All right! My man, Will Brinson, Picsics Podcast, Senior NFL Writer, CBSSports.com. In our first little bit here, I want to talk about Ben Johnson, not the steroid-using Canadian sprinter back in, what was it, 1988? Was it 88 in Australia?
Something like that? No, I think it was further back than that, no? I don't know, but we all know that Ben Johnson used a lot of steroids, but there's a difference.
88, which is when Ben Johnson of the Lions was born, I think. Well, he is a walk-on backup quarterback at the University of North Carolina. For one whole year, he has been the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, and according to what I read from Joe Person in The Athletic, the buzz in coaching circles is that David Tepper is enamored with Ben Johnson. Should we all be worried? Enamored?
No, that's too early in the process. Enamored? Okay. Enamored.
Enamored, to actually, to directly quote Joe Person. Right. The innovative schemes helped the Lions face fifth in the NFL in scoring offense in total offense in his first season.
He's from UNC in math and computer science. I didn't know that. No, I don't know, man. I mean, anything David Tepper does worries me in general, so I think that if you're a head coach, if you're an owner, if you're a fan of an NFL team, and it's the first week of, it's wild card weekend, wild card weekend Monday, right? Super wild card weekend hasn't even finished. And your owner has already decided that he is going to, he's locked into one candidate. That would concern me. I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing that Ben Johnson could be the candidate. I will just note that, and I don't want to call into question anything that either Joe Person or my colleague, Jonathan Jones, those are sort of leading the reports there. I just think that when you look at this, there's so much, this is lying season, right? And this is when you have people suggesting, I think I would hold off on assuming that David Tepper is just going to lock in this 36 year old one-time offensive coordinator who happened to go to Carolina for, get two degrees from Carolina. Is he a candidate?
Absolutely. But we've seen a couple of different things. One, and I was texting with you about this, Jim Harbaugh, excuse me, from Michigan, was trying to use David Tepper for leverage to generate interest from other jobs very clearly. He kept calling on calling the Panthers and David Tepper is not interested in him, according to leaks from that side.
Then you have the report on Sunday that Sean Payton is interested in the Panthers job. Gosh, no, he's not. I mean, I don't think it's impossible that he's not.
I don't think it's less. I think it's less likely, but a lot of David Tepper has a lot of money. He is, everyone knows he's very reactionary. Everyone knows he wants a big star to be a head coach. So you have these two, you know, former NFL head coaches who were trying to get back in the game and trying to leverage, maybe Sean Payton is trying to leverage the Chargers or leverage the Cowboys. Maybe Jim Harbaugh is trying to leverage the Colts. If they have, if the Panthers are hypothetically interested in these people, then, you know, the other teams, it's just, you know, it's how it works, right? I mean, the other teams might, might have more interest in them. Likewise, if the Panthers are interested in somebody else, it helps to reduce that leverage that is being used against them.
And it helps to say, Oh, you know, maybe, you know, like, my point being is it's too early in the process to assume that the Panthers are locked into one guy, even though the Lions offense was fantastic. So I shouldn't be worried until we start hearing lusting after. I would say hot and heavy.
Like Jake Dromel. They're, they're picking out China patterns. That's what I think my dad, my parents, one of my parents used the phrase hot and heavy when we were like when I was in like the middle of high school. It's like, please don't ever do that again.
Oh, that's such a 1970s phrase. What are you doing? I can't like, I have friends here. What do you mean? You guys hot and heavy?
It's like, what are you doing? All right. So before we get to Sean Payton, I, well, I don't want to talk about charging just yet. Okay. But I do want to talk about Payton's infatuation, which I think would be understandable with the, the quarterbacking clay that is Justin Herbert.
Sure. What are the chances that he, he or his representatives really only want that job? Pretty, pretty high. You know, the, the, he has been living in Manhattan beach. He's been working for Fox, right? I remember Fox is, he's not good by the way. He's terrible.
Yeah. I don't, I don't really watch a pregame. I mean, I watched the NFL and CBS. I've seen a little day. I'm sorry. I watched the NFL today.
I know you do. I don't know. I don't know.
We saw Jonathan Jones report. Yeah. I don't watch the arrested development leading up to the around watching skips, the episode of skip, skip, scramble, waiting for NFL games to kick off.
That's not what I do. Um, yeah, I think that Peyton is, I think Peyton's interesting. I love Sean Payton.
I like Sean. Peyton's one of my favorite characters in the NFL. I want him back in football. Right. Good coach.
