NFL

Prisco’s final NFL Power Rankings for 2021 season, plus Sean McVay mulls retirement and Super Bowl LVII odds

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

With the Super Bowl now two days behind us, that means the NFL offseason is officially here. If you’re wondering what this newsletter will look like during the offseason, it will mostly be me writing long-form think pieces where I make a case for which team mascot would be the most likely to win a Hunger Games style competition to death. JK, the NFL offseason is always loaded with news, so you’ll be getting a full newsletter each and every day, starting with today. 

We’ll be starting today’s newsletter off with Pete Prisco’s final power rankings of the 2021 season, plus we’ll be taking a look at who the Super Bowl favorites are for next season. 

As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Alright, let’s get to the rundown. 

1. Pete Prisco unveils his end of season power rankings

For his final power rankings of the 2021 season, Pete Prisco had to totally reshuffle things and that’s because he didn’t have the Rams or the Bengals in his top five at the end of the regular season. (The Rams were eighth and the Bengals were sixth.) Those two teams are now at the top of the power rankings and to make that work, Pete had to stay up late and do some major shuffling, and let me just tell you that Pete hates staying up late.       

With that in mind, here’s a look at the top five in Prisco’s final ranking for the 2021 season: 

  1. Rams
  2. Bengals
  3. Bills
  4. Chiefs 
  5. Packers

I’m not going to spoil the rest of the power rankings here, but I am going to give you a few nuggets: 

  • The biggest drop in the rankings went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Going into the playoffs, they were ranked second overall, but they fell all the way to ninth after flaming out at home in the divisional round to the Rams.   
  • The Rams made the biggest jump after winning the Super Bowl (obviously), but if we don’t count them (or the Bengals), then the biggest jump went to the 49ers, who moved up four spots from 11th to seventh. The 49ers might have been one of the final four teams left in the playoffs, but Prisco doesn’t see them as a top-four team. 
  • The Chargers didn’t make the playoffs, but Prisco still had them ranked AHEAD of two playoff teams. The Chargers checked in at 13th, which was ahead of both the Raiders (15th) and Steelers (17th). I’m not sure if Pete watched Week 18, but the Raiders literally beat the Chargers to get into the playoffs.   
  • In the biggest shock of the rankings, the TEXANS will end the year in the cellar. This spot was held by the Lions for most of the year, but Houston managed to sneak in at the last second to claim the 32nd-overall spot.   

If you want to know where your favorite team ended up in Prisco’s power rankings, be sure to click here. If you want to argue with Prisco over his rankings, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here. I argue with him all the time about everything.

2. Rams news: Sean McVay noncommittal about returning in 2022, Odell Beckham Jr. believed to have torn ACL 

It’s been less than 48 hours since the Rams won the Super Bowl, and it’s starting to feel like this team might not be one you want to bet on to pull off a repeat. Not only will they be likely be losing multiple free agents, but there’s no guarantee that Sean McVay is even going to return next season. 

Here’s a look at all the Rams news that’s gone down over the past 24 hours: 

