Lions down to almost zero coaches, NFL Week 16 picks plus a Vikings-Saints Christmas Day preview


Guys, it is the Christmas Eve e-newsletter, so clearly, it solely is sensible to start out issues off right this moment with a poem.  

“‘Twas the night time earlier than Christmas and all by the city,
NFL followers had been dreaming of the playoffs, even followers of the Browns 
Not all followers had been blissful, particularly these of the Jets
Who misplaced their shot at Trevor, which made everybody upset
The Chiefs have the one roster that does not appear to have a gap,
Which might be why they’re the favorites to win the Tremendous Bowl
In Pittsburgh, Steelers followers do not know what to do, 
As a result of their QB simply admitted the crew is enjoying like poo
May the Titans win all of it? Solely time will inform
However they seem like the most effective groups because of Tannehill
As for the Payments, they’ve lastly shed the “cannot win the division” label
And their followers celebrated by smashing themselves by a folding desk
On the NFC’s facet, there aren’t actually any playoff races, 
which suggests we’ll see a number of acquainted faces. 
Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and the Seahawks from Seattle, 
however most likely not the Cowboys, as a result of they choked in each massive battle.
Tom Brady will probably be round attempting to win Tremendous Bowl quantity seven
If the Browns might simply win one, their followers could be in heaven 
Now let’s get to the e-newsletter, so you possibly can end this e-mail and depart, 
Have a fantastic day and a enjoyable Christmas Eve.”

Simply so that you guys know, that would be the first and final poem I ever write. Additionally, since I apparently get Christmas Time off, this will probably be your final e-newsletter of the week, so I hope you get pleasure from. I will be again Monday to recap all of the craziness of the weekend. 

With that in thoughts, let’s get to the rundown (Christmas Eve version). As all the time, this is your weekly reminder to inform all your folks to join the e-newsletter. All it’s a must to do is click on right here after which share the hyperlink. A subscription is free and it makes a beautiful Christmas current. 

1. At the moment’s Present: NFL Week 16 picks and greatest bets

I do not assume Will Brinson has seen his household in 4 months, so that they’re most likely going to be shocked when he spends all the day with them tomorrow for Christmas. The explanation he’ll be capable to do that’s as a result of he went podcast loopy on Thursday, recording a number of podcasts, together with a Vikings-Saints preview. Nevertheless, since not everyone seems to be a fan of the Vikings and Saints, we’ll deal with one other podcast he recorded: The one the place he is joined by Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White to debate Week 16 picks. 

If you happen to get Christmas cash from Grandma, listed here are a couple of picks you may need to take into consideration betting on together with your newfound fortune.    

Will Brinson 
Ravens (-11) to cowl in opposition to the Giants
Colts (-1.5) to cowl in opposition to the Steelers
Browns at Jets UNDER 47

Pete Prisco 
Rams (+1.5) to cowl in opposition to the Seahawks
Jets (+9.5) to cowl in opposition to the Browns
Broncos at Chargers OVER 49

R.J. White
Texans (-8) to cowl in opposition to the Bengals
Packers (-3.5) to cowl in opposition to the Titans
Raiders (+3) to cowl in opposition to the Dolphins

Kenny White
Steelers (+1.5) to cowl in opposition to the Colts
Browns (-9.5) to cowl in opposition to the Jets
Titans at Packers OVER 55.5

To listen to what the remainder of the very best bets are for Week 16 — and there are fairly a couple of — make sure you click on right here so that you can hearken to all the episode of the podcast. If you happen to want some each day fantasy assist for the weekend, we even have a podcast overlaying that angle of Week 16 within the feed, so there’s a lot to hearken to if you happen to get bored with your loved ones and that you must get away for an hour or two. 

2. Getting you prepared for Vikings-Saints sport on Christmas Day

The final time the Vikings performed on Christmas Day, my brother unintentionally burnt down half our home, so I am hoping that does not occur once more this 12 months (If you need extra particulars on that bizarre story, be happy to click on right here). 