He's he's a great coach hall of fame. Like, so you guys, you know, once, uh, once almost saw me blow up my ACL in a, in a, in a, in a bathroom at the combine. Um, so I swung the door open too hard. I did a jump out of the way. Hey guys, you better be careful there.
I blew up my ACL, the sidelines like that one time. To me, he's Andy. He's like, uh, uh, Andy Reed light is Sean. No Orleans, Andy Reed, like a less barbecue and you read a less cheeseburger. Yeah.
More cheeseburger, less barbecue. Uh, so yeah, I mean like, I think, I think that he, in a perfect world, he would get to pick a GM and take over the chargers and he would be really good with him. Oh yeah. And so, and, and that's the job he's been dying again.
We were working for Fox. He lives in Manhattan beach. He doesn't want to move very far. I don't think that Sean Payton would take the Carolina job. And it's not just because of the owner. It's not just because of the quarterback. It's and I'm not saying it's off the table completely. Um, it's also because he would have to play the saints twice a year and it would, it would eradicate his reputation and his legacy in new Orleans, which is like he is beloved in new Orleans, unless he tanked both those games.
Right. I mean, if he purposely submarine the Panthers and got the saints, the number one pick in 2023. Have you ever seen Tom Glavin's record against the Atlanta Braves? When he was the only reason I forgive him for going to come on.
He was a hero in Atlanta for being a mole for five years in New York. Love it. I'm sorry. I'm never going to get over that ever. Well, you know what? Um, I'm just never going to get over that. You know, you have to get us team.
Let's get this. You guys are the new Yankees. I liked Tom Glavin better when he was a brave. Then I did much better than when he became a Met and I, I really grew to hate Tom Glavin when he became a Met. Well, I'm sorry.
That's fine. Um, I love Tom Glavin. Um, I think that Sean Payton, the, the problem is, so you look around at the jobs, but he, he's, Sean Payton is a smart dude. He knows that you only get, you don't get, you know, he got to pick his job once. Right.
Right. And he is, um, he is, you know, he's, he's going to be, he's going to be, I think he's going to be cautious or careful when he selects his job. I don't think he's just going to say, okay, what jobs are available?
I will just take the best one. Um, he is going to leverage, like, I don't think Arizona is off the table because they have Kyler Murray. Oh gosh.
Why would you do that? He would get total control of that organization. So he can get rid of Kyler Murray. I think he likes Kyler Murray. I mean, he thinks he can do stuff with Kyler Murray.
I'm sure he does, I'm sure he does, but nah. Well, here's the thing. If Sean Payton were to go to the Broncos or to the Cardinals, it would change my opinion of those quarterbacks.
Well, yeah, that'd be better. Look, I think Russell can still be good. I don't think Russell is necessarily playing after that rumor.
Right. No, look, I think Russell can still be good. I don't think Russell is done. Um, I mean, he's got a lot of miles, but I don't think Russell is done. I think that makes more sense, but I think the Broncos, the Broncos is a way more high pressure job.
The way I look at it, the easiest job in the NFL is to be a guy like Sean Payton going to the Los Angeles chargers, because what do they have? What standard did they have to live up to? Yeah. Nothing, nothing. If he makes the playoffs a few years in a row and wins a couple of playoff games, they'll, they'll name streets for him.
Well, here's the other thing too. Let's say he wants a charter job and he wants it really badly. He's not going to take the Broncos job or the Cardinals job or the Panthers job this off season, because he has to look at this and say, man, look, Staley just blew this 27 nothing lead. Yeah. Charger did his way right out of the playoffs. And if they don't, if they, if they fail in any form or fashion to live up to the height next year, he's, he's definitely gone, you know?
Right. So I think, I think Peyton, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. It would be insane to say, you know what? I can't wait one more year for this job. I'm going to take the Panthers job. You knew what I was going to ask you next. If he doesn't get the job, he really wants just sit it out.
It's it, it will come available soon. Real, real quick before we take our first break chances that Jeff Saturday is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Sure.
I mean, anything is possible. Jim mercy, right? And not in that based on what I've read.
What's that? I think or say wants to hire him. He's looking for a reason. Hire him. Of course he wants to hire him. He loves the idea of just Saturday because full-time coverage.
You'll be hilarious. All the dumb stuff that Jeff Saturday did this season, all the clock mismanagement, all the just like insanely bad coaching. I mean, it was an interim job and we knew that this was just a weird situation and he hired you. I also think that Jim mercy, uh, and I believe that they put in a request to hire to interview Don Martindale, Don Winkler, Jim mercy, I think hire Jeff Saturday in the middle of the season, knowing that that would be the, like, he wanted to rip the bandaid of the public humiliation off early of hiring somebody from ESPN. You get him some games under his belt and then you can justify like, all right, I'm hiring this guy full time. Yeah, we can. And if that's what he wants, that's who he's going to hire. And, uh, we can all sit back and enjoy the show with Jeff Saturday.
