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Coming up, basketball, football, million dollar picks. Oh, yeah, it's Thursday. Next. We're also brought to you by The Ringer podcast network. I put up a new Rewatchables on Monday night. Did In The Line of Fire. I have a horror movie coming on Monday for Rewatchables. So stay tuned for that. Coming up, we're going to have Rob Mahony talking after the two Thursday night T&T NBA games. We're going to react to basically everything we've seen for the last three days, just things that have jumped out to us. And then Peter Schrager is going to come on and talk about the NFL. Do we have a best team? What are we noticing through seven weeks? What can we expect in week eight that will lead to million dollar picks? And that is today's podcast. Let's bring in our friends from Pearl Jam.


All right.


We're typing this. It's almost 10 o'clock on Thursday night. Pacific Time. Rob Behony is here from the Ringer NBA and showing theringer. Com. We stayed up late because these were two good games. We've had three straight days of very entertaining basketball. And we got to start with the biggest story. Kelly Ubre in the Sixers. What a signing that was. He looks great. No, we just watched LeBron versus the Suns. Lebron's 29-minute limit, I think, is out the window. He put the whole and then I made the two big head down just going to the basketballs at the end. But biggest thing that's jumped out to you in the last three days is what?


Lakers-wise or just in general?


In general.


I think a lot of these teams that we expect to be really good to clearly have some assembly required. And the Lakers are one of those teams. I think we saw that from the Bucks and the Sixers tonight, too. We're seeing it certainly with the first days of the Victor, Webanyama experience. Everyone is getting up to speed into their rhythms, trying to understand how all these new pieces fit together. Not revelatory for the opening days of the season to feel that way. But I think even some of the stuff that personally I thought was going to be seamless, like the Yanes, Daim, Pick & Roll, there's some kinks in it that they're going to have to figure out over time.


Lakers, I thought, were the one that surprised me on that one because I thought they were one of the teams that were going to have the advantage coming in. If you think about last year's team compared to this year's team, it doesn't seem like Reeves is involved enough either game. I don't want to say he's an afterthought, but it just felt like he was more in the mix in the playoffs last year. And I liked what Schrooter did for them last year. And he was good on Toronto last night and really fit in with what they did. So they're going to have to figure out that Vincent, Dilo thing. Wood was playing Crunch Time, which I was really surprised. Did you think we'd be getting this much Christian Wood? I thought that was like a flyer for them.


Guiding Kevin Durant on some possessions? Wild stuff. But if nothing else, we can trust that when Christian Wood is out there, he will be Christian Wood. In these uncertain times, we can always fall back on that. He certainly had his fair share of black hole possessions in this game. But he also does play into the Lakers advantages in terms of their length, their size against a team like Phoenix. They're just going to be able to out-muscle, get to rebounds, get to balls that they can't get to. So that part of it paid off, I thought, in terms of having another big out there. And certainly the Anthony Davis experiment continues as far as like, do you want more size with him? Do you want to play small with him? There's always that eternal question because he seems a little reluctant to do it on a full-time basis. But I'm sure Christian Wood is going to get his shots. Clearly, Jackson Hayes is going to get some shots in the rotation to be a meaningful part of the Lakers, the mix there for the Lakers. So I don't know. I think Darvinham has a lot of questions to figure out, including the one you listed with Austin Reeves, which is like, who has the ball?


Who's initiating for us? Who is involved on a possession to possession basis? Because this game, this was a lot of D'Angelo Russell. And it was a lot of a better version of D'Angelo Russell than maybe we saw the other night, but it still feels like a lot.


Thirty-three minutes for him tonight. Yeah, Reeves, seven shots, one assists. And I thought all of his usage stuff was going to go up, but it seems like it drifted Russell's way. The other thing I was surprised, I thought Rui was going to be a bigger part of this team. I only played 12 minutes, but I haven't changed my thought on them. They're just such a big, problematic team. And if you're the sons and you're feeling good after that Warriors game, right? And the Warriors is no Draymond. They're able to overpower them a little on the boards, the two centers at 22. And then tonight you see the flip side of the use of Nerkage experience, where it's like you're getting zero rim protection and you're getting somebody who's just going to be confused anytime somebody is coming off a pick. Basically, LeBron, at the end of the game, just said, I'm going to go.


Attack that guy.


Walk into the rim. Yeah, I'm going to go attack that guy right there. Durant was better tonight, at least for the first three quarters than he looked on Tuesday night. It was really cool just seeing those guys on a basketball court after all these years. It's so long. As I get older, I'm older than you, but just think like, Man, this goes way back now. We're talking mid-2,000. It was the first time these two guys played basketball against each other and still going on. So that was in a cool way, lingering over this game. I was enjoying that one. How do you think the rant looks in terms of being a 35-year-old guy who they gave up three first rounders and two swaps and McHale Bridges and Cam Johnson for it.


It feels like a slightly loaded question.




He's looked good. And certainly, as you said, the first three quarters of this game looked more than good enough. I think the problem was just like this version of The Suns felt very like James Harden is hurt and Kyrie Irving won't get the shot Nets. Just like, Kevin Durant and a bunch.


Of like- That's.


Out of.


My mind. I think a lot of us have tried to. But him with a lot of serviceable, work-a-day role players can get you so far. But as you saw on this one against a really good defensive team like the Lakers in the fourth quarter, they can just shut the water off. And this is where I'm nervous about the Suns for a variety of reasons. I think if it was just the defense or just the depth or just the injury risk of their core guys, I would feel better. But it's all of the above all the time. And that's going to put Durant in some games like this one. It's going to put Youssef Nourkitch in positions like this one, where all of a sudden, he's triggering your offense because you don't really have a default point guard out there. And sometimes the value of having a point guard in your rotation, I don't think it's really going to matter when Beale and Booker and Durant are playing together. Those guys can all handle and play make and do everything they need to do. But in a game like this where two of those guys are out, sometimes it helps to just be able to run some offense that doesn't have to involve Kevin Durant pounding the rock through pick and roll.


Yeah, 28 shots for him today, and then 13 free throws. He played 39 minutes and was also playing the five in stretches. And this is game two. They had to basically try to unlock 2007 Texas Longhorns Durant. Welcome. That's the last guy I want to be throwing miles on, maybe in the entire League other than LeBron.


That's going to be true for Booker and Beale, too, right? When any of these guys are out, those three, whoever's left, is going to have to play huge minutes. Or else you get into Grayson, Allen and Drew, Eubanks are playing a massive role in your rotation. And I like those guys. I like Drew Banks. Maybe not like Tamper and lose a second round pick like Drew Banks, like some teams do.


I'd lose 50K for him, maybe not a second round pick.


It's a little steep.


Yeah. The other in Milwaukee, Philly. So no Harden. I wish there was a way to just mute the entire Harden story of all coverage for it, anything online, anything on Twitter, all conversations. I just don't want to hear it anymore. And I don't think he has any interest in playing. And I just think just tell us when he gets traded. Their best chance now, especially the Clippers last night, look great. Now they look great against Portland, but they look good and they're healthy. And the last thing they want to do is bring the James Harden problem out of their team. So Philly has no options. He's got to come back in the next 28 days. But their best thing that happened to Philly this week was that the Bulls looked like shit yesterday. And that's probably the panic team for James Harden. If the Bulls are just like, Jesus, what do we do? Hey, all right, maybe we just get out of Zach and Vene's money and figure it out. But the Sixers Bucks thing, the thing that jumped out to me from the Philly side is in Bids coming up this MVP year, he really did not have a good Boston playoff series.


It's certainly not a series he could feel good about in any respect. And you see some of these other guys come back from disappointments, even somebody like Giannis. And they're like, they just look like they're in amazing shape and incredible focus. I thought he suck tonight. Really? And I did, especially in the fourth quarter. I just thought he missed a bunch of shots in a row. The key play of the game, they're swinging the ball around. He does that.


Touch pass. Oh, my gosh. That just goes- Maybe the worst touch pass I've ever seen.


Right to the box. They get a fast break and he doesn't run back. And they end up the fast break doesn't work out. They throw it back for a three and he still hasn't run back. Yeah, I know. And it's a five-point swing. And it was a lot of stuff like that. He fell down a bunch of times. And this was not a, hey, man, I know we don't have James Harden, but get on my back, guys. I didn't feel that way at all. And he's going against the honest, too. So I thought from a Philly standpoint, that was pretty discouraging because there are other guys played really well. I thought that was a great maxi game. Maxi, he's got all the Bucks game circled because he's like 30 plus. They got a lot out of Ubre, probably. And Harris and a contractor looked really good. That some of their bench guys looked okay, but he was the piece that didn't come through for them. Then the flip side on the Bucks, it's just Damon, and some Lopez. And then they got a little more from J. Crowder than I thought. But I left that game a little suspicious of both teams.


I know that's weird to say. What about you?


Well, I think Middleton being on a very clear minutes limit and looking like a guy on a minutes limit, it bends Milwaukee's rotation in certain ways. It certainly asks a lot of not only Dame because he's taking on more ball handling, but even your Mylik Beazleys and your Pat Conotons, those guys are just having to do more than hopefully for the Bucks they will ultimately have to do. So I think we'll see. What's heartening about the part of it is just like we've never seen Giannis play with anything remotely like this before.


Oh, my God. That was awesome.


Thirty-nine points. And as I said earlier, there's a lot to work out in terms of what this offense is going to look like and how those two are going to work together. And in fairness to Giannis, figuring out your short role game with a new teammate when Joel and Bide is waiting for you in the paint every time, the difficulty has been ratcheted up for this particular scenario. So I'm conscious of that. But for any hand-wringing you would want to do about the bucks, when it came time to decide who was going to close this game, there was complete clarity as far as who that was going to be. And we'll see if that is because Daim was having a great night or if that's just what his role in this team is going to be. But in terms of his place in the offense, Giannis teammates don't score this much. They just don't. They have a categorically historically have not. It happened two times all last season. Two Drew holiday games where Giannis teammate scored 39 or more, no, Yana's teammate ever has attempted 17 free throws before.


Right. And he was 17 for 17 in free throws, which was amazing.


And just like that driving force is something Milwaukee hasn't had outside of Yana. So the fact that you have this not only phenomenal score who's going to hit. I mean, he hit and won threes in this game. He had incredible shots, but who can get to the rim and who clearly knows how to use his gravity to pass out and set up other guys. It just felt a little more control than we're used to seeing from Crunch Time Milwaukee Bucks basketball.


Yeah, Nianis is not the type of guy who's going to be going, Hey, man, I could have used a couple of touches there late. He seemed super happy with it. It was the perfect game game because there were people to hide him on the Philly side the entire game. He was like, Oh, cool, it's Danny Green. I'm going to go stand over next to him on this possession. I'm not sure they're always going to be able to get away from that. In terms of their supporting cast, though, I still have a lot of questions, but they can always add to it. Maybe Bo champ, I don't know- Oh, yeah.


We could get some real run.


Yeah, because he at least was giving them a little defensive intensity and was trying to do stuff. But I think the maxi type players are going to kill that team all season. He was just full head of steam, nobody getting close to him. And I do think if then Beat had a better game in a couple of plays had gone their way. I mean, there was that... It was just a slew of terrible referee moments in these first three days. Not ideal. It still feels like the preseason for the refs. But Giannis throwing that airball to himself with three minutes left, clearly an airball. It wasn't like, Oh, I wonder if that hit the rim or scraped the back. I was like, No, he just threw it over the rim, caught it. The two of the sixers stopped. The whole sixers bench is jumping up. And then they could have reviewed that and basically nullified the three, I think, right? Or are they not allowed to do that?


I'm trying to figure out what the shot was that followed. I mean, look-.


I think it's a violation. The place stops. But somehow everybody missed it, and that turned out to be a big one.


Well, that's where you're tripping up. It wasn't a violation. This is a revolutionary new act of basketball. And I don't know why you're turning your nose up as someone pushing the envelope forward.


