NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 7

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Kansas City @ Oakland (+3)

The Chiefs lost for the first time, falling 19-13 to the visiting Steelers. Le'Veon Bell rushed for 179 yards, while the Chiefs could only muster 28 yards on the ground.

"Well," Andy Reid said, "I guess the members of the 1972 Dolphins can rest easy, or continue to rest in eternal peace.

"The Steelers secured the win on a flukey BS play in the fourth quarter when we tipped a pass that somehow landed in Antonio Brown's hands, which he turned into a 51-yard touchdown. Marcus Peters calls that an 'F!-Bomb.'

"But I still think we're the best team in the NFL. The road to the Super Bowl still goes through Kansas City; let's just hope the Steelers aren't the ones taking that route come January."

The Raiders lost their fourth consecutive game, dropping a 17-16 decision the the visiting Chargers. Derek Carr threw 2 interceptions and a touchdown in his return from a back injury.

"We're not giving up on our quest for the Super Bowl," Jack Del Rio said. "We may be delaying it a year, though.

"Derek is working his way back to full health, and Amari Cooper is relearning the art of the catch. Amari said, 'the ball will find me.' That may be true, but he shouldn't put all of the burden on the ball alone. Amari should consider seeing a sports psychologist for his drops issue. Hopefully, somewhere in Oakland, there's a sports psychologist named 'Lester Hayes.'"

It's do or die time for the Raiders. With a loss, their season spirals further down a black hole. But Khalil Mack records two big sacks, and the Raiders offensive line does its job.

Raiders win, 26-23.

Tampa Bay @ Buffalo (-6)

The Bills emerged from their Week 6 bye rested and ready to continue their strong start to the season. Buffalo is 3-2, just a ½-game behind the Patriots in the AFC East.

"We're energized," Sean McDermott said. "We look at the state of the AFC East and we feel we're the best team in the division. Sure, Las Vegas says the Patriots are their favorites, and replay booth officials do, too, but we feel we've got the team to overturn those beliefs and uphold our standing as a team worthy of the East title.

"Signed O.J. Simpson helmets just went on the market. Word is they're a hot item, and will probably get 'hotter' once O.J. steals them from their rightful owners. Simpson is a renowned helmet collector in his own right. His prized possession is Thurman Thomas's helmet from Super Bowl XXVI. Word is Thomas still doesn't know where it is."

The Bucs fell behind 31-0 to the Cardinals and eventually lost, 38-33. Jameis Winston was knocked out of the game early with a shoulder injury, and Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in to spark a second half rally.

"If Winston can't play in Buffalo," Dirk Koetter said, "we feel confident in Ryan's ability. Ryan's certainly no Superman, but he can wear a cape. That makes him merely 'cape-able.'

"Doug Martin is really excited for the game in Buffalo. When he found out it was the home of the 'Juice,' he thought he might be violating the NFL's drug policy just by playing there."

Winston plays, and the Bucs defense comes alive in response to their debacle in Arizona. Mike Evans grabs 2 touchdown passes, and the Bucs win, 23-20.

Carolina @ Chicago (+3)

The Panthers lost 28-23 at home to the Eagles and fell to 3-2 on the season. Cam Newton passed for a touchdown and ran for another, but threw 3 costly interceptions.

"Once again," Newton said, "people are saying I'm 'full of it.' And, once again, I think by 'it,' those people mean 'responsibility,' and I agree, because I take 'full responsibility' for the loss.

"I just have to be better. A better quarterback, a better citizen, a better man, a better teammate, a better yogurt spokesperson, a better role model, but mostly, better than that."

The Bears stunned the Ravens 27-24 in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium, as Jordan Howard rushed for 167 yards on 36 carries. Connor Barth's 40-yard field goal with 2:06 left in OT gave the Bears the win.

"We felt it imperative to establish the run," John Fox said. "And we did. 167 yards says we ran the Ravens into the ground. 36 carries says we ran Jordan into the ground.

"I thought Mitch Tribisky handled playing in Baltimore just swimmingly. He is really playing well, and people are noticing. And some Bear legends are really in awe. Mike Ditka says he hasn't seen this kind of impression in the last hundred years.

