Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets
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Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

The only thing better than a normal Friday is a Friday before a holiday weekend and that's what we have today! Since we're all itching to get to this three-day weekend, I'm just going to cut to the chase and get to the rundown. 

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

1. Today's podcast: Two winners and a loser

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It's the Friday before a holiday weekend, so obviously, that means we had to do something different on the podcast today, so we decided to play a game. 

The game was simple: The host of the show, Katie Mox, listed off three teams and then Will Brinson and I had to pick two of those teams to make the playoffs in 2023. I thought this game would be easy, but it was not. 

Here's a look at the three-team groups, along with which teams Brinson and I picked to make the playoffs. 

Group 1: Colts, Texans, Panthers

  • Brinson's picks: Texans, Panthers
  • Breech's picks: Texans, Panthers
  • Verdict: We both agreed that the Panthers have a pretty good roster and when you combine that with the fact that they play in the worst division in the NFL, it definitely seems possible that they could end up in the playoffs. As for the two AFC South teams, it's all going to come down to QB play and we liked C.J. Stroud slightly more than Anthony Richardson

Group 2: Jets, Bears, Falcons

  • Brinson's pick: Falcons, Jets
  • Breech's pick: Bears Jets
  • Verdict: The Jets were an easy pick for both of us. However, we definitely didn't agree on our second team. I feel like Justin Fields will take a huge step forward in his second FULL season as the starter in Chicago. As for Brinson, he's talked himself into the Falcons winning the NFC South and I don't think anyone is going to talk him out of it. 

Group 3: Browns, Broncos, Raiders

  • Brinson's picks: Broncos, Raiders
  • Breech's picks: Browns, Broncos
  • Verdict: Brinson is doing his best to make everyone in the city of Cleveland hate him this offseason, so I'm pretty sure his pick here was to spite the Browns as opposed to taking the Broncos and Raiders because he actually likes them. As for me, I think Sean Payton fixes Russell Wilson. On the Browns' end, I think they could be a dark horse AFC North title contender if Deshaun Watson can actually remember how to play quarterback, which is a big "if."

If you want to hear our full thoughts on each group, you can listen to today's episode here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Seven teams that will make the playoffs in 2023 after missing out in 2022

If there's one thing you can count on in the NFL every year, it's that there will always be multiple new teams in the playoffs. As a matter of fact, there have been at least four new teams in the playoffs in EVERY season since 1990. That's 32 YEARS. Just because your team was bad last year doesn't mean it can't be good this year. 

With this in mind, Will Brinson decided to take a look at some non-playoff teams from 2022 that could make the postseason in 2023. There were seven new playoff teams last year so Brinson decided to make a list of seven new playoff teams for 2023. 

Here are four of the teams from his list:

  • Jets: "There's no need to belabor the point here: Aaron Rodgers absolutely makes the Jets a playoff-caliber team."
  • Broncos: "Sean Payton is a huge upgrade as a coach over Nathaniel Hackett and I think he'll be good enough to push Denver into playoff contention territory, even though the AFC is admittedly quite loaded."
  • Lions: "The roster is stout and the Lions have improved under Dan Campbell significantly. Jared Goff isn't playing the best football of his career, but it's pretty darn close. Detroit's offensive line can keep it in any game, and if the Jahmyr Gibbs pick pans out, the running game will be a problem."
  • Falcons: "The NFC is pretty weak overall, and the NFC South is completely wide open this year. Atlanta -- my current pick to win the division -- didn't draft a QB, but I can see a lot of 'Titans Lite' in what Arthur Smith is constructing with the Falcons roster. The defense needs to take a step forward, but if Bijan Robinson is his version of Derrick Henry, this team can pile up wins on an easy schedule."

If you want to see Brinson's full list of seven new playoffs teams for 2023, then make sure to check out his story by clicking here

3. Ranking the best new QB-WR duos in the NFL

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It's a good thing that Lamar Jackson showed up to OTAs this year, because not only does he have to learn a new offense in Baltimore, but he's also needs to build on-field chemistry with his newest teammate, Odell Beckham Jr. Those two are just one example of a QB and WR duo that will be playing together for the first time this year. 

With so many new pairs playing together for the first time, CBSSports.com's Jeff Kerr decided to rank the best new QB-WR duos in the NFL this year.

