Hello everyone, and happy Thursday. It's officially Week 2 of the preseason, and we've got plenty of updates accordingly. John Breech is still taking some time off as he prepares for the Bengals' return to action, so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the league.
This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (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 offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got preseason bets, injury updates, more drama at Jets camp, and much more:
- Today's show: Best bets and predictions for Week 2 of preseason
A star-studded cast of characters -- Will Brinson, Katie Mox, Emory Hunt, Jason La Canfora and Alex Selesnick -- teamed up on the latest "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to identify their favorite plays for the next round of preseason action. Some highlights:
- Mox likes the Broncos and 49ers to rebound on the scoreboard in their matchup, going Over 38.5 points, but Brinson is still unsure of Russell Wilson's comfortability under Sean Payton, arguing the QB started sluggishly in the preseason opener
- Selesnick thinks Trey Lance will be more at ease -- and find more success -- working against Denver's second- and third-stringers after an uneven debut against the Raiders in the 49ers' exhibition opener
- Hunt likes the Titans in their matchup with the Vikings, mostly because of Tennessee's ongoing QB battle behind Ryan Tannehill -- a battle he's confident Willis will win after an athletic and improved showing in the Titans' first preseason game
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Top Week 2 preseason games: Patriots-Packers headlines the list
For the first and only time this season, there will be NFL games played on five consecutive days, starting Thursday and ending Monday. Bryan DeArdo is welcoming us into the historic week by on the schedule:
5. Ravens at Commanders (Monday, 8 p.m. ET): This game was certain to make the list following the teams' explosive practice earlier this week. Fighting aside, this should be an entertaining final game of Week 2. All eyes in Washington are on second-year quarterback Sam Howell, who appears to be closing in on the Commanders' QB job.
4. Broncos at 49ers (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET): Niners fans will get a sturdy helping of former No. 2 overall pick Sam Darnold, who is beginning his first season in the Bay Area. Fellow former first-round pick Trey Lance is also expected to get some playing time.
3. Browns at Eagles (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET): The Browns have announced that rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will make his first NFL start. In Cleveland's first two preseason games (against the Jets and Commanders), Thompson-Robinson went a combined 17 of 21 passing with two touchdown passes.
2. Buccaneers at Jets (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET): Get used to the Jets being must-see TV. New York got even more interesting this week with the addition of Dalvin Cook, who is fresh off of his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl season.
1. Patriots at Packers (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET): If nothing else, this could be Ezekiel Elliott's debut with the Patriots. Elliott will look to join Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison and other notable veteran players whose careers were revitalized after coming to New England.
3. Injury updates: Titans WR Burks out for weeks, Jets coach hospitalized
Preseason hasn't come without medical concerns around the NFL. Here's a look at the latest:
- : Tennessee's 2022 first-round WR is set to miss several weeks
- : The veteran Buccaneers WR went down with a knee injury at practice
- : The first-round pass rusher had been on the Non-Football Injury list
- : Tony Oden caught "friendly fire" during skirmish with the Buccaneers
4. Agent's Take: Odell Beckham Jr. among 10 bounce-back candidates
Lamar Jackson has talked up Beckham's speed at Ravens training camp. And former NFL agent Joel Corry, now a salary cap expert, believes Odell has a prime opportunity to live up to Jackson's praise -- and potentially earn another big payday -- in 2023. In identifying , he couldn't leave Baltimore's new WR1 off the list:
Surprisingly, Beckham's contract doesn't contain any per game roster bonuses. By contrast, the two-year, $26 million deal DeAndre Hopkins signed with the Titans at the start of training camp has $1.02 million of per game roster bonuses ($60,000 each game active) annually. The per-game amount is only payable if the player is on active list for that particular game, which would have been appropriate given Beckham's circumstances. Beckham should be a leading candidate for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award if he can develop chemistry with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and stay on the football field.
5. Camp drama: Jets OL still struggling, Taylor leaves Colts again
What's the NFL offseason without drama? Few teams have drawn a bigger spotlight, for both better and worse, than the Jets and Colts. Here's the latest from inside their respective training camps:
- : Unhappy with his contract and still seeking a trade, the star running back has left team facilities to tend to a personal matter, just two days after returning to camp.
- : Fresh off stern criticism from coach Robert Saleh on "Hard Knocks," the unit has remained a concern at practice, where the club's new QB has seen lots of pressure.
6. Extra points: Gronk hints at comeback, Cook changing numbers, more
Hungry for more headlines? We've got you covered:
- : The retired TE says there's one coach who could convince him to return
- : Jeff Kerr has eyes on the Buccaneers' QB battle
- Trevor Lawrence's next steps : Chris Trapasso dives into
- : The RB had worn No. 4 with the Vikings in 2022
- : Cook's arrival in New York has shifted the hierarchy