NFL Week 4 picks, plus looking at Brady vs. Belichick and recapping Bengals’ wild win over Jaguars

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six Newsletter!

It’s a huge day here and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Bengals homer and the Bengals won last night, I’m saying that because today is the ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of me writing this newsletter. I have no idea why I was put in charge of this thing but I think it’s because I’m the only one on staff who likes both news and letters. 

Of course, this newsletter would be pretty boring if no one was reading it, so I’d like to thank everyone who opens this thing up every day. You guys have stuck around even though I talk way too much about the Bengals and even though I’ve probably picked against your favorite team multiple times. 

Speaking of the Bengals, it’s fitting that they picked up a wild 24-21 win last night, because that gives me an excuse to talk about them today. We’ll also be covering Tom Brady’s return to New England plus offering some Week 4 picks, so let’s get to the rundown. 

Remember, your job this weekend is to get as many people you know to sign up for the newsletter. The best part is that your friends can get the one-year anniversary discount if they sign up now. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them. Also, there is no discount because this newsletter is always free!

1. Today’s show: Recapping Cincinnati’s wild win over Jacksonville

I’m not sure what kind of expectations most fans had going into Thursday night’s game, but I think it’s safe to say that this game exceeded them. The battle between Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence turned into a classic and continued the NFL’s streak of giving us wild primetime games. 

The only thing more exciting than the game was the podcast we recorded after the game. In today’s episode of the podcast, we recapped the Bengals’ wild win over the Jaguars. If you missed the game, here’s a quick rehash of what happened and what we talked about on the podcast:

Joe Burrow goes off in the second half. The Bengals offense got off to a slow start in the first half with Burrow throwing for just 95 yards. However, Burrow was definitely dialed in during a second half where the Bengals scored on all four of their possessions (four touchdowns, one field goal). In the second half, Burrow went 17 of 20 for 253 yards two touchdowns, which included going 5 of 5 for 68 yards on Cincinnati’s final drive to set up Evan McPherson’s game-winning field goal. Burrow ended up finishing with 348 passing yards in the game. The Bengals got plenty of other impressive performances from guys like Tyler Boyd (nine catches for 118 yards) and C.J. Uzomah (five catches, 95 yards, two touchdowns), but it was Burrow who was the star of the game. Jaguars finally figure out how to use Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars quarterback struggled through the first three weeks of the season and that’s because it looked like the team was making him run an offense that didn’t exactly fit his skill set. For Thursday’s game, that changed. The Jags utilized the read-option multiple times, which allowed Lawrence to take off and run whenever he felt comfortable. Lawrence ended up rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown on eight carries (Of those eight carries, one went for a TD and three converted a third down for the Jags). Lawrence also showed off his right arm, throwing for 204 yards. Goal line stand was key to Bengals’ win. This game could have turned into a blowout in Jacksonville’s favor, but the Bengals defense saved the day just before halftime. With just 59 seconds left to play in the first half, the Jaguars were facing a fourth-and-goal from Cincinnati’s 1-yard line. The Jags were already up 14-0 and a score at that point would have given them a nearly insurmountable 21-0 lead. Instead, the Bengals stopped Lawrence cold on a QB sneak. The defensive stop seemed to give the Bengals a jolt of life heading into halftime. Before that play, the Bengals defense had given up 240 total yards in the game. In the second half, the defense limited Jacksonville to just 101 total yards. 

To listen/watch today’s episode on YouTube, be sure to click here (Seriously, you can WATCH the podcast). You can also check out our takeaways from the game by clicking here. 

2. Today’s show Part II: Best bets for Week 4

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 politely asked me and Ryan Wilson to leave so that he could bring in Pete Prisco and R.J. White for a discussion about their best bets for Week 4. 

Actually, Brinson didn’t politely ask us to leave, I ditched him so I could go re-watch the Bengals-Jaguars game and Wilson hung up his Zoom call on him. 