Airball rebounding. Yeah. So if you're Philly, on the one hand, you're encouraged. On the other hand, you're in day two of the James Harden hostage crisis. And God only knows how that's going to play out. And it's this thing you're going to have to deal with all the time. And you're still on the clock with and beat. Not great. I really, really enjoyed the Damianis part, though. I just as a basketball fan, it was really fun to watch. And I was thinking I didn't really love watching the Bucks the last couple of years because we had spent a lot of time with the Onus, so I knew all his stuff. But in terms of League Pass regular season stuff, I never felt like they were really a must watch because I'm like, oh, I know that team. I'll just watch them when they get to the playoffs. I don't need to necessarily put my Bucks time in. But now I feel like I'm going to watch more than this year because their crunch time stuff is going to be more fun, right? Is that fair?


I think it's totally fair. And when I think about League Pass teams too, I'm thinking which teams reward repeat viewing, which are the teams that over the course of the season you're going to have more and more fun with the more you see them? And Milwaukee has always been a we play the way we play team, tactically speaking. They have their system. They stay to it. Man, we had game one, Milwaukee Bucks doubling Joel and Beat aggressively. Mike, Boot and Holzer's Bucks are a long way in the rear view mirror at this point. I think just from the perspective of we're going to see what Adrian Griffin has in store for this group, how they're going to defend on a nightly basis, what different things they might do in addition to all the Dame and Yanes wrinkles. There's going to be a rewatchable quality to them that's a little more interesting than it's been. But I don't want to... I don't want to be too down on Philly. I think it's interesting that they're doing this decentralized offense, and they're clearly trying to... It's the thing you can really only do after Joel wins the MVP, right?


He's gotten his acknowledgment, dominant player. We all understand what he can do. They've been very vocal in camp about trying to move the ball more, trying to get Tobias Harris involved as a ball handler. Clearly, Maxi is going to be a huge priority. He had 31, as you said, he's going to torch the Bucks and teams like the Bucks all season. I thought he could have done even more in this game.


Yeah, I thought he could add a 40. I agree with you.


He probably could have had a good floater or a good look at a three almost whenever he wanted based on the matchups. So I'm interested in seeing how that bears out because obviously they're balancing their offense. Four guys scoring 20 plus is indicative of that. But there wasn't a lot of rhythm to what they were doing. It didn't feel clean. It didn't feel practiced. It didn't feel comfortable for them yet. And so I want to see if this is the group they have, if they end up having to sit on James Harden for a while and they don't get whatever the return for him is going to be for months until months from now. How are they going to settle into the rhythm of this offense? What will this ultimately be if this is the collection of guys they're ultimately going to go to war with for the majority of the season?


I think for League past purposes, they might actually, in some ways, be more interesting than last year because that Harden beat, two-man game stuff, how many times can you watch it? It was Groundhawk Day. Let's take a break. I want to talk about some of the stuff from last night. There were a couple of things that jumped out to me. Score early this NFL season with Fan Dole America's number one sportsbook. Right now, new customers get $150 of bonus bets when your first five-dollar moneyline bet wins. I'm going to be talking about NFL million dollar picks week eight. We're talking to Peter Schrager in a second. Do a million dollar picks at the end of the episode. Do I do a tease? I've lost two weeks in a row of teases, but there is a perfect tease, a perfect one with the lions and the chiefs. Are we going to do it? I'll tell you, million dollar picks. You've been thinking about joining Fando, there's no better place to get on the action than right now. No better time to get on the action right now. The app, so easy to use, so many different ways to bet.


Live, same game, Parlays. You can find bets in the new Explorer tab. You can dive into the Parlay Hub, which is great. It's the best way to find popular Parlays. And so much more. Visit fando. Com/bs. Kick off the NFL season. Fando, official partner of the NFL. You must be 21-plus and president in select states. $5 pre-game money line wage or required. First online real money wage or only $10 first prize or required. Bonus issued as non-much travel bonus, bets that expire seven days after receipt. See terms at sportsbook. Fandle. Com. I was on a lot of text threads last night and today during that Celtic Nicks game, another game that had some bad calls that I will fully admit benefited my team. But there was a Jalen Brown subplot to that game.


That I.


Started getting text about and just in general was concerning to me watching it, where you have a guy who averaged almost 21 shots a game last year. Now you're watching the team this year, and especially when we got to the fourth quarter. And by the way, he had no shot attempts in the fourth quarter. They were just better options all the time than Jalen Brown for the Celtics in that particular game. I was happy when either guard had the ball obviously, and then this 7'4 freak, Porzingus, for as long as he stays healthy, awesome. It was weird because I had the same reaction watching. I'm like, you know what? I'm going to suppress that as a Celtic fan. I'm not going to be cynical. And then started getting text about it. It's like, Oh, Jaylen, is he going to be happy? Is he getting enough shots this year? 304 million bucks. He's the third option, maybe the fourth option. How is this going to play out? This is one game. He might be awesome- I was about to say. He might be awesome on Friday night. But it was a subplot I wasn't expecting. Is Jaylen Brown going to be happy this year on this team if his shots go down?


Doc Rivers mentioned this on my podcast on Tuesday. He thought this was the subplot to watch. When he said it, I was like, no, it'll be fine. And then I watched that next game. I'm like, Oh, what is this going to be? So I don't know. It's a TBD, but I wanted your take.


I think it's one of those things that, first of all, yes, it is game one. I know the body language doctor is always in.


Always. The body language doctor is 365 a year, Robb.


I get it. But I think your license can be revoked if you act too early on these things. So we might have to bottle it up for a little while. I think it's going to depend on whether this is a pattern. If every time they get into Crunch time situations, Jaylen Brown turns into the guy in the corner, I'm sure he's going to feel a certain way about that. I think any player of his caliber would. Yeah. So just like it's going to depend on who is starting on a night to nightbasis, the Celtics were talking about maybe they can share those responsibilities from time to time in terms of who comes off the bench. Jason Tudom was volunteering. Did you say they had a meeting?


Did you say the top six guys, they had a meeting and tried to figure it out? It's like this Joe Missoula nation.


Let's do it, man. Never too early. It's never too early-14 meetings. The Chicago Bulls also the earliest players only meeting on record. It's a big day for meetings. So I hope they were all productive. I hope they all were more substantive than an email. Certainly for the Celtics, I like where they are to start. How these things ultimately settle in with Jalen Brown? Extremely hard to say, but I think it's going to depend on... They're going to have to pick nights in the regular season, certainly, where they openly clear out for him in those spots.




So much of what regular-season basketball is about. It's not just troubleshooting for the playoffs, figuring out your rotation. There are nights where teams just actively have to set up their second and third guy and say, We're giving you this one.


Like, show us what you can do. We're playing the Wizards tonight. You got 25 shots for you tonight, buddy.


And there's nothing wrong with that. I think the only question is, will he be content if that's what his place in things is? If ultimately when they do get to the games that matter in the playoffs or the big, markede nationally televised games against the Sixers or the Bucks or whoever, if he is in the background of those games. That can be a very tough thing to deal with for a player in his position.


Well, we have this Friday Night game with them in Miami, which I think is probably the number one rivalry right now, right? I mean, you'd say, I guess, LeBron and Curry, anytime they play, that feels like it means the most because those are the two best players of this generation. But I would say for teams, for history, for Miami's chip on the shoulderness, Miami is in rare form already. They won their typical one-point game. They came down on the other team missing late and they went to the free throws. They made all their free throws. It was just a classic ridiculous heatwin. They'll have another 40 of those. And they'll play Boston tomorrow night. Boston is good. A lot of porzingous fever. It's funny. Some people didn't see the preseason and didn't see, if you watch the preseason, just the open threes of a seven-foot-four guy who is almost like a free throw for him. So to watch that, I think in that next game, I think some people are like, Oh, my God, porzingis. It's like, yeah, the question is, can he stay on the court? But matching them up against Miami, that poor Zyngus piece where Miami doesn't really have any size and Miami was always able to just throttle their half-court offense.


I don't think it's going to happen this year, but they'll lose some other stuff.


But- The famous last words in the Heat Celtics matchup. So I wish you and them the best in that regard. But the Heat have a way of throttling a lot of really good teams in those situations. They are throttlers.


We'll see, though. I'm sure Miami, they've read everything. They've heard everything. I mean, people crown on Boston. Anyway, I have the Jalen Brown thing marked. Zion? It still looks a little heavy to me, but athleticall y it looked really good last night, and I thought it was encouraging. Were you encouraged?


Definitely. I mean, it's encouraging that he's challenging Jaron Jackson Jr. In the air, right? It's not just bully on the ground, nudge him out of your way and try to finish with layups, but he's going up in those situations. Those are really encouraging signs. As usual, my concerns with Zion are much more like, is he ever going to guard anybody? Does he have a defensive position? What are they going to do with all that? I'm more concerned about that stuff offensively. He's just so efficient. He's so good at getting to his spots inside, so good at finishing around people, shouldn't be able to finish around. I feel pretty confident about him being a hugely impactful offensive player. I really wonder about the other side.


You and Was and Barrier, you guys did great previews for us that I think are still going. I don't know if they somehow were longer than our previous. Perpetual. But you had a whole Zion conversation and just about like, what position is he ultimately if your team is a 55-win team? Could he be a stretch five? Seriously? Yeah. I don't know. Where do you put him? Who's the right person to put next to him? He really is this enigma trapped in a riddle. It's like a college basketball team just adding the best football player and be like, hey, this guy, he's good. We'll just figure it out. But this is like year, what is it? Four or five for him? Year five?


God, is it really?


No, maybe it's year four or year five, one of them. But we're still trying to figure out what this is and what team should be put with this person. Does he need a point guard? Does he need a rim protector next to him? I don't know. He's going to be 30 and we're still going to be figuring it out.


They're the anomalies that come into the league. And we feel very dumb for ever second-guessing where they would fit. Draymond comes in. It's like, is he a three? Is he a four? What is he supposed to do? And it's like, oh, obviously, he's one of the defining smallball players of his generation. Clearly, that one worked out. And then there are the anomalies that's just like, it never really is apparent where they should be or what they should do or how they should play. They always have some very specific deficit in their game that makes it hard to slot them in. If you have one of a kind players, sometimes you have to find other one of a kind players to play with them. And that can be a very challenging process for a team in the Pelicain's position. They have a ton of talent. They have a lot of depth, certainly, especially when all their guys are healthy. They're dealing with some shorthanding issues right now. But ultimately, it's hard to even conceptually think who is the best player to put next to Zion? What does that player look like? How do you get them?


Every step in that process is hard.


I don't think it's Brandon Ingram, I'll tell you that much. Another guy, another unicorny guy, the ultimate unicorn, Wmbodyama, who unfortunately, the League didn't get the memo in time to the refs. Please don't put him in foul trouble during this first game. People just want to watch him. I think he's easier to fit around because he can play off the ball. He can play with the ball. He can play four. He can play five. He can protect the rim. He could just be in the middle like how the, or he can be in the corner and jump out, Rob Williams style. I think a better pastor than any of us were prepared for from the weird French highlights and the League like that. But his stroke is nice. He's just that... He's just further ahead than I was expecting. And I think what I wasn't really fully expecting was how much I'm going to be watching him this year because it's one of those... And I had the three TVs going. If he's on one of the TVs, I can't really focus on anything else when he's in. I really can't. It's like having one of your kids in a soccer game or something.


You're just transfixed by it. Did you feel that way?


Yeah. I mean, especially if you have that multiscreen experience, there are things where you're looking down, you're checking your your phone, you're on your computer or whatever, and you'll just casually look up. And the way he contests a three-pointer-.


It's so exciting. He's the most exciting three-point contester ever.


Incredibly so. And it's legitimately disorienting where it's like, I'm seeing a movement on my screen. I'm just not used to seeing a blur of arm going to this shot that hasn't arced yet, but it's very much in midair.


Did you see he almost blocked the Kyrie 3 at the end of the game last night? He missed it by a fingernail.


Absolutely insane. But can you blame Kyrie for going for it? You got to take that shot if you get that opportunity. That would have been an incredible moment. But I was looking ahead for this weekend. Who are the teams that I need to check in with early that I really want to see? Rocket Spurs, I think, is appointment viewing for me this weekend. I really want to see what Houston looks like. I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. And Victor, especially against young teams, especially against other young biggs, I just want to see those battles. I want to see how these guys try to comprehend everything that he can do and figure out ways around him. It's going to be such an interesting mental exercise, all-season long for the most clever, the most skilled biggs in the league to just figure out what to do with him.