This sport is combining the 2 rarest issues within the NFL: A Christmas sport with a Friday sport. It is like combining Cheetos and ice cream, it looks like it should not make sense, however it does. 

Let’s check out a couple of keys for every crew in a sport the place the Saints are favored by seven factors: 

  • Vikings: If the Vikings are going to win, they will want an enormous efficiency from each Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook dinner. Cousins has really been one of many hottest quarterbacks within the NFL over the previous six weeks as he is averaged 285 yards passing whereas throwing 14 touchdowns to simply three interceptions. As for Cook dinner, the Saints rush protection has surrendered a median of 212.5 yards per sport over the previous two weeks and if he can take benefit that, Minnesota may be capable to pull off the upset. 
  • Saints: With Michael Thomas out and Drew Brees wanting rusty, the Saints are going to want an enormous sport from Alvin Kamara in the event that they need to stave off a Vikings crew that will probably be dealing with elimination from the playoff race in the event that they lose on Friday. Defensively, the Saints want to determine tips on how to cease the run, which is one thing they have not performed an excellent job of over the previous two weeks. 

Breech’s prediction: Vikings 30-20 over Saints.

For a extra in-depth preview on this sport from Cody Benjamin, make sure you click on right here. If you happen to’re questioning in regards to the historical past of Christmas video games within the NFL, our Jeff Kerr did some analysis on that and also you can take a look at what he discovered by clicking right here

If you happen to’re desirous about betting on the sport, Tyler Sullivan put collectively a full playing preview. 

  • ONE PROP TYLER LIKES: Dalvin Cook dinner over 82.5 dashing yards (-115): If this sport had been performed 4 weeks in the past, taking this prop may not have made sense and that is as a result of nobody might run on the Saints, however that appears to have modified. Over the previous 4 weeks, the Saints are giving up a median of 148.8 yards per sport on the bottom, which is way worse than what they did to start out the season after they gave up a median of simply 74.3 by their first 10 video games.   
  • ONE PROP I LIKE: Dan Bailey over 5.5 complete kicking factors (-115): The truth that Bailey was dangerous in Weeks 13 and 14 — he missed a complete of seven kicks — is understanding in your favor right here. That is an extremely low over/underneath for a kicker and I am guessing it was set this low as a result of Vikings coach Mike Zimmer appears to have misplaced some religion in Bailey. That being mentioned, Bailey did bounce again in Week 15 with an ideal sport that noticed him rating 9 factors. If he hits two discipline targets on Friday, this prop covers and I believe he’ll hit two discipline targets on Friday.   

You may take a look at Sullivan’s full playing preview by clicking right here

3. So that you’re saying there’s an opportunity? Vikings have one path to the playoffs; Six groups could possibly be eradicated this week

I am unsure if you happen to’ve regarded on the NFL standings this week, however you probably have, you’ll have observed that the Vikings are in hassle. With two weeks to play, they’re two video games out of the ultimate playoff spot within the NFC. In keeping with our stats man Stephen Oh, the Vikings have a 1.3% likelihood of constructing the playoffs, and that is my cue to convey up Lloyd Christmas and his most well-known saying ever, “SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE.” Guys, it is Christmas time, so clearly I had to determine tips on how to work a man named Lloyd Christmas into the e-newsletter right this moment. 

Because the Vikings head into their Christmas sport in opposition to the Saints, they’ve one path to the playoffs and one route alone. This is what must occur for them to make it. 

Week 16 
Vikings beat Saints
49ers beat Cardinals

Week 17
Vikings beat Lions
Rams beat Cardinals

The Bears additionally need to lose one among their last two video games — they play the Jaguars and Packers — and if all that occurs, the 8-8 Vikings would get in over the 8-8 Bears and 8-8 Cardinals. However, if the Vikings lose Friday, they are going to be eradicated from playoff rivalry. 

