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NFL Week 17 picks, plus Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists revealed and Kirk Cousins out vs. Packers

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Welcome to the New Year’s Eve edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

The new year hasn’t even started yet and I can already tell that 2022 is going to be a rocky one for Vikings fans, although every year seems to be rocky for them, so maybe 2022 isn’t actually going to be that different. The Vikings have placed Kirk Cousins on the COVID list, which means Minnesota’s playoff hopes are now on life support. If you’re a Vikings fan, I’m thinking your New Year’s resolution should be to find a new team to cheer for in 2022 or maybe just find an entirely new sports league to follow. That might be easier. 

My New Year’s resolution is to spend less money at Starbucks. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I just need to talk to someone about my peppermint mocha addiction. That might make more sense. 

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Anyway, in just hours, we’ll be kicking 2021 out the door to welcome in 2022 and it’s a good thing we don’t do weekend newsletters, because I’m going to need at least 48 hours to get accustomed to living in a year that’s not 2021. Alright, let’s get to the final rundown of the year. 

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. If your pet has an email address, feel free to sign them up, too. I’ve heard that cats love me.  

1. Today’s show: Best bets for Week 17


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Friday is usually the one day of the week where you get two podcasts — a picks show and a recap of the Thursday night game — but it’s New Year’s Eve and no one has time to listen to two podcasts today, so you’re only getting one and that one will be the picks podcast with Will Brinson, R.J. White and Pete Prisco. 

The three guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game in Week 17 and we’re going to cover three picks from each person below. 

Pete Prisco (1-2 last week in picks featured here)

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  • Patriots (-15.5) to cover against the Jaguars
  • Ravens (+3.5) to cover against the Rams
  • Lions (+7) to cover against the Seahawks

Will Brinson (2-1 last week in picks featured here)

  • Bengals (+5) to cover against the Chiefs
  • Eagles (-3) to cover against Washington
  • Vikings at Packers OVER 47.5 points

R.J. White (1-2 last week in picks featured here)

  • Cardinals (+5.5) to cover against the Cowboys
  • Vikings (+6.5) to cover against the Packers
  • Texans (+12.5) to cover against the 49ers

The guys also have a parlay they like that pays out at +595.

  • Bengals (+5) to cover against the Chiefs
  • Steelers (+3) to cover against the Browns
  • Eagles (-3) to cover against Washington

If it hits, that parlay would win $595 on a $100 bet.

To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 17 — and there are quite a few — be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the trio give out their picks on YouTube by clicking here

2. NFL Week 17 picks

This is the final newsletter of the week, which means I feel morally obligated to cram as many picks as possible into this space. It’s also the final newsletter of 2021, so hopefully all of these picks are right and we end the year with a bang.  

The picks below will be coming from Will Brinson, Tyler Sullivan and Jordan Dajani, along with CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones.

Here’s how things are going to work: I’m going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you’ll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on. 

  • Will Brinson: Bengals 35-31 over Chiefs (Cincinnati covers +4.5). “We might be sleeping on Joe Burrow’s breakout second season, one in which he’s coming off a torn ACL. Dude just threw for 525 passing yards during a late December AFC North game. Travis Kelce is back and maybe the moment is too big for the Bengals, but the moment isn’t too big for Joe Burrow. “ For the rest of Brinson’s Week 17 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Jonathan Jones: Titans over Dolphins (Cincinnati -170 moneyline). “I think the Dolphins’ defense is pretty good — not elite — and the offense is good enough if Tua doesn’t turn it over. But this win streak hasn’t involved any decent team outside of Baltimore.” For the rest of Jones’ Week 17 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Jordan Dajani: Cowboys 35-26 over Cardinals (Dallas covers +5.5). “The Cowboys couldn’t be more confident after a 56-14 beatdown of the Washington Football Team. I don’t think the Cowboys are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but I will definitely jump on them covering six points against a deflated Cardinals team in Dallas.” For the rest of Dajani’s Week 17 picks, be sure to click here.
  • Tyler Sullivan: Packers 30-21 over Vikings (Green Bay covers -6.5). “Entering Week 17, Green Bay is 11-4 against the spread (second-best in the NFL) and 6-1 ATS at home (best in the NFL). With the No. 1 seed still up for grabs, the Packers won’t be going on cruise control en route to the postseason anytime soon.” For the rest of Sullivan’s Week 17 picks, be sure to click here

3. Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists revealed

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has officially taken one giant step closer toward revealing its next class. The finalists for the class of 2022 were announced on Thursday night

Here’s a look at the 15 finalists who are now just one step away from induction: 

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Jared Allen, DE: 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers

Willie Anderson, OT: 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens

Ronde Barber, DB: 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tony Boselli, OT: 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)

LeRoy Butler, S: 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers

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Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR: 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens

Torry Holt, WR: 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars

Andre Johnson, WR: 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans

Sam Mills, LB: 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers

Richard Seymour, DL: 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders

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Zach Thomas, LB: 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Ware, LB/DE: 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos

Reggie Wayne, WR: 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts

Patrick Willis, LB: 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers

Bryant Young, DL: 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers

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To be inducted, a finalist needs to receive at least 80% support from the 48-person selection committee and the committee is only allowed to induct up to five modern-era finalists per year, so 10 of these guys definitely won’t be getting in this year. There are also three other finalists with one each coming from the coach, contributor and senior categories. Those finalists are Dick Vermeil, Art McNally and Cliff Branch. Those three will have their own separate vote from the committee with each guy needing at least 80% support to get in. 

