NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 9

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Buffalo @ New York Jets (+3½)

The Bills pummeled the Raiders, 34-14, led by LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo is 5-2, a ½-game behind the Patriots in the AFC East.

"We knew we could run on the Raiders," Sean McDermott said. "In fact, we know we can run on anyone. Our running game philosophy is, 'We're going to run McCoy down your throat, because your defense sucks.' That's not 'throwing shade'; it's 'running Shade.'

"We acquired Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers in a trade on Halloween. Kelvin's had some weight issues in the past. When he's in shape, he give us a huge red zone target. When Kelvin's not in shape, he gives us a fat red zone target."

The Jets lost to the visiting Falcons, 25-20, blowing a fourth quarter lead for the third straight game.

"Our uniforms are made by Nike," Matt Forte said. "That's right, Nike. They're not made by Starter, and they're definitely not made by 'Finisher.' Because we don't know how to finish.

"Ask any Jets fan about a 'Super Bowl guarantee,' and they'll mention Joe Namath. Ask the Bills fan about a 'Super Bowl guarantee,' and they'll tell you that guarantee belongs to whomever is playing Buffalo."

It's Thursday Night Football, so that means "color rush," which is a term some NFL owners may find threatening until someone explains that "color rush" is merely a uniform description, and in no way has anything to do with inmates or prisons.

Buffalo wins, 24-17.

Atlanta @ Carolina (-2)

The Panthers beat the Bucs 17-3 in Tampa as the Panthers defense, buoyed by the return of Luke Kuechly, forced 3 Jameis Winston turnovers. Cam Newton passed for 1 touchdown and was kept upright all day by a offensive line that didn't allow a sack.

"I may be the face of the franchise," Newton said, "but Luke is the baby face of the franchise. He's all the things I'm not: charming, affable, gregarious, and still holding an endorsement deal.

"I've had trouble behind our offensive line all year. But if you really want to see me struggle, put me behind a podium. If you really, really want to see me struggle, put me behind the podium facing a tough question from Von Miller. More than likely I'll fumble my words."

The Falcons nipped the Jets 25-20 at soggy MetLife Stadium to snap a three-game skin. Matt Ryan passed for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns as Atlanta improved to 4-3.

"Our offense is making strides," Ryan said. "Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is just now getting used to not having Nick Saban breathing down his neck. I say 'breathing down his neck' because Steve is 6'2," which is a good eight inches taller than Saban, so when Saban talks, his mouth is about at Steve's neck level."

The Panthers establish the run early with Jonathan Stewart and Newton, and Newton hooks up with Christian McCaffrey for a screen pass that goes for a long touchdown.

Carolina wins, 27-23.

Indianapolis @ Houston (-12½)

DeShaun Watson's 402 yards and 4 touchdowns was not enough in the Texans 41-38 loss at Seattle.

"I did something no one in Houston or Seattle thought could happen," Watson said. "I 'Savaged' the Seattle defense. Take a knee? I brought the Seahawks defense to both knees. 'Legion of Boom?' I don't think so. It's more like 'Legions of Points.'

"As I'm sure you've heard, our owner Bob McNair said some words that were very controversial. Now, I'm not sure what's worse. The inmates running the prison, or a racist running the team. But really, does McNair's comments necessarily make him a racist? No, but he needs to choose his words more carefully. Maybe he should not talk at all. If he's offended by what he sees, maybe he should hold his eyes like Yuli Gurriel did in the World Series."

The Colts lost to the Bengals 24-23, as Jacoby Brissette's interception midway through the fourth quarter was returned for a touchdown and the eventual game-winning points.

"A loss like that rips at your insides," Chuck Pagano said, "which, incidentally, is one of the many injuries that Andrew Luck has suffered.

"Andrew is reportedly seeking second opinions on his surgically repaired right shoulder. As you know, opinions are like a-holes, and a-holes are like owners, especially where the Texans and Colts are concerned. God forbid Bob McNair catches a ride with Jim Irsay. That's a 'prescription' for disaster."

Houston wins, 34-17.

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville (-4 ½)

The Bengals edged the Colts 24-23 to improve to 3-4 in the AFC North. Carlos Dunlap's 16-yard interception return in the fourth quarter was the decisive touchdown.

"We pulled that one out of our backsides," Marvin Lewis said. "Of the many things that have been pulled out of my behind, a playoff win isn't one of them.

"Joe Mixon started a Twitter war with Le'Veon Bell. Joe had earlier claimed he could do 'way more' than Bell. Well, he's right. He has done more than Bell. Bell's never punched a woman. Joe just took the Twitter equivalent of a stiff arm from Bell. And Le'Veon knows his stiff arms. He stiff armed my very own Dre Kirkpatrick a few weeks back, and Dre didn't like it. He complained; Le'Veon just told him to 'talk to the hand.'"