The Vikings are one among six groups that could possibly be eradicated this week with a loss. This is what has to occur for every of these six groups to get knocked out: 

Vikings: OUT with loss OR Cardinals win 
Raiders: OUT with loss OR Ravens win 
Eagles: OUT with loss OR Washington win
Giants: OUT with loss plus Washington OR Philadelphia win
Cowboys: OUT with loss OR Washington win
Bears: OUT with loss plus Arizona win

A win by Washington might probably find yourself eliminating each crew within the NFC East. 

4. NFL Week 16 NFL picks 

In case you have not observed, we like to make picks right here at CBS Sports activities. As a matter of reality, I even like to make picks about who’s going to have the very best picks every week. Two guys who virtually all the time do an excellent job with their picks are Jordan Dajani and Tom Fornelli and though it is Christmas Eve, these guys went to the Invoice Belichick faculty of working, which suggests NO DAYS OFF. 

With that in thoughts, let’s take a look at one choose from every man for Week 16: 

  • Dajani: Colts (-1.5) at Steelers. The Steelers have gone 4 straight video games with out scoring at the least 20 factors, they’ve misplaced three in a row and Ben Roethlisberger admitted this week that the crew is enjoying like ‘poo.’ I believe we will all agree with Jordan that you simply should not again a crew that is enjoying like poo. Dajani’s choose: Colts 27-24 over Pittsburgh. 
  • Fornelli: Panthers (+2.5) at Washington. This can be a revenge sport for Ron Rivera, however Fornelli is not backing Rivera to cowl the unfold right here and that is as a result of he is determined to not wager in opposition to the best underdog quarterback within the historical past of soccer. Over the course of his profession, Teddy Bridgewater is 19-2 in opposition to the unfold as a street underdog. That is the sort of stat that solely a playing degenerate like Fornelli would know and that is the sort of stat that may make you cash. Fornelli’s choose: Washington 23-21 over Panthers (Panthers cowl). 

For a have a look at Fornelli’s three “Greatest Bets” for Week 16, make sure you click on right here. If you happen to’re searching for the remainder of Dajani’s Week 16 picks — he picks each sport — make sure you click on right here. One different factor, if you happen to like this text, I ought to have you already know that Fornelli additionally writes a e-newsletter and it is simply as enjoyable. It is the CBS Sports activities HQ PM version e-newsletter and you’ll subscribe to it by clicking right here

5. Saturday NFL triple-header will function a Lions crew with virtually no coaches

One time I drank a lot egg nog on Christmas Day that I used to be principally in an egg nog coma for 17 straight hours, and it might need even been greater than that, however I can not make sure, as a result of protecting observe of time whenever you’re in an egg nog coma is almost not possible. The purpose right here is that if you happen to’re in an egg nog coma on Saturday, that may not be such a foul factor and that is as a result of there are THREE video games to observe. 

I by no means thought I might say this, however essentially the most fascinating one may be the one involving the Lions. The crew introduced on Thursday that interim head coach Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, defensive position coach Bo Davis, defensive backs coach Steve Gregory and linebackers coach Ty McKenzie all won’t be teaching in Saturday’s sport in opposition to Tampa Bay attributable to COVID-19 protocols. Feels like Detroit goes to have a enjoyable Christmas

Let’s take a fast have a look at every sport: 

Buccaneers at Lions (+9.5), 1 p.m. ET (NFL Community): In what may be an NFL first, the Lions are going to have their third head coach of the season on this sport. Half the Lions teaching workers is out attributable to COVID-19, together with interim coach Darrell Bevell, which suggests the job of head coach goes to fall on the shoulders of Robert Prince, who’s normally the crew’s broad receivers coach. Additionally, the Lions defensive coordinator on Saturday goes to be somebody who works of their “analysis and evaluation” division. If Bruce Arians will get out-coached on this sport, he may need to take into consideration firing himself. Breech’s choose: Buccaneers 27-17 over Lions

