Thursday, November 9, 2017

NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 10

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

Seattle @ Arizona (+6)

Seattle lost 17-14 at home to the Redskins, as Blair Walsh missed 3 field goals that essentially allowed Washington to steal the win.

"Blair was wide left on all three," Pete Carroll said. "But here's something that he's 'good' on — he's 'good as gone.' But do we have the right to complain? Walsh practically handed us a playoff win back in 2016. So, do I keep Walsh, or cut him? I guess I have a decision to make. And here is my decision: we're going for it ... if it's fourth down from anywhere in Arizona territory.

"With Drew Stanton at quarterback, we know the Cards will want to run the ball. And that means a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson. And you can surely bet we're going to stack the line of scrimmage to stop him. Sure, A.P.'s a legend, so what you'll see on Thursday night is the 'stuff' of legends."

The Cardinals beat the 49ers, 20-10, as Adrian Peterson piled up 159 yards on the ground.

"Arizona appears to be a good home for Adrian," Bruce Arians said. "And of all people, A.P. should know the importance of a good home.

"We know the Seahawks will be arriving here in a bad mood, because they always are. But they just lost a game they should have won, and I bet, despite their troubles with Blair Walsh, they're successfully kicking themselves for that loss."

After choking against the Redskins, the Seahawks face a semi-must win situation. The Seattle defense forces Arizona's hand, which is Stanton's arm, and force 2 Stanton turnovers.

Seahawks win, 28-23.

New Orleans @ Buffalo (+2)

The Bills were blown out 34-21 by the Jets on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, snapping Buffalo's two-game winning streak.

"We got flattened with military precision," Sean McDermott said. "You could say the Jets 'tanked' us.

"But we refuse to be defined by our losses. This is 2017, not 1991-1995. As they say here in Buffalo, it's time to 'circle the wagons.' And no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, at least according to Chris Berman. And, according to Berman, my name is 'Sean McDer-Mott the Hoople' or 'Sean McDer-Mott in This House.'"

The Saints crushed the visiting Buccaneers 30-10, powered by a big day from Alvin Kamara, who logged 152 total yards and 2 touchdowns. New Orleans is 7-2, on top in the NFC South.

"Kamara was a star at the University Of Tennessee," Sean Payton said. "As you know, the Vols have a big 'T' on their helmet. Add a 'C' and an 'E' on either side and you get 'CTE' on a helmet, which was the unofficial logo for the Saints bounty program back in the day. Or so I've heard.

"The Bills recently added Kelvin Benjamin, which really beefs up their wide receiver corps. We saw him twice a year when he was with Carolina, so we're well aware of what Benjamin brings to the table. It's usually lots of food."

Buffalo wins, 23-20.

Green Bay @ Chicago (-3)

The Packers lost to the Lions 30-17 on Monday night, as the Brett Hundley-led Green Bay offense sputtered, while the Packers defense failed to force a single Detroit punt.

"Our defense can't force a punt," Mike McCarthy said, "but our offense surely can.

"Aaron Rodgers' injury has set our offense back 50 years. Heck, Bart Starr could run the offense we've implemented for Hundley, and I'm talking about current Bart Starr. Bart played for the great Vince Lombardi. When we run our offense at Lambeau, I'm pretty sure you can hear the ghost of Lombardi asking 'What the hell is going on out here?' 'Not much' is the answer you'll get from the 'ghost' of Jordy Nelson. I know Jordy's not dead, but ghost or not, he doesn't strike fear into defenses anymore."

The Bears had a Week 9 bye and are 3-5, last in the NFC North.

"We're in perfect position," John Fox said, "to win the division, assuming NFC North quarterbacks continue to drop like flies. I'm looking at you Matthew Stafford.

"Mitch Trubisky is getting more comfortable with our offense and he's making great progress. I think he's ready to turn the page, to page three of the playbook. And I'm seriously considering replacing Mitch's crayons with real ink pens.

"I've got him on a very short leash right now, but I might let Mitch throw it 10 times someday. Of course, five of those will be shovel passes to Jordan Howard."

Howard rushes for 142 yards on 30 carries, and the Bears prevail, 22-13.

Cleveland @ Detroit (-10½)

The Browns' Week 9 bye was spent in typical Browns fashion, with even more mishandling of their quarterback situation.

"We somehow forgot to file the paperwork in time on a trade for the Bengals A.J. McCarron," Hue Jackson said. "I guess people in the Browns front office can't read their progressions, either. Leave it to the front office of the Dawg Pound to make a boneheaded error.

"We're eyeing a Week 13 return for Josh Gordon. That's assuming all goes as planned, and also assuming he doesn't roll his own 'paperwork.' Josh told GQ magazine that he used drugs or alcohol before every game. That makes him a Cleveland fan."

The Lions beat the Packers 30-17 as Matthew Stafford passed for 361 yards and 2 touchdowns and Matt Prater kicked 3 field goals.

"One of those field goals was a 19-yarder," Jim Caldwell said, "which means we failed to punch it in from inside three yards. If this team has an Achilles Heel, it's red zone offense. Prater seems to be the only Lion who can consistently put the ball in the end zone.

