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Welcome to the Labor Day edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

It's fitting that today is Labor Day and that's mainly because I spent my entire weekend laboring over my predictions for the 2023 NFL season. I haven't slept since Friday and I'm 98% sure I just took 17 weeks off my life due to the amount of coffee I ingested over the weekend, but the important thing is that my picks for the season are in and we'll be covering those in today's newsletter. 

Who's going to make the playoffs? Who's going to win the Super Bowl? Who's going to finish with the worst record in the NFL? We're going to answer all of that today. We're also going to be making 12 bold predictions for the NFL season.

One of my bold predictions is that all of my predictions will come true this year.

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

1. Today's Show: 12 bold predictions for the 2023 NFL season


For the fifth year in a row, the crew at the Pick Six podcast celebrated Labor Day by unveiling our bold predictions for the 2023 season. Some people took the holiday off, but not us, because we don't take holidays off. OK, we take some holidays off, but we didn't take this one off. 

For today's show, we had a Super Friends reunion. It was Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and me, plus we officially initiated Katie Mox as the fourth Super Friend. During the episode, we each unveiled three bold predictions for a total of 12. 

Here's one bold prediction from each of us: 

  • Wilson: C.J. Stroud sets the NFL record for most sacks taken in a season. This record was set back in 2002 when David Carr was sacked 76 times and Wilson thinks Stroud is going to top it, which is almost fitting, because Carr was a rookie for the Texans when he set the record. Now, Stroud's the rookie QB, and Wilson thinks he's going to get hit a lot this year. 
  • Mox: Bears get to at least the divisional round of the playoffs. Not only is Katie riding the Bears' bandwagon this year, I think she's actually driving it. This feels like a season where anyone can win the NFC North and Katie thinks Justin Fields is going to have a breakout year while leading the Bears to at least the divisional round (Note: She could have predicted that they'd make the wild-card round, but she INSISTED on the divisional round).  
  • Brinson: Jaguars finish with the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Last year, one of Brinson's bold predictions was that the Jags would win the AFC South in 2022 and although we laughed at him, he got the last laugh, because they ended up winning it. This year, Brinson is taking things a step further by predicting that Jacksonville finishes with the best record in the AFC. No one laughed at him this time. 
  • Breech: Dolphins finish in last place in the AFC East. I actually like the Dolphins, I just like everyone in the AFC East a little bit more. My biggest problem with Miami is that I need to see Tua Tagovailoa stay healthy for an entire season before I start believing that he can actually stay healthy for an entire season.

If you want to hear all 12 bold predictions, you can do that by listening to today's show here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.

2. AFC predictions for 2023: Titans surprisingly win AFC South

As I mentioned at the top, I spent my entire Labor Day weekend going through all 272 regular-season games on the NFL schedule and after 51 straight hours of contemplating the 2023 season, my picks are finally in. 

Here's my prediction for how everything in the AFC will break down this year: 

*make playoffs

AFC East
1. *Bills: 11-6
2. *Jets: 11-6
3. Patriots: 10-7
4. Dolphins: 9-8

AFC North
1. *Bengals: 12-5
2. *Ravens: 11-6
3. *Browns: 10-7
4. Steelers: 9-8

AFC South
1. *Titans: 9-8
2. Jaguars: 8-9
3. Colts: 5-12
4. Texans: 4-13

AFC West
1. *Chiefs: 12-5 
2. Chargers: 9-8
3. Broncos: 8-9
4. Raiders: 6-11

AFC playoffs: 1. Chiefs 2. Bengals 3. Bills 4. Titans 5. Ravens 6. Jets 7. Browns

AFC Super Bowl team: Bengals

This is usually the part where I would apologize to Bengals fans for jinxing their team, but after looking at my picks over the past eight years, I might not be a jinx! I've somehow correctly picked the AFC's Super Bowl team in four of the past eight years (Broncos in 2015, Patriots in 2017, Chiefs in 2019 and 2020).

3. NFC predictions for 2023: Cowboys finish atop the conference

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I don't want to say that I've been brainwashed by Jerry Jones, but there's a very real chance that I've been brainwashed by Jerry Jones. That's the only conclusion that made sense to me after I finished making my NFC predictions over the weekend. 

Anyway, here's my prediction for how everything in the NFC will shake out this year:

*make playoffs

NFC East
1. *Cowboys: 12-5
2. *Eagles: 12-5
3. Giants: 8-9
4. Commanders: 7-10

NFC North
1. *Vikings: 9-8
2. *Lions: 9-8
3. Packers: 7-10
4. Bears: 6-11

NFC South
1. *Saints: 10-7
2. *Falcons: 9-8
3. Buccaneers: 7-10
4. Panthers: 6-11

NFC West
1. *49ers: 12-5
2. Seahawks: 8-9
3. Rams: 5-12
4. Cardinals: 3-14

NFC playoffs: 1. Cowboys 2. 49ers 3. Saints 4. Vikings 5. Eagles 6. Lions 7. Falcons

NFC Super Bowl team: Cowboys

Super Bowl winner: Bengals 33-30 over Cowboys 

My bosses at CBS would certainly be thrilled to see the Cowboys in the Super Bowl. Putting America's Team on the NFL's largest stage in a game that's being played in Las Vegas would probably be the most-watched television show in human history. And let's be honest, there would be nothing more American than watching America's Team melting down in front of America in a wild loss to the Bengals. 

