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NFL Week 10 picks and power rankings, plus Ben Roethlisberger on COVID list, Patriots stave off Jets upset – CBS Sports



Mike Meredith / CBS Sports

I had a dream last night that the Jets almost won a football game and then when I woke up this morning, I realized it wasn’t a dream! The problem is that now I’m completely rattled, because what other dreams have I had that weren’t actually dreams? 

Do you see what’s happening here? The Jets almost win ONE football game and it causes me to completely lose my sanity. If you didn’t watch the game on Monday night, I don’t blame you, the Jets aren’t for everyone. I wasn’t going to watch either, but I have to say, I’m glad I did, because it ended up being one of the craziest Monday games of the year.    

The Jets had a 27-17 lead in the fourth quarter, but then they realized they were the Jets and they ended up losing 30-27. That being said, the Jets actually won by losing and that’s because they’re now one step closer to earning the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

Speaking of the 2021 draft, we’ve got a full newsletter today that includes a mock draft. We’ll also cover Pete Prisco’s latest power rankings, my Week 10 picks and the playoff proposal that’s being voted on by NFL owners today. 

As always, please tell everyone you know to subscribe to this newsletter and also, I’d like to send a special shoutout to everyone who has tweeted me. You can tweet me compliments, complaints and even recipes by clicking here. Let’s get to the newsletter. 

1. Today’s Show: Patriots stave off Jets upset attempt

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think one of the best games of Week 9 would involve the New York Jets, but that’s exactly what happened after they nearly upset the Patriots on Monday night. As always, I stayed up late with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson so we could talk about the game, which the Patriots won 30-27. We even brought on a special guest in the form of noted Patriots homer Tyler Sullivan, who had mixed feelings about the win (Sullivan would have been equally happy with a loss that would have helped New England get a higher draft pick).

If you’re wondering why the Patriots won, here are three quick reasons:

  • Cam Newton was on fire. OK, so Cam wasn’t literally on fire, but he was metaphorically on fire. After four straight weeks of struggling, Newton had one of his best games of the season as he completed 27 of 35 passes for 274 yards. The Patriots quarterback also rushed for two touchdowns. 
  • Jakobi Meyers had a coming out party. Before Week 9, the Patriots receiver had never even finished a game in his career with 100 yards, but he blew past that number on Monday with 12 catches for 169 yards against the Jets. Meyers had more receiving yardage against New York than he’s had in every other game this year combined (125). 
  • Joe Flacco made one mistake. For the first three quarters of this game, Joe Flacco played so well that I thought Patrick Mahomes was secretly playing quarterback for the Jets. Flacco put on a show, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns, including a 50-yard TD pass in the first half. However, Flacco did make one very Flacco-like mistake and it was costly. With six minutes left to play and the Jets leading 27-20, Flacco launched a bomb down field that was picked off by New England’s J.C. Jackson (You can see the ugly highlight here). Following the interception, the Patriots drove straight down the field and tied the game at 27. If Flacco doesn’t throw the pick, the Jets might have held on for the win. 

As for the podcast, we spent most of our time debating two things for each team. First, we spent a lot of time evaluating the state of the Patriots and whether they’ll be able to rebuild their roster anytime soon. We also debated who might end up being their quarterback after the 2020 season. As for the Jets, our conversation mostly revolved around whether or not Adam Gase will make it through the year (I personally think he’ll be fired after the season). We also spent some time talking about the Jets’ chances of going 0-16. 

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

2. Pete Prisco unveils his Week 10 power rankings

Mike Meredith / CBS Sports

When it comes to Prisco’s Power Rankings, I have some big news this week! I pulled some strings and convinced our graphics department to create an image so that you can see his entire rankings right here in the newsletter. I also requested that every newsletter subscriber get sent a free waffle maker, but that one didn’t get approved. 

Anyway, now that you have Prisco’s entire Power Rankings in front of you, let’s go through a few things real quick. For one, Prisco actually has two new teams in his top five (Bills and Saints), which means he had to dump two teams from his top five, so my apologies in advance to fans of the Seahawks and Buccaneers, who both got the boot this week. 

