Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
If you watched all of last night's game, I would like to apologize on behalf of the Giants, who apparently forgot how to play football. Following their 30-12 loss to the 49ers, the Giants are now 1-2 and they would be 0-3 if they hadn't pulled off a miraculous comeback against the Cardinals last week (The fact that they even needed to make a miraculous comeback against the Cardinals kind of tells you everything you need to know about how things are going for the Giants this season).
We've got a busy day today: We'll be recapping the 49ers' win, plus we have a lot of picks for Week 3 and we'll be explaining why the loss of Trevon Diggs might not be a total backbreaker for the Cowboys defense.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. It's the perfect gift to get for your favorite football-loving friend at the start of the season. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's Show: Best bets for Week 3
If you're a regular listener of the Pick Six Podcast or a regular reader of this newsletter, then you know what we do on Fridays: We make picks. For today'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 3.
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.
- Atlanta at Detroit: Bijan Robinson OVER 69.5 rushing yards (-115)
- Arizona at Dallas: Bills WR CeeDee Lamb OVER 69.5 receiving yards (-117)
- Pittsburgh at Las Vegas: Jimmy Garoppolo UNDER 240.5 rushing yards (-137)
PropStarz went 2-1 last week and is now 3-3 over the past two weeks.
To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 3 -- 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 49ers' 30-12 win over Giants
Although this game turned into a blowout, it was actually a one-score game at the end of the third quarter. The problem for the Giants is that their offense couldn't move the ball, so although the game was close, it never felt like New York was actually going to win.
Here are our grades from the game:
GIANTS GRADE: D
There was some good in this game for the Giants: They picked up their FIRST two sacks of the season and they kept things relatively close for the better part of three quarters. However, there was also plenty of bad. For one, the Giants defense couldn't tackle any of San Francisco's receivers. Of Brock Purdy's 310 passing yards, 215 of those came on yards after catch. If the Giants could tackle, this game might have been much closer. Offensively, the prime-time struggles continued for Daniel Jones. After looking sharp on a first drive where he went 5 of 7 for 38 yards, Jones did almost nothing after that, throwing for just 99 yards and an interception following New York's opening possession. The Giants had 10 possessions in this game and exactly half of them ended with a three-and-out.
- Giants first-half struggles continue. The Giants have been one of worst first half teams in the NFL this year. Through three weeks, not only have they been outscored 66-6 in the first half, but they've also failed to hit the 100-yard mark in any first half this season. That makes them the first team since the 2008 Rams to go through their first three games without hitting the 100-yard mark in the first half in any of them. Also, their -57 point differential in the first half is the worst by any team in the NFL over the 32 seasons.
- Giants rushing attack disappears. Although this was a one-score game for a good chunk of the first three quarters, the Giants gave up on the run pretty early. The Giants only ran the ball 11 times on Thursday, which is the fewest runs they've had in a game since November 1989. Those two instances are the only times the Giants have had 11 or fewer carries over the past 80 years. A big reason the Giants gave up on the run likely had to do with the fact that Saquon Barkley (ankle) didn't play.
49ERS GRADE: A-
The 49ers offense has a lot of weapons and Kyle Shanahan did his best to put them all on display in this game. The offensive fireworks were led by Deebo Samuel, who caught six passes for 129 yards and a TD. The most impressive part of that stat line is that Deebo did almost all of the work with 81 of those receiving yards coming after the catch. Christian McCaffrey had another huge game with 119 total yards and a TD. The offense was clicking thanks to Brock Purdy, who looked extremely accurate after shaking off an ugly opening drive. He almost threw as many incompletions on the opening drive (five) as he did the rest of the game (seven). The 49ers defense was almost as good as the offense. Nick Bosa picked up his first sack of the season on a night where the 49ers held the Giants to 150 yards of offense.
