Tom Brady’s huge blunder costs Buccaneers, how to fix the NFL schedule, best bets for Week 5


They say the memory is the first thing to go when you get old, which is good news for Tom Brady, because that means there’s now a strong chance he won’t remember anything that happened on Thursday night, which is probably for the best. 

If you missed Thursday’s game between the Bears and Buccaneers, you missed one of the worst gaffes of Brady’s career: He forgot what down it was. I once forgot to buy some things on a grocery list that my wife gave me, so I kind of know what Brady feels like right now, but in my situation, I didn’t lose to Nick Foles 20-19 in primetime, so Brady definitely has it worse. 

We’ll be covering Brady and several more things in today’s newsletter, but before we get to that, remember, if you like this newsletter you should share it with everyone you know, and even people you don’t know. All you have to do is click this link and then once you’re at the sign up page, just shoot that page link to anyone and everyone. 

I’m going to stop begging for sign ups now. Let’s get to the roundup. 

1. Today’s Show: Recapping the ‘Tom Brady Blunder’ game

I don’t care what Bruce Arians says, we all saw what happened on Thursday: Tom Brady forgot it was fourth down, and that was one of the main topics of conversation on Friday’s podcast with fellow Superfriends Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson. However, we weren’t the only Superfriends on the show and that’s because we got a surprise visit from former Superfriend and noted Bears fan Sean Wagner-McGough. 

After listening to Brinson mock the Bears for three straight weeks and after seeing Brinson predict a blowout win for the Buccaneers, SWM decided to make his grand return to the podcast to rub Brinson’s face in the fact that the Bears are good (For those who are new to the podcast: Sean used to be on the show three days per week, but then the pandemic hit and he went crazy and decided he wanted to attend law school instead of talking sports for a living, so he ditched Wilson, Brinson and I for Colorado Law. The good news is that we now know a lawyer in case we ever need to hire one). Anyway, Sean tried to get Brinson to apologize to Bears fans and, well, you’ll have to listen to see if it happened (Subscribe and listen by clicking here). 

We also spent a good 40 minutes discussing the game, which included everything from Brady’s blunder to Matt Nagy’s coaching decisions to the bogus roughing the passer call on Shaq Barrett. We also tried to answer the one deep existential question we all had after the game: Are the Bears actually good?

2. Today’s episode part II: Picking Week 5 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 dumped me and Wilson for the much less handsome crew of Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White for a discussion about their best bets and picks for Week 5. The guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played this week. 

Because I’m in a good mood, here’s one best bet from each of them. 

Will Brinson: Saints (-7.5) to cover against the Chargers on Monday. 
Pete Prisco: Jaguars-Texans Over (Over/Under is 54).
R.J. White: Cardinals (-7) to cover against the Jets (Personal note: You should always bet against the Jets).
Kenny White: Vikings (+7) to cover against the Seahawks

I know what you’re thinking, and no, we didn’t go through a phase here at CBS Sports where we only hired people with the last name “White.”

The group also has a two-team parlay that involves betting the Over in the Jaguars-Texans game along with the Over in the Cardinals-Jets game. To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 5, be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast

3. Two Week 5 games rescheduled; will Jets-Cardinals join them?

The NFL has already made two changes to the Week 5 schedule and there’s a chance that another one could be coming after a Jets player tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The game between the Jets and the Cardinals is currently still on as scheduled at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, but that could change if any more positive tests come in for the Jets over the next 24 hours. Of course, if no one else tests positive, the game will likely be played as scheduled and that’s because the NFL has already proven it will play games in a situation where just one player tested positive. Back in Week 3, Atlanta’s A.J. Terrell tested positive before the Falcons faced the Bears, but the game went on as scheduled after all of his teammates tested negative. 

If the Cardinals-Jets game does get rescheduled, it will join Broncos-Patriots and Bills-Titans on the list of games that have been moved this week. The Patriots game, which was supposed to kick off on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET will now kick off at 5 p.m. ET on Monday. For everyone in Denver, where this game will start at 3 p.m. MT, that means you now have an excuse to leave work early.  

As for Bills-Titans, that game has now been moved to 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday and since this is a CBS Sports newsletter, I should probably mention the fact that the game will be aired nationally on CBS. The one caveat with that game is that it will be postponed indefinitely if the any more Titans players test positive for COVID. Due to the Week 5 postponement, the Bills‘ Thursday game in Week 6 against the Chiefs has also been moved to Sunday, Oct. 18, but will remain on Thursday if the Tuesday game doesn’t get played. Hopefully, that wasn’t all as confusing as it sounded in my head when I wrote it.  