Besides predicting the Super Bowl winner and the final records for each team, I also made nine bold predictions about the 2023 NFL season and you can check out all of those by clicking here

4. Ceiling and floor for each NFL team

If you're wondering what the best-case scenario is for your favorite team this year, I have some good news: Jeff Kerr went ahead and figured that out for you. With the start of the season just three days away, Kerr went through every team to figure out their best-case and worst-case scenario for the 2023 season. 

Here's a look at how he sees things going for four different teams: 

Ceiling: 10-7 (Win NFC South)
Floor: 5-12 (Miss playoffs)

Ceiling: 11-6 (Win AFC North)
Floor: 8-9 (Miss playoffs)

Ceiling: 11-6 (Win NFC North)
Floor: 7-10 (Miss playoffs)

Ceiling: 5-13 (Miss playoffs)
Floor: 0-17 (Miss playoffs)

Ceiling: 9-8 (Miss playoffs)
Floor: 6-11 (Miss playoffs)

Apparently, Kerr doesn't think the Patriots will be making the playoffs even if they hit their ceiling for the 2023 season. I'm guessing that's going to lead to some hate mail from New England. 

If you want to know see the ceiling and floor for every NFL team, then be sure to click here

5. 10 offensive players in the perfect situation to thrive in 2023

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If you have a Fantasy draft coming up in the next 72 hours, you might want to make sure you read our next story before diving in to your draft. Garrett Podell made a list of 10 offensive players who could put up big numbers this year due to the fact that they're in the perfect situation to thrive. 

Let's check out the top four names on his list: 

  • Chargers QB Justin Herbert. Herbert has a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, a new weapon in rookie receiver Quentin Johnston and his left tackle (Rashawn Slater) should finally be healthy. Those three reasons alone should help him put up bigger numbers. 
  • Cowboys RB Tony Pollard. After four seasons of playing second-fiddle to Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys have finally handed over the starting job to Pollard and it won't be surprising if he thrives in Dallas' explosive offense. 
  • Giants TE Darren Waller. The new Giants tight end is likely going to be one of Daniel Jones' top receiving options, which could lead to some big numbers for Waller. 
  • Jets WR Garrett Wilson. The 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year should automatically see his numbers go up in 2023, if only because he'll be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers instead of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco or Mike White.

If you want to see the rest of Garrett's list, be sure to click here

6. Extra points: Kyle Rudolph is retiring

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. 

  • Kyle Rudolph done with football. The 12-year veteran told NBC Sports that he has decided to hang up his cleats for good. However, the former NFL tight end will be staying busy in retirement. Not only will he be covering the Big 10 for Peacock, but he'll also be hosting a radio show for Fox Sports. 
  • Chris Jones could miss Week 1. The Chiefs star is still holding out, and right now, it's looking more and more like he could miss Kansas City's opener against the Lions on Thursday. Jones missed the Chiefs' first regular-season practice on Sunday and a deal will have to get done in the next 48 hours if he wants to play. According to PFT, the Chiefs have offered Jones a deal worth $24.67 million per year, but he's holding out for more. 
  • Nick Bosa also still holding out. Things have gotten ugly between Jones and the Chiefs and they're not much better between Bosa and the 49ers. According to Sports Illustrated, Bosa and the 49ers are about $4 million per year apart. If they can't make up that gap soon, Bosa could miss San Francisco's opener against the Steelers. 
  • Terrence Steele gets huge extension. The Cowboys' offensive lineman will definitely be staying in Dallas for the next few years after landing a five-year extension with the team that's worth up to $91.8 million. At right tackle, Steele has been a key piece of the Cowboys' offensive line for the past three years and they rewarded him for that with this new deal. 
  • Cooper Kupp visiting a specialist. It's starting to look like Cooper Kupp could miss multiple weeks to start the season. After suffering a setback with his hamstring injury, Kupp is now visiting a specialist to see if he can figure out exactly what the issue is. With less than a week to go until the Rams' opener against the Seahawks, it's almost impossible to see him on the field for that game and it won't be surprising if he misses a few more games after that. 
  • Giants restructure Daniel Jones' contract. The Giants picked up some major cap space on Monday by restructuring Jones' contract. According to ESPN, the Giants added $6.315 million in cap space by converting Jones' base salary into bonus money. The only reason this restructure is interesting is because Jones just signed his contract back in March