Yeah. And you could tell they're amused by it in a way like, oh, my God. I just can't believe this person exists. One of the things the League is so deep, you just think this Friday night, the Heat Celtics we mentioned, Wemby's playing the Rockets. Nicks Hawks, Trey Young versus the Nicks, Nuggets, grizzlies. The grizzlies are already in a little bit of a danger zone. I want to talk about them in a second. And then Warriors Kings, which was an awesome playoff series. Those are just five of the games tomorrow night.


We got to get a thunder game, too, I think. Thundercaves?


Yeah, Thunder Cavs.


I need to see more Thunder. I got a text out of the blue the other day from Kyle Man that just said, Jalen Williams is Swole. So I need to get to the bottom of that situation. I need to figure out what's going on with that.


Well, there is a case on Wallace development with them in the first game. I have Thunderbets all over the place, so I'm very invested in them for a variety of reasons. And the Wallace piece coming off the bench, there's some energy from their bench that is pretty unusual when you watch the other teams. This is a team where they can actually go on a run with their bench, which I thought stood out.


I am uncomfortably in on the case on Wallace experience.




Something about the way that guy plays, the tenacity. And I'm sure the shot will come and go, but the flashes when it's been hitting are just so impressive. I'm just a sucker for a dogged, perimeter defender, to be honest with you. And if you have any semblance of an offensive game, sign me up. Sign me up for the case on Wallace Season Pass.


That team is a bitch to play. You had that game in your schedule like, Oh, fuck these guys. A couple of other quick things. Oh, we'll save Memphis really quick. They're just too small and it's a lot of bane. And they're going to get the Marcus Smart experience of like, I got this Marcus Smart piece of everything where I actually think they could tail spin it a little bit in these 25 games without John, now no Adams. And you'll have the random game when Triple J gets into foul trouble. He gets three fouls in the first four minutes.


The random game.


That might be- Yeah, that one-.


Two out of every three games.


I could see a start for them where they start out like five and 10 or something where we're like, Oh, my God. What do the grizzlies do? And I wonder, they've been a pretty patient team for the most part. I don't know if they can be patient this year if they want to be in position when Jaw comes back because the west is too good. So do you agree? Probably they need to make a move in the next couple of weeks, especially if Portland looks as bad as they looked last night. Rob Williams is sitting there to be grabbed. Ferno has been calling for that for a week. Somebody like that, right?


I think, especially the Adams injury puts them behind that particular eight ball. And it makes a Williams trade or a trade for another big just make all the sense in the world if you can jump on one of those guys right now. They're a tough team to understand at this juncture just because historically, they've done pretty well without jaw. Especially two seasons ago. They did pretty well when he was out for an extended period of time. I wonder how much of that is just like grizzly's DNA and a thing they can replicate and how much of it was that moment in time, that collection of players, Tias Jones, who isn't on the team anymore, just being like a rock solid backup option who you're slotting in versus, as you say, the Marcus Smart, the ups and downs of living with Marcus Smart on an everyday basis, just a very different thing. Desmond-bane is going to have to do a lot. And you would hope that Jaron Jackson can flex out his offensive game a little bit, too. It's just a little more match-up-dependent for him.




Those matchups aren't in the cards, I don't know where else they turn other than Bane forcing a lot of action, Smart taking basically whatever he wants out of some of those possessions. A lot of offense is going to dry up for them. So I agree. If it was just Jaw, I would feel better. But that it's Jaw and the front court depth with Adams and Brandon Clark out, it's just a lot to compensate for. It's a lot to put on Desmond Bane's plate, even though he's one of the best young scores in the league, a really impressive player who's going to grow, but that's a lot.


And they lost rebounding too, which they can't be happy about either. Yeah, I think that team, that's definitely I watched the first two weeks with that team because that could go sideways. I thought, Washington and Portland were the only two teams that stood out over the first couple of days as just bad. I don't know if we have any other bad teams. I think Washington and Portland have a chance to be bad. A team that I was hoping would be good, and I picked them to make the playoffs. And I feel like it was the right instinct is Toronto. New Coach, they flipped out Vanvleep, brought in Schulte, is having a Schulte with the World Championship, the Lakers run last year. I just like the vibe of that team. I want to see them again. I'm not going to say like, oh, I've watched one game game. That team is going to win 45 games. But there was an energy to them that they did not have last year. And I think what was alarming about them last year and the year before was it was like, What is this team? It doesn't seem like they like each other.


So do you notice that or no?


The vibes were so horrendous last season that even just seeing a team celebrating each other, being a little more into it on a collective basis, I think is pretty heartening. But also individual defensive effort from guys like Siakam and Barnes, that stuff, I think, means a lot. Those are two guys who can be very good defenders. Siakam can be an excellent defender. Barnes, I think, is still learning, but has all the tools to be won. And so seeing those guys engaged and plugged in on a more standard, regular basis does mean a lot. And Schroeder plugging in, and I mean, they didn't really miss a beat as far as that playmaking worked really well for them. As you said, I was honestly really impressed with who he turned out to be for the Lakers, not just offensively, but chasing defensively. That's something that Dennis Schroeder, again, historically, has not always done. And so another guy who win everything, when his head is screwed on right, when the environment is right, can be a very impactful player. And I think they have maybe a couple too many of those guys stacked on top of each other to feel like they're going to be an excellent team.


But if the energy is good in terms of how that group works together, I think they're going to be pretty formidable.


I like them. And they beat a Minnesota team that I thought I watched probably the last 18 minutes of that game. And I thought Minnesota was actually playing hard. The Towns Go Bear thing, I have that checkmark that I want to keep watching it. It still doesn't look right to me. Towns made the biggest mistake of the game. A couple more quick things, then we'll go. Simmons doesn't want to shoot still, and that's just where we are. And he can't play in the last four minutes of the game. He put up stats. He had some rebounds. He had some passes. He pushed the ball. But ultimately, I just don't think that's a guy that can be out there in the last five minutes of the game. What did you think?


And that might be okay. Ultimately, I think you're probably going to want the ball more so with McHale Bridges, even more so with Spencer Dinwitty in some situations, just in terms of who is willing to take that shot, who's willing to step up into those moments? I'm fine with slow playing Ben Simmons.


You want rotation guy, Ben Simmons.


I want rotation guy.


Ben Simmons. You're not looking for all NBA Ben Simmons anymore. That guy's gone.


If that ship hasn't sailed, it's getting ready to leave.




Eminently. The crew is telling everybody two minutes.


They are taking the ropes off the dock. Honestly, genuinely, I'm cool with that. Like a guy who accelerates pace, who gives them a playmaker, the Nets don't have a lot of high level passing on that roster, and that's why they get a little stodgy sometimes. So if he's even able to help connect some dots, I think that's a healthy thing for them. Let's just keep expectations extremely low and see if he can met out as being a useful guy for them.


I thought Charlotte looked a little better than I was expecting. They're not deep, but I thought they're five, played well together. I'm watching them. Cade's back. That was good. That was a bonus.


He's on my must hit list for the weekend. I got to see Cade. Yeah, I want to see Cade.


He did a nice job against Miami. And then the last one for me, Dallas beats San Antonio. San Antonio, their over under was 27 and a half wins. Don't throw yourself a party because you barely beat the Spurs. I thought Lively looked really good in the game. And I don't know how real it was, but the thing I really liked was how hard he played. He really gave a shit. And that was the feedback about him preseason. I didn't love the pick. I didn't like that they're accounting in a rookie center. But I thought he played 120 % with athleticism. And compared to what they were getting from that position in the last couple of years, I was like, All right, this is notable. I want to keep an eye on this because maybe they do have something here. I never believed the Mavs or like, Oh, this guy is going to be amazing. They burned us too many times. But I liked what I saw. Dave, what did you think?


I think he profiles as exactly the player you want with Luca. And I think the quality, when I think about who fits with Luca, there's a lot of skill sets that make sense. Dwight Powell has eaten well for years now just based off rolling off of Luca. Those kinds of things make sense. With Lively, it's the same thing I see in Josh Green. It's the same thing I see in Tim Hardaway Jr, to be honest, which is who are the self-starters? Who are the guys who energy-wise are summoning it just because they just have those bursts where they can make really hard plays like go through... That putback dunk that Lively had against the Spurs, that is an exceptional 97th percentile athleticism play. But it's also like a 97th percentile energy play.


I would say 97 % fearless, too. That's one of those I might crack my head open when I land type of dunks.


A hundred %. And so to come out of basically being uninvolved in the primary action that led to the shot and make that effort on the glass, that's what I'm excited about for Derrick Lavet. That's where I see him being an incredible benefit to the maths because the reality is playing with Luke and Kyrie. There's going to be possessions where you don't touch the ball. There's going to be possessions where they don't even really look at you. You are there to occupy space and defenders, and you have to draw it from within yourself to find a way to be involved. And that he can already do that this quickly, I think, is a great sign.


They play the Nets on Friday night, and then they don't... I don't know what their next game is. But the schedule, it might lead up where they might have a good first 10 days and people will start feeling good. And then Kyrie will be like, You know what? I got to do something stupid. Here are my thoughts on something I shouldn't be weighing in on. I can't wait. And then it will take up 180.


We got some prime world events for Kyrie to.


Weigh in on. Kyrie is like, he's got a notepad out like, I wonder if the world needs my thoughts on this. All right, that's it. I think we hit everything, right?


You made some good rounds. I mean, a lot of good basketball yet to watch. A lot of teams I still need to see for the first time. So I'm really excited for this first weekend to level out, spread the wealth a little bit, hit some of these teams on League Pass that I haven't had a chance to see. This is one of my favorite parts of the sporting calendar.


It's always a great first couple of weeks. But I also think we used to overrate it some years when the talent wasn't really there. We were like, Oh, my God. It's so great basketball is back. This year, honestly, I would say 75 % of the teams I actually want to watch, which is pretty rare. I would say the list of teams I don't want to see is probably less than six. I'm good with the Bulls. I don't need to watch The Bulls anymore. I'm good with The Wizards. Portland, I might check in in February when they figure out stuff. But for the most part, a lot of these teams aren't skippable for me.


Can I say one nice thing about The Wizards?




I thought Jordan Pool was a good citizen of the offense in his first game, running the Wizards. I was expecting the full Gunner experience from him. And he and Kuzma both, to be honest, I thought we're pretty patient, trying to get guys involved, trying to run some semblance of an actual thing. And it didn't work out super well because they gave up 143 points. But I appreciate the effort is all I'm saying.


Okay. There you go. Rob, Mohony. So we expanded group chat to two times a week, Sundays, right around maybe after some early game.


Yeah, we're the warm back for your Sunday show. So doors at 3:00 PM, come for us and then check out Bill later.


We need more basketball on Sundays. There's so much going on. Absolutely. So Sundays and Wednesdays on Ringer NBA. And then you might make some prestige TV appearances time to times, too. Thanks for staying up late with me. Good to see you.


Thanks, Bill.


All right, Peter Schrager is here. You can watch him on Good Morning Football, and you can see him on Fox on Sundays as well, going head to head against the best show on TV, Ring or Wise Guys. I grew up for everybody, Schrager. I don't pick favorites except for the Ring or Show, I picked that favorite. But other than that, I don't pick favorites.


You know my affection for House, for JJ, for you? I wish I could watch it. I'm sitting there trying to do it while I'm on set talking to Charles Woodson in his Hall of Fame jacket. I want to hear what JJ has got on the jets.


I have you on one of the other TVs so I can see your friendly face popping up there, and it's wonderful stuff. We have a lot to cover, including your Celebrity, Jeopardy appearance. I want to start here. It's week eight, and I don't know who the favorite in the NFL is. And I was looking at the fan do ads. And I don't remember everything being over four to one for all the teams. It might have happened before, but I just don't personally have a recollection of that. Casey is the favorite at Plus 450 and San Francisco is there. Why don't we have a favorite yet? Is it injuries? Is it just the league is deeper? What is it?


I have a couple of thoughts, and it's not like I'm giving you a thesis, statement, or dissertation, but if I can provide a couple of thoughts, I think it'll lead to good conversation. The first is all of the really good teams have lost in Prime Time or big national games when everyone was watching. And I think that takes a little bit of the luster off these teams and makes the odd... If these were losses at one o'clock, it might be different. But we watched KC lose to Detroit, so we're like, Well, they're not invincible. Then they played Denver on a Thursday night and the offense didn't click. You're like, All right, KC. I don't feel the same way about KC. But everyone watched those two games. Philadelphia goes up and plays against the Jets in the most watched Fox game of the year, which was that late window. And everyone watched J Allen hurts throw three interceptions with 28 million people watching in the second half. Philly, the Bulls have now lost to the jets without.