49ers at Cardinals (-5), 4:30 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime Video): If you happen to’re hoping to observe this sport, I hope you have got Amazon Prime, as a result of that is the one sport all season that will not be broadcast on tv. Amazon gave the NFL a ton of cash to resume Thursday night time streaming rights final April and the league responded by giving the web big its personal standalone sport to be streamed on Amazon Prime. Breech’s choose: Cardinals 31-23 over 49ers

Dolphins at Raiders (+3), 8:15 p.m. ET (NFL Community): After taking place with an unpleasant groin harm in Week 15, it regarded like Derek Carr’s season may be over, however apparently, that is not the case. Carr really practiced on Wednesday and a part of me thinks he did it as a result of he would not need to get Wally Pipp’d by Marcus Mariota. For you youthful readers, Wally Pipp misplaced his beginning job to Lou Gehrig after which Gehrig ended up enjoying in 1,000,000 straight video games, so Pipp by no means obtained his job again. I am not saying Carr has a proper to be fearful, but when Mariota did begin and beat the Dolphins after which additionally gained in Week 17, I really feel that will give Jon Gruden lots to consider heading into the offseason. That being mentioned, I do not care who begins for the Raiders, I am choosing the Dolphins. Breech’s choose: Dolphins 20-17 over Raiders

In addition to these three video games, we even have a full slate of video games on Sunday and a traditional Monday night time sport. To take a look at the complete schedule for this weekend, make sure you click on right here

6. MVP Watch: Josh Allen sneaks again into race

The Buffalo Payments have not had an NFL MVP in 47 years, however that drought might finish this season if Josh Allen can in some way take residence the award. Allen has snuck his manner again into the MVP race; at the least he has within the eyes of the NFL writers right here at CBSSports.com. Our Cody Benjamin rounded up a panel of consultants to vote on the MVP award heading into Week 16 and Allen vaulted as much as third after rating fifth the final time we did this two weeks in the past. 

The panel of voters included CBS Sports activities senior reporter Jonathan Jones, NFL writers Jared Dubin, Cody Benjamin, Tyler Sullivan, Jordan Dajani, Jeff Kerr and Josh Edwards. Plus me, as a result of let’s be trustworthy, I am the MVP of voting on issues, so that you sort of have to incorporate me. 

This is a breakdown of our voting: 

1. Patrick Mahomes: 33 factors 
2. Aaron Rodgers: 29 factors 
3. Josh Allen: 20 factors
4. Derrick Henry: 13 factors
5. Russell Wilson: 4 factors 

I personally voted for Mahomes at one, so I am glad to see practically everybody agreed with me. A complete of eight gamers obtained at the least one vote and if you wish to know who else landed on the listing, you possibly can take a look at the voting by clicking right here.

If Allen does win, he’d be the primary Payments participant to win the award since Thurman Thomas in 1991.

7. The Kicker! 

I wasn’t planning to finish the e-newsletter by writing about Dwayne Haskins, however when an NFL quarterback is making it rain at a strip membership whereas not sporting a masks throughout a pandemic, the story writes itself. Since there have been no quarterbacks at strip golf equipment final night time, we will return to speaking about a very powerful place in soccer: Kickers. 

When the Professional Bowl rosters had been introduced earlier this week, I forgot to say the truth that Younghoe Koo made the crew, which may be the actual Christmas miracle of 2020. Let’s take a fast have a look at his path to the Professional Bowl

2017: Lower by the Chargers after simply 4 video games (The Chargers clearly know nothing about kicking).
2018: OUT OF FOOTBALL.
2019: Kicks within the Alliance of American Soccer, however loses job after AAF folds (later indicators with Falcons).
2020: Leads NFL in discipline targets made, voted to Professional Bowl as NFC starter.

Now I do not really feel so foolish for asking my household to get me a Koo jersey for Christmas. If you happen to’re questioning who the Professional Bowl kicker was within the AFC, it was Justin Tucker

Anyway, I hope you guys have a contented vacation weekend and if I did not make it clear to start out the e-newsletter, we’re taking Dec. 25 off and I will be again on Monday… so long as I am not nonetheless in an egg nog coma. 





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