Carolina wins, 22-16.

Tennessee @ Cleveland (+5½)

Tennessee beat the Colts 36-22 on Monday night as Marcus Mariota returned from missing the previous game due to a hamstring injury. The Titans are 3-3, tied with the Texans and Jaguars atop the AFC South.

"We are a noticeably different team with Mariota as opposed to Matt Cassel," Mike Mularkey said. "Marcus is the yardstick by which this team is measured; a yardstick is used to measure the distance of Matt's passes."

The Browns are still winless after last week's 33-17 blowout loss at Houston. Kevin Hogan struggled at quarterback and threw 3 interceptions.

"Deshaun Watson really showed us what we were missing," Hue Jackson said. "For a franchise with a recent history of terrible throws, our worst pass may have been when we 'passed' on Watson in the draft.

"It looks like Kevin's reality show 'Hogan Throws Best' will be cancelled after one episode. I'm not sure what to do about our quarterback situation. It makes me want to just throw my hands in the air. I guess it would make sense to put a coin in one of my hands and let the coin decide. Or, I could get down on one knee and propose that Colin Kaepernick sign with the Browns."

Titans win, 24-17.

New Orleans @ Green Bay (+6)

New Orleans crushed the visiting Lions 52-38 last week and now lead the NFC South with a 3-2 record. The Saints defense forced 5 Matthew Stafford turnovers, returning three for scores.

"I have never seen a more motivated defense," Sean Payton said. "I have paid a more motivated defense.

"I hear Lambeau concessions offers a smoked sausage, cooked to perfection, then aged in the hot sun for a week. They call it the 'Antonio Brown.' Others call it the 'spoiled brat.' And speaking of 'spoiled brats, last week was our first game without Adrian Peterson. Sure, A.P. had a great game for the Cardinals, but we did just fine ourselves without him. So, if you think I'm flogging myself in the scrotum for unloading him, you're completely wrong."

The Packers lost 23-10 at Minnesota, and the loss was compounded by the loss of Aaron Rodgers, who was carted off the field in the first quarter with a broken right collarbone.

"That is not good," Mike McCarthy said. "If Aaron's carried off the field and it's not on his team's shoulders, it puts us in deep trouble. I'm not saying we'll need divine intervention, but now is the time for all Packer fans alive to remember their 'Hail Marys.'

"I'm confident Brett Hundley can run this offense. Never mind that my poster-sized laminated play sheet just became the size of a business card."

Packers win, 27-24.

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (+3)

Despite 130 yards and a touchdown on the ground from Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars lost 27-17 at home to the Rams. Jacksonville is 3-3, tied with the Texans atop the AFC South.

"We gave up two special teams touchdowns to the Rams," Doug Marrone said. "And that cost us the game. And it's humiliating for our special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. But not nearly as humiliating as Joe having to wear a dress, which he mistakenly did after I told him he needed to 'address' the issues.

"Leonard is nursing an ankle injury, but we expect him to play. Leonard is a tough son of a gun. He's what you call a 'horse,' but Blake Bortles is the one we put the reins on, though."

The Colts lost to the Titans, 36-22, and are 2-4, in last place in the AFC South.

"I've been fielding a lot of questions about Andrew Luck's health," Chuck Pagano said. "Lucky for you, I have lots of answers, none of which are insightful, revealing, thoughtful, useful, or even quote-worthy. I will say this: Andrew will be ready when he's ready. I like to give answers that keeps people guessing. My mere ongoing presence as coach keeps fans guessing."

Jacksonville wins, 23-14.

Arizona @ Los Angeles Rams (-3½)

In their first game with Adrian Peterson, the Cardinals beat the visiting Buccaneers, 38-33, as Peterson rushed for 134 yards and 2 scores.

"Honestly," Bruce Arians said, "I think Adrian just needed a change of scenery. I'm just happy I could provide him with a switch."

The Rams beat the Jaguars, 27-17, in Jacksonville, powered by special teams units that accounted for 2 touchdowns.

"Is it me," Sean McVay said, "or should this game be played in St. Louis? It's actually being played in London. I know the Roger Goodell is concerned about player protests. What he really needs to worry about are fan protests in England, because Twickenham Stadium is sure to be packed with nothing but 'Protest-ants.'"