Aaron Rogers. Philly is 6:1, San Francisco is 5:1, KC is plus 450. Okay, keep going.


The Bulls have lost to the jets without Aaron Rogers and then look terrible against the giants in a Sunday night, primetime game. And then they went to London, where everyone did wake up and watch that morning game and they couldn't get out of bed and beat the Jaguars. And the last one is The Niners. You're going into this thing and it's like, all right, we've been watching the Niners win by 20 every single game. They get on Prime Time against the Vikings and they lose. So I think that's maybe the betting side and the external media side from a football standpoint. Oh, boy, I don't know if the football has ever been more just head-scratching in a lot of ways. I think it might be a quarterback thing. I think about Buffalo, Cincinnati, I'm listening to teams here, KC, Dallas I put in Miami and Philadelphia, and I'd say those teams are set at quarterback. Other than that, you either have bridge quarterbacks, you have declining quarterbacks, or you have a rookie quarterback. Purdy with San Francisco is the one that's like an outlier. But I think that you're looking at this quarterback thing. It's like, okay, if you have a set quarterback that we know is good, but other than that, that's only like a handful of teams.


That means there's a bunch of gobbledy-cook in the middle, and you could say, yeah, well, cousins. I'm talking about the guys, the guys you talk about. And if those teams all pick each other off, it's a quarterback thing. And there's so much turnover year to year in offensive systems and the way we want to do things that I honestly think the quality of play at the quarterback position, as much as we did a Netflix series this summer, we talked about these young, talented guys up and coming, I remember growing up and you can pick out 12-14 quarterbacks that were the same guys for eight years on a team, and those are just the guys.


Did you just do a when I was growing up?


Yeah. In my growing up, I.


Might be a little different. You're officially like... How old is your kid now?


I have a seven-year-old son.


I like this. You're turning into like, you're approaching toward middle-aged, medium-number status. I wake.


Him up and I'm.


Like- I'm going to send you a card.


Let me tell you about Jim Everett and Chris Miller in the NFC West. I think you really need to hear about these showdowns between Bobby, Bear, and Joe Montana. But you.


Had the- No, I like your theory, though, because I was trying to do my Power Poll. First of all, I couldn't believe that I had Dallas at seven.


You have to.


I don't like Dallas. The favorites are Philly, Casey, Baltimore, and San Francisco. But I don't know who the actual favorite is. I usually like to put somebody in that spot. I went with Philadelphia because I think I trust their infrastructure the most with their offensive and defensive lines, and they have a couple of playmakers, and they have the tush-push. And like Devante Smith, who's been in a coma for five weeks, if you add him on your fantasy team, you're just completely panicking. But I still think he's a good football player. I'm sure they're going to get a go one of the weeks. They're getting Goddard going. They're always going to be able to run the ball. They're still adding. They had a buyer from Tennessee. They just stole him for nothing. So I think I trust them from a talent standpoint, and from I think it could go sideways in the least possible ways. Kc, Baltimore, San Francisco. I'm not going to trust Baltimore yet. I want to see Lamar play three straight healthy months.


I should have put Baltimore in the quarterback conversation, by the way. If I was a double back, I don't think I had him listed because I was just doing a free game.


Yeah, that's fine.


But to.


Your point, they.


Went to London and they beat Tennessee, but they did it with six field goals.




Lot of people watch that game. So as much as the one o'clock Fox game where they crushed Detroit, is everyone buzzing right now? All right, well, we saw different versions of them a week before. So that makes it hard to be like, they're the favorite. And you don't want to be prisoner of the moment, which is what essentially we are in the media.


Well, especially because the season is one-third of a year long now. And I do wonder if the length of this season ties into this because every game can't be a big game when the season is 18 weeks, including the buy. And you're going to let down, you're going to go up, you're going to go down. I have Detroit at number five.


Still? Okay. I thought last week was a real humbling experience.


And it was. And they were out of it immediately and they got their asses kicked. But I'm okay with that. I don't think that's a team that's built to play from 14 points down. Okay. And I just think they got their asses kicked. I also think the running game situation with them was not ideal. It's a bad week. They were banged up. And they caught Baltimore in the wrong week with the wrong team situation. I still have them fifth. I have Jacksonville, Sixth, which I can't believe because I actually think they might lose to Pittsburgh this week. Absolutely. So I was seven. I have Miami-8 and Baltimore-9. Miami has had so many injuries now. I'm starting to wonder if it's going to hit the point in a return. They got their asses whipped by Philly last week. Buffalo has lost too many people. And then I have the Michael Myers Stealers at 10, our team. That's our.




Dude. Four and two. They're once again underdogs against Jacksonville this week. Most of the money is on Jacksonville. I just watched my East Coast bias guys today. All three of them were like, Love Jacksonville. Oh, my God. Oh, family play. And how many times do we have to watch it with them? They're going to be five and two in four days.


You know, Pittsburgh, they're 56 minutes into the game, you're banging your head against the wall, and then you're looking at the final score and they won by three. And you're like, How did they do that again? At some point, it's not a coincidence. They're like a 10-minute team.


No, it's not.


The other thing about the league-wide stuff, and I was talking about the quarterback position, but the new CBA put in a lot of rules. And I know this is like, maybe Lombardi can go bigger on this. Or if you have on someone who's coached going back into the 90s. Offensive line men and defensive line men, they do not do one-on-ones in practice anymore. So the offensive line men come in, and by and large, they're not great anymore. And these guys come in from college, and a lot of these college offensive lines and line men are taught bullshit. And you got to unwire their mind on how they played offensive line in college football and then teach them how to play NFL. And you can't do it in practice because you can't do one-on-one. You can't do it in training camp. But week three, you need this guy to start at right tackle and he hasn't ever played in an NFL game. I think that stuff matters. It's not sexy. It's not as easy as saying the refs suck. But it is something that the offensive line play is atrocious right now, and the defenses are dominating in every which way at the line of scrimage.


The people that love college football always talk about how there's a certain way a lot of these college football offenses play, where it's just like, shotgun snap, throw the ball quickly. They just learn how to block one way and that's it. Then they get to the NFL and they have no idea what they're doing. One other piece, I don't know how major this is, but it's definitely not nothing. They clearly changed the concussion policy this year. And if you get a concussion, you're out for the next week. You just are. Brock Purdy got a concussion Monday. We're not going to see him there. We may be you're out. And it does feel like it's clearing out two guys per week in games. So maybe it'll be one on each team, two on one team, whatever. But I've noticed that more than usual that guys are just scratched.


I think the League responded to people crying on air and tweeting non-stop when Twoa went down and was still in the game. And I think if it's an overcorrection, it's because they're playing it safe. But I'll give you an example. The jets right before the game last week, it's like, all right, sauce Gairner is still in the concussion protocol. Well, then he had a by week, and now we're coming out of the by week. And I don't know. I can't give you the measure of his concussion. But it's Thursday we're recording this. Both he and DJ Reed, the starting corners, SaaS still is in the concussion protocol and still has not been cleared to play. I think they're being very safe about that. But that's your best defensive player.


That's huge. Right. In the old days, Hey, SaaS, get back out there. How's your head feel? Okay, you're good. The other thing with the League, and this usually happens when we get to the teens, but I had just my rankings were Cleveland-11, even though they have no quarterback, Seattle, Cincinnati. I think they could go either way. I would look at N. C. 'S schedule. I'm pretty worried about them being able to turn around because every week they're playing a banger. Seattle is same thing. They have some tough games coming up. They got San Francisco twice in three weeks. And then you have Houston and the Rams at 14:15 and Atlanta at 16. And then it drops for me, at least, Tampa, jets, Minnesota, 17, 18, 19. Then you get to the chargers at 20. I'm crossing them off. Just listing all those and then looking at the schedules and stuff, it's really set nicely for Houston to be either a possible contender in their division or maybe like a sneaky seven C because the AFC wasn't as good. Their schedule is abominable. Do you believe... Ii know you love D'Amico Ryan's. To CJ Strowd, hard not to love.


Is it far-fetched to think that that team could win 10 games for you?


Yeah, we spoke to a couple of weeks ago. I was like, I'm not buying it yet. And then they went out and beat Pittsburgh, and then they won a tough one against the Saints. It was back and forth, and their defense stepped up in the red zone. And of course, we could blame Derek Carr for that, but it was the defense that played well. Listen, Bill, in today's NFL, when 14 teams make the playoffs and schedules can go a million ways, of course, they can win 10 games. They have to win seven games the rest of the way. They're already three and three. They've had their biweek, and they're only going to get better with a rookie quarterback who's going to develop and develop into whatever he wants to be this rookie year. He's going to be better this week than he was his first week. But I can't say in good faith, looking at their roster, that they're any better than some of those other AFC teams- The Chargers. Yeah. Is D'Amico Ryan is going to coach circles around John Harball in a big game, or is Bobby Slowik going to be able to outwit the big fan.


I'm just giving up different AFC teams. It's week eight. We could say, yeah, this team is the team. But I did that with Tampa after they went on the buy and they've lost two terrible games since. So I want to be careful still on crowning Houston as much as I love what that team is doing.


Can I give you their schedule?


Let's go.


Out at Carolina this week. Okay. Tampa Home at Sinsy, Arizona, Jacksonville, Denver, all on a row at home. At the jets at Tennessee, who might at that point have completely packed it in. They don't really have a hard game over the next day except for at Sinsy. And who knows what Sinsy? Jacksonville? Well, I'm saying that at least it's home. Okay. Yeah, but you're right. They won't be favored at home against Jacksonville, and they won't be favored in that since the game, maybe they won't be favorite at the Jets game. But they're a scheduled team for me. And the other scheduled team for me is the Falcons, who I've watched a lot of their games this year and somehow a bad action on a bunch. And boy, are they a roller coaster? But they have-.


Well, Arthur Smith also wears it out of his space very well. The exact feelings of every fan, his look of despair is just so meme-worthy. Right.


At Tennessee this week, seems like they're minus two and a half. It's like, please.


Come take us. I think, cookie quarterback, if.


We love this place. Yeah, Tennessee is packing it in. Home Minnesota at Arizona by home New Orleans at the jets. Home Tampa at Carolina. Home Indy at Chicago at New Orleans. They're not playing anybody for 10 weeks. So we see this, too, where we looked up last year with the Vikings. What the fuck? They're going to win 13 games? I don't know if the Falcons have it in them and Ritter, again, it's just strap it on, man. Put not only the seatbelt on, but the shoulder harness when you're betting on him. But they do have a lot of talent. I think they're pretty good.


They are. And defensively, they're good. Ryan Nielsen's got those guys playing at Ritter to me, doesn't do much. I don't know what they see in that they're so steadfast that he's their guy. And I talked to Arthur a lot. They have the full support of Desmond. Heineke is the backup. I've seen Heineke win games. Give it a shot. But they're in on Ritter. Yeah, and it's like Falcons, Texans. Like that. Those do feel like they could be very easily the seventh wildcard team in the AFC. And they're like, all right. And then they go and they get whatever happens in the wild car round. And then next year, they're the hype teams because they're young and they're on the move and they made the playoffs. Sure. But I very easily-.


When you say sure, let me give you the playoff odds. Let me give you Atlanta to make the playoffs and Atlanta to win the division. First of all, Atlanta is minus 178 to make the playoffs, almost 2:1 odds that you'd have to lay for to make the playoff. So they aren't just slightly favorite to make the playoffs. They're legitimately favorite to make the playoffs. Really?


I'm surprised by that. Okay. It's not like they've been playing dominant.


Football by any means. I think it's schedule related. And then the division, not only are they the favorite, even odds. Bet 500 bucks, win 500. Bet 100, win 100. Bet 10, win 10. Vegas has looked at the numbers and they have looked at the schedule. And they have all collectively, all the sportsbooks, everybody have decided this team is a really prohibitive favorite to win this division, basically.


Their first place in week eight, and that's our pick. It's like, all right, I don't know. Yeah. Okay. And then what about Houston?


