Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Picks for Chargers-Chiefs on Thursday night and why you need Amazon Prime to watch it, plus rookie rankings

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

It’s a big day in the NFL and that’s because the league is officially entering a new world tonight. For the first time ever, “Thursday Night Football” will be streaming exclusively on the internet. If you don’t have the internet, I’m not sure how you’re reading this newsletter, so I’m going to assume that you do have the internet. For everyone who does have the internet, the Chargers-Chiefs game will be streaming on Amazon Prime, which means you’re going to need to sign up for a Prime subscription if you want to watch. 

If you don’t feel like shelling out $139 for an annual subscription, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here, which will allow you to watch the game. Amazon did not pay me to get you to sign up, but I probably should have asked them, too. 

As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them. Alright, let’s get to the rundown. 

1. Today’s show: Brady Quinn breaks down the latest NFL news

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Aaron Rodgers USATSI

If you’re going to listen to just one episode of the Pick Six podcast every week, then you should definitely make sure that you’re listening every Thursday, because that’s when Brady Quinn joins the show. For today’s episode, the former first-round pick chatted with Will Brinson about a multitude of topics ranging from Nathaniel Hackett’s horrible call Monday night to the how good the Vikings offense can be this year. The guys even spent some time talking about Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, a team that Quinn knows well after going to training camp with them in 2013. 

One other topic that came up was the Green Bay Packers. After watching them only put up seven points in Week 1, Quinn said the biggest issue isn’t the wide receivers, but the health of the offensive line. 

“My concern isn’t so much with the wide receivers, I think that will come along,” Quinn said. “it’s more of about [left tackle] David Bakhtiari and [right tackle] Elgton Jenkins not being there. I feel like those guys getting back will help solidify some things in the run game and better protection [in the pass game]. It will come around. We’ve seen this through out Aaron Rodgers‘ career.”

Quinn didn’t seem overly concerned about the Packers right now, but that could change if Bakhtiari and Jenkins continue to miss time. Right now, there’s a chance both guys could miss Green Bay’s Week 2 game against the Bears

If you want to hear everything Quinn had to say on today’s podcast, then be sure to click here. If you want to see his handsome face, then you can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Thursday night preview: Prepping you for Chargers at Chiefs

I already mentioned this at the top, but I’m going to mention it again for all the people who don’t bother reading the introduction: If you want to watch tonight’s game, the only way to do it is by subscribing to Amazon Prime. You can actually get a free 30-day subscription to prime right now by going to this link. That will allow you to watch the next five Thursday games before you have to decide whether you actually want to pay for Prime. 

I’d highly suggest getting the free trial, because we could be getting one of the best Thursday games of the season tonight. 

My good buddy Jared Dubin put together CBSSports.com’s deep-dive preview for this game. Here’s how he sees the game playing out:

  • Why the Chargers can win: The reason the Chargers can win is because they have Justin Herbert. The Chargers quarterback has played some of his best football against the Chiefs. In four career games, Herbert has thrown 10 touchdown passes to just two interceptions while also averaging 282.5 yards per game. Herbert is 2-2 all-time against the Chiefs with both losses coming in overtime. One thing about tonight’s game is that Herbert will be missing one of his favorite targets in Keenan Allen (hamstring), who has already been ruled out. The Chargers are likely going to need someone like Mike Williams to step up if they want to pull off the upset. INJURIES: WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) and TE Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) have been ruled out. 
  • Why the Chiefs can win: Now that Tyreek Hill is in Miami, one advantage the Chiefs have going into each game is that they have the element of surprise: No one knows what they’re going to do on offense. In Week 1, Mahomes completed at least one pass to nine different receivers, and eight of those guys finished with at least 10 yards. Mahomes’ five touchdown passes also went to four different players. Basically, the Chiefs did a good job of keeping the Cardinals guessing, and if they do that to the Chargers, you have to feel good about Kansas City’s chances of winning. Also, one big plus for the Chiefs is that Chargers corner J.C. Jackson might not be able to play. INJURIES: Kicker Harrison Butker has been ruled out. 