Cardinals win, 27-24.

New York Jets @ Miami (-3)

The Dolphins roared back from a 17-0 deficit at the half and shocked the home-standing Falcons, 20-17. Jay Cutler passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Miami defense intercepted Matt Ryan near the goal line to secure the win.

"I gave my team an earful in the locker room at halftime," Adam Gase said. "Hopefully, none of my coaches were elsewhere getting a noseful.

"I think the Falcons get uncomfortable when they hold a big lead. It probably has something to do with last year's Super Bowl. The Falcons refuse to watch highlights of that game; that doesn't mean they don't have flashbacks of it.

"In Tampa, they play in Raymond James Stadium. In light of recent events, our home could be called 'Rick James Stadium, because cocaine is a hell of a drug."

The Jets lost a close 24-17 decision to the visiting Patriots in a battle for first place in the AFC East.

"We had what appeared to be a touchdown called a touchback," Todd Bowles said. "There's loads of visual evidence that we were screwed. I'm not even sure if Richard Roundtree is a Jets fan, but he even says we were 'Shaft-ed.' But what am I complaining about? The Patriots were favored in the game; I just didn't realize it was by the replay officials.

"We gave Tom Brady all he could handle. And I think we proved that if we can play with the Patriots, we can play with any slightly above average team in the league."

Miami avenges their humiliating Week 3 loss to the Jets with a dominating 22-11 win.

Baltimore @ Minnesota (-5)

The Ravens offense struggled in a 27-24 overtime loss to the visiting Bears. If not for 2 return touchdowns, Baltimore would have never even made it to overtime.

"We were fortunate just to be in the game," John Harbaugh said. "Our receivers had a number of drops. In their defense, they're probably not used to Joe Flacco's passes hitting them in the hands.

"We have a lot in common with the Vikings. One, we both sport purple as a team color. Two, our quarterbacks both display backup-level talent."

The Vikings knocked Aaron Rodgers out of the game in the first quarter, and held the Packers offense in check thereafter in a crucial 23-10 win.

"Let's be clear," Xavier Rhodes said. "Anthony Barr's hit on Rodgers was not dirty. Anthony always plays by the rules. After he drove Rodgers into the turf, he was decent enough to replace the divot.

"Short of injuring him, you can't stop Rodgers. You can only hope to contain him. That's not easy, either, unless you're dating him.

"You never want to see a quarterback get hurt, but that's just part of the game. That being said, we're going to take special care not to hurt Joe Flacco, because we want him in the game."

Vikings win, 19-17.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-5½)

Le'Veon Bell rushed for 179 yards and Antonio Brown had 155 yards receiving as the Steelers knocked off the previously undefeated Chiefs, 19-13.

"I think our team showed a lot of heart," Mike Tomlin said. "And I'm much rather them show their heart than their ass. Bell, Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger are our 'Big Three.' That is, when they're not being the 'Big Mouths.'

"What you saw in Kansas City looked a lot like Steelers football from the 1970's: a strong running game, a great defense, and a deflected pass off a defender for a miraculous touchdown. The only thing different was that Steelers team did all of its talking on the field."

The Bengals return from their Week 6 bye ready to continue a two-game winning streak.

"We're right in the thick of things in the AFC North," Marvin Lewis said. "A lot of people wrote us off after we started 0-3. Some people thought we were staring at a winless season. I had to ask them to clarify, because I wasn't sure if they meant a winless regular season or winless playoff season."

Pittsburgh wins, 24-20.

Dallas @ San Francisco (+6)

The Cowboys had a Week 6 bye that was anything but eventful. A federal appeals court cleared the way for the league to impose Elliott's six-game suspension for domestic violence allegations.

"I'm confused," Elliott said. "I'm not sure if I should be standing or sitting. Should I put my hand on my heart or a bible? It's like I'm standing before a judge, which, by the way, I'm not, because I haven't been charged with any crime.

"But I'll be playing in San Francisco. I was granted another restraining order against my suspension. It was a bit of a surprise, though. Not the restraining order itself, but a restraining order that worked in favor of a Dallas Cowboy.