So Houston, plus 184 to make the playoffs. That seems a little more normal. And then plus 450 for the division. Yeah. I think.


Jacksonville could be a runaway train right now, Jacksonville. And I know they're playing Pittsburgh, and that's going to be like, Jacksonville has got a nice little cushion. They got a little thing going here.


Hes then over, under for wins is eight and a half, which I think before this season was probably four and a half. So that might be the biggest jump that we've had. But again, their next eight, two hard ones.


I could see him winning Coach of the Year, D'Amico. I could see Straud winning Offensive R rookie of the Year. And then I could see Casario, who had to walk through two years of mud and shit to get to this point. He might be Executive of the Year because it's an interesting balance. They do have some... Robert Woods makes plays for them. They've got guys that are out there doing it. Shaquille Griffin is one of their good corners. And it's like, Gosh, he's been on a couple of teams. So they've got a nice mix of obviously the young guys, but some of these older veterans have come in and offered some veteran presence, which is cool, too.


So Jacksonville's next seven. And again, they're heavy favorites. I think they're like minus 550 for the division. But their next seven, they have the sneaky Pittsburgh game they got to buy. San Fran, home Tennessee, at Houston, home of Sanse at Cleveland, Baltimore. There's some good defense- That's a tough run. -and some good pass rushes in there.


Yeah, that's a tough run.


I'm interested to see. They got their left tackle back. They've looked better the last couple of weeks. And they played pretty well in that Saints game. But I also thought the Saints were horrible. And they had their last three games, if you really think about it, two London games, which the London games just shake the snow globe. You don't know what the fuck is going to happen. Buffalo goes there and basically their whole season flips. Then they have a Thursday Night game against the Saints. Thursday nights are like, Who knows? Anything can happen. You have the Bear scoring 40 points on a Thursday night. So now we're like, Oh, Jacksonville, they're for real. I had them six of my power rankings. We haven't seen them play a normal Sunday game in four weeks. Now they have to go into Pittsburgh, yellow towels, crowd waving. You know their field goal kicker will miss a field goal in the.


First half. Well, sticks, renegade, blasting a.


Fourth quarter. You know what? I'll do something. Oh, my God. What? Oh, he tipped the past to himself and got an interception. All of a sudden, this can be a hard game for them. But the one thing that I noticed with them, and I have them on all my fantasy teams, so it's hard not to notice, but ETN has been excellent. I would say maybe a top five running back, right?


Dude, he has two touchdowns, I think, and back-to-back games. He's electric. He's a first ground pick for a reason. It just takes a little time. He was injured the first year and last year, just like a split carries. He's really electric. And again, buried in that market. Two games played at 9:30 AM recently, a Thursday Night game. Not everyone's watching the Jaguars, and they're all already behind the eight ball because they're the Jacksonville Jaguars in that medium market. But ETN has been fantastic for them, and so has the receiving core. I think Christian Kirk's been great. Ridley's been great. And Trevor Lawrence was barking a little bit after the game. It was like, tell me something about the analysts. He was like, All right, cool. A little swagger is good out of that team. So yeah, they're good.


They're good, too. Yeah, congrats. You barely beat Buffalo when they lost three guys during the game and then just flown into London two days ago. I don't.


Think the Bills have been the same since Matt Milano went down on that floor, man. I'm telling you, I think that was the moment for the Bills that changed everything. I think he's the most underrated defender in the League.


And Jack Sparrow- Well, they lost to Aquon Jones, too.


Yeah, and Trey White.


Worried about them. Let's take a break. All right, couple more teams I wanted to hit. I think the consensus is since he's fine, Burrough is better, we'll be hearing from them. Couple of red flags over under on Fandle right now is eight and a half wins. They're three and three. So that makes me a little suspicious. Why is there over nine and a half? There's been some action. You look at their next six at San Francisco this week, Buffalo home, Houston home at Baltimore, home, Pittsburgh at Jacksonville. Maybe six playoff teams in a row.


Pretty good.


And from what we've seen from Sincey, I personally trust them a little more than most because we watched them last year. They got better as the year went along. They have an excellent defensive coordinator. They have talent on both sides of the ball. As Borough gets healthier, he's just going to win games by himself. But the line this week is weird, and it moved down a little bit. It didn't move down as much as I thought. We got Sam Darnell, though most definitely Qbeing for the 49ers, and a must-win game for the Bangles in some degree. Because if they go three and four with them, they're playing five straight AFC teams after that. All of them are potential playoff teams. I don't know. They just got to show up. They're 21st in DVOA, 23rd offense, 19th defense. We just have not seen a lot of signs yet. I know you monitored that team pretty closely. What are you seeing?


I believe in them. I spoke to Louis Anaruma, who's their defense coordinator, and I was talking to him about how their defense has actually been leading the way the last few weeks and their offenses, which usually is, it's Burrow and Chase and Higgins and Boyd and everyone follow us and the defense hold your own. Defense has been really good. You have all these young guys. They lost Jesse Bates in the last couple of years. They've lost Eli Apple and Von Bill and all these guys in the back end. They've got all these young ones. Cam Taylor-Brett, who shut down DK Metcalfe. This other kid, Turner, out of Michigan, who's been good. I said, How do you... He goes, We have something that the Yankees used to have. I was like, All right, here we go. Baseball, what do we got? He's like, We have a Core Four on our defense that hasn't changed. It's- Core Four?


Dj Hill, DJray Reeder, Sam Hubbard, and Trey Hendrickson. And in the last few years, those guys, they don't miss games. They always show up, and they're the ones who lead the way. And then you've got your Assai and Jermaine Pratt. And I could do whatever naming names, but the Core Four, and I'm like, Oh, shit.


So offhand.


I was in a conversation with them like, All right, let me try this. I'm like, All right, we got Mariano, we got Jeter, we got Pettit. Do you know who the fourth of the Core Four was, Bill?


It was Bernie Williams.


I thought so, too.


Jorge Pasata. Oh, it.






I was like.


Who's that?


Bernie predated all them.


Bernie was there in the Andy.


Stankowitz and Pat Kenneys years. We could talk early '90s Yankees if you want. I'm here for that.


That sounds horrible. So who's Jeter out of those four? Hendrickson? I guess.


And he's a free agent signing they got from New Orleans, but he's been one of the best free agent signings in football over the last few years. Then Hubbard, Cincinnati kid, went.


To Ohio State.


So he's Jeter. He's probably Jeter. He's like their guy. But I say these are not household names. There is not a Miles Garrett, there is not a TJ Watt, there's not a Mike a Parsons. And yet that's what gets it. To me, you're mentioning Jacksonville and Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and it's like no one's played in bigger games than those players.


It's good quarterbacks, too.


Yes. And Emeru, whatever happens at half time. Louis is pretty honest with it. He wanted that Arizona job last year and I went to Jonathan Gannon and that's fine. They went their direction. But there's no one better in football than that guy at half time adjusting and confounding these opposing quarterbacks, whether it be the homes all those times or Josh Allen all those times.


We're St. Arnold this weekend.


Exactly right. So when you're listing these teams on paper, it's like, Oh, yeah. Wow. Those are all playoff teams. But to me, I think the Bangles and their defense, they can hang with any of those teams. I think they're as well coached as anyone on the defensive side of the ball, the very least, that they'll be able to hang with those squads. And I think we'll be talking about them in January, even so.


Yeah. And then there's the borough in factor that came two weeks ago, and they were like, Joe just wasn't losing that game. Like all the teammates talking about it. Yeah, because you could flip it around and go, All right, they got Sam Arnold this week. They have banged up super weird Buffalo next week. They got a super young Houston team after that. At Baltimore, they always play them well. Home, Pittsburgh, the Michael Myers team, but can you pick it on the road? Is he going to get to 20 points? And then at Jacksonville.


All those are winnable. To me, that's five wins, and you lose one of those. The Baltimore thing is interesting. So Baltimore and Cincinnati, you think of the great rivalries, you think of Baltimore and Pittsburgh. I could tell you, no one coaches on both sides of the bowl. They don't like each other in Baltimore. So when Lamar was having his MVP season, they would put up 50 on the Bangles. And Bangles were awful. It was early Zach Taylor years. And then last year when Lamar was out and it was like, hunt, Lily andCincinatti, obviously, was looking to put it to them. And it goes back to the May that great playoff game last year. So Baltimore, Cincinnati, that's an underrated rivalry. And I think before we crown the Ravens, the Bangles aren't done yet this season. I could see them coming from behind here.


Fandool seems to think they're dumb because the over under being at eight and a half says to me that the Sharps out there aren't believers. I think that's too low. The other one, San Francisco is over, is 11 and a half on Fandool. And I was like, Man, that seems low. And then I was like, Man, that seems high. And I just said, I don't know what to think. Who knows? The Patriots are playing at Miami this week. Miami is super banged up. We're typing this on Thursday morning. I don't know if Tyreke is playing. I don't know if Mostar's playing. They're already missing a bunch of guys on the Miami side. Their offensive line is not good and really has not been good. Lombardi has talked about this on his podcast about how everything McDaniel does is basically to disguise the fact that his line can't block, and he's just really good at it. But there's some games when... Pats played pretty well against them and Mac cost them the game a few weeks ago. The Pats are getting nine and a half. The Pats, next five after this game, they have HomeWashed and Home Indy, Byweek, AtGiants, and then home chargers.


I saw that. I'm like, Am I getting sucked back in? Could somebody just hit me over the head with a baseball bat? I don't want to get sucked back in. I was waiting for them to tank five days ago, Shrigs.


Turn the TikTok camera on. I'm on. The Indie Games in Frankfurt, which is interesting because I was in Germany last year. Oh, that's right. We're in Germany. I was doing the Munich game last year. The two Munich games were there for Good Morning Football, and it was pretty cool. I was blown away with all of the Patriots fans in Germany. The Patriots were not playing in Germany. I was like, What the hell is this? And it was explained to me that in Germany, on their network, whatever it is, they play one game a week from America throughout the early 2000s, 1900s, so think about who is winning all those games. They have been adapted as Germany's team, the New England Patriots, because they only would get one game a week and it was usually braided versus whoever. I think that one is going to be really interesting. I'm so proud in that it might feel like it's going to be a neutral field, but I think there are a lot of people living in Germany who grew up Patriots fans, and that one could be a home field advantage in a major way for them.


All that to being said- By the way, you know when that happened? It was in the '60s with the NBA. What they got. Because they would just show Russell and Chamberlain every week.


So then in the next generation-.


And then it was like all these Sixer, Celtics fans because those were the two teams that were just on for eight years.


Yeah. And if you look around in airports, you'll still see a lot of guys in Steeler's and Raiders, Jersey. I think it's the same effect. In the '70s, that's-.


Yeah, that was my generation, Steeler's, Raiders, Cowboys. Because we would have kids. When I was in kindergarten, first grade in the Boston area, and the Pats weren't good yet. They weren't good until '76. But there were kids like, I'm a Vikings fan because of Sammy White. I'm a Cowboys fan. I'm a Stealers fan. We're like, What about the fucking Patriots?


They're right here. Yeah, the kids got the Chuck Forman jersey. They're like, What?


Really? You're a Stealers fan, you fucker? But yeah, no, it's what happens, the bandwagon potential. So you're saying Germany is on the Pat's bandwagon?


I think Germany is on the Pat's bandwagon. I would notch of all those games, that one. But I think you're crazy if you think based on that one win last week, you think the Patriots can go on a run. And I'm not being good.


I don't want to talk myself into it. This is for you.


You ever have a friend who keeps on going back to that same girl. This just isn't the time for it. You can go back to The Patriots, dude, obviously. I don't see it. But I also think they were just good enough last week that they're not going to be sellers at the trade deadline. They're not going to be shopping off all these guys, whoever's left. You're in purgatory with them. One quick note. Interesting timing on the Ian Rappaport report that Bill has signed a multi-year contract over.


The offseason. I feel like he signs an extension every year.


I was going to say. First of all, I know everyone at the League and all that stuff. The League offices, they don't know what Belichick makes. I don't think they've ever seen a contract. I don't know if Belichick is still represented by an agent. All that stuff is so back room between him and Kraft. There might be three people in the world who knows about that. And it's Belichick, and it's Jonathan and Robert Kraft who would even know what it is. And Ratport got a story and you're like, Well, how did he get to it? Who leaked it? You can get into all that and why it came out. But there was some heat on that seat going into this week, and of all the times to just say, hey, get the dogs off.




