicking situation isn’t much better, which means if this game comes down to a kick, I’m not sure anyone is going to win. I’ll see you guys on Friday.

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