The Jaguars had a Week 8 bye and are primed to remain in contention in the competitive AFC South.

"There was a lot of talk about us making a trade for a quarterback before the October 31st trade deadline," Doug Marrone said. "Well, we didn't, so wherever we go this year, Blake Bortles will take us there. I've given him the keys to the offense, and on this highway, there's no passing."

Jacksonville wins, 29-17.

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-7)

The Saints have won five straight after beating the Bears, 20-12. Drew Brees passed for 299 yards, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara each scored a rushing TD, and the Saints defense came up with a late, game-sealing turnover.

"I love the way this year's team is playing," Drew Brees said. "I don't have to throw for 5,000 yards, and our defense isn't giving up 5,000 yards."

The Bucs suffered a 17-3 home loss to the Panthers, who forced 3 Jameis Winston turnovers. Tampa has lost four in a row and are last in the NFC South.

"We've reached a low point in our season," Dirk Koetter said. "And also 'low points,' because three is pretty pathetic.

"Jameis Winston is obviously still hurting. But if he can't play, we've got Ryan Fitzpatrick ready to go. Ryan once dropped an ace on the Wonderlic Test. As quarterback ratings go, he's dropped a deuce' several times."

Saints win, 27-23.

Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants (+3)

The Rams emerge from their bye week at 5-2, tied for the lead in the NFC West with the Seahawks. In Week 7, the Rams whipped the Cardinals 33-0 in London.

"We had a goal for our game in London," Sean McVay said, "and that was 'Less kneel, more nil.' Arizona didn't score a single point in that game, so when all those soccer fans looked at the box score, they didn't see a 'red Card' on it.

"Jared Goff has answered all the questions skeptics had about him last year. Now, people still have questions about Sammy Watkins. Questions like 'where is he?' Or, 'is that one catch for 8 yards for the whole game?' Or, 'his salary is in no way performance-based, is it?'"

The 1-6 Giants hope to turn their season around after a Week 8 bye that gave the team time to reflect.

"The big question in town is whether Eli is our quarterback of tomorrow," Ben McAdoo said. "And I mean the word 'tomorrow' literally.

"But we can't place the blame for our troubles all on the shoulders of Eli. Just based on physical appearance alone, Eli looks innocent. Me? Based on looks alone, I look guilty as hell, not only of being a crappy play-caller, but of various crimes against nature, as well."

Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins was suspended indefinitely after he failed to return from the bye week on time. It's the second time a Giants cornerback has been suspended in the last three weeks. It all adds up to McAdoo having the look of a coach who's going to be fired soon.

Giants win, 22-20.

Denver @ Philadelphia (-8)

The Eagles shook of a slow start before pulling away to beat the 49ers 33-10. Carson Wentz passed for 2 scores and the Philly defense made life miserable for the 49ers offense.

"It wasn't pretty at first," Doug Pederson said. "In fact, it was ugly. Very ugly. Even Markell Futlz's free throw said it was ugly.

"We just acquired Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins via a trade. Paired with LeGarrette Blount, Ajayi gives us a very formidable backfield. Of course, they need a clever nickname. 'Pound and Pound,' maybe? Nah. Given Blount's history, I think the nickname 'Mary Jay' is perfect."

The Broncos struggles continued in a 30-19 Monday night loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver committed 5 turnovers, including 3 by Trevor Siemian.

"Trevor is struggling," Vance Joseph said. "In a perfect world, I'd be saying 'Siemian is playing out of this world.' Unfortunately, I'm saying he's playing 'out of the starting lineup,' and soon to be playing 'out of this league.'

"I see a lot of frustration on the faces of our players. And it may be in danger of boiling over. I think we may need a players-only meeting, and Aqib Talib is just the man to lead one. When Aqib talks, teammates listen. His words are meaningful and carefully considered. In other words, he's not one to 'shoot from the hip.'"

Eagles win, 23-13.

Baltimore at Tennessee (-5½)

The Ravens annihilated the visiting Dolphins, 40-0, led by a potent running attack and a defense that returned 2 Matt Moore interceptions for touchdowns.

"It's games like that," John Harbaugh said, "in which a head coach can just sit back, do nothing, and watch his team dominate. Brian Billick had 20 such games in the 2000 season.

"Joe Flacco was knocked out of the Miami game after a dirty hit by Miami's Kiko Alonso. Joe was clearly sliding at the end of the run; the umpire ruled him 'out.' Incidentally, that's the first time Joe's been 'unconscious' since the 2012 playoffs."

Titans win, 20-17.

Arizona @ San Francisco (+2)

The Cardinals come out of their Week 8 bye ready to face the winless 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Arizona is 3-4, two games behind the Seahawks and Rams in the NFC West.

"We still plan to give Adrian Peterson the ball," Bruce Arians said. "Adrian's first game as a Cardinal was a success. His next game, not so much. Hopefully, that big first game was not a fluke. Adrian's current nickname is 'All Day;' hopefully, it won't become 'One Day.'"