It might have just been, Hey, here's two years and Mayo is taking over after the second year. It could have been that's multiyear, that's whatever it is. But I do think those guys played their asses off. And that talk of Bella Check being on the immediately went away. And I was like, all right, that was such a necessary win last week for just the rest of the season. And it might come back if they lose this week and all that. But I just thought it was an interesting report, which is accurate, I'm sure. And then an interesting reaction from the team and from the way it was handled moving forward, because then they asked him about it and he was like, I do not talk about my contract. I was like, All right. But someone was talking about your contract and put that at bay for a little bit.


I interpret it as this season could go either way and it's probably going the wrong way. And if we have to tank, just know that he's here for the long term and he would be participating in the tanking decisions. Now, you could argue last week, I mean, they did a couple of things that they just hadn't done for six weeks. One of them was play their receivers who actually can get open. I don't know. What a crazy idea to play Bourne and Pop Douglas who both can actually get open and then make plays after they catch the ball, unlike everyone else in the receiving core. And then I'm going to throw this name out. He's a borderline fantasy pickup. But this guy, Faryl Brown, they have who's just converted offensive tackle, basically. He makes big plays for them. He had a big play called back last week, but then he had another big play. And it just seems like he makes 225 yard plays a game. I don't know. I was really impressed by them last week. I thought they played well. And I think this Dolphins game is a nice spot for them because they played them well.


It's a division game. And I think they're giving them too many points. But I'm not tucking myself back in, tricks.


That said, last week, they played their best game of the season, and they almost gave it away. And Mac Jones had to go 80 yards heroically to win it. But they were winning the whole entire game. And then.


Josh Allen- They set that up just for a match just to make the big cut.


I can see right in the.


52nd minute. That was it. They told Bourne to Fumble. Browns are at the Seahawks. And thisis Sean Watson's story, which has been weird from the moment they made the trade. I don't know why they played him yesterday. I've never seen he had five throws and two of them were the worst throws of the entire season. They took him out. He seemed fine with it. To me, this is, I guess, why you don't guarantee football contracts where you have a guy who has been a disaster from the moment he showed up and was just on the sidelines, didn't seem like he cared if he was out there or not. They're cutting on the sidelines and he's just watching everybody else. This is the weirdest story I think of this decade so far, this Watson thing. From the moment they made the trade, the fact that he didn't want to go there, they guarantee the deal. So to try to convince him to go there. He's got all these allegations and things he has to settle legally that just immediately turns it into you're on one side or the other. Then he shows up and he's aggressively mediocre or worse for the entire time he's on there.


And he doesn't look anything remotely resembling to Sean Watson from three years ago. And it just seems like it's getting worse, not better.


The shoulder injury is a legit injury from what I'm told. So let's just put that there. Okay, fine. Let's talk about the quality of play when he's out there. It's substandard. It's not in the top 20 quarterbacks. It's not now. It's not in the top 25, probably. And then when they put PJ Walker in, it seems like the offense moves just the same, if not better. And then really how they're going to win games this year, which is what they've done, and they've got a fantastic record is the defense is going to have to lead them. And Jim Schwartz's defense has been absolutely insane. In this past week, special teams, they had 250-yard field goals and a blocked field goal on their own. They're going to be one of those that wins with defense and special teams, and yet they have the highest guaranteed contract in the history of the sport at quarterback. And everyone's just like shrugging like, well, my thought process is like, go back to that March, whenever that all went down and there was a bidding war for DeShawn Watson and Cleveland basically said, we're going to give you what no one else will.


We'll give you the guaranteed contract.


Yeah, we're the Browns. Nothing good happens to us. I guess we're going to have to do the dumbest thing possible to try to get you.


And the reaction from... I was at the League meetings, and the reaction from the owners was like, sickness from those owners that the Browns did that. Yet they were like, You know what? We're the Cleveland Browns. We've had 21 quarterbacks in 23 years. We're not getting over the Humlet Baker. I almost was like, You know what? Shit, they're going to take a public relations hit and the fans, it's going to be a very difficult thing. They're going for it. They want to do what's best for the football field. They go for it. The football hasn't been there. Here's my question. Those teams, Atlanta and Carolina were both very in on to Sean Watson. If you were to say to Atlanta and Carolina, would you right now trade for DeShawn Watson?


Would you right now- Nobody's trading for him.


I don't even think contract-aside they would take. I think Carolinas would rather have Bryce Young than DeShawn Watson. I think Atlanta would rather have the locker room.


That they've gotten. This was basketball, and they could just flip him to Denver for Russell Wilson. And it's just like, Oh, the salaries match. We can just do this trade. I don't even think Denver.


Would do that. I don't know if they would. I don't think Russell Wilson is exactly lighting it up in Denver this year, even though he started better numbers. Russell Wilson last week.


Not good. It's sad. It's actually a bummer to watch. Different than the Sean. The Sean just seems like a shadow of himself. Russ just seems old.


He said it was Sal. You see him and he starts doing the Russ thing, and and he's running and he just can't run anymore. And the past is just not there. You guys said, I think it was Lombardi or Sal early in the season. At some point, Stidham is going to go in. And I haven't spoken to Payton about that, but it's like you can't watch those games with Russell, especially the Thursday night game against the Chiefs where they have 85 yards off. You can't watch it and objectively be like, this guy's job is unassailable. I think you're right. I think if he keeps on losing, we're going to see sit them. But back to the Watson thing.




Numbers aren't there. The winning games without him, and they just signed PJ Walker to a one-year contract, which basically gives him the stability that you are the guy for now. But PJ has it lit it up either. So it's just one of the things like how far can you get if you're the Browns with what they have on offense, which-.


He can at least make the one throw a quarter to somebody and make like, he's not a complete this, or he'll run around and create a first down somehow. But he's not a complete disaster.




He's like a C minus.


In today's NFL, when we talk about the quarterbacks and the offense and how I don't know if we go to the playoffs if Cleveland can, A, they could probably make it, but B, if they can with Watson under center, the way he's playing. I don't know if you can win a playoff game with just defense and special teams. And it's not their fault that they lost Chuck. And I think Cooper and Moore and Ford, they're good players. But the quarter acquisition is huge and it's a major area for them. So it's amazing to me for what they pay and that that might be what holds them back from being a great team.


Can I talk you into Seattle plus 450 to in the NFC West?


Let's do it.


If they win this game and then San Francisco loses that since the game. And all of a sudden it's like, Whoa, look at this. They still haven't played each other yet. Minnesota, I didn't get to talk about them on the podcast because that was the Monday Night Game. It turns out, Purdy was probably concussed, and that might have helped them a little bit. But also, Minnesota hung around. Addison finally had his, oh, you're going to be like a special one. It looks like he had one of those games. And it was a nice win. Then you go backwards. There are four losses. They lost to Tampa by three, Philly by six, Chargers by four, and by seven. They were in all those games. Coming up at Green Bay, at Atlanta, New Orleans, at Denver, Chicago, by week at Vegas. So they might not play an above 500 team for almost two months here. And then they have this Packers game. The Packers were so bad in that Denver game. And I had that a million dollar picks I hadn't realized. You had the Packers? I did. I was like, They're going to score at least 20 points.


That should be enough. Not only did they not score 20 points, but that was the first time where I felt like Love might not have it. He just might not have it. So this seems like a nice spot for them. Their 16th and DV away, by the way, the Vikings, 14th offense, 15th defense, seems like a nice spot. So why are they only one and a half point favorites?


Yeah. Look, they're going to go as far as Cousins is going to take him. And this year he's been really good. And the offensive line, which was such an eyesore, was great. In San Francisco, they give up zero sacks and only in six hurries. But, Bill, it was '22-'17, they bring out our boy Greg Joseph, who we've lived and died with over the last... He misses that kick and purties at the 50, down five. And if he's not concussed or if he throw, they probably lose that game. So it's one of those where it's like, yes, you want to get it on the Vikings and yes, all this stuff. Defense looks great and Brian Floris has been playing better. No, Jefferson is still huge to me. And I don't think they have a running game to speak of with Acres and Madison, not exactly lining it up. So it's on Cousins again. And Cousins numbers are fantastic this year. I don't know. Do you see them as a special team this year? Do they go on one of these runs?


No, I don't. But I'm trying to figure out can I get who's my sixth and seventh in the NFC? To me, they're the Anton Shagur CoinToss team this year, which is like they're in all these games in the fourth quarter and then flip a coin. And you might have the one week where Cousins has a tip-pick. You might have the next week where their defense does something and all of a.


Sudden they win. Are you out on my rims?


They can't block.


It's a struggle.


Their offensive line seems like they'll come out in these games and Sean's so good. And the first quarter looked really nice and crisp, and they'll have that first 20 plays. And then by the time you get to the two-hour mark of the game, it starts getting a little gamey. And then all of a sudden, Stafford is running around for his life. It just doesn't seem like they have enough. But on the other hand, they have two guys who just seem like they can get open whatever they want. That's pretty good. They could just block for staff for long enough. I thought Henderson was really good last week. I don't know where he was for.


Two years. He was hurt. The other kid was good, too. They had Royce Freeman. He had 66 yards. They were moving the ball. And then the PIC 6 was a killer. Not PIC 6, but the Watt plays a killer. And then again, Sean, by the way, just had a baby on Tuesday. Congratulations. He was beside himself, and he didn't speak out publicly. Obviously, you could see the face, but the pass interference call they called on Witherspoon there at the end of the game. And then Deante Johnson, they get offsetting, and then you get the spot. It's amazing. He didn't have any time out, so he couldn't review it and they lose on that. I watched everything and some of the criticism was like, well, that's because McFay is an idiot for wasting his timeouts. When he called his last timeout to change out of a third downplay, and then they end up scoring a touchdown on that play. My thought on that is, and he's been in baby world the last few days, but my thought on it from the outside is, is the officialating so bad? Is it so wretched that we blame coaches for not saving a timeout in the emergency that they might need one from a terrible call?


That, to me is not an explanation. I thought they outplayed Pittsburgh. They had an unfortunate ending there with the timeout and with how they couldn't get that play reviewed, but they stopped them on fourth down clearly. And that's a big loss. But I don't think that team is necessarily going to fall off the wayside. And they might lose to Dallas this week.


They're playing Dallas getting almost a touchdown. And it just seems like a classic throw Dallas and the T's, the rims, can't block, Cowboys, defensive line. I'm not touching that game. That's a complete stay away from me. I don't like teams getting a lot of points that can throw the ball and get cheap touchdowns and be down 13 with two minutes left and then just keep going down the rims first.


I've got Seahawks. Obviously, I've got Seahawks or Niners winning it and I'm writing this down. I think the Eagles and the Cowboys. So there's your four. You need three more teams. You need someone in the NFC South. So let's say Atlanta. There's your fifth.




I said, yes. I got Seattle, San Francisco, Philly, Dallas.




Atlanta. You need an NFC North team.


Let's say the Lions.


Detroit. There's one more team. So is it Minnesota? Maybe. But pick your poison. I mean, it could be the Saints, my rally. It could be the giants. No, I don't see the giants.


It could be the Rams.


It could be the Rand. So that's where we're at. You have seven teams. Half the conference makes it. So it's.


Like- I like the Packers before the year. And it just seems like they've had too many injuries now. And Love might not be the guy. Unfortunately for that. They also got nothing from Watson.


Can we quickly talk about one team that we haven't mentioned? And I don't think they're one of the playoffs, but it's my favorite story of the year. Can we talk about Tyson-Badren?


Oh, yeah. I was going to ask you about that. Hold on. Save that, because that was my last thing. I'd have this tease that I was looking at with the Lions over the Raiders and the Chiefs over the Broncos just quickly on the Raiders. What's going on with the Raiders? That was one of the worst- That was the saddest team last week. Honestly, it looked like they were quitting on everything. I don't know.


The McDaniel's quote was alarming, too. They're like, Why don't you start it in O'Connor? Because it's not the preseason.


Josh. What? Yeah. No, it's- Hoyer is like, almost my age.