Anyway, the guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played in Week 4 and we’re going to cover three from each guy below.  

Pete Prisco (2-1 last week in picks featured here)Bills (-16) to cover against the TexansRaiders at Chargers OVER 52.5Cardinals at Rams OVER 55

Will Brinson (0-3 last week in picks featured here)Falcons (+1.5) to cover against the WashingtonRavens (Pick’em) over BroncosPanthers at Cowboys OVER 50.5

R.J. White  (2-1 last week in picks featured here)Cowboys (-4.5) to cover against the PanthersPatriots (+7) to cover against the BuccaneersChargers (-3) to cover against the Raiders

The three guys also have a parlay they like that pays out +595 and that parlay is: 

That parlay will pay out $595 on a $100 bet.  

To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 4 — and there are quite a few — be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast.

3. Tom Brady vs. Bill Belichick: Here’s everything we have on the QB’s return to New England 

One of the most anticipated games in NFL regular season history is now just 48 hours away: Tom Brady will be returning to New England on Sunday night to face the coach who kicked him to the curb. 

Since Buccaneers at Patriots is such a big game, we’ve been pushing out content all week and since I don’t want you to miss any of that content, I’ve rounded it all up here. 

Tom Brady’s top-10 moments at Gillette Stadium. With Brady heading back to Foxboro, we decided to take a look at his top-10 moments that he ever had at his old stomping grounds and you can check that out by clicking here. Bill Belichick without Tom Brady. Since Brady left New England in 2020, the Patriots coach has an 8-11 record without his former QB. How has he done in his entire coaching career with quarterbacks other than Brady? You can find out that answer to that question by clicking here. How Belichick might scheme to stop Brady. The Patriots coach is a defensive mastermind who knows all to Brady’s weaknesses, but will he actually be able to slow down his former QB? Jared Dubin took a look at what Belichick might do on Sunday to stop Brady. Tom Brady’s take on this week. The former Patriots quarterback says no one in New England will be offended if the Buccaneers win because “they know I wanna kick their butt.” You can read more of his comments by clicking here. Notable revenge games in NFL history. Tom Brady isn’t the only player to return to face his former team after winning a Super Bowl with them. Bryan DeArdo made a list of all the notable revenge games in NFL history and you can check that out by clicking here. Tom Brady will likely break Drew Brees’ record for career passing yards. Brady needs just 68 yards to break the record and Brees would like that to happen as soon as possible on Sunday. If you want to know how Brees feels about losing the record to Brady, then you’ll definitely want to click here. Even LeBron James is talking about this game. The NBA star compared Brady’s upcoming game to the time he returned to Cleveland in 2010 after taking his talents to South Beach. For more on LeBron’s comments, be sure to click here. Buccaneers-Patriots picks. Everyone at CBS Sports seems to be picking the Buccaneers to win and you can check out our picks by clicking here. 

Hopefully that will give you enough content to read until the game kicks off, which will be happening on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. 

4. NFL Week 4 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. I once crammed 12 dirty diapers into a small pail while we were on vacation with my then 11-month old, so I know I’m good at cramming. 

With that in mind, we’ve got some Week 3 picks coming your way and those will be coming from Will Brinson, Tom Fornelli and Jonathan Jones along with CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora and writers Jordan Dajani and Tyler Sullivan. 

