Final NFL Power Rankings, plus Marty Schottenheimer’s legacy, Patrick Mahomes to have surgery


With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, that means the NFL offseason is officially here. If you’re wondering what this newsletter will look like during the offseason, it will mostly be me ranking team mascots by whether or not I think they’d make good pets. JK, the NFL offseason is always loaded with news, so you’ll be getting a full newsletter each and every day, starting with today. 

Today’s newsletter will actually have a partly somber tone and that’s because it includes the passing of possibly the most under-appreciated coach in NFL history, Marty Schottenheimer. Let’s get to the rundown, where we’ll touch on Schottenheimer’s legacy and much more. 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

1. Today’s Show: Deep dive into Super Bowl LV

The only thing better than getting one Super Bowl podcast is getting a second Super Bowl podcast and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting today. When we recorded the first one on Sunday night/Monday morning at 1 a.m., Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I were on our last legs after a Super Bowl work day that went on for about 14 hours. I still haven’t physically recovered. 

To make sure we don’t miss anything, we always watch the game again on Monday and then record a new podcast to see if our view on the game has changed. Not only did we talk about the defining moments of the game, but we did a deep dive on the sequence of events just before halftime, which we all felt was the difference in the game. We also examined the game plans put together by Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Beinemy and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (One guy was really good, one guy was really bad). After going through the deep dive, we also got into an argument about whether Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce has a better chance of ending their career with the title of “best tight end of all time.” 

Also, I managed to sneak in some punter talk and let me just say, the Super Bowl was not a great night for punters. Finally, we ended the podcast by trying to figure out where Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City will rank on the list of worst games in Super Bowl history. Personally, I thought it reminded me of Seahawks vs. Broncos, which gave us a game where a high-powered offense surprisingly got shut down. 

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

2. NFL coaching legend Marty Schottenheimer dies

The NFL lost a coaching legend on Tuesday when Marty Schottenheimer died at the age of 77. The former NFL coach had been battling Alzheimers since 2014 and just recently (Jan. 30), his family had place him in hospice care

Schottenheimer never won a Super Bowl, so he often gets overlooked when you talk about the best coaches in NFL history, but the fact of the matter is that he belongs in the conversation. During his 21-year coaching career, Schottenheimer won a total of 200 games, making him one of only eight coaches in NFL history to have won 200 or more. The 200-win club is an exclusive one in the NFL and it’s not likely anyone will be joining it anytime soon. The closest active coaches are Mike Tomlin (145), Pete Carroll (145) and Sean Payton (143), who would have all have to average 12 wins per year for at least five more seasons to hit 200. 

Here are a few other facts about Schottenheimer: 

  • His head coaching career started in Cleveland, where he led the Browns to four division titles and three playoffs appearances in five seasons. 
  • After a disagreement with owner Art Modell, Schottenheimer left Cleveland following a 10-6 season in 1988 and the Browns quickly found out that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In the 33 years since he was let go, the Browns have only gone 10-6 or better three times. Schottenheimer won 10 games or more during each of his final three seasons with the Browns. 
  • Schottenheimer’s second stop was in Kansas City, where he made the playoffs seven times while also winning three division titles during 10 years with the Chiefs. 
  • Schottenheimer’s final coaching stop came with the Chargers, where he won two division titles in five years. After leading the Chargers to a 12-4 record in 2004, he was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year. In one of the most surprising firings in NFL history, he was let go after going 14-2 in 2006. 
  • During his 21 years on the sideline, he became one of just two coaches in the Super Bowl era to lead three different teams to 12 or more wins (Dick Vermeil was the other). Schottenheimer also coached Washington to an 8-8 record in 2001, which means he had a .500 or better career record with four different teams. 
  • Although Schottenheimer reached the playoffs 13 times, he never made it to the Super Bowl. However, he did reach the AFC Championship game a total of three times with two appearances coming in Cleveland and one coming in Kansas City. Those 13 playoff appearances are the fifth-most for a coach in the Super Bowl era. 
  • Schottenheimer didn’t win a Super Bowl, but his coaching tree has won plenty of titles. Four of his former assistants went on to win at least one Super Bowl after coaching under Schottenheimer (Bruce Arians, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Mike McCarthy). 

