Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
After watching the Vikings-Eagles game last night, I think I can say with 100% certainty that Minnesota clearly didn't spend a single second practicing ball security during training camp and I think people are starting to notice. The Vikings fumbled so often last night that I lost track of how many fumbles they lost, although I'm not sure if that says more about them or me.
If I fumble through the newsletter today, I blame the Vikings. Anyway, we'll be handing out grades from the Eagles' 34-28 win, plus we'll be giving out a lot picks and best bets for Week 2, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's Show: Best bets for Week 2
If you're a regular listener of the Pick Six Podcast, then you know that we love to make picks, so that's exactly what we're going to do today. For Friday's show, Katie Mox was joined by Will Brinson along with R.J. White and Alex "PropStarz" Selelnick -- two of our gambling gurus over at SportsLine -- and the four of them offered some of their best bets for Week 2.
The crew spent an entire hour handing out picks and we're going to go over a few of their best bets here:
As for PropStarz, he handed out a few of his favorite props for the weekend, because when your nickname is PropStarz, that's what the people expect.
- Chicago at Tampa Bay: Buccaneers WR Mike Evans OVER 51.5 receiving yards (-115)
- Las Vegas at Buffalo: Bills WR Gabe Davis OVER 42.5 receiving yards (-115)
- Indianapolis at Houston: Dameon Pierce OVER 74.5 rushing PLUS receiving yards (-120)
PropStarz went 1-2 last week, but that was mostly due to bad luck. One of his props -- JK Dobbins over 56.5 yards -- looked like it was on track to hit, but Dobbins ended up suffering a season-ending injury early in the third quarter against Houston.
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 2 -- and there are quite a few -- be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also watch the episode on YouTube here.
2. Thursday night grades after Eagles' 34-28 win Vikings
Whatever magic the Vikings had last season seems to have disappeared. For the second straight week, the Vikings lost a one-score game, which is notable, because during the 2022 season they didn't lose a single one-score game (they went 11-0). Since the calendar flipped to 2023, though, they're now 0-3 in one score games with a playoff loss in January to the Giants along with two losses this season.
Here are our grades from last night's game:
VIKINGS GRADE: C-
This team has to figure out how to hold on to the football. After turning the ball over three times against the Buccaneers in Week 1, the Vikings were actually WORSE this week with four turnovers against Philly. The biggest turnover came right before halftime when Justin Jefferson fumbled the ball out of the end zone at the 1-yard line. At the time, the Vikings were trailing 10-7 and there's a good chance they would have taken a 14-10 lead into the half if the fumble didn't happen. Kirk Cousins also had a brutal fumble in the third quarter that set up a short TD drive for the Eagles. Defensively, the Vikings had no answers for the Eagles run game. Minnesota surrendered 259 yards on the ground, which is the second-highest total the team has given up over the past 15 years. At this point, the Vikings have too many problems to count and things aren't going to get any easier next week with the Chargers on the schedule.
- Justin Jefferson makes history. The Vikings receiver is slowly rewriting the NFL record book. With 11 catches for 159 yards, Jefferson is now just the fifth player in NFL history -- and first since 2011 -- to record at least 150 receiving yards in the first two games of a season. Jefferson also hit 5,000 career yards in just his 52nd game, which is tied with Lance Alworth for the fastest in NFL history.
- Kirk Cousins joins ugly list. With the loss, Cousins became the second QB in Vikings history to throw four passing touchdowns and zero interceptions while still losing. He joins Daunte Culpepper, who did it in 2004. Although Cousins continues to look impressive at times -- he threw for 364 yards against Philly -- he turned the ball over again and now has four turnovers on the year. Now that the Vikings are 0-2, Cody Benjamin thinks they should start thinking about the possibility of trading Cousins TO THE JETS and you .
- Vikings have a turnover problem. With four turnovers against the Eagles, the Vikings now have SEVEN on the season. Of those seven, six of them are fumbles, which makes Minnesota the first team since 2003 to lose six fumbles through the first two weeks. The Vikings also saw four different players lose a fumble against the Eagles, which is notable, because they only had THREE different players lose a fumble all of last year. The turnovers are a problem and if the Vikings don't fix it soon, their season could be over before the calendar flips to October.
EAGLES GRADE: B-
The Eagles offense usually revolves around Jalen Hurts, but in this game it revolved around D'Andre Swift. After only getting one carry last week, the Eagles finally remembered that he was on the roster and he might have locked up the starting spot for good after rushing for 175 yards and a TD on 28 carries. Swift's rushing total was the highest for any Eagles player since 2013. Hurts came up with the occasional big play -- like a 63-yard TD to DeVonta Smith -- but it was Swift who carried the offense. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense got gashed up by Kirk Cousins (364 yards) and Justin Jefferson (159 yards), but they forced four turnovers while also shutting down Minnesota's run game.