The 49ers nearly overcame a 17-0 deficit before eventually losing 26-24 to the Redskins at Fed Ex Field. The comeback was sparked by rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who replaced Brian Hoyer in the second quarter.

"Beathard will be our starter going forward," Kyle Shanahan said, "because he has our offense 'going forward.' C.J. is the grandson of Bobby Beathard, who was a general manager for four Super Bowl-winning teams. C.J. may be the Charlie Sheen of the NFL, because 'winning' is in his blood."

Dallas wins, 26-21.

Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers (+3)

The Broncos were stunned at home 23-10 by the Giants, who rushed for 148 yards on Denver's defense that had previously given up an average of only 50 yards per game.

"Our run defense vanished into thin air," Von Miller said. "

"But we're bringing the 'No Fly Zone' to the 'No Fan Zone.' The Chargers have taken some unusual measures to attract fans in the seats. For example, they hired former Saint Tom Dempsey, who booted a 63-yard field goal in 1970 with half a right foot, to promote the game at the Stub Hub Center."

The Chargers beat the Raiders 17-16 for their second consecutive win. Nick Novak kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired for the win.

"We silenced the home crowd," Philip Rivers said, "which is something we're even better at in Los Angeles."

Chargers win, 21-16.

Seattle @ New York Giants (+6)

The Giants shocked the heavily-favored Broncos, 23-10, on Sunday night, winning their first game of the season. The Giants offense rushed for 148 yards, while the defense forced 3 turnovers.

"We're clearly a better team than our record indicates," Eli Manning said. "Our record indicates we're a 1-5 team; we're better than that. Most football experts would agree. Many say we could pass for a 1-4 team, maybe even a 1-3 team.

"Ben McAdoo relinquished play-calling duties and handed them to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Now you can see the 'gel' in our offense instead of Coach's hair."

The Seahawks had a Week 6 bye and lead the NFC West with a 3-2 record.

"We won't underestimate the Giants," Pete Carroll said. "I pride myself on preparation, and with the bye week, we've had extra time to prepare. There's nothing better that going into a bye week after a win, especially because we get a few extra days off. We call those situations 'vacated wins.'"

Seattle wins, 20-16.

Atlanta @ New England (-3½)

The Falcons wasted a 17-0 halftime lead at home and lost to the Dolphins, 20-17. Atlanta is 3-2 and now heads to New England, in the rematch of last year's epic 34-28 New England win in the Super Bowl, in which the Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit to win in overtime.

"People are saying we don't know how to hold a lead," Dan Quinn said. "That's a good point, and I really don't have an answer to it. That's an 'unanswered point.' But it's just one; our problem is several unanswered points.

"We don't mind being the underdog. 'Cinderella' is one of my favorite fairy tales. So, we're gonna go out there, bust our tails, play smart football, and hope to heck that when that clock strikes 2:08 left in the third quarter, there will be a happy ending a little later."

The Patriots overcame an early deficit to defeat the Jets 24-17 in MetLife Stadium. New England is 4-2, ahead of the 3-2 Bills in the AFC East.

"If we learned anything against the Jets," Tom Brady said, "it's that there's more than one way to get a touchback. And, once again, an instance of video of Jets players working in favor of the Patriots."

Atlanta wins, 28-26.

Washington @ Philadelphia (-5)

The Eagles upset the Panthers, 28-23, in Charlotte last Thursday night, and are 5-1, atop the NFC East standings. Carson Wentz threw 3 touchdown passes.

"I'm becoming a folk hero in Philadelphia," Wentz said. "But who isn't in this city? You go anywhere, all you here is, 'Folk you!'"

The Redskins beat the visiting 49ers 26-24, nearly blowing a 17-0 lead. Washington is 3-2, in second place in the NFC East behind the 5-1 Eagles.

"It's certainly not the first time this organization's inability to 'close the deal' has been questioned," Kirk Cousins said. "But what do you expect from an team whose nickname evokes racist stereotypes? In any case, I'll be the most sought after free agent in 2018. So, if the Redskins want to be a part of that, they should put on their bidding war paint."

Eagles win, 29-21.

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