As for the 15 modern-era finalists, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware are finalists for the first time, which is impressive, because they’re all in their first-year of eligibility. On the other hand, Willie Anderson is also a finalist for the first time, but he’s in his ninth-year of eligibility. Also, of the players on this list, Tony Boselli has been a finalist the most times (6), which means he’s gotten one step away from induction on FIVE different occasions without getting in. And let’s not forget about Sam Mills, who is in his 20th year of eligibility. This is just the third time he’s been a finalist over that period. 

The next step in the process will come in February when the HOF selection committee actually holds its vote to determine who gets in. That vote will come during the the week of Super Bowl LVI and the official class will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 10.   

4. NFL QB notes: Russell Wilson vague about his future in Seattle, Kirk Cousins out Sunday


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The 2022 offseason could be a crazy one and that’s because it’s starting to feel like we could see multiple longtime quarterbacks leaving their current team. Over the past 24 hours alone, both Ben Roethlisberger (retirement) and Aaron Rodgers have hinted that they might not be returning to their current team next year, and now, Russell Wilson is doing the same thing. 

Wilson sounded like he wanted out last season, but all his drama was overshadowed by the situation involving Aaron Rodgers. With the Seahawks getting set to play their final home game of the season on Sunday, Wilson brought up his future and the interesting part is that he did it unprompted. No one asked him if this might be his last game in Seattle, but he brought up the subject anyway

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“I hope it’s not my last game, but at the same time, I know it won’t be my last game in the NFL,” Wilson said. “So I’m just focused on today and getting better today.”

Translation: I know I’ll be playing in the NFL next year, I just don’t know if it will be in Seattle. 

During the same press conference, Wilson revealed that he wants to win three more Super Bowls, so he’s likely going to want to go to an organization that can make that happen. It’s really starting to sound like that 2022 offseason could be biggest game of QB musical chairs that the NFL has ever seen. 

In other QB news: 

  • Kirk Cousins is out on Sunday. The Vikings QB has tested positive for COVID and because he’s unvaccinated, there’s no way he’ll be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Packers. With Cousins out, the Vikings will either be forced to start Sean Mannion, Kellen Mond or Kyle Sloter. Mond and Sloter have never started an NFL game before, so the Vikings will likely roll with Mannion. However, even that decision comes with some risk. Mannion missed practice all week due to the fact that he was on the COVID list. Mannion was placed on the list Sunday and then activated today. 
  • Jared Goff likely out Sunday. The Lions will likely have Tim Boyle under center for the second straight week and that’s because Goff is dealing with a knee injury. On Friday, Coach Dan Campbell said the injury will most likely keep Goff sidelined for Detroit’s game in Seattle. 
  • Lamar Jackson misses Friday practice. After practicing on Wednesday, the Ravens QB wasn’t on the field Thursday or Friday, which doesn’t bode well for his chances of playing on Sunday against the Rams. During Wednesday’s session, Jackson was hobbling around and it was pretty clear that he was nowhere near 100%. If Jackson can’t go, then Tyler Huntley will likely be the starter. 
  • Jimmy Garoppolo misses Thursday practice. The 49ers QB missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practice and it’s starting to seem more likely that he won’t be the team’s starter for Sunday’s game against the Texans. If Garoppolo can’t play, then the 49ers will be turning to rookie Trey Lance. 

5. Super Bowl odds: Packers narrowly favored over Chiefs to win it all

After watching the Packers lose two straight NFC title games, it appears that the oddsmakers feel like this is going to be the season where the Packers finally get over the hump. In the latest Super Bowl odds from Caesars Sportsbook, the Packers are the favorites to win it all, just barely edging out the Chiefs. 

Here are the odds for the 10 teams with the best chance to win it all, according to Caesars. 

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1. Packers +375
2. Chiefs +400
3. Buccaneers +650
T-4. Rams +900
T-4. Bills +900
6. Cowboys +1000
7. Patriots +1500
8. Colts +1800
9. Titans +2000
10. Cardinals +2500

Worst odds: Washington Football Team (+75000: bet $100 to win $75,000)
Best value: Cowboys 

If you need one stat to help you pick a Super Bowl winner, you should probably go with point differential. The last five Super Bowl winners — and seven of the last eight — finished in the top five of regular-season point differential. The top five right now are the Bills, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Patriots and Chiefs. 

