NFL winners and losers from Week 3, plus Cowboys-Giants Monday picks and Pro Bowl is undergoing big changes
Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I wasn’t planning on talking about butts today, but I have no choice since history was made on Sunday with the NFL’s first-ever butt-punt safety. If you didn’t see the butt-punt or don’t know what a butt-punt is, don’t worry, because we’ll be talking about it in today’s newsletter.
Week 3 was absolutely crazy and I know that because the butt-punt wasn’t even the most bizarre play of the day thanks to the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo exists. The 49ers QB gave the Broncos two free points when he safetied himself on Monday night. We’ll also be talking about that, and you know what, it seems like we have a lot to talk about, so let’s get to the rundown.
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1. Today’s show: Week 3 winners and losers, plus full recap
It’s Monday, which can only mean one thing: I stayed up until 3 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson that touched on everything you need to know about Week 3, and let me just say, it’s probably for the best that you listen. We covered all 14 games from Sunday, which means we likely spent some time talking about your favorite team.
One thing we do every week is hand out our weekly winners and losers from Sunday’s action. Here’s a look at who made our list.
- Winner: Doug Pederson. Pederson has only been the Jaguars coach for three weeks and he already has as many wins as Urban Meyer. One week after shutting out the Colts 24-0, the Jags were arguably even more impressive on Sunday as they throttled the Chargers 38-10. The Jags haven’t topped three wins a single time over the past three years and Pederson is already close to accomplishing that.
- Loser: Jimmy Garoppolo. He might be extremely handsome, but even handsome people can have a bad day once in awhile. Not only did Garoppolo give the Broncos two free points by stepping out of the end zone for a safety in the second half against Denver, but on the possession before that, he also lost a fumble after bobbling a snap. Basically, Garoppolo’s first start of the season definitely didn’t go well for the 49ers (If you want to see what it looks like when a player safeties himself
- Winner: Will Brinson. Is it totally conceited to name yourself a winner? Yes, but in this situation, Brinson is totally justified. During the preseason, Brinson predicted that the Eagles would make the Super Bowl out of the NFC and that the Jaguars would win the AFC South, and although those predictions seemed kind of crazy just one month ago, they don’t seem so crazy now. Also, Brinson doesn’t seem so crazy now. The year of Brinson might be upon us.
- Loser: Jameis Winston. The Saints offense needs to go back to the drawing board and they need to do it now. Not only have the Saints been struggling on offense, but they can’t get out of their own way to start games. They scored zero points in the first half against the Panthers and have now only scored 10 first half points on the season.
- Winner: Thomas Morstead. If the Dolphins had lost to the Bills, Morstead would have been the butt of jokes for years to come due to his butt-punt that led to a safety and two free points for the Bills during a pivotal moment late in the fourth quarter of Miami’s 21-19 win. However, since the Dolphins won, Morstead and the rest of the team will be able to laugh about the hilarious play for years to come (If you missed the butt punt, you can see a video here and you can see an already iconic picture of it here).
- Loser: Carson Wentz. His game against the Eagles was supposed to be a revenge game, but instead, the Eagles got revenge on him for going 3-8-1 during his final season in Philadelphia. Wentz got destroyed by an Eagles defense that sacked him nine times, including six that came in the first half alone.
2. Week 2 injuries: Mac Jones injures ankle, plus Tua injury controversy
Hopefully we won’t need to have an injury roundup every week, but there were so many injuries around the NFL over the weekend that we definitely needed one for today.
Here’s a look at the biggest injuries from Week 3:
- Mac Jones could miss some time. The Patriots QB left the game in the fourth quarter after injuring his leg and according to multiple reports, he suffered a high ankle sprain. Jones is going to be looked at today and if an MRI confirms the injury, the QB could potentially be placed on IR, according to NFL.com. If that happens, Jones would miss at least four weeks.