Hoyer had a couple of passes to a guy who was bold enough after two wins to speak out in the media who just dropped them. Devonte Adams dropped two passes. The they're a confounding team and the Raiders, I can't get behind them. But they've got so many great skilled players that it's confusing because Max Crosby is an absolute nightmare to deblock. And then you have Jacobs, who's a good running back, and Adams, who should be a great receiver.


And Jacobs is a good running back who's running two-nine and carry this year. I would trade Adams and fire them. I don't think it makes sense to have Adams if you don't have good quarterbacks. And couldn't they get a first rounder and something else for them right now?


I think. I've seen a lot of people in my world, and I guess we're now so scared, I say the collective we, a lot of guys are so scared to come at the player directly and question their name because of player empowerment, all things. I really didn't like the timing of those quotes. And I like Devante. I think he's as good as it gets when he's with the right system and quarterback, obviously, or not even that. That's not fair to him. But you know what I mean? He's one of the best wire savers. He's unbelievable. For the Raiders to be like, no, because they've told everyone he is not tradable. And he's off. I thought that was a.




Him waving his hand being like, I'm not happy.




Don't have that many assets. Are you winning a Super Bowl this year? He came to go sign to play with Derrick car. Derrick Car is out of there. I was a little surprised that they've told every team he is not on the trading block over the next few weeks. And I'm like, well, why not? Consider it. I don't know. He's a great player and he doesn't want to be there. And he says he wants to win, obviously. But to win, he needs to get his touches. And he was only getting nine targets in two weeks.


The whole thing was weird. Yeah, I was preparing for some... He's been traded to the bills. Yeah, he's been traded. One of those trades, I'm like, Oh, no. Or he's been traded to the Cowboys for two first round picks. Oh, no. Oh, my God. Everyone around the league- What's happening? -doesn't seem like it's happening.


He's not getting traded.


All right, let's talk about your guy, Tyson Baygent. Look, man, I've been doing this for a long time. I'm not saying I'm bad at a thousand. I'm miss some stuff. This Tyson Baygent, he gets the nod to start last week. And I do no homework on it at all. I'm just like, Oh, man, the bears, who cares? I don't know anything about the story. I don't know the Div2 quarterback thing. I don't know about the dad being a champion arm wrestler. I just didn't know it. And I'm watching, it's on one of the TVs, and he scrambles out and gets the first down and then starts doing the 'gladiator, give me some... ' And I'm like, Who is this guy? And it was very purdy-ish. They win the game. I watched all the videos after in the locker room. The team seemed like they loved him.


Justin Fields is cheering in the background.


Yeah. I'm like, This is exactly the shit I love and bet on. So does this.


Feel real?


Is he maybe half-decent?


All right. Let's go back to Senior Bowl last year in January. There weren't a lot of guys that were rushing to get to the Senior Bowl this year, or there was just not the senior class that there usually is. And Jim Nagy, credit to him, who was at the Senior Bowl, he scours the earth for these guys and actually invited two different players from Shepherd University in West Virginia, which is a Division Two school with 5,000 fans in the crowd. And he gets this kid, Baygent, who's the quarterback and his offensive lineman, Joey Fisher, comes to the Senior Bowl. And I interviewed the head coach, whose name is Ernie McCook, and has been there forever and is almost out of a movie, Ernie McCook. I interviewed him for my podcast, and he says, We couldn't afford airfare to the Senior Bowl, so me and five guys on the coaching staff, we drove overnight 20 hours to get from West Virginia to the Senior Bowl and Mobile to go cheer on, tie us in. They don't have a state-of-the-art facility. We see the Alabama stuff. At Shepherd University, there is a high school history teacher who built a man cave/crossfit thing.


That's where the team trains. He built it. This guy who's a teacher at the local high school, not the college, not a professor, the local high school. He built it. And that's where the players train. And I posted the clip on my feed. He's talking to me about Tyson Baygent, how he works out during a college career. He's lifting logs of wood. This is Rocky 4 shit.




Bench pressing logs of Wood with his teammates, and their workouts weren't let's run on the shred mill or the treadmill. We've got these guys at Exos. They would run to the shores of the Potomac River, which is like three miles from campus. They'd run and they'd jump in the water and they would swim in the Potomac River and then get out of the Potomac. Then they hollowed out with their own hands and their own ingenuity, a man-made cold bath out of the shores of the Potomac, where they would go in and that's how they would get their bodies back, build this shit is crazy. His team this weekend, the Shepherd team, they're playing Bloomesburg of Division 2 in a big game. I'm talking to the coach and he's talking about Bloomsburg. I'm sitting there and I'm listening and I'm like, this guy is going to be on Sunday Night Football with Tariko and Collinsworth in front of 30 million people. His college coach is talking about Bloomsburg and how he loved Tyson when he was a kid at Church. He would see him in the Church pews because he grew up in the local town.


Only two schools recruited him, and this might be good for Kyle here, Albany being one of them, and then Robert Morris being the other. They were the only two schools that were bigger than Shepherd. He stays at Shepherd. And then long story short, gets to the Senior Bowl as like an oddity, but also, all right, we'll see, Division Two kid. He's got the helmet on and the Bear's coaching staff, Luke Getsey, is coaching at the Senior Bowl. And who do they fall in love with? Tyson Baygent. And the rest is history. He doesn't get drafted, but he chooses to go to Chicago. And I have one last Baygent nugget that I freaking loved. So this summer, he's an undrafted rookie free agent, quarterback. Very long shot for those guys to make a team, especially if you weren't even... Purdy, we thought, was a cool storybook story. He was-.


At least he was seventh rounder.


-and a three-time starter in the big 12. This guy comes from might as well be Mars in West Virginia at Shepherd, where West Virginia has never produced an NFL starting quarterback, by the way. The state itself, guys have come in and played there. This summer, he gets the Luke Getsey playbook. And whereas other players are going on vacation or whatever, and you've heard these stories, but this is why it's so crazy, he would go to the Shepherd Field every morning, and with the playbook, he would have his friend come and stand on the sideline with a cell phone. And he would have an earbud or an ear pod, whatever it's called, in his year at the 50, and the friend, through a cell phone, would say the play calls from Getzy's offense, would list it out like whatever it is, Spider Y2, Banana, da da da da da. And he would sit there and he would simulate the calls of the empty field line of scrimage at Shepherd University. And he did this for six straight weeks, didn't take a day off, friend is on the sideline on a cell phone reading Getzy, so that he shows up to training camp and they're blown away.


So much so that Nathan Peterman, who you make your jokes about Peterman's career, was the veteran guy. They're basically like, this guy's our number two. It's not going to be Peterman. He had the playbook down inside and out. So all those little things, it's the stuff that you make a movie out of, but it's all real. And the bears absolutely love the guy and what he's brought. You and Sal do the Collinsworth voice. I cannot wait to hear Collinsworth gushing over this weekend.


Well, they're playing the Chargers in LA. I would say we thought there's going to be 50,000 depressed, Bear's fans in there. But now there's going to probably be 50,000 excited, bearish, fans. Baygeon, I love that he had what, like 53 people he had in a whole section in the Sunday game of his family and friends.




People came to Chicago. Yeah, all crowded in one section, just losing their fucking minds. And then you have the Chargers who are a complete mess, who are... If you're going to be cynical here, the bears are getting eight and a half. The bears are plus 350 for the game. But if you're going to be cynical here, this is the setup for Brandon Staley's last game. We're like, Oh, man. Then he lost to Tyson Baygent and they had to make a move. So weird to think this is a must-win against Tyson Baygent, but the Chargers are two and four. They've looked terrible. Hugely disappointing season all over the place. Herbert, even the nerds are like, it's harder for them to defend their nerd hero, Justin Herbert, when he keeps screwing up at the end of games. The JC Jackson paying him to play for the Patriots- He was great last week. He's defending Diggs and Gabe Davis for four quarters. He was awesome. They're paying for him. I don't know what the F's going on with that team. So this has all the makings. But we could also see it looks like a sports movie, and this could be the part of the sports movie where he just sucks on Sunday night.


And now he's got to hit rock bottom again, and then he comes back. I don't know.


I don't think it's happening. Here's why. His numbers last week were like 21 of 24 for 1-60 in a touchdown, and then he ran for 40 yards. They're not asking him to go throw for 300 yards. They're not asking him to throw the ball 55 times.


A little bit like- Well, they have my guy, Forman, too.


Forman, who you said, and he's been on seven teams. I love that guy.


Every year, teams McGrudgingly play him, and then he just kills it when he plays. It's great. He was an inactive for them for four weeks.


Yeah, and he's been great.


You want to talk Celebrity Jeopardy before we go?


Yeah, can we?


Just give us two minutes on it.


So there's an actor strike, a writer strike. If you're listening and you're like, why the fuck would Peter Schreger be invited to Celebrity Jeopardy? I think.


A lot of- Hey, listen. Why is Tyson, Baylor, and the bears quarterback? Thank you. We don't like you. You're there. You're there.


I got the invite. I think a lot of people were reluctant to go on and do it during what was going on in Hollywood at the time. I go out to LA in August. Bill, if you were told four days in advance, you're going on Jeopardy, of course you would go. The question is, would you prepare?


How are you going to prepare? Thank you.


Everyone's like, get the book. There's no books. Come on. I get on the plane. I'm on Southwest, I see, boarding group B, and I'm on the janky internet like US State Capitol. I'm going to learn about that or something, like President, like Bill Moore. I get there, it's surreal, dude. You walk in and it's the actual set. It's The Jeopardy set. They share the studio with Wheel of Fortune. I saw the actual wheel, and I was like, I grew up on this shit. I don't know about you, but I think we're probably similar in this that my family, we didn't talk a lot about feelings when we were growing up in Freehold New Jersey. At seven o'clock at night, it was a wonderful thing to put on trabeck and just zone out and not talk to each other and just watch Jeffrey. That was it. So I grew up on this thing. I get out there. It's me versus Mira Sorvino.


Yeah, you guys go way back.


The two of us. I'm sure she's watching a lot of Good Morning Football.




And this guy, Adam Rodriguez, who's on the CBS Proceduralist. Coolest experience, but here's what I will tell you. It aired last night, Wild. It goes down to Final Jeopardy. The category was Tweenlit. Tweenlit.


What was the answer?


T-w-e-n. The answer was... Well, first I had to put down my thing. I was down 200 points to Mara Servino going into Final Jeopardy. I look over and Servino has got her family at the taping. She's got her crew, and she's got two teenage daughters in there. I'm like, Fuck. She's set. I saw her and I'm like- They.


Rigged this.


They didn't rig it. They didn't know whatever it is. I'm like, Shit. I'm like, As I'm about to put the number down, I'm like, Who wrote those Twilight books? And who wrote that the other one, The hunger games? I'm like, I don't know those answers. I'm trying to think. I said, screw it. I went big number. The question was like, This author later said she would regret not calling her hit book just Margaret. I'm like, Oh, that's Judy Bloom. I'm like, That's Judy Bloom.


You got this. Yeah.


Write it down. I'm like, Who is Judy Bloom? I had a big point total and all this thing. And I'm like, I got this. They start revealing. Like, Peter Schrager, what do you have? Who is.


Judy Bloom?


Correct. You wagered. I'm like, I wagered $7,000 or $8,000. Great. I'm sitting pretty. Goes to Sorvino. I'm looking, trying to get a read. Mary Sorvino, did you have it? And she was up 200 points or something. She goes, Sorvino, who is Judy Bloom? She bet the entire thing she had. She just beat me by the slightest margin. It was the most dramatic Jeopardy game ever. I absolutely loved it. It was crazy. No shame. I played a good game. They do stats now. I got 19 questions right. I got three questions wrong, but I got two daily doubles wrong. So that's what killed me. And I'll tell you the tip to anyone who's ever going to go on or if you want to go, the buzzer is what screws you. And here's the deal. When you're watching at home and you're jumping out of your couch and it's like, who is it? I know that. You can't buzz in until Ken Jennings finishes the clue. And if you do jump in and you press the buzzer before he finishes the clue, so it's like, this famous author wrote Romeo and Juliet, you're buzzing in beforehand, you get locked out.