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: Vikings 35-31 over Browns (Minnesota covers +2). “The Browns sport a top 10 defense on the year, but are substantially better at limiting the run than the pass and they won’t be facing Justin Fields again this week. I like Minnesota to emerge from a shootout with a critical win.” For the rest of Brinson’s Week 4 picks, be sure to click here.Jonathan Jones: Buccaneers over Patriots. “I can’t say I expect this one to be entirely close by the fourth quarter. Tom Brady’s knowledge of Bill Belichick’s system is too great. And as well as Belichick knows Brady, you can only do so much when he’s getting the ball out in less than 2.3 seconds. I think Brady wants to make a point Sunday night and he has the horses to do it.” For the rest of Jones’ Week 4 picks plus his insider notebook, be sure to click here.Jason La Canfora: Packers over Steelers (Green Bay covers -6.5). “The Steelers offensive line is getting overwhelmed, Ben Roethlisberger cannot move and they cannot run the football. I just don’t think in this setting they can take advantage of some of the Packers’ weaknesses.” For the rest of La Canfora’s Week 4 picks, be sure to click here.Tom Fornelli: Cowboys 27-24 over Panthers (Carolina covers +4.5). “Is there anything you’d rather do than fade the Cowboys after they played well in a national spotlight game? “Did you hear the news? The Cowboys are good again!” I mean, sure, maybe they’re good, or maybe they just beat up on a lousy team and are now being overvalued against a Panthers team that’s been solid.” For the rest of Fornelli’s Week 4 picks, be sure to click here.Jordan Dajani: Chiefs 28-20 over Eagles (K.C. covers -7). “This is the first time the Chiefs have been under .500 since Week 10 in 2015. After a divisional loss, you know Patrick Mahomes and Co. have to be more motivated than ever, and they have a chance to take out some frustration against a flailing Eagles team.” For the rest of Dajani’s Week 4 picks, be sure to click here.Tyler Sullivan: Lions 24-20 over Bears (Detroit covers +3). “Despite their 0-3 record on the year, the Lions have been competitive under first-year head coach Dan Campbell. While many may not be too surprised about the Lions’ record, they haven’t rolled over. They now get a Bears team that looks lost offensively, even with first-round rookie Justin Fields under center.” For the rest of Sullivan’s Week 4 picks, be sure to click here. 5. Super Bowl halftime show announced 

The Super Bowl is still four months away and although I don’t normally talk about things that are more than four days into the future — the reason for that is because who knows if civilization is even going to exist four days from now, let alone four months — we’ll be talking about the Super Bowl today and that’s because the NFL has announced the halftime show. 

With the Super Bowl being held in the Los Angeles area for the first time since January 1993, the NFL decided to tab several Southern California natives to handle the show. 

Here’s a look at the five entertainers who will be on stage for the hip hop halftime show:

Dr. DreSnoop DoggMary J. BligeEminemKendrick Lamar

These artists have been combined to win 43 Grammys with Eminem taking home 15 of them. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Lamar are all from Southern California, which likely played a small factor in the NFL’s decision to feature them on the halftime show. Snoop actually made a pitch to be on the halftime show back in January 2020 and the NFL clearly listened. 

For more details on the halftime show, be sure to click here. 

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, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

Colts limping into Sunday’s game. At 0-3, the Colts are in dire need of a win this weekend, but it’s not going to be easy and that’s because they’re extremely banged up. The team had a total of SEVEN starters out with an injury during Thursday’s practice, including Quenton Nelson (left guard), Braden Smith (right tackle) and Jack Doyle (tight end). If you’re thinking about betting on the Colts or picking them to win, you’ll definitely want to check Friday’s final injury report before doing that. Lamar Jackson misses two practices this week. The Ravens QB is dealing with a back issue that caused him to miss practice on both Wednesday AND Thursday. Although Lamar is expected to play on Sunday against the Broncos after practicing Friday, it’s never a good sign when your starting QB misses multiple practices and it’s definitely not a good sign when that QB is dealing with an unpredictable injury like back injuries tend to be (Sometimes you feel 100%, other times it flares up when you get out of bed and you can’t move the rest of the day. Like I said, UNPREDICTABLE).   Giants unveiling new white pants. The Giants haven’t given their fans much to cheer about this season, so maybe these new pants will help. The new pants are white with a red stripe down the leg and you can check them out by clicking here.  George Kittle not guaranteed to play Sunday. The 49ers tight end is dealing with a calf injury, which could keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday morning that his star tight end is “not guaranteed” to play. 2021 NFL Salute to Service Gear is here

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