Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
Today isn’t just any Thursday though, it’s the Thursday of the 2022 NFL schedule release! It’s Christmas, New Year’s and Flag Day all rolled into one. At 8 p.m. ET tonight, the NFL will be unveiling all 272 games on the regular season schedule. Of course, if history is any indication, you won’t have to wait that long to find out who your favorite team is playing because roughly 91% of those 272 games will have leaked out before the official announcement is made.
If you can’t wait until tonight to see the schedule, I’ve got some good news for you: We’ll be tracking leaks all day and you can check that out by clicking here.
By the way, since the schedule is coming out today, I’m guessing you already know what we’ll be talking about in today’s newsletter and if you can’t guess it, the answer is the schedule.
As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Alright, let’s get to the rundown.
1. Today’s show: Best bets for MVP and rookie of the year
With the 2022 NFL schedule coming out today, now seems like the perfect time to start making some predictions for the upcoming season, so that’s exactly what Will Brinson and Tyler Sullivan did on today’s episode of the Pick Six Podcast.
The two guys decided to take a look at some futures bets that you should think about making now. Over the course of the 45-minute podcast, they revealed their best bets for MVP, defensive player of the year, coach of the year, offensive rookie of the year and defensive rookie of the year.
Here’s a look at their MVP and defensive player of the year picks:
If you want to hear their picks for coach of the year along with offensive and defensive rookies of the year, you’ll have to listen today’s podcast, which you can do by clicking here. You can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Packers home schedule appears to have leaked
Between now and 8 p.m. ET, there will be plenty of NFL schedule leaks and those leaks actually started kind of early this year with most of the Packers schedule leaking out on Wednesday night.
Of the 17 games that the Packers will be playing this year, it seems that 10 of them have already been leaked out.
Here’s what we know about the Packers schedule (via the Athletic)
Week 2: Bears at Packers (Sunday night)
Week 4: Patriots at Packers (Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET)
Week 5: Giants vs. Packers in London (Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET)
Week 6: Jets at Packers (Sunday at 1 p.m. ET)
Week 10: Cowboys at Packers (Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET)
Week 11: Titans at Packers (Thursday night)
Week 15: Rams at Packers (Monday night)
Week 16: Packers at Dolphins (Christmas at 1 p.m. ET)
Week 17: Vikings at Packers (Sunday)
Week 18: Lions at Packers (Sunday)
Looking at the leaked games, two things stood out to me: The Packers won’t be taking a bye after their London game and they also will be playing on Christmas for the second straight year.
As far as the post-London bye goes, most teams prefer to have their bye after traveling to England, but teams can request to have it at some other point in the season, which is what the Packers apparently have decided to do here.
The leaks should be coming at a fast and furious pace today and if you want to keep track of them all, you can do that in our live blog by clicking here. If you don’t feel like following a live blog, we also have a full list of every game that has leaked and you can see that by clicking here (The list will be updated constantly throughout the day).
3. NFL schedule: NBC reveals one of its biggest games
Although there will be plenty of schedule leaks today, not every game that gets announced before the official schedule release is a leak. Over the past two weeks, the NFL has been announcing some of its biggest games and those announcements concluded on Thursday morning with NBC revealing that the Chiefs will be facing the Buccaneers in Week 4.
With that in mind, here are the 10 games on the 2022 schedule that the NFL has officially announced so far:
Week 2 (Thursday, Sept. 15): Chargers at Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime)
Week 2 (Monday, Sept. 19): Titans at Bills, 7:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Week 2 (Monday, Sept. 19): Vikings at Eagles, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Week 4 (Sunday Oct. 2): Vikings at Saints in London, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFL Network)
Week 4 (Sunday, Oct. 2): Chiefs at Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
Week 5 (Sunday, Oct. 9): Giants at Packers in London, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFL Network)
Week 8 (Sunday, Oct. 30): Broncos at Jaguars in London, 9:30 a.m. ET (ESPN+)
Week 10 (Sunday, Nov. 13): Seahawks vs. Buccaneers in Germany, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFL Network)
Week 10 (Sunday, Nov. 13): Cowboys at Packers, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Week 11 (Monday, Nov. 21): 49ers vs. Cardinals in Mexico, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Week 16 (Sunday, Dec. 25): Broncos at Rams, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
As far as the rest of the schedule release goes, every team will announce their home opener at 6 p.m. ET. Two hours later, the NFL will officially unveil every other game on the 2022 schedule.
4. Five veterans who benefited from the NFL Draft and five who didn’t
Now that the NFL Draft is almost two weeks behind us, we’ve had some time to assess how each team’s draft is going to impact their roster. For some veteran players, the draft can be an uneasy time, because your team might be looking to replace you. However, for other veterans, the draft can be an exciting time, because your team is bringing in players who will hopefully help you win a Super Bowl.
