JACKSONVILLE -- Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I'm writing today from a hotel in Jacksonville where I've been hanging out for the past 24 hours. I've seen more Jaguars fans in this span than I had previously seen in my entire life. I'll be at the game tonight between the Jaguars and Bengals, but before I start talking about that, we need to cover everything that happened on Sunday, so let's get to it.
In today's newsletter, we've got grades for every team that played on Sunday, plus, we've got winners and losers (You're all winners in my book), so let's get to the rundown.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here.
1. Today's Show: Biggest questions after Week 13
If I fall asleep while writing the newsletter today, it's because I stayed up until 2:01 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson. After that, I hung out with the good people of Jacksonville until 4 a.m., so it's a miracle that I'm functioning.
Anyway, the three of us touched on our 10 biggest takeaways from Week 13. Here are a few of the biggest questions that we tried to answer:
- Will the Rams make the playoffs? We mentioned the Rams as a possible dark horse playoff contender after they beat the Seahawks back in Week 11. Two weeks later, I think we can officially just dump the dark horse label. The Rams feel like a legit playoff contender and with three of their next four games against the Commanders, Giants and Saints, Brinson and I feel like this team is going to end up in the playoffs.
- Are the 49ers the best team in the NFC? When the 49ers are healthy, I feel like they're the best team in the NFL and they're currently healthy. It's easy to beat up on bad teams, but that's not what the 49ers did on Sunday. Nope, they handed a beatdown to the team that currently has the best record in the NFL. The rest of the NFC should be scared.
- Can Gardner Minshew actually lead the Colts to the playoffs? As the president of the Gardner Minshew fan club, I am absolutely convinced that he's going to lead the Colts to the playoffs. The Colts got a steal when they signed him back in March and following a 300-yard game against the Titans, he's looking more and more like the real deal. Also, the Colts' next four games are against the Bengals, Steelers, Falcons and Raiders, which seems somewhat favorable.
To check out the rest of our takeaways from Week 13, be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the episode on YouTube here, which you'll want to do if you want to see my sad Bruno costume.
2. Week 13 grades: Rams earn an 'A' for crushing Browns
Every week I team up with four of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, the Rams were one of the few teams to earn an 'A.'
Here's a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Rams 36-19 over Browns (Click here for full game stats)
- Browns takeaway: Less than two weeks after signing Joe Flacco, the Browns were forced to start him on Sunday and he actually held his own. Flacco wasn't perfect, but he certainly played far better than anyone could have expected considering he spent the first 11 weeks of the season at home on his couch. Not only did Flacco throw for 254 yards, but he threw 2 TD passes, including a fourth-quarter scoring throw to Harrison Bryant that cut the lead to 20-19 with just 8:49 to play. The biggest surprise of the game for the Browns is that their defense got run over by the Rams offense. With the Browns playing musical chairs at quarterback, the defense is going to have to play better if this team is going to make the playoff. Grade: C
- Rams takeaway: The Rams suddenly look like one of the hottest teams in the NFC and a big reason for that is Matthew Stafford. The Rams QB diced the Browns' vaunted defense for 279 yards and three touchdowns. Puka Nacua once again played like the rookie sensation that he is, catching four passes for 139 total yards and a TD. Kyren Williams also had a big game for a Rams offense that seems to be getting more dangerous every week. Although the defense did struggle at times against Joe Flacco, the unit shut down the Browns with an interception, a fourth-down stop and a safety over the final eight minutes of the game to preserve the victory. With this win, the 6-6 Rams are suddenly in the thick of the NFC playoff race after looking to be left for dead at 3-6 coming out of their Week 10 bye. Grade: A
Packers 27-19 over Chiefs (Click here for full game stats, analysis)
- Chiefs takeaway: "Kansas City struggled on both offense and defense, and coughed up a chance to retain the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Injuries on defense didn't help, but the offense was simply not good enough. Patrick Mahomes averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt and threw only one touchdown and one interception, and Kansas City could not find a way to create big plays. Things were difficult pretty much all night, and that's reflected in the score line." -- Jared Dubin. Grade: D
- Packers takeaway: "Jordan Love and the team's young receivers were electric in this one. Love went 25 of 36 for 267 yards and three scores, distributing the ball to the young skill-position corps and routinely getting the Packers into scoring position. Christian Watson went off for two of the three touchdowns, and AJ Dillon ran as well as he has all year. Oh, and the Green Bay defense held the Chiefs to just 19 points. Not too shabby. This team suddenly feels like a very real NFC playoff contender." -- Jared Dubin. Grade: A
As for all the other grades that we handed out on Sunday,.
