I’m not sure how the 49ers feel about counting votes, but I’m pretty sure they wish the scoreboard operator would have stopped counting Green Bay’s points on Thursday. If you somehow missed last night’s game, the Packers rolled to a 34-17 win. 

Besides the 49ers, the biggest loser on Thursday night was anyone who bet the under (ahem, Will Brinson). The over/under for the game was set at 48.5 and with FIVE SECONDS left to play, the under seemed like a lock because the two teams had only combined for 44 points. However, the 49ers decided to score a touchdown with four seconds left to play, which brought the total up to 51 points and gave anyone who bet the under an excruciating loss and let me just say that Brinson does not handle excruciating losses well. We had to delay the start of last night’s podcast for 20 minutes so he could mentally get over the bad beat. 

Speaking of the podcast, that’s one of multiple things we’ll be covering today so let’s get to the rundown. As always, if you want to share this newsletter with everyone you know, I will not be offended. Just just click here to grab the link and then send that link to everyone on your email list. 

1. Today’s Show: Aaron Rodgers leads Packers to blowout win 

For awhile on Thursday, I wasn’t sure the 49ers were going to have enough healthy players to field a team, but somehow they scraped enough guys together to play the game. Although I have to say, a forfeit might have actually been easier. 

In today’s episode of the podcast, we recapped the Packers’ big win over the 49ers. If you missed the game, here are three reasons why the Packers won.  

  • Aaron Rodgers was unstoppable. Rodgers got off to a decent start (10 of 15 for 76 yards and a TD) and then only got hotter from there. On his final 16 throws of the game, Rodgers went 15 of 16 for 229 yards and three touchdowns. 
  • Packers defense actually stopped the run. In two losses to the 49ers last season, the Packers surrendered an average of 198.5 rushing yards per game. This year, they actually shut down the 49ers rushing attack, holding them to just 55 yards. With no run game, the 49ers were forced to throw the ball, which turned into a disaster as Nick Mullens threw an interception and lost a fumble. Sure, the Packers defense did all of this against the 49ers JV team, but a win is a win. 
  • Davante Adams ran circles around the 49ers secondary. Adams made the claim on Thursday night that he’s the best receiver in the NFL and he might have a case. Despite the fact that the 49ers were focussed on stopping him, Adams still managed to catch 10 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. 

Since the game was such a blowout, we spent a lot of time talking about whether Rodgers’ performance was enough to move him up in the MVP race (Spoiler alert: We still see a few guys ahead of him like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes). We also spent some time talking about the Packers’ chances of getting the top seed in the NFC. Although they won’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tampa Bay, they do have a much easier schedule, which could allow them to steal the top seed. 

To listen to today’s episode — and subscribe to the podcast — be sure to click here.   

2. Today’s show Part II: Picking Week 9 games

The best part about Friday — besides the fact that it’s Friday — is that you get two episodes of the podcast in your feed. After the recap of the Thursday game, Brinson politely asked me and Ryan Wilson to leave so that he could bring in Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White for a discussion about their best bets and picks for Week 8. 

Actually, Brinson didn’t politely ask us to leave, he just hung up on our Zoom call and blocked us from ever calling him again. 

Anyway, the guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played in Week 9 and we’re going to cover three from each guy below.  

Will Brinson 
Seahawks (-3) to cover against the Bills
Buccaneers (-4.5) to cover against the Saints
Cardinals (+4.5) to cover against the Dolphins

Pete Prisco 
Chiefs (-10.5) to cover against the Panthers
Jets (+7.5) to cover against the Patriots
Bears (+6) to cover against the Titans 

Kenny White
Texans (-6.5) to cover against the Jaguars
Saints (+4.5) to cover against the Buccaneers 
Broncos at Falcons UNDER 50

R.J. White
Panthers (+10.5) to cover against the Chiefs.
Ravens at Colts UNDER 47
Patriots at Jets UNDER 42.5

To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 9 — and there are quite a few — be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast.

3. Bold predictions for the second half of the 2020 season

If you thought the first half of the NFL season was crazy, just wait until you see Cody Benjamin’s bold predictions for the second half of the season. A coach getting fired? A former NFL MVP getting benched? JOE BURROW NOT WINNING ROOKIE OF THE YEAR? 

Cody is predicting all of those things in his story, which you can you read by clicking here. Overall, Cody made 10 predictions and I’ve decided we’re going to cover the five I like the most here. 