Although he never won a Lombardi Trophy, the man who created ‘Marty Ball’ should forever be remembered as one of the best coaches in NFL history. 

3. Pete Prisco unveils his end of regular season power rankings

Super Bowl Sunday is the one night of the year where Pete Prisco stays up past 9 p.m. and although that’s bad news for Prisco, because it means he can’t function the next day, it’s good news for us, because after watching the Super Bowl, Prisco turned in his final Power Rankings for the 2020 season.      

Not surprisingly, the Buccaneers are on top. 

Here’s a look at the top 5:  

  1. Buccaneers
  2. Chiefs
  3. Packers 
  4. Bills
  5. Seahawks

I’m not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets: 

  • The biggest drop this week went to the Houston Texans, which is hilariously awesome. Basically, I love the fact that they dropped even though they haven’t played a single game since Prisco’s last rankings. The Texans are so dysfunctional right now that Prisco dropped them three spots from 27th to 30th.   
  • The Buccaneers made the biggest jump after winning the Super Bowl (obviously), but if we don’t count them, the biggest jump went to the Lions, who moved up two spots from 30th to 28th. It’s not a huge move, but it is surprising, because it means that Prisco seems to think that Jared Goff is going to be an upgrade over Matthew Stafford, which doesn’t seem possible. 
  • Although Prisco moved the Lions up, he didn’t do anything for the Rams. The Rams were ranked 12th in Prisco’s final regular season rankings and that’s where they ended up today. I’m starting to think that Prisco just has something against Matthew Stafford.  
  • In news that won’t surprise anyone, the Jaguars finished in dead last in Prisco’s rankings.   

If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco’s power rankings, be sure to click here. 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.

4. Patrick Mahomes set to have surgery

If Patrick Mahomes looked like he was in pain while running the ball at any point during Sunday’s 31-9 Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers, we can probably go ahead and blame his turf toe, which apparently hasn’t healed up as much as the quarterback had led everyone to believe. 

After spending the entire week leading up to the Super Bowl insisting that his injured toe was doing just fine, it turns out that the injury is serious enough that Mahomes is now going to have surgery on it. According to NFL.com, Mahomes is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn plantar plate in his toe. To us laymen, that’s more commonly known as turf toe. 

The fact that Mahomes made it through the Super Bowl alive while playing on an injured toe was a borderline miracle, especially when you consider how much pressure he faced. Not only was he sacked 3.5 times, but according to NextGen Stats, Mahomes ran a total of 497 yards during the game (That total is based on his scrambles, plus every yard he ran for while evading sacks in the Chiefs’ backfield). 

One thing about the surgery is that it means Mahomes won’t be doing much of anything over the next couple of months. The quarterback’s rehab is expected to last “several” months, which means he probably won’t be 100% until mini-camp in June and that’s if the Chiefs even have a mini-camp. The NFL canceled all spring activities last offseason due to the pandemic and it won’t be surprising if they cut down on spring activities once again 

5. Super Bowl LVI odds

I was going to share these odds with you on Monday, but then I thought about it and I decided that looking at Super Bowl LVI odds the day after Super Bowl LV ended would just be too overwhelming, so I waited until today. The one thing you’ll notice about these odds is that the team that won Super Bowl LV is NOT the favorite to win Super Bowl LVI.  

Let’s check out the Super Bowl odds for the 2021 season (For a full list, be sure to click here)

1. Chiefs +550 (Bet $100 to win $550)
T-2. Buccaneers +900
T-2. Packers +900
T-4. Ravens +1200
T-4. Bills +1200
6. Rams +1300
7. 49ers +1400
8. Saints +1800
T-9. Seahawks +2000
T-9. Browns +2000

Worst odds: Lions, Jets and Texans at +10000 (Bet $100 to win $10,000)
Best value: Rams +1300, Colts +2500 

If I had to make a Super Bowl bet right now, I’d probably put my money on the Rams and that’s because I feel like they’re the best value. Sean McVay led the team to a Super Bowl in 2018 with Jared Goff as his quarterback and I think they’re only going to be better in 2021. Also, the Super Bowl is being played in Los Angeles and based on what the Buccaneers did, I’m just going to assume that every Super Bowl host is going to make the Super Bowl from now on. 