3. 14 crazy facts from Week 13: Patriots hit rock bottom
Every Sunday night, I get an email from our research department here at CBS Sports, and every Sunday, that email always includes some amazingly wild facts about the games that were just played.
With that in mind, here are 14 crazy facts about Week 13:
- Patriots hit rock bottom. With their 6-0 loss to the Chargers, the Patriots are now the first team since 1938 to lose in three straight games where they held their opponent to 10 points or less. NFL teams are 54-3 this year when holding their opponent to 10 points or less and that breaks down like this: The Patriots are 1-3 while the the 31 other teams are 53-0.
- Chargers win with no offense. The Chargers' 6-0 win over New England set the franchise record for fewest points in a victory. The previous record was seven points.
- No one can stop Tyreek Hill. The Dolphins receiver finished with 157 yards and two touchdowns, which makes him the FIRST player in NFL history to go for at least 150 yards and a TD in five different games during the same season. With both touchdowns going for more than 60 yards, Hill now has 21 career scores from that distance, which is the third-most in NFL history by any player. Hill now has 1,481 yards on the season, which is highest number through 12 games in the Super Bowl era.
- Brock Purdy for MVP? With 314 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles, Purdy now has FOUR games this year where he's thrown at least three touchdowns and recorded a QB rating of at least 140. Only two other quarterbacks have ever pulled that off -- Tom Brady (2007) and Aaron Rodgers (2011) -- and they both won MVP in the season where they hit those benchmarks.
- McCaffrey is in Hall of Fame company. With one rushing TD against the Eagles, Christian McCaffrey now has 50 rushing touchdowns and 27 receiving touchdowns for his career, making him just the third player in NFL history to hit 50 rushing scores and 25 receiving ones. McCaffrey joins Marshall Faulk and Lenny Moore.
- 49ers finally have a 1,000 yard rusher. Going into the 2023 season, the 49ers had the longest active drought without having a 1,000-yard rusher, but that ended on Sunday when Christian McCaffrey hit 1,000 yards on the season (He's at 1,032 through 12 games). McCaffrey is the first 49ers player to hit that number since Frank Gore in 2014.
- Mike Evans makes history. With 167 yards against the Panthers, Evans now has 1,012 yards for the season, making him the FIRST player in NFL history to hit the 1,000 yard mark in his first 10 seasons. It's also the second-longest 1,000 yard streak in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice, who once hit that number in 11 straight seasons (1986-96).
- De'Von Achane, meet Gale Sayers. The Dolphins rookie running back scored two touchdowns against the Commanders, giving him nine for the season. Achane now joins Hall of Famer Gale Sayers as the only players in NFL history to score nine touchdowns during the first six games of their NFL career.
- Lions found their tight end of the future. With nine catches for 140 yards and a TD, Sam LaPorta had one of the biggest games ever by a rookie tight end. LaPorta joins Mike Ditka (1961), Jackie Smith (1963) and Pete Mitchell (1995) as the only tight ends to hit those numbers in a single-game during their rookie season.
- DeAndre Hopkins still has it. With 75 yards against the Colts, Hopkins now has 12,072 for his career. At 31 years and 180 days old, Hopkins is the fourth-youngest player to hit the 12,000-yard mark, trailing only Randy Moss, Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald.
- C.J. Stroud is in rare air. The Texans rookie QB threw for 274 yards against the Broncos and now has 3,540 for the season. Stroud will likely be the NFL passing yards leader when Week 13 has concluded and if that happens, it will mark the first time since at least 1950 that a rookie has led the NFL in passing yards during ANY week of the season. No rookie has led the NFL in passing yards for an entire season since 1939.
- Jets are in an offensive drought. The Jets did not get in the end zone on Sunday, which means they still only have 10 touchdowns for the season. That's the lowest number by any NFL team through 12 games since 1993 (Bengals).
- Commanders get blown out. The Commanders gave up 45 points to the Dolphins, marking the second straight week that they surrendered at least 45 points. Washington has only given up 45 points in consecutive games one other time in franchise history and that came all the way back in 1954.
- LaFleur loves December. The Packers win over the Chiefs means that Packers coach Matt LaFleur is now 16-0 in his coaching career in the month of December. The 16 straight wins means that Green Bay now has the second-longest December winning streak in NFL history, trailing only the Chargers, who won 18 in a row between 2006 and 2009.
If you see any other fun facts, feel free to tweet them at me.
4. NFL Week 13 winners and losers: Tyreek Hill looking like an MVP
You can't have a week of NFL action without having winners and losers, so we have some winners and losers.
Cody Benjamin came up with this week's list, which you can check out below.