If I had to bet my money on the team with the best value right now, I’d probably go with the Cowboys. Getting 10-1 odds is a great value for multiple reasons. For one, they’re already guaranteed at least one home game in the playoffs. Also, they still have a shot earning the top seed, which would give them a bye. Also, the Cowboys are 9-1 against other NFC teams this year and they have the second-best point differential. One other interesting bet would be the Bengals. Their odds are +2800 right now, which is the best value you can get for a team that’s currently leading its division.

6. Rapid-fire roundup

It’s been a busy 24 hours in the NFL and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, especially when it comes to COVID, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

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  • Roger Goodell to be a guest on the next “ManningCast”. The Mannings have scored a huge guest for the final Monday of the regular season and that guest is Goodell, who will join Peyton and Eli at some point during Monday’s game between the Browns and Steelers. 
  • Patriots running back reveals he was diagnosed with cancer after Super Bowl loss to Eagles. Brandon Bolden revealed that he thought his NFL career was going to be over after he was diagnosed with cancer in early 2018. For more on his story, be sure to click here
  • Steelers place two starters on COVID list. There’s a chance the Steelers could be down two defensive starters on Monday against the Browns after LB Joe Schobert and DL Chris Wormley were both placed on the COVID list. 
  • Panthers roster being ravaged by COVID. For the sixth straight day, the Panthers have placed at least one player on the COVID list. On Thursday, Carolina added safety Kenny Robinson, defensive end Darryl Johnson, and practice squad running back Reggie Bonnafon to the list. The Panthers could be down more than five defensive players for Sunday’s game against the Saints. As of Thursday, the Panthers had 13 players on the list, including Shaq Thompson, Brian Burns and Haason Reddick.
  • Antonio Gibson placed on COVID list. The Football Team likely won’t have their leading rusher this Sunday against the Eagles after Gibson was placed on the COVID list. The running back leads the team with 891 yards this season in a year where no one else on the roster even has 300 rushing yards. Starting offensive lineman Ereck Flowers has also been placed on the COVID list for Washington. 
  • Randall Cobb returns to practice. The Packers receiver, who has been out for just over a month, returned to practice this week, which is good news for Aaron Rodgers. With Cobb back at practice, that means he could return during the regular season and even if he can’t do that, he’ll almost be certainly be back on the field for the playoffs.





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Steelers’ Karl Joseph and Anthony Miller both suffer season-ending injuries, per report

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The Pittsburgh Steelers saw two players suffer season-ending injuries, as safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Anthony Miller are both out for the year, per Steelers reporter Dale Lolley. Joseph is out with an ankle injury while Miller injured his shoulder. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve.

Joseph’s injury came during the team’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Joseph went down in the first quarter and was carted off the field with an air cast seen on his ankle. The 28-year-old was later spotted on crutches, wearing a walking boot.

Joseph joined the Steelers after last season’s training camp and this year was looking to earn the second safety spot.

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Head coach Mike Tomlin originally said his injury was day-to-day, but according to reports it will end his season.

Miller injured his shoulder in training camp ahead of Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. This is not his first shoulder injury, as he also struggled with shoulder issues while he was on the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

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As the regular season gets closer and the roster starts getting cut closer to what it will be for the 2022 season, it looked as if Miller would make the 53-man roster.





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Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle

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(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to solidify their depth chart at quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement.

The 2022 campaign will be the first that “Big Ben” won’t start after being the undisputed top play-caller for the squad for 18 seasons.

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Their candidates for selection include Mason Rudolph, who has backed up Roethlisberger, and Kenny Pickett, who had a solid performance during his first preseason game.

Then there’s Mitchell Trubisky, who they signed on a two-year contract.

After all, he has playoff experience and hopefully learned a lot from Josh Allen after his one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills.

However, some fans might argue that Pickett deserves to start after a strong performance during the preseason.

To which ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reiterated that the battle for the top spot is over.

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Pryor tweeted, “Exactly. Biggest storyline in the QB room is what happens behind Trubisky — is Rudolph the No. 2? Will Pickett catch on fast enough to jump him? That’s what I’m watching through the last two preseason games.”

 

Trubisky Is Pittsburgh’s Starting Quarterback

Head coach Mike Tomlin did declare in a recent interview that Trubisky will be their starter in Week 1 based on skill level.

He said in this video, “Yeah, because that’s the premise by which we started. We’ve been really transparent with the guys and we based our starter on resumes. Mitch has won in this league. The statistics bared it out that he has more experience than the others. So, we just thought that it’s appropriate to start there.”

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Therefore, Rudolph and Pickett are basically competing to become second on the depth chart.

Pickett may have the edge for now after that strong performance.

But that order could change with each passing week.

The post Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Alabama tops college football preseason AP Top 25 | UNDISPUTED

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In the latest college football AP poll, University of Alabama found themselves ranked number 1. The Tide return Heisman trophy winner and projected top 10 pick Bryce Young at QB. Last year, Bama lost in the national title game to Georgia. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the AP Top 25 poll.



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