Let's take a look at his top five: 

  • 1. Aaron Rodgers and Garrett Wilson (Jets). "Wilson put up 1,103 receiving yards in his rookie season despite having Zach Wilson and Mike White at quarterback. Imagine what he'll do with Rodgers."
  • 2. Dak Prescott and Brandin Cooks (Cowboys). "Thanks to the existence of CeeDee Lamb, Cooks will likley be facing No. 2 cornerbacks in 2023, so his production should go up, which is saying a lot for a guy who already has four 1,000-yard seasons under his belt."
  • 3. Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley (Jaguars). "This all comes down to how Ridley responds from a year-long suspension for gambling, especially since he hasn't played an NFL game since October 2021. Ridley has been a No. 1 wideout before. ... In 2020, he finished the year with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging a career-high 15.3 yards per catch. He also finished fourth in the league in receiving yards per game (91.6)."
  • 4. Justin Fields and D.J. Moore (Bears). "Fields has never had a wide receiver as talented as Moore, who should immensely improve his passing numbers regardless of what the offense runs. Moore is eighth in the NFL in receiving yards (4,413) and 14th in receptions (309) since 2019."
  • 5. Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. (Ravens). "This duo is certainly a wild card given the new offensive system and how Beckham recovers from his ACL. The last version of Beckham with a good quarterback in Matthew Stafford produced results. Beckham had 21 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns in four postseason games, and recorded two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LVI before going down with the knee injury that cost him his 2022 season."

If you want to check out Kerr's full list, be sure to click here

4. Antonio Brown returning to football on Saturday; agent says NFL teams are interested in him

It's been nearly 18 months since Antonio Brown last played in a professional football game and despite all that time off, it seems that he's now planning on making a return to the field and he's planning to do it this weekend.

Here's what you need to know: 

  • Brown planning to play on Saturday. The former NFL receiver owns the Albany Empire of the National Arena League and he's apparently planning to play on Saturday when his team hosts the Fayetteville Mustangs. 
  • Brown practiced with the team on Thursday. Although nothing is official with Brown until it actually happens, he does appear to be serious about playing this week. For one, he showed up in pads to Albany's practice on Thursday morning. That being said, he didn't do much in practice. According to WNYT, he caught just one pass during the session. 
  • Brown's agent doesn't rule out an NFL return. Brown hasn't played in 18 months, but if you believe his agent, the receiver is still drawing NFL interest. Brown's agent told CBSSports.com that the former NFL receiver has drawn "genuine" interest and that "he's exploring the right fit."

Brown hasn't played in the NFL since storming off the field shirtless at MetLife Stadium during the Buccaneers' 28-24 win over the Jets in Week 17 of the 2021 season. 

As the voice of common sense around these parts, I have to say, I don't think Brown is going to be returning to the NFL. If you want to see him play football, you're going to have to drive to Albany. You can check out all the details on his arena debut here

5. Raiders have a rough 24 hours

If there's been one knock on Jimmy Garoppolo during his career, it's that he can't stay healthy and he's going to have a tough time shedding that reputation after what came out on Thursday. 

Let's take a look at some Raiders news that came out over the past 24 hours, starting with Garoppolo: 

  • Jimmy underwent foot surgery in March. Garoppolo likely won't be on the field for the Raiders until training camp after undergoing surgery on his left foot in March. Raiders coach Josh McDaniels insists that the team knew about the injury before signing Garoppolo to a three-year, $72 million contract. "Nothing has happened that would surprise us based on the information we had," McDaniels said. "We don't play a game for 100 days. Everything that's happened since we signed Jimmy, we knew ahead of time." Garoppolo originally injured the foot while playing for the 49ers in Week 15 (Dec. 4) last season. 
  • McDaniels defends Davante Adams. The Raiders coach said there is no ill-will with Adams, despite the receiver saying that he doesn't see "eye to eye" with how the front office is building the team. According to McDaniels, Adams has "earned" the right to say things like that. "I respect the hell out of anything that [he] would say or suggest or anything like that," McDaniels said, via ESPN.com.
  • Adams attempts to bury the hatchet. The Raiders receiver was actually asked about his negative comments toward the front office and he sounded like someone who was ready to move on. "I love my head coach, and I love the general manager here and everybody, from the top to the bottom," Adams said, via NFL.com. What he didn't say though is that he now sees "eye to eye" with the front office. 
  • Adams facing lawsuit. Although Adams might now be on good terms with the team, he has something else to worry about: He's facing a lawsuit. Back in October, Adams was hit with a misdemeanor assault charge for shoving a photographer while walking off the field following a game against the Chiefs. That photographer has now filed a lawsuit against Adams and you can check out the details here
  • Darren Waller seems to take shot at Raiders. The Giants tight end was asked how his new team compares to his old teams and what he had to say definitely wasn't a compliment to the Raiders. "They value our opinions here," Waller said of playing for the Giants, via ESPN. "As a player, I feel like a lot of places I've gone, you're told to do things a certain way and you do those things." Waller has only played for two other teams in his career -- the Ravens and Raiders -- and it's clear he already enjoys playing for the Giants more than he did for his first two teams. 

Their quarterback is hurt, their star receiver is being sued and their former tight end likes his new team better. Not exactly a banner week for the Raiders.

6. Extra points: Steelers want to play game in Ireland

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.