"How bad are the Browns? They're pretty bad, but it's ludicrous to say they could actually lose to the best college team in the nation. There's no doubt in my mind the Browns would win that game, but it would be considered an upset."

Detroit wins, 27-13.

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis (+10)

The Steelers emerge from their Week 9 bye at 6-2 and in control of the AFC North race.

"We're only at the season's halfway point," Mike Tomlin said, "and this team has already been through a lot. For example, there was Antonio Brown's water cooler assault. Jerry Jones would like to point out that Antonio was not charged with a crime. Antonio is fine now, and can be seen on a regular basis making catches, as well as hawking products. What do you get when you cross Antonio Brown and Chunky Max? 'Soupy Sales.'

"Then, there was Martavis Bryant, who was unhappy with his role in the offense, and requested a trade. We said 'no dice,' which basically put Martavis in his place, which is still on the bench.

"Finally, there was JuJu Smith-Schuster, whose bicycle was stolen. Poor JuJu. Now, I wouldn't wish a stolen bike on anyone, except Ben Roethlisberger. Luckily, JuJu got his bike back. That's great. I hear former Steelers Santonio Holmes has taken up biking back in his hometown of Coral Gables, Florida. Not surprisingly, Santonio is 'wheeling and dealing.'"

The Colts held on to beat the Texans, 20-14, led by T.Y. Hilton, who had 175 yards receiving and 2 long touchdowns.

"If you check Hilton's birth certificate," Chuck Pagano said, "you'll see the 'T.Y.' stands for 'Toasted You.' T.Y.'s so fast, he can perform a belly flop in the middle of a touchdown run and still score.

"We finally put Andrew Luck on injured reserved. It's probably the first thing we've done right in the whole Luck situation. I'd say 'high fives all around,' but Andrew's range of motion limitations prevent him from participating. But Andrew will be good as new come September ... of 2019."

The Steelers' defensive game plan calls for several odd formations and disguised coverages, all designed to confuse Jacoby Brissett into thinking he's seeing something that he's actually not. Jim Irsay would call that a defense getting "inside your head."

Steelers win, 30-13.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville (-4½)

The Jaguars smacked the Bengals 23-7 without Leonard Fournette, who was benched for violating team rules. Jacksonville still rushed for 149 yards, while Blake Bortles passed for a touchdown.

"Leonard failed to show us for a team photo," Doug Marrone said. "And it cost him a game. And it will probably cost him some money. So, hear this Leonard: 'say cheese.'

"Jalen Ramsey and Cincinnati's A.J. Green got into an altercation and punches were thrown. I'm not sure what got into Green. He was certainly overheated. Maybe it was from being blanketed by Jalen.

"Blake Bortles played a solid game. Make all the Bortles jokes you want, but Blake is our quarterback. He's my guy. That's why I call him 'Marrone 5.'"

Chargers win, 20-19.

New York Jets @ Tampa Bay (+1)

The Jets crushed the visiting Bills, 34-21, as Matt Forte rushed for 77 yards and 2 scores. The Jets are 4-5 in the AFC East, 2½ games behind the Patriots.

"Matt demanded the ball," Todd Bowles said. "And I gave it to him. I'm a smart enough coach to know that when the players speak, I should listen. So, you see, Bob McNair, you can have the inmates running the prison."

The Bucs were blown out 30-10 by the Saints and have lost five straight. Jameis Winston left the game in the second quarter after re-injuring his right shoulder, then was the instigator in a brawl that eventually led to Mike Evans one-game suspension.

"Mike was just protecting our quarterback," Dirk Koetter said, "which is more than I can say for our offensive line."

If you check our depth chart for quarterbacks, you'll see that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the backup. If you check the depth chart for the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium, you see that the ship is sinking.

Jets win, 24-10.

Cincinnati @ Tennessee (-5)

The Titans registered a tough 23-20 win over the visiting Ravens. At 5-3, the Titans are tied with the Jaguars atop the AFC South. Marcus Mariota threw 2 touchdowns passes, one to Eric Decker, his first TD as a Titan.

"Eric is a fan favorite here in Nashville," Mariota said. "He has his own cheering section high up in the seats at Nissan Stadium. They're called the 'Upper Deckers.'"

The Bengals dropped to 3-5 after losing 23-7 in Jacksonville.

"A.J. Green was ejected for fighting with Jalen Ramsey," Marvin Lewis said. "I'm not sure what Ramsey said, but I'm guessing it was the most offensive thing a Bengal was subject to all day.

"But A.J. knows he was wrong. He just needs to control his agitation. We're going to work on that, by putting him in situations that could cause agitation. The first situation is a drill in which we call him 'Pac Man Burfict.'"

Is Marvin Lewis one of the many NFL head coaches flirting with losing his job? One would think, but Lewis always seems to remain employed. He may be lacking in playoff wins, but he leads the league in second chances and last straws.

Tennessee wins, 24-21.

Minnesota @ Washington (+1½)

The Redskins stunned the Seahawks, 17-14, as Kirk Cousins drove the team 70 yards in 35 seconds, culminating in Rob Kelley's one-yard touchdown run.