- Purdy awesome. With this win, Brock Purdy now has eight straight victories to start his career, which is the Ben Roethlisberger (15) and Mike Tomczak (10). If we include quarterbacks who started in the AFL, then you can also add Kansas City's Mike Livingston (10) to the list. . The only two quarterbacks who have started with more consecutive regular-season wins are
- McCaffrey's touchdown streak continues. The 49ers running back has now scored a touchdown in 12 straight games, which is tied for the sixth-longest streak in NFL history (It's also tied with Jerry Rice for Arian Foster (13) and George Rogers (13) are also ahead of McCaffrey. ). The NFL record, which is 15 consecutive games with a TD, is held by both John Riggins and O.J. Simpson. Emmitt Smith (14),
- Lucky number. The 49ers have scored exactly 30 points in each of their first three games, and as you could probably guess, that doesn't happen very often in NFL history. The Niners while scoring the same amount of points in each game. San Francisco joins the 2007 Patriots (38) and 1936 Pittsburgh Pirates (10).
If you want to check out more of our takeaways from the game, be sure to click here.
3. Cowboys lose Trevon Diggs for the season: What that means for their defense going forward
It's not often you hear about a player suffering a serious injury in practice once the regular season starts, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday with Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys corner, who just, is done for the year after injuring his knee.
- Diggs tears his ACL in practice. The Cowboys corner was injured while participating in a one-on-one drill in practice. After Diggs went down, it was pretty clear that the injury might be serious with multiple reporters pointing out that he was already on crutches before he even went to get his MRI. Diggs was diagnosed with an ACL tear and will now miss the rest of the season.
- Why the injury hurts. The Cowboys have had one of the best defenses in the NFL through two weeks and Diggs was a big reason why. In two games, the All-Pro corner had three passes defended, a forced fumble and an interception. Not to mention, Diggs was allowing just a 9.9 QB rating to opposing quarterbacks on passes where he was targeted, according to ESPN.
Although the Diggs injury certainly hurts the Cowboys defense, Garrett Podell broke down why Dallas should be able to survive despite the loss.
- The Stephon Gilmore trade now looks brilliant. Back in March, the Cowboys got Gilmore for a steal, giving up only with the Colts for the All-Pro corner. With Diggs out, Gilmore will take over the CB1 spot, a job five-time Pro Bowler is more than qualified to handle.
- Cowboys will give more playing time to one of the NFL's most underrated corners. From Garrett, "A Cowboys cornerback who is playing at high level and helping out the defense is DaRon Bland, one of the NFL's most underrated defensive backs. The 2022 fifth-round pick has played both inside at nickel as well as outside in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's defense, and wherever he has lined up, he has been a turnover magnet. Bland intercepted five passes as a rookie in 2022, tied for the fifth most in the league a season ago. His pick-six of Daniel Jones in Week 1 gives him six interpeptions for his career, tying him with Steelers All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick, Broncos All-Pro Justin Simmons, Falcons All-Pro Jessie Bates III, Seahawks' Pro Bowler Tariq Woolen and Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson for the most since Bland entered the NFL in 2022."
- Diggs injury should also mean more playing time with Jourdan Lewis. With Bland likely moving to CB2, the Cowboys will need someone to take over at nickel and that will likely be Lewis. The 28-year-old is an experienced defensive back who has started a total of 42 games for the Cowboys since being drafted by them in 2017. Lewis is coming off a season where he missed 11 games due to injury, but if he can stay healthy, he definitely should be able to help Dallas overcome the loss of Diggs.
If you want Garrett's full breakdown of why the Cowboys.
4. NFL Week 3 picks: Steelers and Titans pull off upsets
I hope you're not tired of reading our picks yet, because we have even more of them coming at you right now. This batch 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 1-4 against the spread with our picks here last week, which is brutal, but we were so good during the first two weeks of the season that we're now 9-5 after three weeks.
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: Steelers (+2.5) 23-20 over Raiders. From Prisco: "Even though the Raiders are back home, I think the Steelers defense will be too much for the Raiders offense. The Pittsburgh front will be too much. The Steelers also show some life on offense." For the rest of Prisco's Week 3 picks, .
- Tyler Sullivan: Patriots (-2.5) 24-17 over Jets. From Sullivan: "I know it's only Week 3, but it does feel like New England's season hangs in the balance a bit.... New York's defense will be a challenge for Mac Jones and the Patriots offense, but they are capable of putting up points (and could even get some from the defense). New England also has a 5-0 ATS record in their last five meetings against the Jets." For the rest of Sullivan's Week 3 picks, .