Here are a few other fun nuggets that caught my attention this week:  

  • The San Francisco 49ers took the biggest tumble, dropping 10 spots from 17th to 27th. Ironically enough, I think 27 is also how many players the 49ers have lost to injury this year. The biggest tumble in the AFC went to the Colts, who dropped from seventh to 12th.   
  • The NFC East continues to be the worst division in football. Of the five lowest ranked teams this week, three of them are in the NFC East with the Cowboys, Giants and Washington ranked 28th, 29th and 30th (The Eagles aren’t much better with their ranking currently sitting at 21st overall). 
  • The Falcons made the biggest jump of any team this week, moving up a total of eight spots from 26th to 18th. I’m not saying the Falcons should hire their next coach based on Prisco’s Power Rankings, but if Raheem Morris gets them into Prisco’s top 15, he should get a lifetime contract to coach the team.  
  • Prisco clearly hates the Bengals, who dropped one spot even though they were on a bye.
  • In a surprise to no one, the Jets are still ranked last. Prisco did not reward them for almost beating the Patriots on Monday night. However, Prisco did reward the Patriots for beating the Jets by moving them up SIX SPOTS from 23rd to 17th. Personally, I would have moved the Patriots down six spots for that performance. In his defense, the game did end past Prisco’s bedtime, so there’s a 50% chance he didn’t get to watch the second half. 

If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything. 

3. Breech’s Week 10 NFL picks 

If it’s Tuesday, that means it’s time for my weekly picks, although after watching how badly things went last week for me, it might be for the best if I take the week off. OK, so I’ve just been informed that CBS Sports runs our organization like Bill Belichick runs the Patriots, which means NO DAYS OFF, so you’re getting my picks. 

  • Jacksonville (-14) at Green Bay: The past 10 times the Jaguars have played a game where it was 55 degrees or colder at kickoff, they’ve gone 0-10 straight-up and 0-9-1 against the spread. The forecast for Sunday is calling for a high of 50. Packers by a million. You know what, that’s not realistic. Packers by 17. PICK: Packers win 34-17 and cover. 
  • Baltimore (-7) at New England: The Patriots almost lost to the Jets on Monday, which is reason enough to pick against them, but I’m also picking against them because their offense has been horrible over the past few weeks. Even if you include their 30-point outburst against the Jets, they’re averaging just 15.6 points per game over the past five weeks, and now, they have to play a Ravens defense that’s given up the fewest points in the NFL this year. PICK: Ravens win 30-20 and cover. 

My betting plan for the week is to parlay the Ravens point spread (-110) with the Packers money line (-1000) which will give me odds of +110 (Bet $100 to win $110). To check out the rest of my picks for Week 10, be sure to click here

4. Ben Roethlisberger placed on reserve/COVID-19 list

It might be time to lock every AFC North quarterback in a sterile bubble, because for the second time in four days, a quarterback from the division has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. On Saturday, it was Baker Mayfield who got placed on the list. This time around, it was Ben Roethlisberger. 

The Steelers announced Tuesday that Big Ben has been placed on the list along with teammates Jerald Hawkins, Jaylen Samuels, and Vince Williams. All four players were deemed to be a high-risk close contact of tight end Vance McDonald, who tested positive for COVID on Monday

Despite this news, all five players are still eligible to play against the Bengals this week. To get off the COVID list, a player has to have five straight days of negative tests, which means Roethlisberger and friends could be eligible to return as soon as Saturday. 

The fact of the matter is that this probably won’t change things much for the Steelers this week and that’s because Roethlisberger likely wouldn’t have spent much time practicing. The Steelers quarterback banged up both of his knees during Pittsburgh’s 24-19 win over the Cowboys on Sunday and likely would have kept things easy in practice this week. 

Of course, this will definitely be a situation you want to keep your eye on, because if Big Ben turns in a positive test at any point between now and Sunday, there’s a good chance he won’t be allowed to play in Week 10 against the Bengals. 

5. NFL playoff expansion being voted on today

I touched on this last week, but I’m bringing it up again, because the NFL’s 32 owners will actually be voting on this proposal TODAY. 