4. Here’s what the NFL should do to save its season

Through the first three weeks of the season, the NFL didn’t have to postpone a single game due to the pandemic, but that all changed in Week 4 after a real life version of the movie “Outbreak” happened at the Titans’ facility. Due to the COVID problems in Tennessee, the NFL has now had to reschedule a total of six games. I’ve played a lot of Jenga in my life and the NFL schedule is starting to feel like me trying to play that game drunk. Sure, you can move six pieces pretty easily, but if you keep pulling out blocks and re-stacking them, eventually the whole thing is going to collapse and it feels like we’re only a few more postponements from seeing that happen. 

To prevent a total collapse, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has a proposal to save the NFL season. According to JJ, here’s what the NFL needs to do going forward: 

  • Create a Week 18 where postponed games can be played
  • Push the playoffs back a week
  • Cancel the Pro Bowl
  • Keep the Super Bowl bye week

As an early warning to everyone, if JJ’s plan goes through, that means the Super Bowl would be played on Valentine’s Day. Please use that information as you see fit. Anyway, for a full explanation on how all of this would work, be sure to click here so you can check out Jones’ column

5. Jason La Canfora’s best bets for Week 5 

If you watch the NFL every Sunday on CBS — and who doesn’t — then you’re likely very familiar with Jason La Canfora, who serves as the NFL Insider on our pregame show. What you may not know is that La Canfora is a man of many talents. Besides breaking stories every Sunday morning, he also offers a weekly ‘Best Bets’ column on CBSSports.com. 

For Week 5, JLC loves three bets, including one teaser, so let’s check those out. 

  • Seahawks (-7) to cover vs. Vikings
  • Panthers (+2.5) to cover at Falcons

In JLC’s teaser, which gives you an adjusted line for betting two games, he’s taking the Cardinals as a pick’em winner over the Jets along with the Bengals covering as a 19.5-point underdog. I’m on board with all three of his best bets, and as the resident Bengals homer here at CBSSports.com, I’d like to think Cincinnati covering 19.5 points is a lock. For a full explanation on all of La Canfora’s picks, be sure to click here

6. NFC contenders suffer big injuries  

It’s been a rough year for injuries around the NFL and that continued on Friday as two NFC playoff contenders lost key players. First, let’s start with the Cowboys. Now, I know I’m using the words “playoff contender” loosely with them, but I’m only using it because they play in the NFC East, where a 6-10 record might be good enough to get a team in the playoffs.  

Anyway, Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is going to undergo neck surgery and is now out of the season. That’s a huge blow for a Cowboys offensive line that was already short-handed due to the loss of La’el Collins, who’s also out for the season. With center Joe Looney also dealing with an MCL sprain that could keep him out for several weeks, the Cowboys line has gone from one of their biggest strengths to one of their biggest question marks. The good news for the Cowboys is that three of their next four games are against NFC East teams, which means three of their next four games are very winnable. 

In Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers also lost a key player for the season. Vita Vea has been ruled out for the year after breaking his ankle during Tampa’s loss to the Bears on Thursday night. Vea was having a spectacular year and will be very difficult to replace. 

As for other injuries in Week 5, you can click here to see how each team’s injury report is shaking out as we head into the weekend

The Kicker!

Tom Brady was the only one showing forgetfulness on Thursday night. The Bears and Buccaneers also forgot they were bad at kicking. When it comes to kicking, those two teams have been two of the WORST in the NFL over the past few years, but based on Thursday, they might have finally turned the corner. 

For Tampa Bay, Ryan Succop went 4-for-4 on field goals. To put this in perspective, this game marked the first time since 2016 that the Bucs attempted four or more field goals in a game and made them all. As for the Bears, Cairo Santos went 2-for-2, including a kick that provided the game-winning points with just 1:14 left to play. For Santos, the kick probably felt extra good because the Buccaneers cut him last year after they drafted Matt Gay. In a twist of irony, Gay is no longer with the Bucs, because he got cut during the offseason. 

Both Succop and Santos actually played for the Titans last year during a season that was a kicking disaster for Tennessee. Based on Thursday though, it looks like both guys have figured out their issues. 

See you guys Monday… unless I forget to write the newsletter. 





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