- Tyreek Hill's case for MVP. "Only quarterbacks win this award, blah, blah, blah. If anyone in Miami deserves another look, it's 'Cheetah,' who torched the Commanders to make 157 yards and two deep scores look easy. Anytime Tua Tagovailoa shines, this man paves the way."
- Shane Steichen's case for Coach of the Year. "Not many people have paid the Colts any mind since Anthony Richardson was lost for the year, but how about Steichen's trickery -- and Gardner Minshew's clutch delivery -- to propel a tight win over the Titans without Jonathan Taylor? This team has won four in a row and is 7-5!"
- Mike Tomlin. "The Steelers lost by multiple scores to a Cardinals team that entered with two wins in 12 games. They lost Kenny Pickett along the way, but this one's all on the coach. Where is the prep? Pittsburgh was always more feisty than fearsome, but this can't happen."
- Anyone who had to watch Chargers-Patriots. "Anyone who tuned in should've expected this. But man, even the Brandon Staley critics couldn't have predicted a total of six (6) points between the two sides. Yes, the Chargers got the win, but did they really? And is Bill Belichick already applying to other jobs?"
If you want to see Cody's full list of winners and losers,.
5. Monday preview: Prepping you for Bengals at Jaguars
For the first time in 12 years, the Jaguars are hosting a Monday night game, and having been here since Friday, I can tell you that everyone here seems pretty pumped. It's a huge game for the 8-3 Jags: If they win, it will push them into the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, but if they lose, their division lead over both the Colts and Texans will drop to just one game (and they'll drop to the fourth overall spot in the AFC playoff race).
My good buddy Jared Dubin put together our deep-dive preview for this game here at CBSSports.com, and here's how he sees the game playing out:
- Why the Bengals can win: This one is pretty simple: If the Bengals are going to pull off the upset, they're going to need a huge game from Jake Browning. Although that might seem like a long shot, Browning will have two things working in his favor. For one, the Bengals will be getting Tee Higgins back on the field for the first time since Week 9, which means Cincinnati's receiving group is going to be at 100%. The other thing working in Browning's favor is that the Jags are surrendering 255 passing yards per game, which was one of the five-worst numbers in the NFL heading into Week 13.
- Why the Jaguars can win: This could be a huge night for the Jaguars offense and that's because it will be going up against a Bengals defense that's surrendering more yards per game (389.3) than any other team in the NFL. The Bengals are particularly bad at stopping the run -- they're surrendering 139.6 yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL -- and if the Jags can get their ground game going with Travis Etienne (or D'Ernest Johnson), they should coast to a win.
You can get.
If you're thinking about betting on the game, here's the prop I like:
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Brandon McManus OVER 7.5 points (+100). The Jaguars kicker has gone over this number in two straight games and three of his past four. He'll also be facing a Bengals' team that kickers have thrived against over the past few weeks. In Cincinnati's past three games, opposing kickers have averaged 10.7 point per game, which makes McManus feel like a solid bet here.
My prime-time prop record is 18-10 this year.
Finally, if you're wondering who we're picking, here's who we have tonight:
Jared's pick: Jaguars 24-6 over Bengals
My pick: Jaguars 20-16 over Bengals
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, seven of our eight experts are taking Jacksonville to cover as an 8.5-point favorite. I'm the lone holdout taking the Bengals to cover and I'm feeling extremely confident after going 10-1-1 against the spread in Week 13 so far.
6. Extra points: Kenny Pickett likely out for multiple weeks
It was a busy weekend 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.
- Kenny Pickett could be out for a month. The Steelers QB injured his ankle on Sunday against the Cardinals and he's now expected to have a procedure that will sideline him for two to four weeks. With Pickett out, that means Mitchell Trubisky will be taking over as starter as the Steelers look to stay in the playoff race. You .
- Aaron Rodgers unlikely to play in 2023. The Jets are going to have to finish the season without Aaron Rodgers. According to NFL.com, Rodgers almost certainly . Following the Jets loss on Sunday, New York is basically out of the AFC playoff race and at this point, putting Rodgers in harm's way wouldn't make a lot of sense.
- Goodell not a fan of the 'Tush Push.' The "Tush Push" might not be around much longer and that's because Roger Goodell apparently isn't a fan of the play, according to The Athletic. It looks like the Eagles' short-yardage play will be .
- Tank Dell out for the season. The Texans' electrifying rookie is expected to miss the rest of the 2023 season after against the Broncos on Sunday. The injury happened in the first quarter on a play at the goal line. Dell will finish his season with 709 receiving yards, which is the second most of any rookie through 13 weeks.