Playoff quarterfinal standings, plus Prisco’s wildcard picks and review of top head coach openings


Hello boys and girls! Ready for playoff football? There are only three days left. You can surely understand why John Breech is not here to deliver the NFL news today. His Bengals are playing very soon, you see, and it’s been said on the streets that he’s busy leaving cheering messages on every player’s voicemail. Fortunately, you have me, Cody Benjamin, to take over here.

This is the Pick Six newsletter. Let’s go now. (And please do yourself a favor and make sure you signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don’t want to miss our daily offers of everything you need to know about the NFL.)

We’ve got Super Wild Card Weekend predictions, a coaching vacancy buzz and more:

  • Today’s show: Are the Broncos the number one destination for coaches, QBs?
  • Getty Images

    At least seven different teams have head coach vacancies heading into the 2022 offseason, and up to a dozen could explore the starting quarterback market. Joining Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL Podcast”, Brady Quinn argued that one team stands out above the rest in terms of preferred landing points for coaches and QBs:

    “Denver is the most attractive vacancy,” he said. “They’ve got a defense, they’ve got a running game, they’ve got (people) to throw at. What everybody’s going to see on the outside (is), ‘Yeah, but you’ve got to play Patrick Mahomes two. times a year and Justin Herbert twice a year and Derek Carr twice a year. (But) a quarterback in the NFL doesn’t work. That’s how every quarterback thinks. They all feel that and think of it that way.… This is the most attractive position for a quarterback or a head coach position, in my opinion. “

    Follow the full discussion, including the best playoff bets and more, here.

    2. Prisco’s choices: the 49ers upset the Cowboys, the Bills rout the Patriots

    Pete Prisco struggled with the predictions in Week 18, but now he assures us he was resting his starters for the playoffs. And his season record is still strong: 168-103-1 in direct selections. So be sure to check out all of his screenings for Super Wild Card Weekend, including these:

    • 49ers 24, Cowboys 23: The 49ers are the team no one wanted to see in the playoffs. They are built to race. … The Dallas offense got back on track against the Eagles’ JV team last week, but it’s a much more difficult challenge. … The 49ers will use their running game and passing rush while taking some explosive shots to advance to the next round.
    • Bills 30, Patriots 17: This is the third game featuring these two this season, each winning on the other’s pitch. … The Patriots haven’t been the same team on the road, especially quarterback Mac Jones. Look for the Bills to win the race and challenge him to beat them. He won’t. The bills will move forward.
    • Chefs 28, Steelers 23: It was in Week 16 when the Steelers were knocked out, 36-10, by the Chiefs. They are healthier now and have a coach in Mike Tomlin who knows how to win the playoffs. … The Steelers will hang around, but the Chiefs will win.

    3. Insider Notes: Defensive Head Coaches Could Make A Comeback

    Leslie Frazier Getty Images

    Whenever the head coach recruiting cycle begins, promising offensive spirits tend to be all the rage. But CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora wouldn’t be surprised if the defensive coaches were more attractive this time around:

    Winning eight of his last nine games wasn’t enough for Brian Flores to keep his job in Miami, but it was enough to grab the attention of other front offices, and he will get an audience with multiple owners as well. Chicago has always been a defensive city, and former Bear Leslie Frazier would suit that perfectly. Todd Bowles might just be the next coach in Tampa if Bruce Arians steps down, and I might also see him in Minnesota, where he was Mike Zimmer’s finalist eight years ago. Or Las Vegas, if it opens. Vance Joseph, who had a brief tenure as head coach of the Broncos, (also) did a great job with the defense in Arizona and would likely be better as a head coach the second time around.

    4. Giants fire Joe Judge after only two seasons on the job

    Although they would have ended the 2021 season with the intention of retaining Judge, the Giants reversed the course on Tuesday night, announcing the sack of the head coach – and marking the third time in six years New York has fired his trainer after only two seasons of work. The judge went down from 10 to 23 after taking office in 2020, and with the retirement of New York chief executive Dave Gettleman said he would hand over the hiring process to its new chief executive, whenever he would be identified.

    The first candidates to replace Judge in the Big Apple? Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore are among the names on the Giants’ radar.

    5. Ranking of the 14 QB playoffs: Tom Brady at the top of the list

    CBS Sports Graphic

    Throughout the season we have ranked the 32 starting QBs each week. Now the playoffs are here, so we’re narrowing the list down to just focus on the playoff starters. Who has the best signalman to step into the dance? You could probably guess. But here’s the full rundown of the 1-14 entrants into Super Wild Card Weekend:

  • Tom Brady (The Buccaneers)
  • Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
  • Patrick Mahomes (Chefs)
  • Josh Allen (Bills)
  • Joe Burrow (Bengal)
  • Dak Prescott (Cowboys)
  • Kyler Murray (Cardinals)
  • Matthew Stafford (rams)
  • Derek Carr (Adventurers)
  • Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
  • Jalen hurts (Eagles)
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers)
  • Mac Jones (patriots)
  • Ben Roethlisberger (Steels)
  • 6. Quick rally: MVP watch, owned by the Broncos, more

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