  • Sean McVay non-committal about 2022. The Rams coach was asked Monday if he’ll still be coaching the team next year and gave an ominous two-word answer: “We’ll see.” That’s not exactly what you want to hear if you’re a Rams fan. According to the New York Post, McVay will have plenty of opportunities in television if he decides to walk away from the Rams, and if he goes to TV, he’ll likely be able to make as much (or more) money than he’s making now with one-tenth of the stress. McVay has also mentioned wanting to start a family, which is notable because he’s getting married this summer and that might be one huge factor on why he could want to cut down on his working hours. Basically, it genuinely seems like he’s on the fence about what he wants to do next. 
  • Would Kevin O’Connell stay with the Rams? O’Connell is set to be hired as the Vikings new coach, but that hasn’t officially happened yet. The last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl, Zac Taylor was named coach of the Bengals the day after the game, but with O’Connell, there still hasn’t been an announcement made. This could mean the Vikings are waiting for the Rams to finish their Super Bowl celebrations — the parade is Wednesday — or it could maybe mean that O’Connell knows that McVay is serious about retirement and he’s slow-playing this to see if he could maybe get the L.A. job instead. Pro Football Talk threw out that theory this morning and it’s not completely crazy, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen considering ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a few hours later that the Vikings are planning to introduce O’Connell as their next head coach on Thursday. 
  • Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly has torn ACL. For the second time in two years, OBJ is dealing with a torn ACL. The Rams receiver injured his knee in the first half of the Super Bowl and didn’t return. At the time of his injury, it seemed pretty severe and it turns out it was. The bad news for Beckham is that he’s set to be a free agent and this injury is definitely going to hurt his market. Since it happened in February, it’s more than likely that Beckham won’t be on the field to start the upcoming season no matter who he plays for in 2022.  
  • McVay calls his shot. With the game on the line and the Bengals facing a fourth-and-1 in the final minute of Super Bowl LVI, Sean McVay knew exactly what was going to happen. The Rams coach predicted that Aaron Donald would blow up the play to seal the Rams’ Super Bowl win and that’s exactly what happened. You can check out McVay’s prediction by clicking here

Here’s one other McVay tidbit: He graduated from Miami of Ohio, which is notable because it means Miami has now produced more Super Bowl winning coaches (three) than any other college. McVay joins Ravens coach John Harbaugh and former Jets coach Weeb Ewbank. As someone who went to Miami, I felt morally obligated to share that fact with you today. 

3. Super Bowl LVII odds

If you’re sad the Super Bowl is over and that there aren’t any NFL games left to bet on this year, I have some good news for you: You can already bet on the winner of next year’s Super Bowl. The oddsmakers never sleep and they’ve already listed the favorites for Super Bowl LVII, which will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The one thing you’ll notice about these odds is that the team that won Super Bowl LVI is NOT the favorite to win Super Bowl LVII.  

Let’s check out the Super Bowl odds for the 2022 season (For a full list, be sure to click here)

1. Chiefs +650 (Bet $100 to win $650)
2. Bills +700
3. Rams +1000
4. Bengals +1200
5. 49ers +1400
6. Packers +1500
7. Cowboys +1600
8. Buccaneers +1800
T-9. Titans +2000
T-9. Ravens +2000

Worst odds: Jets and Texans at +20000 (Bet $100 to win $20,000)
Best value: Packers or Titans, Chargers +2500 

If I had to make a Super Bowl bet right now, I’d probably put some money on the Packers and then cross my fingers and hope that Rodgers plans on returning. Of course, that bet could quickly blow up in my face if he has no plans of playing for the Packers ever again. On the other hand, if he does return, getting the Packers at 15-to-1 odds is a steal. In the AFC, I love the value of a Titans bet. That team finished as the No. 1 overall seed in the conference even though they were missing their top player for nearly half the season. If everyone stays healthy, there’s no reason the Titans shouldn’t be able to get back in the playoffs, especially since they play in one of the worst divisions in football. 

As for the Chargers, they have one of the most exciting quarterbacks in football and they only missed the playoffs by one game. After going 9-8 last season, I feel like they’re only going to be better in 2022. At 25-to-1 odds to win it all, that’s a bet I’d think about making. 

Last year, my best value team for Super Bowl LVI was the Rams and guess what happened? The Rams won the Super Bowl. You can see my pick from last year by clicking here

4. Five teams that could have a surprising 2022

With the Bengals going from worst-to-first and then all the way to the Super Bowl, that’s probably going to give a lot teams hope for 2022, so Cody Benjamin decided to take a look at five teams who will likely improve upon their records next season. 

This doesn’t mean any of these five teams will make the Super Bowl, but according to Cody, these are five teams who should be way better than they were in 2021.  