You can get a full preview of the game from Dubin by clicking here.

If you’re thinking about betting on the game, Tyler Sullivan put together a full gambling preview. 

  • ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Patrick Mahomes OVER 2.5 passing touchdowns (+106): The Over on Mahomes’ passing touchdown total is a good value at +106. Not only did he just throw for five touchdowns in the opener, but the Chiefs quarterback has historically played extremely well out of the gate. In his career in September, Mahomes has thrown 46 passing touchdowns with just three interceptions.”
  • ONE PROP I LIKE: Dustin Hopkins OVER 2.5 extra points (-119): The Chargers have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and that means they score a lot of touchdowns, which has allowed Hopkins to thrive in the extra point department. Dating back to last season, Hopkins has gone over 2.5 extra points in six of this past seven games. In the Chargers last meeting with the Chiefs, he hit four extra points in a 34-28 overtime loss. I’m going to say he does it again. 

You can check out Sullivan’s full gambling preview by clicking here. Finally, if you’re wondering who we’re picking, here’s who we have tonight: 

Dubin’s pick: Chiefs 33-30 over Chargers

Sullivan’s pick: Chiefs 31-24 over Chargers

My pick: Chiefs 34-27 over Chargers

Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, five of our seven experts are taking the Chiefs

3. Amazon Prime primer: Everything you need to know about Amazon’s first exclusive Thursday night game

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Amazon Thursday Night Football premiered its football coverage during the NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans on Aug. 25. Getty Images

If you learn one thing from today’s newsletter, I hope it’s that tonight’s game will be streaming on Amazon and only Amazon. Since this is the first time ever that Amazon will be exclusively streaming a game, I thought now would be a good time to give you a primer on how we got here and what they’ll be offering.  

Here’s everything you need to know: 

  • Amazon will be airing ‘Thursday Night Football’ for the next 11 years. When the NFL finalized its new media rights deals in March 2021, one of the biggest surprises was Amazon. For the first time ever, an internet company won the exclusive rights to a package of games. Amazon is reportedly paying $1 billion per year for the rights to TNF thru the 2033 season. Amazon wasn’t supposed to start streaming TNF until 2023, but Fox, who previously had the rights, cut a deal with the company that allowed Amazon to start streaming the games this year. Amazon had been streaming Thursday games since 2017, but this is the first year they’re getting the games exclusively. 

  • Who are the announcers? Amazon wanted to hit a home run with its announcer pairing, so the company went out and got two big names: Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit. On Michaels’ end, his contract ran out at NBC, so Amazon pounced on him. As for Herbstreit, he’s still with ESPN, but he has a clause in his contract that allows him to do NFL games for Amazon. The sideline reporter on Thursday nights will be Kaylee Hartung. 
  • Amazon will be giving you plenty of options: If you don’t feel like listening to Herbstreit and Michaels, Amazon will have several other options. There will be a feed that includes “Prime Vision With Next Gen Stats,” a feed with Dude Perfect and a Spanish-language feed.
  • Amazon pregame show will feature some familiar faces. Amazon went on a hiring spree over the past few months to bring in the people who will be anchoring the pregame, postgame and halftime coverage. Richard Sherman, Andrew Whitworth and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the former NFL players you see. Those three will join lead anchor Charissa Thompson while Taylor Rooks will serve as the feature reporter. 

As you can probably tell by now, my only goal with today’s newsletter was to make sure that everyone knows that tonight’s game is on Amazon. If someone asks you how to watch the game, send them this newsletter. Once again, you can get a free 30-day subscription to prime right now by going to this link

4. Rookie rankings heading into Week 2

If you read this newsletter regularly, then you know we love to rank things here. And if you don’t read it regularly, I have some news for you: We love to rank things here. 