The 49ers lost 33-10 at Philadelphia and are 0-8. But help is on the way after San Fran landed Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with New England.

"This could be the moment that started the 49ers return to glory," Kyle Shanahan said. "That is, if Garoppolo is the next Joe Montana and not the next Matt Cassel. But I think our general manager John Lynch knows what he's doing; but I also know the Patriots know what they're doing."

Arizona wins, 26-20.

Washington @ Seattle (-7½)

The Seahawks won a 41-38 shootout over the Texans, led by Russell Wilson, who passed for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"452 is a lot of yardage for one game of passing for this team," Wilson said. "It's also a lot of yardage for one season of rushing. But we just acquired Duane Brown from the Texans, and while he's not a center, he'll be the centerpiece of our offensive line.

"We really wanted to put Houston owner Bob McNair is his place. Here's an interesting fact: McNair owns lots of companies, and you can easily identify his company cars, because they all have 'white hoods.'

"But I have to hand it to our offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for calling an awesome game. Darrell is an offensive genius, and always makes creative and innovative play calls. I bet if you asked Bob McNair to comment, he would call Darrell a 'grand wizard.'"

The Redskins gave up 150 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns to Ezekiel Elliott as the Cowboys left Washington with a 33-19 win. Washington is 3-4, three games behind the 7-1 Eagles in the NFC East.

"Elliott is a monster," Jay Gruden said. "And I'm sure I can't be the only person to say that.

"Our offensive line has been decimated by injuries. As if we needed another reason for Kirk Cousins not wanting to be here."

Seattle wins, 33-23.

Kansas City @ Dallas (-½)

First, the good news: the Cowboys beat the Redskins, 33-19. Now, the bad news: on Monday, a judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction of Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension.

"I won't stop fighting for Ezekiel's cause," Jerry Jones. "I'm willing to take this case to the nation's most influential courtroom — Judge Judy.

"I think Ezekiel will use his time off to rest and recover. He's got six weeks off. He'll use his hiatus as a 'bye-atus.' A mere six-game suspension won't stop Ezekiel. He'll come back in Week 15 stronger than ever. So, take note, NFL disciplinarians, you can't stop Ezekiel, you can only temporarily restrain him."

The Chiefs ended their two-game losing streak with a 29-19 win over the Broncos on Monday night. The Kansas City defense forced 5 turnovers, while Travis Kelce had 7 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown.

"Travis may not quite have passed Rob Gronkowski as the NFL's best tight end," Andy Reid said. "But if you're gauging the 'NFL's best tight end whose body is comprised of only human parts,' then Travis is certainly is the best."

Dallas wins, 30-25.

Oakland @ Miami (+2½)

After playing well in relief of Jay Cutler against the Jets, Matt Moore was terrible in a 40-0 Miami loss in Baltimore on Thursday night. Moore was sacked 3 times and tossed 2 interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.

"Moore can make Cutler look great one minute," Adam Gase said, "and horrible the next. Jay's perfectly capable of doing that himself.

"Let's face it. Matt is not a good quarterback. If you asked me, 'Does Matt Moore suck?' I would answer in terms that anyone, including a former Dolphins offensive line coach, could understand. So, my answer would be yes, he 'does blow.'

"We traded away Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round pick. We made them an offer they couldn't refuse. We said to the Eagles, 'Here, you take these 3 yards, and we'll throw in the cloud of dust."

The Raiders lost 34-14 in Buffalo, as Oakland turned the ball over 4 times and struggled to move the ball.

"I was recently speaking with Adam Gase," Jack Del Rio said. "He said if there ever was an opportunity for a Lane Kiffin/Nick Saban reunion, the Raiders/Dolphins game is it. I take his word for it. If there's anyone who has knowledge of two men who have no business coaching in the NFL, it's another man who has no business coaching in the NFL."

Miami wins, 27-24.

Detroit at Green Bay (+2½)

The Lions lost 20-15 to the Steelers at Ford Field on Sunday. Matthew Stafford passed for 423 yards, but Pittsburgh stuffed Detroit on two goal line stands, and the Lions managed only 5 Matt Prater field goals.

"Some say we need more creative play calling in the red zone," Jim Caldwell said. "So, in order to 'break the plane,' we need to 'break the plain.'"

The Packers had a Week 8 bye and are 4-3 in the NFC North with a crucial division matchup with the Lions ahead.

"Brett Hundley has had ample time to prepare for his starting role," Mike McCarthy said. "You can safely say he's a full-fledged Green Bay starting quarterback. He's got the playbook down. We've also given him a phone with penis-texting capabilities, a Vicodin prescription, a few leads on cheap product endorsement deals, and Jenn Sterger's phone number. You could say he's 'fully-Brett-ed.'"

Packers win, 22-19.

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