AFC West tops NFL Divisional Power Rankings, plus tracking 2022 travel miles and missing stars in OTAs

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Hello and happy Wednesday everyone. John Breech is busy dying over his big prediction for the Bengals’ season (more details below), so I, Cody Benjamin, am here to walk you through all the latest NFL news.

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

We have AFC Nord predictions, updates and more:

  1. Today’s Show: AFC North Total Win Projection

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John Breech joined Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL Podcast” to predict the records for all four AFC North contenders in 2022. Some highlights:

  • Breech isn’t shy about projecting another great season for the Bengals, suggesting their worst-case scenario in 2022 is a repeat of their 10-7 in 2021, when they finally advanced to the Super Bowl.
  • Brinson sees the Ravens as a good bet to win the division, especially after going 8-9 in 2021 despite tons of injuries.
  • The guys agree it’s nearly impossible to bet on the Browns at this point, with a potential Deshaun Watson suspension looming; Breech thinks the suspension will be “longer than short”, and Brinson feels excessive betting on their projected total of 9.5 wins is unwise, with Jacoby Brissett possibly on track to start under the center.

Watch the entire episode (and subscribe to all kinds of daily NFL discussions) here.

2. Tracker Holdout: Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield among no-shows

Big names in the NFL avoid Organized Team Activities (OTAs) for a variety of reasons. Can’t follow them all? Tyler Sullivan has you covered with a sneak peek at not all notable players showed up their respective practices:

3. Insider Notes: AFC West Headlines Divisional Power Rankings

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CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora said classified in the eight divisions from first to worst heading into the 2022 season. Unsurprisingly, after such a busy offseason, AFC West tops the pecking order:

Do I really have to insist on this point? Did you pay attention to the off-season? And yes, the chefs still reside here. And they’ve been good for at least the AFC title game since Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes started hanging out regularly. Any of the other three teams may be able to make the case for the biggest improvement, and I don’t think anyone would blink if at least three of those four teams are in the extended playoffs. I will go ahead and crown them here.

  1. AFC West
  2. AFC North
  3. NFC West
  4. AFC East
  5. NFC South
  6. NFC North
  7. AFC South
  8. NFC East

4. 2022 mile tracking: Buccaneers have a brutal schedule

Wondering which teams need to travel the most (and the least) this coming season? Wonder no more, because John Breech has you covered with a full summary. Tom Brady’s team faces the biggest hurdle when it comes to traveling this year, as he notes:

The Buccaneers will cover a total of 26,562 miles this season, which is more than the Steelers, Ravens and Lions will cover combined this season (23,052 miles). The Buccaneers’ biggest trip of 2022 will be a flight to Munich in November where they play the NFL’s first game in Germany. On that flight alone, the Buccaneers will rack up more mileage than six teams for the entire season. The flight to Germany and back will cover 9,992 miles, which is almost fitting, as Tom Brady holds around 9,992 NFL records.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Steelers will only go 6,512 miles for the entire season. This year will mark the fourth time since 2014 that the Steelers have run the fewest miles, and it’s probably worth noting that in each of the previous three years (2014, 2016, 2017) they ended up winning the division.

5. Burning questions for AFC and NFC North

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The new season is right around the corner and there are a lot of big questions that need to be answered in the AFC and NFC North.

NFC North (Cody Benjamin):

  • Bear: Can QB Justin Fields overcome his supporting cast?
  • The Lions: What’s going on at QB for the long term?
  • Packers: How will Aaron Rodgers thrive without Davante Adams?
  • Vikings: Can Kevin O’Connell eclipse the team’s wildcard cap?

AFC North (Bryan DeArdo):

  • Bengals: Can they match last year’s success?
  • Browns: Where will Baker Mayfield end up?
  • Crows: Is there enough help for Lamar Jackson?
  • Steelers: Who will be the starting QB for Week 1?

6. Quick roundup: New Steelers GM, Garoppolo trade update

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