I’m only bringing that up now because we have a new rankings today: CBSSports.com’s Josh Edwards decided to rank the best rookies in the NFL after one week of play. Basically, Edwards watched film of every rookie who saw extensive playing time in Week 1. Here are the rankings he came up with: 

Top rookies heading into Week 2 

  • 1. Texans OT Kenyon Green. “A year ago, there were obvious Rookie of the Year candidates early in the season, but this year feels much more wide open, which is how you get an offensive lineman at the top of this week’s rankings.”
  • 2. Jets CB Sauce Gardner. “After being targeted little in college, Gardner was thrown at three times Sunday against the Ravens. The result of those attempts was one completion for eight yards.”
  • 3. Texans CB Derek Stingley Jr. “Stingley was not tested often but made a nice play going over the back to make a deflection in the end zone.”
  • 4. Commanders WR Jahan Dotson. “Dotson taught a master class in route breaks Sunday. He broke off a defender for a touchdown and had the inside track on a second until Carson Wentz went in another direction. The timing between Wentz and Dotson needs to improve, but that should come in time.”
  • 5. Jaguars OLB Travon Walker. “Walker registered his first sack as an NFL player when he dipped his shoulder high side and turned the corner to the quarterback. He also showed awareness and athleticism in securing his first-career interception.”

Edwards actually ranked a total of 15 rookies, and if you want to check out his entire list, be sure to click here

5. Building the NFL’s ultimate 53-man roster

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Tom Brady USATSI

Anyone can build an ultimate 53-man roster for the NFL, but not everyone can do it like Joel Corry. As a former NFL agent, Corry thought it would be fun to build a 53-player all-star team with one rule: He has to stay under the salary cap. 

Basically, what he came up with is the best team you could possibly buy using the NFL’s own rules. The salary cap this year is $208.2 million, so Corry built the best team he could while also staying under that number. 

Here’s a list of the offensive players on his list, along with their 2022 cap number: 

QB: Tom Brady ($11.99 million)

RB: Jonathan Taylor ($2.14 million)

WR: Tyreek Hill ($6.49 million)

WR: Deebo Samuel ($6.88 million)

WR: Justin Jefferson ($3.59 million)

TE: Mark Andrews ($9.66 million)

LT: Trent Williams ($14.03 million)

LG: Joel Bitonio ($6.66 million)

C: Creed Humphrey ($1.27 million)

RG: Shaq Mason ($3.08 million)

RT: Ryan Ramczyk ($8.48 million)

That’s the entire offense, and Corry has still only spent 35.7% of his budget ($74.27 million). If you want to know how he spent the rest of his money and how much he spent on defensive players, then be sure to click here

6. Rapid-fire roundup: Lamar Jackson is done talking about his contract situation

It’s been a busy 24 hours 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. 

  • Lamar Jackson will not be talking about his contract anymore. The Ravens QB got asked about his contract Wednesday and shut down the conversation pretty quickly, “Respectfully, I’m done talking about it,” Jackson said, via ESPN. “I told you guys before, I was going to be done with it Week 1. Week 1 is over with. We’re done talking about it.” I’m starting to think Jackson doesn’t want to talk about his contract anymore. 
  • Broncos Pro Bowl safety placed on IR. The Broncos secondary took a big this this week after Justin Simmons (thigh) was placed on injured reserve. The move means the former Pro Bowler will have to miss at least the next four weeks. With Simmons out, the Broncos added some depth by signing Anthony Harris to their practice squad. 
  • Bears lineman out four weeks due to mono. The 2022 NFL season hasn’t been a good one so far for Alex Leatherwood. The former first-round pick, who was cut by the Raiders in August, will now miss four weeks with the Bears. Leatherwood was placed on the non-football injury list after being diagnosed with mono, according to NFL.com

  • Giants starting corner out in Week 2 after undergoing appendectomy. Aaron Robinson will be missing this week’s game against the Panthers, and he has a pretty valid reason: He had his appendix removed. Giants coach Brian Daboll isn’t sure when Robinson will be able to return, but based on the recovery timeline of other players, it seems likely that Robinson will also miss the Giants’ Week 3 game against the Cowboys.  

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