As for the Colts, I think there’s value to betting them right now, because if they trade for a quarterback, those betting odds are only going to get worse for you. After making the playoffs with Philip Rivers, it’s not crazy to think the Colts can make it even further if they find a QB who would be an upgrade over Rivers. 

6. NFL Draft order is finally set 

With the Super Bowl over, that means the order for the 2021 NFL Draft if finally set. By winning the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers will get the final pick in the first round, which means we won’t be hearing from them until the 32nd pick comes around on the first night of the draft (April 29). 

The last time the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, they didn’t get a first-round pick the following year. The Buccaneers won it all in 2002, but they didn’t have a first-round pick because they traded their top pick in 2003 to the Raiders as part of a wild deal before the 2002 season that involved Jon Gruden being traded from Oakland to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers traded two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks and $8 million to land Gruden. I’m guessing they won’t be trading for a new coach this offseason.

In 2002, Tampa’s gamble for Gruden paid off with a Super Bowl. In 2020, their gamble on Tom Brady also paid off with a Super Bowl. 

With that in mind, here is the official order for 2021 NFL Draft: 

1. Jaguars (1-15)
2. Jets (2-14)
3. Dolphins (4-12) (via Texans)
4. Falcons (4-12)
5. Bengals (4-11-1)
6. Eagles (4-11-1)
7. Lions (5-11)
8. Panthers (5-11)
9. Broncos (5-11) 
10. Cowboys (6-10)
11. Giants (6-10)
12. 49ers (6-10)
13. Chargers (7-9)
14. Vikings (7-9)
15. Patriots (7-9)
16. Cardinals (8-8)
17. Raiders (8-8)
18. Dolphins (10-6)
19. Washington (7-9)
20. Bears (8-8)
21. Colts (11-5)
22. Titans (11-5)
23. Jets (via Seahawks)
24. Steelers (11-5)
25. Jaguars (via Rams)
26. Browns (11-5)
27. Ravens (11-5)
28. Saints (12-4)
29. Packers (13-3)
30. Bills (13-3)
31. Chiefs (14-2)
32. Buccaneers (11-5)

The draft order is scheduled to take place in Cleveland from April 29 to May 1. 

7. The Kicker: Russell Wilson drama continues

Yesterday, when I wrote about QB drama that might be coming this offseason, I’m sure a few of you raised your eyebrows when I decided to include Russell Wilson. If you were thinking that I only included Russell Wilson because I’m desperate for some offseason newsletter clicks, that’s fair, but it’s not truth, I promise!

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Monday that Wilson is getting frustrated with the Seahawks and in what can only be described as fortuitous timing, Wilson had a chance to clear everything up during a Tuesday interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.” However, instead of clearing things up, Wilson might have made things even more murky

When Wilson was asked if he thought the Seahawks might be shopping him, he didn’t exactly say no. 

“I’m not sure if I’m available [for trade] or not,” he said. “That’s a Seahawks question.”

Wilson also said that he wants to have a say in personnel decisions. 

“I want to be involved,” Wilson said. “At the end of the day, it’s your legacy, your team’s legacy. … It helps to be involved more. That dialogue should happen more often.”

A quarterback hoping to gain some say in personnel decisions is definitely something that could lead to a power struggle in the NFL. If general manager John Schneider doesn’t want to let Wilson have any say in who the team signs or drafts, that could lead to a rift between the two and if the rift gets ugly, that could lead to a trade. It’s also going to put more pressure on Schneider, because if he doesn’t consult with the quarterback and he ends up bringing in players who don’t mesh with Wilson, the quarterback isn’t going to be happy. The bottom line here is that this is definitely going to be a situation worth watching.

Speaking of watching things, I’m going to celebrate Aaron Rodgers‘ engagement by watching the entire Divergent series tomorrow (he’s engaged to the star of the movie, Shailene Woodley), which means I won’t have time to write the newsletter, so Cody Benjamin will be here to handle things while I’m out. 





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