- Will Brinson: Seahawks (-6) to cover against Panthers. From Brinson: "The Panthers offense looks sluggish, didn't do anything until garbage time at home on MNF and now they're traveling across the country on a short week to go against a Seattle team feeling it can really get in the NFC West race with a win here. That's a bad combo for the Panthers." For the rest of Brinson's .
- Jordan Dajani: Jaguars 24-16 over Texans (+9). From Dajani: "The Jaguars have never covered as a home favorite in the Trevor Lawrence era. They should be favored against the winless Texans, but by nine points. Lawrence is 1-3 vs. Houston in his young career, and was favored in all three of those losses. Houston can keep this close." For the rest of Dajani's Week 3 best bets, .
- John Breech: Titans (+3.5) 19-16 over Browns. The Titans have a good defense, and through two weeks, I have not seen a single thing from Deshaun Watson that makes me think he can move the ball against a good defense. Also, the loss of Nick Chubb feels like a gut punch to this team and they might need more than a week to recover from that. The Browns have to play on a short week after an emotional loss, which seems like the perfect spot for the Titans to go into Cleveland and steal a win. For the rest of my Week 3 picks, .
5. Bold predictions for Week 3: Jets upset Patriots
After giving you some bold predictions for Week 2 last Friday, we thought we'd do the same thing again this week. Garrett Podell came up with five bold predictions for Week 3 and he's got some pretty wild ones that just might hit. His best prediction last week was that the Seahawks would upset the Lions while also ending Jared Goff's historical streak without throwing an interception. Both of those happenened.
Here's a look at three of his predictions for Week 3:
- 1. Jets end their 14-game losing streak to New England. "The Jets defense wearing down Mac Jones should allow for Zach Wilson to hand the ball off to running back Breece Hall plenty of times on Sunday and play ball-control offense. ... Hall and the Jets defense will do just enough to end Bill Belichick's reign of terror over their franchise, which will have Gang Green celebrating like it's 2015 (the last time they beat the Patriots)."
- 2. Commanders upset Jets. "The Buffalo Bills are six-point road favorites in their Week 3 matchup against the Washington Commanders, but they will be leaving FedEx Field upset after Washington's ferocious front turns Josh Allen back into a turnover machine. Allen committed four turnovers, three interceptions and a lost fumble, when he faced against a real deal pass rush in Week 1 and he'll once again be facing a real pass rush this week."
- 3. Justin Jefferson makes NFL history. "Jefferson is only fifth player since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger with 150 or more receiving yards in Weeks 1 and 2 of a season. Should he do it against in Week 3 against the Chargers in Week 3, he will be the first player in NFL history to do so in each of the first three weeks of season and I think he pulls it off."
Garrett has five bold predictions for Week 3 and you can.
6. Extra points: Bryce Young likely out for Week 3
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.
- Andy Dalton expected to start against Seahawks. With Bryce Young still unable to practice due to an ankle injury, it's looking more and more like Andy Dalton is . The Panthers are the fifth team that Dalton has played for over the past five seasons. The long-time Bengals QB went 6-8 in 2022 while starting for the Saints.
- Anthony Richardson (concussion) not cleared to play Week 3: The Colts against the Ravens. Richardson, who was knocked out of last week's game against the Texans in the first half, did not practice on Friday, sealing his fate. Gardner Minshew will get the start.
- Bengals still mum about Joe Burrow's health. The Bengals QB was at practice on Thursday, but he didn't participate, which raises a lot of questions about his availability for Monday. Burrow and coach Zac Taylor gave the same answer when asked if the QB would play against the Rams, "We'll see." You .
- Patriots poach QB from Bengals practice squad. The Patriots Jake Browning. Due to Burrow's health, there's no way the Bengals could go into Monday with just two quarterbacks, so the team signed Reid Sinnett to the practice squad today, according to ESPN. Sinnett spent training camp with the Bengals, so he's somewhat familiar with the playbook. , which left the Bengals with just two quarterbacks: Burrow and
- Derek Stingley out six to eight weeks. The Texans starting cornerback injured his hamstring in practice this week and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, according to KPRC in Houston. Stingley, who was taken with the third overall pick in 2022, missed eight games last season due a hamstring injury.