- Jalen Hurts hits pay dirt twice. The Eagles QB didn't have a huge night on the ground -- he rushed for just 35 yards -- but he did score two touchdowns. Hurts now has nine games with multiple rushing touchdowns, which is the second-most by a QB in NFL history, trailing only Cam Newton, who had 10.
- Jake Elliott goes long. The Eagles kicker tied his own franchise record with a 61-yard field goal against the Vikings. With the kick, Elliott is now one of only two kickers in NFL history to have multiple attempts from 61 or longer with a hit rate of 100% (Brett Maher is the other).
We also have some overreactions and reality checks for Philly, be sure to click here.. The Eagles have now started 2-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992 and 1993. If you want to check out more of our takeaways from the game,
3. Stefon Diggs drama in Buffalo: Receiver responds to hot mic moment by Bills reporter
A hot mic moment involving a Bills team reporter is causing some serious drama in Buffalo. The comments revolved around Stefon Diggs and he did NOT take kindly to what was said.
- Team reporter takes shot at Diggs. During a press conference on Wednesday, Bills reporter Maddy Glab was casually talking about Diggs and unbeknownst to her, a hot mic just happened to catch every word that she said. Glab was sitting in front of an empty podium and she was talking about who might be showing up next when she seemed to take a shot at Diggs. "I think they're trying for Stef," Glab says in the video. "Stef and Micah [Hyde] is who they're trying for. Hey, there's no control over Stefon Diggs. He's gonna do what he wants to do. He'll look in my face, say 'FU.' It's how he treats everybody."
- Diggs called the comments hurtful. It took more than 24 hours, but Diggs finally responded to the comments on Thursday and based on what he had to say, he's definitely not happy with Glab. "The audio shared was very hurtful. And was insulting to my character and to how I was raised. I've always treated people how I want to be treated," Diggs wrote on social media.
- Diggs takes shot at the media. "Idk why it was said, but this is an example of why people don't want to deal with the media. It's hard to fight the preconceived notions people have about you. Regardless of ever having a personal experience with them. We get you all have a job. And I respect it, but please remember I'm a human just like you."
- Trevon Diggs says the Bills should trade Stefon. Things got so bad that Trevon Diggs even chimed in. The Cowboys corner, who also happens to be Stefon's brother, sounded like he wanted to see Stefon leave Buffalo, "They turn on you so quick," Trevon wrote on Twitter. "Gotta get bro somewhere safe."
With the Bills sitting at 0-1, the last thing thing they need to be dealing with right now is off-the-field drama, but that's exactly what's happening. Although Glab did eventually apologize for her remarks, it's doesn't seem like Diggs accepted that apology, so it will be interesting to see what happens next here, especially since the Bills already had a tenuous relationship with their receiver going into the season.
4. NFL Week 2 picks: Patriots, Packers and Panthers all pull off upsets
I hope you love reading picks, because we have even more of them! Not only did we unveil some best bets on the podcast, but we've got five more Week 2 picks coming your way right now and those will be coming from NFL senior writer Pete Prisco, along with Will Brinson, Jordan Dajani, Tyler Sullivan and myself. The five of us combined to go 4-1 against the spread with our picks here last week.
Here's how things are going to work: I'm going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks. That way, if you like their pick, you'll be able to read the rest of them, but if they pick against your favorite team, you can ignore the rest of their picks and move on.
- Pete Prisco -- Patriots (+2.5) 24-23 over Dolphins. From Prisco: "Miami is coming off a high-flying offensive victory against the Chargers. Tua Tagovailoa was outstanding in that game. The Patriots lost to the Eagles, but the defense played well. That defense will keep them in this game as they slow down the high-flying Dolphins to win it late. Upset special." For the rest of Prisco's Week 2 picks, .
- Tyler Sullivan -- Packers (+1.5) 24-21 over Falcons. From Sullivan: "I think Green Bay has the more explosive offense and that could prove to be too much for Desmond Ridder to keep pace with. Meanwhile, Love is 2-0 ATS in his two career starts and the Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as an underdog." For the rest of Sullivan's Week 2 picks, .
- Will Brinson -- Panthers (+3) upset Saints. From Brinson: "The Panthers defense looked stout for much of last week, Carolina is at home, it's a Monday night game in Young's first start against a division rival. I think Frank Reich brings out the kitchen sink for this Carolina offense and we see some sparks fly." For the rest of Brinson's .
