Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
It's a big day here at the newsletter and not just because I'm drinking my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. It's a big day because we just simulated the entire 2023 NFL season on Madden. Basically, you don't even have to watch the NFL this year, because we already know who's going to win.
Not only will we be covering the results of our Madden sim in today's newsletter, but we'll also be looking at five trade proposals for Jonathan Taylor.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Best bets for Week 3 of the preseason
It's the final week of the NFL preseason, which means it's your final chance to bet on NFL preseason football and to help you take advantage of your final chance, we've decided to unveil some best bets on today's podcast.
For today's show, host Katie Mox was joined by the triumvirate of Will Brinson, Emory Hunt and Alex Selelnick AKA Propstarz.
Here are some of their best bets for Week 3 of the preseason:
- Emory Hunt best bet: Chargers (+7.5) to cover against the 49ers. "I'm a big fan of what the Chargers have done personnel wise. In this ball game, I love the Chargers depth here. I think they can knock out San Francisco, especially because we don't know what we're going to get from Trey Lance now.... I think this game will be close, so 7.5 is too much."
- Katie Mox best bet: Bills (-3) to cover against the Bears. "Four of Chicago's offensive linemen have missed some practice time this week. If you don't have your starters out there, I can't imagine Justin Fields will spend a lot of time out there. I like the Bills here."
- Will Brinson best bet: Ravens (+1.5) to cover against Buccaneers. "They won 24 straight games before losing and you're telling me John Harbaugh isn't going to fire up the streak again! And I get them as an underdog? Give me that."
The podcast covered multiple best bets for the weekend and if you want to hear them all, you can do that here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Here's who won the Super Bowl after simulating the entire 2023 season on Madden
The 2023 season hasn't even started yet and we already know who's going to win the Super Bowl. Well, kind of. Tyler Sullivan decided to simulate the entire NFL season on Madden to see who would come out on top and let me just say, this thing went off the rails: There was surprise after surprise after surprise only to have the simulation give us the least surprising ending of all.
First, let's take a look at several of the award winners
MVP: Dak Prescott
Defensive Player of the Year: Micah Parsons
Cowboys note: The Cowboys ended up winning the NFC East in this simulation, but then lost their first playoff game, which sounds about right for them.
Playoff notes: This is pretty much where things went off the rails. The Buccaneers AND Colts each getting a two-seed?!? Go home, Madden game, you're drunk. The NFL is an unpredictable league, but I'm pretty sure this is one prediction that won't pan out. I will print out this newsletter, put it in my air fryer until its crispy and then eat it with dijon mustard if both those teams end up in the two-spot.
Super Bowl LVIII result: Chiefs 28-10 over Buccaneers
Super Bowl note: Chiefs win again. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
If you want to see how your favorite team fared in our full Madden Sim of the 2023 season, you.
3. NFL Week 3 preseason: Biggest takeaways from Thursday's games
There were two preseason games played last night and we have takeaways from both of them.
If we learned one thing from this game, it's that the Steelers might be better than we all thought this year. Here are three quick takeaways from Pittsburgh's win:
- Kenny Pickett looked upstoppable. The Steelers quarterback has looked impressive for entire preseason so far and that run continued on Thursday night with a 4 of 4 performance that saw Pickett throw for 86 yards. If you're scoring at home, that is 21.5 yards per completion. Pickett completed two passes of at least 30 yards on Pittsburgh's opening possession, which ended up being a 92-yard touchdown drive. The best throw and catch came on a pass to George Pickens that went for 35 yards (You can see the play here). Overall, Pickett ended up completing 13 of 15 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns during a preseason where the Steelers went 3-0.
- Steelers first team defense also looked impressive. It wasn't quite the Steel Curtain, but the Steelers' starting defense was still wildly dominant during its short time on the field. The Falcons were held to negative yardage on their first two possessions. One big reason for the negative yardage is because T.J. Watt came up with a huge sack on Atlanta's second offensive play of the game (You can see the Watt sack here).
- Falcons fans shouldn't be too worried about this game. Although Atlanta got steamrolled, that was kind of expected and that's mostly because Falcons coach Arthur Smith decided to keep his starters on the bench for most of the game. Keilahn Harris, who caught six passes for 71 yards, was one of the few bright spots for the Falcons.
Colts 27-13 over Eagles
Both bird teams took a beating on Thursday night and that was mostly because both teams decided to keep their starters on the bench. Here are three quick observations from CBSSports.com's Jeff Kerr, who was at the game:
- Anthony Richardson shows off his skillset. "Going against some players who aren't going to be on the Eagles' 53-man roster next week makes Richardson's performance hard to evaluate. He had three scoring drives in six series, leading to 17 points in the first half. He showcased command of a vanilla offense Shane Steichen was running, not giving away too many secrets. Richardson also knew when to use his legs to move the chains, rushing for 38 yards on five carries." Note: Richardson completed just 6 of 17 passes for 78 yards and he also mocked the Eagles by celebrating a TD by doing his version of "Fly, Eagles, Fly," which you can see here.