- Tua injury controversy. The Dolphins QB appeared to suffer a concussion in the first half after hitting his head on the turf. The QB was so shaken up that he couldn’t even walk off the field (You can see video here). After the game, the Dolphins insisted that Tua had actually suffered a back injury and that his back locked up on him, which is why he couldn’t walk off the field. The NFLPA is now going to investigate the injury to figure out exactly what happened, because if he did suffer a head injury, he probably shouldn’t have gone back in the game.
- Josh Allen gets hand examined. Allen had to undergo x-rays following Buffalo’s loss to the Dolphins. Apparently, the QB banged his hand on a defender’s facemask so the Bills decided to have him checked out as a precaution. After the game, Allen said he’s “fine,” so it appears that Bills fans won’t have to worry about him missing any time.
- 49ers lose Trent Williams. The 49ers lost their All-Pro left tackle after he suffered an ankle injury against the Broncos. If Williams is out for any extended period of time, that would be a devastating blow for the 49ers offense.
- Dalvin Cook’s status could be up in the air for Week 4. The Vikings running back had to leave the game against the Lions after injuring his shoulder. According to NFL.com, Cook dislocated his shoulder and the team is hoping he’ll be able to play in Week 4 when the Vikings travel to London to face the Saints.
- D’Andre Swift could miss time. Dalvin Cook wasn’t the only running back to suffer a shoulder injury in the Lions-Vikings game on Sunday as Swift also injured his shoulder. According to NFL.com, Swift suffered a shoulder sprain and although he won’t need surgery, he could miss some time.
- Chargers could be in trouble. Not only is Justin Herbert dealing with his rib injury, but the Chargers added two more players to their injury list on Sunday: Nick Bosa and Rashawn Slater. Both Bosa (groin) and Slater (biceps) exited the game and didn’t return. If either players misses multiple weeks, the Chargers once promising season could slowly start to take a turn for the worse.
- Bears lose David Montgomery. The Bears running back was knocked out of the game in the first quarter against the Texans after suffering what appeared to be a lower leg injury. Bears coach Matt Eberflus said that Mongomery is dealing with both a knee and ankle injuries and that the running back is considered “day to day.”
There’s one more Week 3 game being played tonight and although Dak Prescott won’t be on the field for the Cowboys, the team is apparently still hoping that he can be ready to play by Week 5.
3. Week 3 grades: Chiefs get a ‘D’ for upset loss,
Every week I team up with six of my colleagues here at CBSSports.com to hand out grades, and this week, the Colts got a ‘D’ on their report card for their meltdown against the Colts.
Here’s a look at the grades from two notable games that were played Sunday:
Colts 20-17 over Kansas City (Click here for full recap)
- Chiefs takeaway: The Chiefs offense had a bad game, their special teams play was an absolute disaster and although the defense actually played pretty well for the better part of three quarters, it also eventually melted down. The special teams play was the biggest surprise with the Chiefs leaving at least seven points on the field. Not only did kicker Matt Ammendola miss an extra point, but he also miss went wide left on a 34-yard field goal that would have given Kansas City a 20-13 lead with just under nine minutes to play. The Chiefs also called for a fake field goal on fourth-and-11 that had no chance of succeeding. As if that’s not bad enough in the special teams department, Skyy Moore also muffed a punt that gave the Colts the ball on the 4-yard line in the first quarter. Grade: D
- Colts takeaway: The Colts weren’t perfect on Sunday, but they gladly took advantage of every mistake the Chiefs made in this game. Indy’s first touchdown came on a 4-yard drive following a muffed punt by Kansas City. Indy’s second and final touchdown came after a missed field goal and it came on a drive that only stayed alive because the Chiefs got flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty after a third down sack of Matt Ryan (If the penalty didn’t happen, the Colts would have been facing a fourth-and-14 from their own 31 with five minutes left and trailing 17-13, but instead, they got a first down). Matt Ryan fumbled twice and got sacked five times, but he bounced back from all that to lead a game-winning TD drive. That drive ended with Ryan’s second TD pass to Jelani Woods. It wasn’t a pretty win, but the Colts will gladly take it, because when you’re 0-1-1, you don’t care how sexy your wins look. Grade: B+
Jaguars 38-10 over Chargers (Click here for full game stats)
- Jaguars takeaway: For the first time since 2019, the Jags won a road game and they did it in shocking fashion. The Jaguars went into Los Angeles and abused the Chargers for four straight quarters. Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, thoroughly outplayed Justin Herbert. The Chargers had no idea how to slow down the suddenly high-powered Jags offense. Besides Herbert’s three touchdowns, the Jags also got 100 rushing yards and a touchdown from James Robinson. As impressive as the offense was, the defense was even better. The Jags made a statement in the first half by forcing two punts and two turnovers on the Chargers’ first four offensive possessions and that set the tone for what ended up being a dominant day for Jacksonville. Grade: A+
- Chargers: The Chargers should just go ahead and burn the film from this game, then pick up the ashes and set those on fire, too. This game was an absolute disaster from start to finish. The Chargers defense got embarrassed by a Jaguars offense that was basically able to score at will. The only upside of being blown out is that Brandon Staley could have pulled Justin Herbert out of the game early, but HE DIDN’T DO THAT. Despite the fact that Herbert has an injured rib cage, Staley left his QB in to take a beating until the bitter end. Grade: F
As for the other 24 grades we handed out on Sunday, you can check those out by clicking here.