So if you see people freaking out, pressing that buzzer, it's because they've been locked out and they're frustrated. So I didn't get that rhythm down until a little bit midway through, and then I was hot. Dude, I got random as shit stuff. Who wrote Joy Love Club? I'm like, Amy Tan, what about it? Let's go. Let's go. Your brain goes into this crazy... They were showing me bridges. One of the categories was Bridges, and I cleaned up. I didn't know I knew Bridges. I'm buzzing it. Bill, it was the coolest experience, man. You got to go on. I know you've been asked. I'm sure you have. And you're.


Whatever reason- I'm too old now. I don't know my brain works that way anymore. Are you serious, dude? I can't believe Servino took you down. Harvard? Jesus.


You were an ambassador and I believe a member of Mensa. I had no idea about any of that stuff.


No, teen daughters is a murder- Murder. -for that last category. There's no chance.


It was so fun.


Well, congrats. It sounds like a moral victory. You're like Tyson, Baygent against the Chargers this week. Covering the 8.5 but not winning.


No, if I was to fight in Beijing against the Chargers, I would have beaten everyone by a million. That's what's going to happen this weekend, bro.


All right. Good to see you, Shraigs.


Love you, man. Thank you.


All right, we're going to wrap things up with some million-dollar picks. We have a full slate this week. Last week we had six by teams. This week we have zero. And that makes no sense, but that's the NFL for you. Stay away this week for me. Cards, Ravens. We laid this out on the SAL podcast on Sunday. Every time somebody's played the best game of the week, something weird has happened the next week with them. And this has been seven weeks in a row. The Ravens played the best game in the week last week. I'm a little worried. It's some trend that I don't like. All the money is on the Ravens. All that people are putting them in teases straight up. It's just pencil them in. The Ravens are the best team in the league. I'm staying away. Same thing for Texans, minus three and a half at Carolina. All week I thought I was going to bet this game. All week I waited for the lions to move to four to four and a half. Carolina is 32nd in DVOA. Houston has a chance maybe to be a seven seed. They've looked really good.


They've looked good against the tough schedule. And yet the lion has stayed at three and a half, and I'm suspicious. I am staying away. I'm staying away from Bear's plus eight and a half in LA against the Chargers, even though I love the Tyson-Beijen story. It worries me a little taking him and having Collinsworth, having a little mini-orgasms about him, and then he just starts God only knows. He was in Division 2 last year. Could this be Brandon Staley's last week? Maybe. Could this be a fun Bear's money line pick? Sure. I'm staying away, even though there's going to be 50,000 Bear's fans there. Eagles, Washington. Eagles are favored by seven. Philly is a little banged up, still not sure what's going on with Hertz. The last two times these teams have played, the game's been close. More importantly, Philly's got Dallas at home next week. And this looks like a classic Milton-Burl game where they just pull just enough out of their pants to win. I'm staying away from teases, everything with that game. I'm staying away from two games with bad quarterbacks. Saints minus one against the Colts. Jets minus three against the giants, Car versus Minchu in the erratic quarterback bowl.


I'm staying away. Zach Wilson versus Ty Rod Taylor? No, thank you. Hate betting on games with bad quarterbacks. Somehow I did it last week with the Packers, Broncos, took the Broncos and despised myself for most of the day. Cowboys are favored by six and half over the Rams. This feels like either the Rams have a shocking upset and win this outright or they lose by 20. And I couldn't decide which one, so I am staying away. I'm not positive they can block the Cowboys. That's what worries me the most. But I could also see them going up to nothing in the first quarter and everyone has cowboys and the T's freaking out. Last day away from me, Vikings minus one and a half at Green Bay. Green Bay has been crushed by injuries. I think we're starting to realize that Jordan Love might suck. I'm not officially ready to quary that yet, but he was really, really, really gruesome in that Denver game last week. And just in general, he's pretty iffy. Lambo Field, Kirk Cousins, it seems easy. There's some Vikings momentum. And yet, the Vikes coming off a great win and Green Bay coming off a horrible loss.


Something about that seesaw. This looks too easy. Why isn't this line 3? Why isn't this Vikings by three? I'm staying away. All right, here's what we do like the million dollar picks for week eight. Just for the record, we lost last week. We had some bad luck last week. Down 360 last week, down 865,000. I'm not scared. You've watched me come back from this before. You think I'm quaking in my boots at all? I'm not. Million dollar picks. Week 8, first one, Bangles, plus four and a half right in that Vegas zone against the 49ers. I am proceeding like Brock is not playing in this game because all year long, anyone who got a concussion did not play in the next game. I think it's an unofficial rule. I think Gadell called that one down. I think we're going to get to San Donald. I like Sincey's defense. I thought they did a good job against Seattle a couple of weeks ago. A little worried about their offensive line against San Francisco's front seven, but Sincey coming off a buy. Joe Borough has a dog. The stats are great. Since he needs the game, as we covered with Schrager, they have a really tough schedule coming up.


And I think they either win this game or come close. And even if the Niners go up double figures, they're still in the cheap touchdown zone here. So I was going to take more money line underdogs just going forward because the money line underdogs, if the underdog covers, they also seem to win. But in this case, I'm going to grab the points. I think this is a close game. Maybe they win. They stick around. No Debo. Mcafrey, relatively healthy. Sam Donald. Feels like either team could win this one. Bangles, plus four and a half. So that's our first one. Second one, Stealers. We're going back to the world, baby. All year long. Who has been the biggest supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers other than everyone from Pittsburgh? This guy right here, four and two. They're the Michael Myers team this year. You have no idea how they're pulling it off. They pull it off week after week. I actually thought they played really well the second half of that Rams game last week. They ran the ball. They made plays down the field. Their defense was terrific. It's Michael Myers's birthday on Tuesday. I don't know if you're aware of this.


It is.


He turns 63. Man, he looks great. I mean, he's died at least 72 times. He looks great. The Steowers are not going to lose him on two days before Michael Myers' birthday. It's going to be pouring rain. I repeat, pouring rain. Mike Tomlin is a home dog. The Jags. So the Jags, they win two London games. We cover this to trigger, two London games and a Thursday night game. Let's see them win a normal Sunday game on the road, on grass, in bad weather against Michael Myers. I don't see it. Eli 2.0 taking the money line on the Steeler's plus 124 to win outright against the Jags because the line is two and a half. So I'm grabbing the money line. Next one. This looks a tiny bit too easy, but on the other hand, Desmond Ritter has six turnovers in the last two weeks. And is the first person I've ever seen fumble the ball more than once at the one-yard line? Falcons, minus two and a half at Tennessee. They traded Kevin Byard this week, the Titans, who is one of their good safe ties. It's a borderline white flag for me. No, Tant Hill this week.


They're doing this thing where they're going to play Will Levis and Mylik Willis, two quarterbacks. It's almost like one plus one equals three. But in this case, the one and the one is a zero. It's a zero plus zero equals zero. That's my take. I know this looks too easy in the Falcons outdoors and switching conferences, and they have burned us over and over again with either they win, but they don't cover all these different things. I just think this is a rare chance to bet against a team that's playing Will Levis and Milly Cooker, and that's it. I don't know if this situation will ever happen again from a gambling standpoint. We can tell they have less than three points. Atlanta is better. I think Tennessee is dipping their toes maybe in the number one pick sweepstakes, trade deadlines coming up. Will they trade Derek Henry? Will they trade DeAndre Hopkins? Will they trade other guys in the defense? It's all in play. It is not a good team. They cannot block. And I think the Falcons defense is pretty good. Maybe the Falcons can win this on their own. Taking them. I love this one.


Browns plus three and a half at Seattle. And you're like, The Browns? Did you see DeShaw last week? He was awful. They're going to have to play PJ Walker again. I'm fine with it. Pj Walker, solid C minus. You know what? I got a C minus in a couple of courses in high school and college. It's okay. You can still get a 3.0. Seattle's offensive line got decimated by Cincinnati two weeks ago. And in general, it's not good. I would say it's below average. Cleveland's front seven, as good as it gets, I'm willing to throw away last week against Indianapolis. They thought they're going to walk in beat up on Min Hsu. Watson shits the bed so badly in the first quarter. Indy hits a couple of big plays. I just think that was a looking ahead game. They thought they just had to show up with their great defense. They're going to win. I think their defense wins this game. With that said, I don't trust PJ Walker enough to take the money on. I'm going to do the plus three and a half. I think this is a three-point game they have a chance to win.


Brown's plus three and a half at Seattle. And we'll see if that defense can win that game. Last but not least, a teaser. I've lost teases two weeks in a row. I wasn't going to do one again, but two that I cannot resist. The Lion's coming off a horrible loss. They're playing the Raiders in a night game. I think the Raiders have packed it in for the season. Lion's bringing them down from seven and a half to one and a half. I still believe in the Lions. I have them number five in my power rankings. And if you go DVO and all that stuff, they're just so much better than Vegas. And then Chiefs Broncos will be the other one. The Broncos, they have a way of hanging around in Chiefs games. I'm not that concerned about it. Hopefully, Taylor Sliff will go. But we're going to tease the Chiefs down from seven and a half to one and a half. So Lion's down to one and a half, Chiefs down to one and a half. That's a tease. And then a couple of small ones. So the first one, Jacksonville to win the first half, but Pittsburgh to win the game.


Cousin Sal talked about this on Sunday. This happened last week in the Pittsburgh-Rams game, where Pittsburgh, they take a half to get going. We're just going to put 50K on this plus 800. So Jacksonville wins the first half. Pittsburgh wins the game. Just sprinkle. We'll just sprinkle 50K on that plus 800. And then we're also going to sprinkle 50K in this parlay. It's the same game parlay. It is in progress because we don't have De Mare of Douglas passing props yet for receptions. Pats adjusted to four and a half, the over against the Dolphins to 29 and a half points. And then you can do the Pop Douglas TD here and make that plus 10:49. Or you can wait for me on Saturday because I'm going to either do that or I'm going to do catches for him. Because if you watched the Pats last week, and remind yourself that I told you this just for fantasy purposes. Pop Douglas for the Pats has reached. They cannot keep him off the field territory. And I think he's just going to get better and better every week. But I like the receptions and the yards with him.


We'll see, maybe they'll have a plus 40 yards, put that with Pats plus four and a half. I think that's going to be a close game, Rain and Wind. Second time they played each other, the first game was pretty close. Miami is banged up on both sides, even though they're getting Jaylin Ramsey back for this one. But I think the Pats willhang around. And I think they can rush to a... Miami's offensive line isn't good. I think the Patz can pressure him and they'll throw some stuff to take Tyreke out of the game. Tyreke's hurt but playing Wado has a bad back. Most of it might not play. And I think the Patz can steal that. So to recap, we are doing 300K on Bengles plus four and a half, Steeler's plus 124, Falcons minus 2.5, Browns plus three and a half, and then a T's, lions minus seven and a half, which Chiefs minus seven and a half. And then 50K flyers on that path. Same game, Parlay, which I'll officially have on my Twitter feed on Saturday. And Jacksonville wins the first half, Pit wins the game plus 800. You know what? I'm going to move down my Steeler's money line, Parlay to 250.


Is that the plus one? Yeah, 250K at plus 124. So add that to your scorecard, even though you're not scoring this. Those are the million dollar picks for week eight. All right, that's it for the podcast. Thanks to Rob Mahoney and Peter Schrager. Thanks to Kyle Craton and Steve Saruddy as well. Don't forget, a new Rewatch was coming on Monday. Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe, everyone in Maine. We're thinking about you. See you on Sunday. Must be 21 plus and President select states. Fandual is offering online sports way during in Kansas under an agreement with Kansas Star Casino, LLC. Gambling problem? Call 1-800, gambler, or visit fando. Com/rg in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Tennessee, and Virginia. You can call 1-800 next step or text next step to 5-33-42 in Arizona. Call 1-88-7-89-7-7-7 or visit ccpg. Org/chat in Connecticut. 1-800-9 with it in Indiana. 1-800-5-2-2-4-7-00 or visit ksgamblinghelp. Com in Kansas. 1-8-7-7-7-0 stop in Louisiana. Mdgamblinghelp. Org in Maryland. 1-800-gambling. Net in West Virginia or 1-800-5-2-2-4-7-00 in Wyoming. Hope is here. Visit gamblinghelplinema. Org or call 800-3-2-7-50-50 for 24-7 support in Massachusetts, or call 1-800-7-7-8-hope and why or text hopeandwhy in New York.