- Jordan Dajani -- Lions (-5) 30-23 over Seahawks. From Dajani: "Both of Seattle's starting tackles -- Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas -- are likely out Sunday, which could potentially spell disaster for Geno Smith." For the rest of Dajani's Week 2 best bets, .
- John Breech -- Bengals 24-21 over Ravens (+3.5). The Ravens are beat up with multiple key starters not expected to play in this game and if you're beat up, the Bengals are probably one of the last teams you want to be playing. The Bengals got embarrassed in Week 1 and they're going to be desperate to prove that game was a fluke. Not to mention, this is their home opener. The Ravens seem to almost always play the Bengals tough, but I still like Cincinnati here. For the rest of my Week 2 picks, .
5. Bold predictions for Week 2: Jaguars upset Chiefs
After giving you some bold predictions for Week 1 last Friday, we thought we'd do the same thing this week. Garrett Podell came up with five bold predictions for Week 2 and he's got some pretty wild ones that just might hit.
Here's a look at his predictions for Week 2:
- 1. Jaguars beat Chiefs. "With this game taking place in Jacksonville and Lawrence having Calvin Ridley at his disposal this time around -- someone he didn't have in last season's playoff game -- the Jaguars will finally get a win against Patrick Mahomes and make the Chiefs the first Super Bowl champion to start 0-2 since the 1999 Denver Broncos."
- 2. Seahawks beat Lions and Jared Goff's historic interception streak comes to an end. "The Seahawks have won five in a row against the Lions, and Seattle's revitalized defense with the presence of Devon Witherspoon plus a Geno Smith bounce back on offense runs that streak to six." Note: Podell is also predicting that the Seahawks will pick off Goff at least once, ending the QB's streak of 359 passes without a pick, which is the third-longest in NFL history.
- 3. Browns get to 2-0 for the first time in 30 years. "The Browns defense held the Bengals offense to only six first downs, 2-for-15 on third down conversions and only 2.6 yards per play in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's first game with Cleveland. Imagine what happens when Schwartz, Myles Garrett and company see the Steelers offensive line. I say Cleveland beats the Steelers and gets to 2-0 for the first time since 1993."
- 4. Jordan Love throws three touchdown passes again. "This may be Jordan Love's first season as full-time starter, but he is the opposite of a rookie. He had three seasons to learn head coach Matt LaFleur's playbook, and is incredibly decisive going through his reads. Love keeps the good times rolling against the Falcons with at least three more touchdowns, getting the Packers out to a 2-0 start."
- 5. Tua wins fifth straight start against Bill Belichick. "Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is 4-0 in his career against Bill Belichick. No quarterback has won five straight starts against him since he became the Patriots head coach in 2000. That streak will end Sunday. Tom Brady isn't around to keep pace with the Dolphins offense that led the league in total yards (536), yards per play (8.2) and plays of 25 or more yards (six) in Week 1."
If you want a more detailed explanation from Podell on each of his bold predictions, then.
6. Extra points: Aaron Rodgers undergoes surgery
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.
- Aaron Rodgers shares photo from hospital. The road to recovery has officially started for the Jets quarterback. Rodgers underwent surgery on his torn Achilles Wednesday and we know that because he . "Surgery went great yesterday," Rodgers wrote on Thursday. "Thank you for all the love and prayers and support."
- Steelers losing two stars for multiple weeks. Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been placed on injured reserve with a groin injury and is expected to miss up to eight weeks. The team will also be without receiver Diontae Johnson for a few weeks after he sustained a hamstring injury in Week 1. You can .
- Cowboys planning to keep Dak Prescott. The Cowboys have made it clear that adding Trey Lance has nothing to do with their plans for Prescott and that Dak is going to be their QB for the foreseeable future. "Dak's the unquestioned leader here on this football team," Cowboys executive Stephen Jones said Thursday, via PFT. "He's got rare skills in that area in terms of being able to lead the team. You know, we look at Dak as a guy who's gonna be around here for many, many years to come." If the Cowboys had any leverage in Dak's next negotiation, they just threw it all out the window.
- Dan Marino says he would smash the NFL single-season passing record if he played today. During an interview with Kevin Clark, the Dolphins legend said he could throw for 6,000 yards if he played today. "We'd throw for 6,000 yards," Marino said. "It would be a lot of fun. I wish I could." Marino might not be exaggerating here. He broke the single-season passing record with 5,084 yards in 1984 and it took 24 years before anyone hit 5,000 yards again (Drew Brees in 2008). The NFL's current single-season record is 5,477 yards, which was set by Peyton Manning in 2013.