Jeff Saturday is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. All right. When we come back, we'll get into super bloated puffy wild card weekend, which so far my 16 parlay is alive.
That's right. I've got Tampa tonight. Should we start with charging, by the way, do you think charging is more devastating than Clemson?
Um, yeah, absolutely. Chargers are going on for a long, long time. Um, I would, I certainly wouldn't be the one to comment on whether or not Phillip rivers give a speech to the chargers before that game. That would not be my place to discuss that, uh, whether or not that happened, you know, Clemson and got eradicated.
Thanks to David Sweeney. Right along once the title is Clemson. It's not a thing. Uh, anyone that suggested is like, I mean, I know, I mean, I know some Clemson fans, Mitchell, Jimmy, you know who you are. Uh, you know, these guys at this point are like, Oh, I mean, I guess, you know, we can go to this new year's six bowl. So, you know, Clemson fans are spoiled. Chargers fans, they want a thing.
Right. I do radio in San Diego every week with my buddy, Darren Smith. Um, and I don't know if they're even chargers fans out there anymore. They certainly don't pull for the Los Angeles chargers, but like, I've been doing it for a long time. I've been picking the chargers to be good for a long time. There are very few people in the NFL media that are more in tune with charging than I am. And I'm telling you charging way worse than Clemson because they find creative ways to lose. Yes. As a single greatest state farm agent in the state of North Carolina, Franklin Rouse once said, NC state are the great innovators of pain and the chargers are the NFL version of NC state.
Wow. I mean, I look, I don't know if I'm not going to slam Brandon Stanley. It's all right. Uh, I'm not going to slam Brandon Stanley, but how do you lose a 27, nothing lead to a team that is on life support at that point? I mean, Trevor Lawrence had thrown four interceptions. They turned it over five times in the first half.
How does that happen? Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, it was, it's easy to come back in the NFL these days. I mean, we've seen, we've seen the crazy comebacks now, should you give up a 27, nothing lead a 27, nothing like second quarter, second quarter lead?
Absolutely not. But it was one of those things where given everything that happened, if you're the Jaguars, you're like, okay, Trevor Lawrence has never done a first quarter interception in his NFL career. He just threw three. Yeah.
I think he threw three of them on Saturday. The fourth was in the second quarter, I think. Oh, first quarter. Okay. Yes. Nevermind. Sorry.
Sorry. I meant first quarter. Yeah. Um, so you throw all those picks. You have a football bounce off somebody's helmet on a punt, punt return and go to the other team. The Chargers set up three times inside the red zone to begin drives.
Yeah. And you look at it and you're like, okay, we're, I mean, only down 27, nothing. I mean, that's, that's four scores.
I mean, you can score four touchdowns in a half and that's doable before half. And it was like, okay. Ah, see, that was it. Wasn't it? Yeah, it really was.
Because if you go to have 27, nothing or like 35, nothing, it feels, it feels over. You go to half, they get that touchdown and credit Doug Peterson. That man has a gigantic bag of onions hanging from his, his, his lower, his abdomen. His, his, yeah, his headset. Yeah.
Or his headset, whatever. Um, he went for it on that fourth down. They could have kicked and made it 27, three, just to, you know, get points on the board, whatever it is. He goes for it. Right.
Move. They pick up the first down, they go and get a touchdown. All of a sudden it's 27, seven and you go to half. And it's just one of those, again, like I was, I was on the group, I was texting ATW, right?
Group, group chat. It's like, look, we know what we know what this would be like. If you're, if you're an NC state fan and you're up 27, 27, seven and a half, and you come out and go three and out, I'm not talking about this current state team.
I'm just talking about steel in general. Um, and you go three and out, and then the other team scores a touchdown and all of a sudden it's 27, 14. Like you can leave the stadium. You can't leave the stadium. You can't leave the stadium. Like you can leave the stadium because you know what the ending is. And that's how I, as somebody who's closely followed the Chargers and knows about the Chargers and knows that Brandon Staley is under a lot of pressure and knows that Justin Herbert has never played in a playoff game. Um, you know, it was, they weren't very composed.
Right. And the Jaguars were playing loose and the Chargers were playing tight. And the second it got to 27, 14, I felt like the chat was going to win the game.