The NFL playoffs have already been expanded once this year — from 12 to 14 teams — but there could be ANOTHER expansion coming if the owners approve a proposal that would potentially expand the postseason field from 14 to 16 teams for one year only. 

The important thing to keep in mind here is that even if the proposal passes, that doesn’t necessarily mean the playoffs will expand. 

Here are a few key nuggets from the proposal

  • Playoffs will only expand to 16 teams if meaningful games are canceled due to COVID. The example here is pretty simple: If you have a situation after Week 17 where a 9-6 team is going to make the playoffs over a 9-7 team, the NFL doesn’t want to punish the 9-7 team because it played one extra game. The way to fix that is to add a playoff slot that will only be added if meaningful games are canceled. The NFL could also end up adding an extra week to the regular season. 
  • No one would get a bye. Under the 14-team system, the top seed in each conference will get a bye to the divisional round. However, if the playoffs expand to 16 teams, all 16 teams will be playing on the wildest Wild Card Weekend ever. The top seed is supposed to get a bye this year, but in a 16-team format, the top seed will play the eighth seed on Wild Card Weekend. 
  • Winning your division won’t guarantee you a home game. If the postseason expands to 16 teams, seeding would be carried out by winning percentage. All four divisional winners will still be guaranteed a playoff spot, but they won’t be guaranteed one of the top four seeds. Basically, this means there’s a good chance the winner of the NFC East will have to go on the road as an eight-seed in the first round of a 16-team playoff. In a 14-team playoff. the NFC East winner would be guaranteed a home game and no worse than the fourth-seed. 

You can check out the entire proposal by clicking here. If the proposal gets voted down, then let’s pretend this part of the newsletter never happened.

6. 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Six quarterbacks go in first round

The Jets might have lost the battle on Monday night, but they are still winning the war for the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and that’s a war you want to win this year since it likely means that you’ll be able to draft Trevor Lawrence. 

Although Lawrence is the no-brainer pick at No. 1 overall, he’s not going to be the only quarterback who goes in the first round. In this week’s mock draft, Ryan Wilson has SIX quarterbacks off the board after Round 1. 

1. Jets: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. The only way this pick isn’t going to happen is if Trevor Lawrence decides to stay in school another year. In related news: Trevor Lawrence hasn’t committed to entering the draft and I’m starting to think it’s because he doesn’t want to play for the Jets. 
2. Jaguars: Ohio State QB Justin Fields. I had fun watching Jake Luton in Week 9, but it doesn’t look like Lusanity is going to last much longer. 
5. Washington: Alabama QB Mac Jones. Dwayne Haskins probably isn’t going to like this pick. 
8. Patriots: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. Trey Lance has decided to leave NDSU so he can train for that draft and I don’t think he’s taking any days off. That sounds like the kind of guy Bill Belichick will like. 
16. Bears: BYU QB Zach Wilson. After the Bears went more than 30 years without a franchise quarterback, Ryan Wilson thinks they are finally going to try and land their franchise quarterback. I’ll believe it when I see it. 
31. Saints: Florida QB Kyle Trask. Drew Brees has to retire at some point and although Sean Payton will have you believe that Taysom Hill is the QB of the future in New Orleans, I’m not buying it and neither is Ryan Wilson, who has the Saints taking a QB with the second-to-last pick in the first round.

To check out how the rest of the first round shakes out, be sure to read the rest of Wilson’s mock draft by clicking here

7. The Kicker!

Nothing excites me more than a game-winning field goal and that’s exactly what we got on Monday night in the Patriots-Jets game when Nick Folk hit a 51-YARDER as time expired to give New England a wild 30-27 win. 

Somehow, this is the SECOND time Folk has hit a game-winner in a Patriots-Jets game that ended with a final score of 30-27. Back in 2013 while he was playing for New York, Folk hit a 42-yard field goal in overtime to give the Jets an upset win. I have no idea why I found that interesting, but I did. The only explanation I can think of is that I love symmetry. 

Speaking of symmetry, the man with the most symmetrical head at CBS Sports, Cody Benjamin, will be in the driver’s seat for tomorrow’s newsletter. To be honest, I’ve never actually measured Cody’s head, so I’m not sure how symmetrical it is, but it definitely looks more symmetrical than mine.  

