Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: John Breech Impostor Day. You know the drill. Your normal friendly mailman is taking a breather on this fine Wednesday (and, if we’re being honest, probably pouring one out for Andy Dalton), so you’re stuck with me — Cody Benjamin, the man with two first names — as we traverse all the latest from around the NFL.

This is the Pick Six Newsletter. And I am your guide. 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! You don’t want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)

We’ve got power rankings, Week 8 predictions, trade deadline buzz and so much more:

1. Today’s show: Are the Chiefs still the best team in the NFL?

Brady Quinn stormed into Wednesday’s Pick Six NFL Podcast (listen and subscribe!) to offer his take on the top five teams in the NFL now that nearly one half of the 2020 season is in the books. And contrary to popular opinion, the Seattle Seahawks didn’t even crack the list in the wake of their prime-time loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Here’s how Brady sees the best of the best:

  1. Chiefs (6-1)
  2. Ravens (5-1)
  3. Packers (5-1)
  4. Buccaneers (5-2)
  5. Steelers (6-0)

Why on Earth are the Ravens ahead of the Steelers and Seahawks? Are the Buccaneers really right up there with the class of the NFC? And are the Dallas Cowboys actually one of the three worst teams in football right now, as Quinn also opines on the show? You’ll have to hear Brady’s explanations for yourself on the pod.

2. Trade deadline buzz: Texans ready to sell, Patriots hunting for help

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora joined Will Brinson for a bonus episode of the Pick Six Podcast, breaking down all the latest surrounding the upcoming Nov. 3 trade deadline. Some notable nuggets to file away:

  • The Patriots are desperate for an offensive weapon but could be clinging to draft picks tighter than usual
  • Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are very unlikely to sell big names despite Dallas bottoming out
  • The Texans are as close to embracing a “fire sale” as any team in the NFL
  • The Eagles are looking to dump salary but are also desperate for immediate linebacker help

In other words, buckle your seat belts. Because while there’s plenty of uncertainty regarding the 2021 salary cap and offseason in the wake of COVID-19, it sure sounds like plenty of teams have already begun exploring big deals as the deadline approaches.

3. Prisco’s Picks: Steelers top Ravens, Eagles rout Cowboys

We’ve got some really juicy divisional matchups on tap for Week 8, including a pair that could have major implications for the NFL’s two Pennsylvania teams. Pete Prisco just happens to like both of them this week. Among his full slate of Week 8 predictions: Huge wins for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are in very different places but are both vying to keep division leads.

Steelers at Ravens (-3.5)

This is the game of the week. The Steelers are playing consecutive road games, while the Ravens are coming off a bye. Big edge to the Ravens. But the Steelers always seem to play tough against Baltimore, even on the road, and I think they will here in this one. The Steelers will take a tough road game by limiting Baltimore’s run game and stay undefeated.

Pick: Steelers 27, Ravens 24

***

Cowboys at Eagles

It’s hard to believe that this is a big game, but it is. That’s how bad the NFC East is this season. The Cowboys might be playing with Ben DiNucci with the injury to Andy Dalton. This will be his first start. The problem will be his offensive line against the Eagles front. It won’t be pretty. The Eagles will have a nice offensive showing as well. This will be a blowout. 

Pick: Eagles 34, Cowboys 16

4. Insider notes: Chiefs may adopt more conservative approach

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora agrees with the sentiment that Kansas City is up there with the best of the best, but in his dissection of the Chiefs’ latest strategy both on and off the field, he suggests Andy Reid and Co. could tone down the video-game-like aerial attack as K.C. marches toward the postseason:

With Le’Veon Bell in the fold, Reid has fortified his depth and explosiveness at running back, which indicates to me he expects to be moving forward taking what the defenses give them and adopting a bit more of a bruising offensive mentality. And with Mitchell Schwartz out, limiting some of the drop-backs surely makes sense. And Reid is nothing short of an offensive genius.

In the long run, it’s probably good for the Chiefs that the points are coming a little harder to come by, on offense at least, but it’s more than a little odd to me, at least, to see them stand only eighth in the NFL in offensive points scored per game, and tied with the Browns and Bills for fourth in the league in touchdown passes per game. In a league of constant adjustments, it will be fascinating to see how that offensive identity continues to morph in the second half of the season.

5. QB Power Rankings: Wilson reclaims No. 1, Brady jumps up


Mike Meredith graphic

Cody Benjamin (yours truly!) dropped his latest rundown of all 32 starting quarterbacks, and trusty old Russell Wilson returned to the top spot after just one week at No. 2 behind Patrick Mahomes. Why, you ask? Because even three picks in a tough loss against Arizona on Sunday night couldn’t hide the fact that Wilson continues to throw some of the game’s best deep balls and, frankly, is easily the main reason the Seahawks have remained so competitive all year. Tom Brady also rose up in this week’s list thanks to his explosive showing in Tampa Bay’s Week 7 rout. Here’s a peek at the latest top 10:

  1. Russell Wilson (+1)
  2. Patrick Mahomes (-1)
  3. Aaron Rodgers
  4. Kyler Murray
  5. Ben Roethlisberger
  6. Deshaun Watson (+2)
  7. Lamar Jackson
  8. Tom Brady (+2)
  9. Josh Allen (-3)
  10. Ryan Tannehill (+1)

6. Teaser pick rankings: Trust Aaron Rodgers and the Packers

Resident betting expert R.J. White, who’s gone 5-1-1 on his Teaser of the Week picks this season, has a new top bet for this week: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Pack will be up against a desperate NFC North rival in Week 8, but R.J. loves Green Bay as a teaser special, with the Titans over the Bengals and Steelers over the Ravens among his other teaser considerations.

Packers (-0.5) vs. Vikings

The Vikings have shown their intention to play for the future by trading away Yannick Ngakoue, which will hamper their ability to get any pressure on Aaron Rodgers in this matchup. I can’t see them going into Green Bay and getting a win against a very good Packers squad. This one should be in a vast majority of teasers this week.

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