And I did too. It would have been interesting had the chargers not missed that short field goal. Uh, but I think Jack, the Jaguars would have just scored the touchdown that they would have needed anyway. Yeah. And here's the other thing about Brandon Staley last year at his first season, he was super aggressive on fourth down to the point where I believe Adam, that ownership and the front office went to him this off season before this year and told him they didn't like the bad press and the buzz that his fourth down attempts were getting and asked him to kind of ease back on them. And so you see him in spots like this, like Doug Peterson, there's a holding call on fourth and three or third and three, excuse me, could have made it third and 13. Uh, instead Doug Peterson declined the penalty. Yeah.
Brandon Staley goes for that last year. Right. On third, fourth and three, you go for it.
You go make it a 17 point lead and in the game. And instead they try to kick shank, yada, yada, yada, shanks the kick. Yep.
Yada, yada, yada, charger. Yep. It is. Um, and even more reason to go for it. If you're the Brandon Staley of last year is that, uh, it's like, they're daring you to go for it. And he would have met that challenge and whether they would have gotten it or they probably would have missed it. Uh, but it, maybe it would have been better than missing the field goal. Definitely would have been better than missing the field goal.
All right. To, uh, to Buffalo was Josh Allen point-shaving. Does he think that, or does maybe it's not just Josh, maybe it's just Buffalo. Do they think that there's any chance that they can lose? Because my read is that Buffalo plays as though they know they're going to win.
So it doesn't matter what they do. I thought Buffalo played that game. So they got out to a 17 nothing lead against a inferior dolphin scene that was starting Skyler Thompson. And I thought, I mean, at one point, like we might see our pal Mike Glennon come in, uh, depending on what Teddy, Mike was active.
Um, you know, depending on what Teddy Bridgewater did, of course, if he was, if he was capable with that broken finger, you know, it's 17, nothing in with 1249 in the second quarter with Tyler bass makes a 33 yard field goal. It felt like the game was over. It felt like the bills were going to not just cover the 10 point spread, but cover the, you know, alternate 23 point spread that, you know, whatever it is. Um, and it was at that point that, and this is, this is what's interesting, not just about the, specifically about the bills, but other NFL teams in general, like, you know, at that point, did the bills start thinking about the chiefs or thinking about the Bengals?
You know, were they, were they looking ahead and not able to like, what, what this is, we asked this on the podcast last night. It's like, what about the way that the rest of that game played out? Like, does that say something about the bills mentality? Does it say something about how Josh Allen is going to play this post-season?
Because he was, he was footloose and fancy free with very care, reckless, even, um, sort of inviting Miami to get back in this game three field goals later at 17 to nine. And if you, you know, the old adage, like you give a, you know, give a bad team, some hope, let them hang around and, and, you know, they can make you pay for it. And so yeah, they almost did. I mean, Miami had the lead in the second half.
They had the lead. I like, I just, I can't figure. I want Buffalo. I really do. I want Buffalo to win the Superbowl. I do not think they're going to beat the Bengals. I don't.
I think the, I think there was going to win too. I do. But the Bengals are down three offensive linemen. So that's not great. All right. Well, uh, we'll talk about why don't we have time to get, get to them. Uh, we are going to talk about the super bloated sixth game of wild card weekend with the Cowboys taking on the Tom Brady's next.
Uh, all right. One more game before we talk about the Dallas Cowboys and the Tom Brady's. So Minnesota had a chip on their shoulder pretty much all week talking about, Hey, we're 13 and four, which facts only. But the reason why people doubted them was because at 13 and four, they still had a negative point differential and they turned in one of the all time worst defensive performances that we have seen in a playoff game from a team with 13 wins over the course of the regular season. Did I get this right? There were 20 different plays of more than 10 yards and 26 plays either went for more than 10 or for a first down in the game.
I believe that is correct. I mean, look, Danny dollars, who was balling out against that Minnesota. I mean, you're talking about, you couldn't ask for a better. I get paid this off season game for Daniel Jones matchup, then the Minnesota Vikings in this horrendous defense credit bright table deserves a ton of credit coaching up the giants of season and the job he did coaching against the Vikings. Now, Kevin O'Connell did a great job coaching up the Vikings this year too, but there were 11 and one score games. I've beaten this drum all year long.
You cannot go. I mean, you can go 11 and one score games. That's the NFL record.
Right. I believe they had eight fourth quarter comebacks, which is tied for the NFL record. There is, it has been statistically determined. There is regression to the mean.