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Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller makes football history as 1st woman to kick for Power 5 school –



Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday.

Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half. Fuller delivered a low kick that bounced to the 35-yard line, where Missouri pounced on it.

WATCH | Sarah Fuller makes historic 1st kick in NCAA Division 1 game:

Soccer player Sarah Fuller makes history with her 2nd half kick-off for the Vanderbilt Commodores as she becomes the first woman to appear in a Power 5 football game. 1:42

The 21-year-old never got the chance to attempt a PAT or field goal, as the Tigers (4-3) rarely allowed the Commodores (0-8) to cross midfield in the Southeastern Conference game.

Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, joined the football team this week after helping the Commodores win the Southeastern Conference Tournament last weekend. COVID-19 protocols and restrictions left Vandy football coach Derek Mason with a limited number of specialists available against Missouri. Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose for some help.

Fuller agreed to give football a try and practised with the winless Commodores before making the trip to Missouri. She wore “Play Like A Girl” on the back of her helmet.

No woman had appeared in an SEC football game or for any Power Five team. Liz Heaston became the first woman to score with two extra points for Willamette in NAIA on Oct. 18, 1997.

Katie Hnida was the first woman to score at the Football Bowl Subdivision level with two extra points for New Mexico on Aug. 30, 2003.

April Goss was the second with an extra point for Kent State in 2015. Tonya Butler was the first woman to kick a field goal in an NCAA game for Division II West Alabama on Sept. 13, 2003.

“Let’s make history,” she wrote Friday on Twitter with a photo of herself wearing a football jersey with a soccer ball between her feet while holding a football in her hands.

After the game, Fuller had the following to say: “I haven’t taken a second to soak it all in, really. I think it’s incredible that I am able to do this.

“All I want to is be a good influence to the young girls. There were times that I struggled in sports but I am thankful I stuck with it.

“I just want to say, literally, you can do anything you set your mind to…that’s the No. 1 thing.”

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Lions fire Matt Patricia, GM Bob Quinn – theScore



The Detroit Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Saturday, the team announced.

Patricia is the third NFL head coach to be fired this season. The Houston Texans parted ways with Bill O’Brien and the Atlanta Falcons cut ties with Dan Quinn earlier in the year.

Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim head coach, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Patricia and Quinn entered the season firmly on the hot seat, as Lions ownership said the team must be a playoff contender for their jobs to be saved. However, a blowout loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving pushed Detroit to 4-7 and ended any remaining postseason hopes.

Patricia finishes his time in Detroit with a 13-29-1 record and no playoff appearances.

The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator was hired in the 2018 offseason.

Detroit won 36 games in the four seasons prior under Jim Caldwell but struggled against winning teams and was bounced immediately in two playoff appearances (2014, 2016).

Quinn, who also used to work for the Patriots as an executive, was hired as general manager in 2016.

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SIMMONS: Rogers needs to spend on ball team not ballpark – Toronto Sun



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“How to explain what Toronto, Canada, and the Raptors mean to me?

“I was welcomed to a new country and a new team more than three years ago and I felt at home from day one. I feel really blessed to have played for this city, these fans, and this organization.”

That was Serge Ibaka’s emotional goodbye to the city. It was also pretty much social-media, agent-driven packaged bunk.

Ibaka had a choice to make about his NBA career. He was a free agent, had earned that right, and the key word being free. From that, you can decide what you, as a player, want to do and where you want to play and if there’s more than one offer, and there was in this case, then the decision gets a little more complicated.

Let’s be clear here: For all Ibaka loved Toronto, Canada and the Raptors, and how much it apparently tore him apart to leave, the first opportunity he had, he left. He signed on with the Los Angeles Clippers. With Kawhi Leonard. He was championship chasing here, not unusual in the NBA, and in this case it’s championship chasing and getting the opportunity to live in LA.

Serge Ibaka could have stayed and played with the Raptors at least one more season, maybe more. He made a decision in his best interest. It was his choice to leave.


In downtown Pittsburgh, hardly the economic centre of the U.S., there is one of the great ballparks in all of America.

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