1. Matt Patricia gets fired by December. There have already been two coaches fired, so why not one more. The Lions are currently 3-4 and this Sunday’s game against the Vikings feels like one that could make or break their season. 
2. Cam Newton gets benched. Bill Belichick doesn’t seem like a guy who tolerates mistakes and Cam has been making a lot of mistakes. 
3. Eagles win a playoff game. Full disclosure: Cody is an Eagles fan who is clearly trying will a playoff win into existence. Unfortunately for Cody, the NFC East is trash and the Eagles are trash. They’re not winning a playoff game. 
4. Justin Herbert wins offensive rookie of the year. As the resident Bengals homer at CBSSports.com I find this prediction offensive. I think it will be a tight race, but I think Burrow wins. 
5. Buccaneers win Super Bowl. Sorry to the 31 other teams, but you’re not winning. I actually agree with Cody here. 

And here’s your final reminder that you can check out the rest of Cody’s predictions by clicking here. 

4. NFL Week 9 picks

This is the final newsletter of the week, which means I feel morally obligated to cram as many picks as possible into this space. I once crammed four weeks worth of clothing into a carry-on suitcase so I know I’m good at cramming. 

With that in mind, we’ve got three more Week 9 picks coming your way and those will be coming from Will Brinson, Jonathan Jones and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Here’s how things are going to work: I’m going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you’ll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on. 

  • Will Brinson: Colts 24-21 over Ravens (-3). Brinson is arguably the biggest Philip Rivers fan on the planet, so no one should be surprised that he’s picking Rivers and the Colts to pull off the upset here. For the rest of Brinson’s Week 9 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Jonathan Jones: Seahawks over Bills. This game will mark the first time that Russell Wilson has ever played in Buffalo and Jones is expecting the Seahawks quarterback to embarrass the home team. I once embarrassed myself in Buffalo, but that’s a story for another time. For the rest of Jones’ Week 9 picks, be sure to click here.

5. NFL hits Raiders with stiff punishment for breaking COVID protocols

The Raiders might want to think about hiring someone whose sole responsibility is to make sure the team is following the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, because right now, the team is doing a horrible job of that. For the FOURTH time this season, the NFL had to punish the Raiders for violating COVID protocols and this time, the league dropped the hammer on Las Vegas. 

The NFL has fined the Raiders a total of $650,000 and taken away a 2021 draft pick. Here’s how the punishment breaks down:

  • The team has been fined $500,000. 
  • Coach Jon Gruden has been fined $150,000
  • The team has been docked a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft

The punishment on Thursday was handed down for COVID-19 protocol violations the Raiders made during the week that Trent Brown tested positive, which happened back on Oct. 22. The reason the Raiders got hit with such a stiff punishment is because the league views them as a repeat offender. 

Through nine weeks, the Raiders have been fined a total of $1.215 million and here’s a look at how those fines have broken down. 

The Raiders weren’t the only ones punished this week. The Steelers have been fined a total of $350,000 with $250,000 of that fine being given to the team and $100,000 coming out of coach Mike Tomlin’s paycheck. 

6. Cowboys could set ugly record on Sunday  

If you’ve been betting on the Cowboys this season, I would like to extend my apologies to you, because that means you’ve lost a lot of money. Through eight weeks, the Cowboys are 0-8 against the spread, which isn’t just bad, it’s historically bad. As a matter of fact, the Cowboys could set a gambling record for futility this week if they don’t cover against the Steelers. 

Right now, the Cowboys are tied with the 1991 Bengals and 2003 Raiders as the only three teams ever to start a season 0-8 ATS since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. If the Cowboys don’t cover as a 14-point underdog to the Steelers on Sunday, that means they’ll have the record to themselves and based on what’s happening in Dallas this week, I’m starting to think that’s going to happen.

Here’s a brief summary of the Cowboys’ week: Andy Dalton went on the COVID list and can’t play, their coach refuses to name a starting quarterback, their best offensive player (Ezekiel Elliott) is battling a hamstring injury and they have to play the NFL’s only undefeated team. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a recipe for disaster. 

7. The Kicker!

Not even an injured calf could slow down Mason Crosby on Thursday. The Packers kicker hit two field goals against the 49ers, including a 53-yarder that made it by about 17 inches. He also went 4-for-4 on extra points on a night where he made all six of his kicks. 

Crosby now has 1,636 points for his career, which is notable for two reasons. First, this means he now ranks 20th overall on the NFL’s all-time scoring list. Second, Crosby has the second most points ever for someone who has only played for one team their entire career. Crosby only trails Jason Hanson (2,150), who spent his entire 21-year career in Detroit. Crosby has been in Green Bay since 2007. 

Sadly, I will never know such continuity. I’ve lived in five cities since 2007. Stay safe this weekend and don’t bet on the Cowboys. See you guys Monday!

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