- Gardner Minshew looked impressive in limited action. "Minshew continued to do Minshew things when he entered the game to start the second half. He finished 9 of 11 for 102 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kenyan Drake, a score that put the Colts up 24-13 in the third quarter (You can see the play here)"
- Devon Allen makes case for roster spot in Philly. "If there was anyone who improved their stock to make the 53-man roster in a preseason finale, it was Allen. He started the game getting reps as a kickoff returner and took the opening kickoff 73 yards down to Indy's 27-yard line. Later in the game, he made a tackle as a gunner on punt coverage." Allen has Olympic speed and if you want to see his huge return, you can do that here.
There are 14 more preseason games being played this weekend and if you want to see the full schedule of games, you.
4. NFL Preseason Week 3: One thing to watch in each game
Although we got two games out of the way last night, we haven't even scratched the surface of all the NFL action that's going to take place in Week 3. Between now and Sunday, there will be a total of 14 games played and since you're probably not planning to watch all 14 games, Jeff Kerr decided to give you one reason to watch each game so that you WILL watch all 14 games (I won't judge if you don't watch them all, though).
- Lions at Panthers -- Friday, 8 p.m. ET (CBS). This game is on CBS, plus Bryce Young is expected to play in this preseason finale.
- Patriots at Titans -- Friday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NFL Network). "Tennessee has a new kicker in Michael Badgley, signing him this week after releasing kickers Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff. Badgley was 20 of 24 on field goal attempts last season, so is the kicking job his? He can lock up the job this week."
- Browns at Chiefs -- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (NFL Network). "Getting the full dress rehearsal for the first-team offense this week, meaning Deshaun Watson will be participating in something other than a joint practice. Watson has completed all three of his preseason attempts for 12 yards, yet could be seeing significant action in the preseason finale."
- Rams at Broncos -- Saturday, 9 p.m. ET (NFL Network). "The passing game is still a work in progress in Denver, as Russell Wilson was just 3 of 6 for 24 yards last week. Wilson played just one series, but the timing and rhythm needs some work in the finale. Giving Wilson a few series to work on his timing wouldn't hurt."
If you want to read about all 14 games,.
5. Five trade proposals for Jonathan Taylor
The Colts have imposed a deadline of Aug. 29 for making a trade involving Jonathan Taylor, which means if anything's going to happen, it's going to have to happen in the next four days. To help expedite things for Indy, Cody Benjamin came up with five trade proposals that would be pretty even for both teams involved.
Right now, we're going to take a look at three of those proposals:
Chicago trades for Taylor
- Bears get: Jonathan Taylor
- Colts get: 2024 second-round pick, 2024 third-rounder, WR Velus Jones Jr.
Philadelphia trades for Taylor
Miami trades for Taylor
- Dolphins get: Jonathan Taylor
- Colts get: 2024 second-round pick, 2025 second-rounder, RB Raheem Mostert, WR Cedrick Wilson Jr
Out of these three offers, I'm probably taking the one from the Dolphins. Not only does it includes TWO second-round picks, but the Colts would also get Mostert, who could instantly fill-in for Taylor.
You can check out all five trade proposals.
6. Extra points: Cardinals have a crazy day
It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Cardinals pull off three trades in one day. In yesterday's newsletter, we mentioned that the Cardinals traded Isaiah Simmons to the Giants. Well, as it turns out, they weren't done. They actually pulled off two more trades. First, they sent OL Josh Jones and a seventh-round pick to the Texans in . After that, they to the Browns in exchange for QB Josh Dobbs and a seventh-round pick. With Kyler Murray injured, there's a real chance that Dobbs could see some action this year in Arizona.
- Vikings release N'Keal Harry. After less than three weeks in Minnesota, Harry's time with the Vikings is already done. The the former Patriots first-round pick on Thursday, and based on how things are going, Harry's career might be over after just four seasons.
- Jerry Jeudy could miss Week 1. The Broncos receiver was carted off the practice field yesterday and Denver ended up getting some good and some bad news regarding his hamstring injury. The good news is that Jeudy won't be out for an extended period of time. However, the bad news is that he could miss the first week or two of the season. The Broncos opener against the Raiders is is still 16 days away, so Jeudy does still have some time to recover, but there's no guarantee he'll be ready. You .
- Terry McLaurin could miss Week 1. The Commanders could also be missing a top receiver in Week 1. McLaurin is , and right now, his status is up in the air for Washington's opener against the Cardinals.