4. 11 crazy facts from Week 3
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 11 crazy facts about Week 3:
- Raiders are the NFL’s only 0-3 team. It’s not often that you see just one winless team left after only three weeks of play, but that’s the case this year. According to ESPN.com, the last time there was only one 0-3 team after three weeks came in 1959 when the Lions were the lone team to start 0-3. The Lions finished 3-8-1 that year.
- Bills can’t win one-score games. Since the beginning of last season, the Bills are 0-7 in one score games. The only other team that’s gone winless in one-score games over that span is the Texans, who are 0-6-1.
- Broncos’ improbable win. In their 11-10 victory over San Francisco, Denver won the game by scoring exactly one touchdown, one field goal, and one safety. Before Sunday, that hadn’t happened since 2008 when the Vikings beat the Lions 12-10, according to ESPN. In what can only be described as an insane coincidence, that was also the last game to feature a quarterback safetying himself (Dan Orlovsky famously ran out of the end zone to give the Vikings two points).
- Lions’ record streak comes to an end. The Lions scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters on Sunday, which gave them a streak of 18 straight quarters with at least one TD. Although the streak ended in the fourth quarter, it still set the record for second-longest streak in NFL history, behind only the 1942 Packers, who who scored a TD in 19 straight quarters.
- Trevor Lawerence has something in common with Peyton Manning. Lawrence lost the first nine road games of his career before finally winning in his 10th, which is exactly how Manning’s career started. Even crazier is that both players picked up their first road win in a Week 3 game against the Chargers.
- Jaguars end record losing streak. Going into Week 3, the Jaguars had lost 19 straight road games, which was the fourth-longest road losing streak in NFL history, but that streak is now over thanks to the Jags’ 38-10 beatdown of the Chargers.
- Jaguars seem to love the underdog role. The Jaguars beat the Chargers by 28, which is notable, because it makes them just the second team in the Super Bowl era to go into consecutive games as an underdog AND win both those games by 24 points or more (via ESPN Stats and Info).
- Lamar Jackson accomplishes an NFL first. According to NFL research, Jackson is the first player in the Super Bowl era to finish a game with at least three touchdown passes and 100 rushing yards in consecutive games.
- Bears have given up on the pass. Through three games, the Bears have completed just 23 passes, which is close to a historical low. It’s the fewest passes that any team has completed through three weeks (in a non-strike season) since 1978 when the Buccaneers completed just 21 passes through three weeks.
- Saints haven’t been showing up in the first half. After going scoreless in the first half on Sunday, the Saints have now gone scoreless in the first half a total of four times over the past 20 games since Drew Brees’ retirement. To put that in perspective, the Saints were only shut out a total of four times in the first half during Brees’ 228 games as the starter from 2006 to 2020 (via NFL research).