You will, eventually these ones who are games in NFL games will even out over the course of a longer sample size. Now, what usually happens is when you go 11, no in the regular season, and then you face the other one, the one score wonders, the giants, you get bit in the ass by trying to play with fire all season long. And that's what happened to the Vikings. Now they had, they had chances to win.
Sure. It's just played awful. The giants were seven 13 on third down 431 yards, 6.3 yards per play. The Vikings were going to love it too. Um, this was two questionable defenses and one really explosive offense in the Vikings that didn't show up the way we thought it would.
Right. And another fairly explosive offense in the giants. It showed up in a much bigger way. I think wrestling there's players in, um, in week 18 certainly helped. Uh, the tonight Saquon Barkley looked fresh. Daniel Jones, man. I mean, yeah, he was, he was, has been a laughing stock in New York for several years, former number six overall pick out of Duke. Dave Gettleman took him too high.
Probably could have waited a little bit, but he, he, he's playing great football under Brian Dable and Mike Kafka, the offensive coordinator. Right. And I'll tell you who else is, uh, had a day Dexter Lawrence.
Oh my gosh. He had eight, eight quarterback pressures or something. Very, very mean things to, uh, NC state legend Garrett Bradbury. Yeah. I mean, uh, wake forest guy, uh, Dexter Lawrence, right from wake forest, North Carolina.
Um, not, not wait for us. He went to Clemson, but he was from wake forest, Roseville. I don't know if it was like high school at that point. I think Mike Clark, I could be wrong with this, but I'm pretty sure he told me, I remember him saying it was like the, like one of the two of the three best prospects he's ever like covered, uh, Dexter, like local in North Carolina, Todd Gurley, Dexter, Lawrence were like two of the top three.
I'd be like Dexter, Lawrence. I mean, you know, he's an interior defensive tackle. So people were hesitant to, you know, to take him early in the first round, but like he is showing just like V to V and Tampa Bay where it's okay. Like I do can get pressure from the interior. Cause you just can't block him. If you're like, I mean, no pressure up the middle is you can't do anything with it. If you're a, if you're a quarterback, if they, if the pressure is coming right up the middle, you have no chance.
Uh, especially if you're, uh, if you're a little immobile, like, uh, like Mr. Kirk cousins. All right. By the way, love the three yard completion to, uh, Hockenfuss on a fourth down and eight or whatever it was.
It's it's it's like, so like emblematic of Kirby. You have to throw to the sticks. It was a chef's kiss ending for the Minnesota Vikings. All right.
Final thing. We got two minutes, Tom Brady versus the Dallas Cowboys coached by Mike McCarthy. I mean, I'm not Dallas, the better team. I'm convinced that Dallas has better players than Tampa, but why do I feel like we know the outcome here? Um, because it's because we are biased because we think that Mike McCarthy is going to gag in this spot and that Dak Prescott lead, lead, lead the league of interceptions or lead the league interceptions this year. And it's because Thomas Edward, Patrick Brady Jr. Is the single greatest quarterback in the history of professional football.
Probably the greatest athlete in the history of professional sports or all sports or the history of the world. And when eight, nine won the division, snuck into the playoffs, gets to host a game and the NFL decided to give this freaking the goats, like put them on, like he's a life support. And they just decided to take Undertaker, give him and let him just come back and get the Cowboys at home. I mean, I've been, I've been penciling this game in, I've been circling this game to take Tampa as a home dog, like three months, minus seven, I'm taking the Cowboys.
Right. But like, and maybe I'm wrong in the Cowboys role in the spot. I mean, they're better. The Cowboys are the better team. If the Cowboys show up and play their best possible game and the bucks show up and play their best possible game, the Cowboys will win. But I don't believe that the Cowboys are going to show up in Tampa and play their best game. And I think that Mike McCarthy's butt's going to pucker up at some point.
Sorry, Robbie. And he's going to make some kind of super conservative cursing decision. And the thing about Dak this year is that we have seen in every game, he like justifies both sides of the first take, like the hot take argument on him. He's like, he's throwing a great pass and he's throwing just a boneheaded interception.
And I think we get some of that against, against Tampa. Well, if it does, I know it's a, it's just fake units, but it's plus 17, 80 in place your bets into the, into the call for some people I know straight up on the, on the, on a weekend. That's great.
That's it. You go 6 0 in your picks. It's pretty good.
Some people I know have actual real units on it. Will Brinson, senior NFL writer, CBS sports.com picks this podcast moderator. I'll talk to you later, my friend. Thank you very much. Bye man. See ya.
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