With that in mind, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Kerr made a list of five veterans who were helped the most by the NFL Draft and five veterans who were hurt the most.
Let’s look at the top three from each category.
Helped the most
- Lamar Jackson. “The Ravens did an excellent job this draft of landing Jackson offensive skill players who fit the type of offense that won Jackson the league MVP award in 2019. In addition to All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews, the Ravens selected tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely in the fourth round — giving Jackson three pass-catching options at a position he likes to throw to in the middle of the field.”
- Kyler Murray. “Murray did lose DeAndre Hopkins for six games due to a PED suspension, but the addition of Marquise Brown to a talented wide receiver unit is going to immensely benefit. When Hopkins does come back, the Cardinals will have a wide receiver trio of him, Brown, and A.J. Green. Zach Ertz and second-round pick Trey McBride will also line up at tight end, giving Murray plenty of pass-catching options to succeed down the stretch.”
- Carson Wentz. “There are no more excuses for Wentz in terms of pass-catchers he’s throwing to. Washington took care of its investment at quarterback by selecting Jahan Dotson in the first round of the draft, pairing the wide receiver with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel.”
Hurt the most
- Rashaad Penny. “The Seahawks signed Penny to a one-year deal this offseason, but they also took Kenneth Walker in the second round of the draft. Seattle clearly has plans for Walker in the backfield, which will take away carries from Penny.”
- Devin Singletary. “Singletary will likely split the snaps with newly drafted running back James Cook, ending his days as the primary back in Buffalo. His game may improve as a result of playing in a reduced role, but the carries are expected to decrease in 2022.”
- Ryan Tannehill. “Tannehill lost his best wide receiver in A.J. Brown after the Titans couldn’t strike a long-term deal with him. Tannehill will also be looking over his shoulder as the Titans drafted Malik Willis in the third round of the draft.”
To check out Kerr’s entire story, be sure to click here.
5. Patriots and Raiders pull off a QB trade
After adding a quarterback in the NFL Draft this year, the Patriots QB room was starting to feel a little full, so they fixed that problem by trading away one of their quarterbacks on Thursday. According to multiple reports, the Patriots are shipping Jarrett Stidham off to the Raiders.
Here’s what we know about the trade:
- Raiders almost getting Stidham for free. To make the trade happen, the only thing the Raiders had to do was agree to flip a late-round pick in the deal. Basically, this means the Patriots will send Stidham and a late-round pick to Las Vegas and the Raiders will send a late-round pick back to New England. This will allow the Patriots to move up several spots in a later round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Stidham will be reuniting with Josh McDaniels. Stidham has been in the NFL since 2019 and during both of his years in the league, McDaniels was his offensive coordinator. With McDaniels now in Las Vegas, it makes sense that he would want to bring in a QB who’s familiar with his offense.
- There will be a QB battle to see who backs up Derek Carr. Although Stidham knows McDaniels’ offense, he definitely won’t be given the backup QB job. Instead, he’ll have to beat out both Nick Mullens and Garrett Gilbert to see who serves as Carr’s backup in 2022.
- Patriots QB room still has three guys. After drafting Bailey Zappe this year, the Patriots now have three quarterbacks on their roster even with the Stidham trade. Not only do they have Zappe, but they also have Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer. The Patriots actually have four quarterbacks if you include Miami’s D’Eriq King, who signed as an undrafted free agent, but can play other positions.
Stidham was once expected to be in the competition to be Tom Brady’s successor in New England, but after Mac Jones won the job last season, it became clear that Stidham likely wouldn’t be with the Patriots much longer.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Tom Brady actually shows up for OTAs
It’s been a wild 24 hour in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Tom Brady was at practice on Wednesday. It’s not usually news when a player shows up for an offseason training activity, but it is when that player is Tom Brady. After skipping the Bucs OTAs last season, Brady was at practice this week. It’s not clear if he’ll be showing up again, but the Bucs probably are probably happy that he showed up at all.
- Bears have a busy day in free agency. It’s been a busy 24 hours for the Chicago Bears. Not only did they officially sign quarterback Nathan Peterman, but they also added a pair of receivers Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe, according to reports.
- Ravens running back falls victim to home robbery. The Atlanta home of Ravens running back Mike Davis was robbed this month and the criminals apparently made away with more than $100,000 in jewelry. For more details on the case, be sure to click here.
- John Elway thinks the addition of Russell Wilson is going to put the Broncos over the top. The former Broncos quarterback thinks the current Broncos quarterback is exactly what Denver needed to become a Super Bowl contender, “He’s kind of the piece that we needed.” You can read more of Elway’s thoughts by clicking here.