- Justin Tucker is the king of long-range field goals. With a 56-yard field goal against the Patriots, Tucker now has 50 career field goals of 50 yards more, making him just the fourth player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. Tucker joins Matt Prater (66), Sebastian Janikowski (58) and Jason Hanson (52)
If you see any other fun facts, feel free to tweet them at me.
5. Monday preview: Prepping you for Cowboy at Giants
There are only three undefeated teams left in the NFL and the Giants are somehow one of them. If the Giants want to keep their unbeaten record, they’ll have to take down a Cowboys team that has beaten them in nine of the past 10 meetings between these two teams.
My good buddy Jared Dubin put our deep-dive preview for this game here at CBSSports.com, and here’s how he sees the game playing out:
- Why the Cowboys can win: With Cooper Rush still running the show, the Cowboys will likely rely on their running game tonight. If Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard can both have big games, then you have to like the Cowboys’ chances of winning.
- Why the Giants can win: During a Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers, the Cowboys gave up six yards per carry to Leonard Fournette. If the Giants can replicate that kind of success with Saquon Barkley, then they should be able to control the game. Feeding Barkley would also take a lot of pressure off of Daniel Jones, who has struggled in primetime in his career. The Giants QB has never won a night game, going 0-8 since his rookie year in 2019 (For more on his primetime struggles, be sure to click here).
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 has put together a full gambling preview.
- ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Ezekiel Elliott total rushing yards OVER 58.5 (-115): “The Giants are giving up 4.9 yards per carry on the ground this season and have seen the opposing feature back go over this rushing yard total in each of their games thus far. Elliott wasn’t particularly efficient in Week 2 (averaged 3.5 yards per carry), but has historically been solid against the Giants, averaging 82.7 rushing yards per game.”
- ONE PROP I LIKE: Saquon Barkley OVER 3.5 receptions (+106): Through two weeks, the Giants have been trying to get Barkley more involved in the passing game, which has led to the running back being targeted 11 times in two games. The Cowboys have a strong pass-rush, which means this will likely be a game where Daniel Jones will be more than happy to check down. Due to those two factors, it won’t be surprising at all to see Barkley get four or more receptions.
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: Giants 17-14 over Cowboys
Sullivan’s pick: Giants 23-17 over Cowboys
My pick: Giants 16-13 over Cowboys
Over on our CBSSports.com picks page, our eight experts are split down the middle with four of them taking Dallas and four taking New York.
6. NFL changing Pro Bowl format plus Super Bowl halftime show revealed
The NFL made some huge announcements over the past 24 hours and those announcements started on Sunday when the league revealed who would be handling the Super Bowl halftime show this year.
- Rihanna tabbed for Super Bowl halftime show. The Barbadian singing sensation will be the headliner for Apple Music’s first-ever halftime show (The previous 10 halftime shows were all sponsored by Pepsi). Rihanna will soon join a long list of halftime performers that includes such big names as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince and Madonna. Rihanna will be taking the stage on Feb. 12, 2023 in Phoenix.
- Jay-Z seems pretty thrilled to have Rihanna on board. As the founder of Roc Nation, an entertainment agency that helps the NFL pick the performer for the halftime show, Jay-Z seems thrilled that they were able to land Rihanna, “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment,” Jay-Z said.
- Rihanna once passed on a chance to do the halftime show. Back in 2019, Rihanna actually turned down a chance to do the Super Bowl halftime show as a way to show solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, but this year, she has changed her mind.
In another big announcement, the NFL has decided to totally revamp the Pro Bowl.
- The main event will now be a flag football game. Instead of playing an actual football game, the NFL has decided that the Pro Bowlers will now be pitted against each other in a game of flag football that will be played on Feb. 5 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
- The lead up to the game will feature multiple skills competitions. The Pro Bowl might not end up being that exciting, but that NFL has added some spice to the entire week leading up to the Pro Bowl by adding some skills competitions. It’s not yet clear what those competitions will be, but the NFL has had some interesting events over the years, including dodgeball, a QB challenge and even a game of “Kick-Tac-Toe” that took place in 2018. As the game draws closer, look for the NFL to make more announcements about what the skills competitions will look like.