1. Jaguars
2. Ravens
3. Chargers
4. Broncos
5. Vikings

On the Jaguars’ end, Cody doesn’t think they’re going to win the Super Bowl, but he does think they could have one of the bigger turnarounds between 2021 and 2022. If they win eight or nine games in 2022, that would be a huge improvement on their 2021 record of 3-14. To check out Cody’s full explanation for each team on his list, be sure to click here

5. 2022 NFL Draft order is finally set

With the Super Bowl over, that means the order for the 2022 NFL Draft is finally set. The team that wins the Super Bowl normally gets the final pick of the first round, but that won’t be the case this year because the Rams traded it away to the Lions in the deal that brought Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles. (By the way, I think it’s now safe to say that the Rams won that trade.)

This means the Lions will have two picks in the first round: second overall and 32nd overall. 

As for the Bengals, who will be getting the 31st overall pick, assuming they don’t make any trades, this will be the latest they’ve made their first pick of the draft since 1989 when they didn’t make their first selection until the 35th overall pick.

With that in mind, here is the official order for the 2022 NFL Draft: 

1. Jaguars 
2. Lions 
3. Texans 
4. Jets
5. Giants
6. Panthers 
7. Giants (via Bears
8. Falcons 
9. Broncos 
10. Jets (via Seahawks)
11. Washington
12. Vikings 
13. Browns 
14. Ravens 
15. Eagles (via Dolphins)
16. Eagles (via Colts)
17. Chargers 
18. Saints
19. Eagles
20. Steelers
21. Patriots
22. Raiders
23. Cardinals
24. Cowboys 
25. Bills
26. Titans
27. Buccaneers
28. Packers
29. Dolphins (via 49ers)
30. Chiefs
31. Bengals
32. Lions (via Rams)

The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place from April 28 thru 30 in Las Vegas. If you want to know who each of these teams might draft, then be sure to click here so you can check out the latest mock from CBSSports.com’s senior draft analyst, Ryan Wilson

6. Rapid-fire roundup: John Madden Memorial held in Oakland

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. 

  • John Madden Memorial held in Oakland. The family of John Madden held a public memorial for him in Oakland on Monday and it was quite the event. Andy Reid, Ron Rivera and Steve Mariucci were all in attendance along with thousands of Madden’s biggest fans. Peyton Manning and Brett Favre also both recorded video tributes for the NFL legend. For details on how the memorial went, be sure to click here or here
  • Colts undecided on Carson Wentz. Although one report over the weekend suggested the Colts are ready to move on from Wentz, that might not be a done deal. According to The Athletic, the Colts haven’t yet decided what they’re going to do and although they could eventually get rid of Wentz, there’s also a chance he could return for a second season with the team. 
  • Kyler Murray breaks silence on Cardinals drama. In response to all the drama that’s gone down over the weekend with the Cardinals and Murray bad-mouthing each other through the use of anonymous sources, Murray tried to clear the air. “All of this nonsense is not what I’m about, never has been, never will be. Anyone who has ever stepped between those lines with me knows how hard I go.” If you have to say you’re not about nonsense, that seems like a red flag.  
  • Adrian Peterson breaks silence on arrest. The NFL running back was arrested Sunday on a felony domestic violence charge. According to Peterson, the entire situation got blown out of proportion, “Me and the wife got into an argument on the plane. That was pretty much the gist of it. I ended up grabbing her hand and taking her ring off her finger. She didn’t press any charges. The state of California pressed charges because there was a scratch on her hand.”
  • Dolphins appear to have found an OC. Mike McDaniel will apparently be turning to the Chargers to get his new OC. According to ESPN.com, the Dolphins plan on hiring Frank Smith, who spent last season as the Chargers’ run game coordinator and offensive line coach.
  • DK Metcalf undergoes surgery. The Seahawks receiver recently underwent surgery on his left foot and we know that because he shared a picture of it on social media. According to NFL.com, it was a minor issue that had been bothering him all season. 



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