"It took me 35 seconds to leave Seattle with a win," Cousins said, "which is less time than it will take me to leave Washington with a $100 million contract.

"We won, but it took a toll on my body. I took 6 sacks, and numerous other hits. Our offensive line is in shambles. In the past, the Redskins teams of old have prided themselves on their offensive lines. The mere suggestion that our current line is comparable to those in the past is 'hogwash.'

The Vikings stand at 6-2, and with a Week 9 bye under their belt, Mike Zimmer's squad is two games ahead of the Packers and Lions in the NFC North.

"We're in great position," Mike Zimmer said. "I can see the playoffs, even with one eye closed. Having a quarterback with playoff experience leading our post-season fortunes? That would be a sight for sore eyes. Case Keenum in that role? That's a sight that makes my eyes sore."

Redskins win, 20-18.

Houston @ Los Angeles Rams (-12)

The Texans lost to the visiting Colts, 20-14, with Tom Savage resuming as the starter after DeShaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. Savage struggled for most of the day, completing only 19-of-44 passes for 219 yards.

"We're screwed," Bill O'Brien said. "Even with two good knees, Tom Savage doesn't give us a leg to stand on.

"We don't plan on making a change at quarterback. And that may be the only way to honestly say 'We're going to move forward with Tom Savage.'"

The Rams destroyed the Giants 51-17 at MetLife Stadium, led by Jared Goff, who passed for 311 yards and 4 touchdowns. Coupled with Seattle's loss to the Redskins, the 6-2 Rams have sole possession of the NFC West lead.

"Now the 2017 Giants can join Jimmy Hoffa," Sean McVay said, "of things that were allegedly buried in the Meadowlands.

"We're scoring 33 points per game. It looks like the 'Greatest Show on Turf' is back. Now, if this game were being played in the city of Houston, home of the World Series champions, our offensive explosion there would be called 'The Greatest Show on Astro-Turf.'"

Rams win, 28-13.

Dallas @ Atlanta (-3)

Behind big days from Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Cole Beasley, the Cowboys beat the Chiefs 28-17 to remain 2½ games behind the Eagles in the NFC East.

"We'd like to thank the courts for granting Ezekiel a temporary stay of his six-game suspension," Jerry Jones said. "It's just more proof a what people have known all along — it's hard for this team to 'stay disciplined.'

"As if the Cowboys needed another 'elephant in the room,' Tony Romo and Deion Sanders are feuding, because Tony said Deion wasn't a good tackler. I have to side with Romo on this. Deion was one of the greatest cover cornerbacks of all time. He could play 'guard,' but he wouldn't play 'tackle.'"

The Falcons lost to the Panthers, 20-17, and fell further down the NFC South standings. Atlanta is 4-4, two games behind the 6-2 Saints.

"This Super Bowl hangover just won't go away," Dan Quinn said. "I guess we have zero-tolerance for devastating Super Bowl losses, just as the Cowboys have 'zero tolerance for domestic violence,' at least according to Jerry Jones. It could be the cataracts, but I think I saw Jerry winking when he said that.

"This game features two owners with totally different personalities and demeanors. But I'll take Arthur Blank over Jerry Jones any day. Arthur is debonaire; Jerry thinks 'debonaire' is French for 'erection.'"

The Falcons start the game by making a concerted effort to get Julio Jones the ball. Jones starts the game by making a concerted effort to catch the ball.

Jones grabs two TD scores and the Falcons win, 27-21.

New York Giants @ San Francisco (+1)

The 49ers fell to 0-9 after last week's home loss to the Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.

"We may be winless," Kyle Shanahan said, "but making the Jimmy Garappolo trade shows our fans that we're serious about turning things around. And I think 49ers fans will be really excited about Jimmy. Jimmy brings the fever, and it's contagious. We'll leave 'The Catch' up to the fans this time."

The Giants were embarrassed by the Rams, 51-17, at MetLife Stadium as the Giants surrendered nearly 500 yards.

"The Rams made it look effortless," Ben McAdoo said, "and so did we. I don't want to accuse my players of quitting on me, but I think they've lost faith in me as a leader, but not as a snake oil salesman, because that's what I look like. Behind my back, my players call me 'SlickAdoo.'"

Giants win, 27-16.

New England @ Denver (+7½)

The Patriots had a Week 9 bye and head to Denver to face the reeling Broncos. New England is 6-2, on top in the AFC East.

"I may be 40," Brady said, "but I still consider myself the best quarterback in the NFL. I use my index finger to indicate that I'm 'No. 1;' my doctors aren't quite on the same page with their index fingers.

"I credit my longevity to my training methods. That includes diet, proper sleep, training, and my favorite, flexibility exercises. Trust me, extreme flexibility will take you far in life. But just to dispel a common Tom Brady myth — I am not from Nantucket.

"If you want to be a record-setter, I recommend that all quarterbacks vow to play into their 40s. And that goes for Brock Osweiler. Brock's a spry 26-years-old; if he puts in 14 more years at his current level of performance, he could seriously mount a challenge to Brett Favre's record of 336 interceptions."

The Broncos lost to the Eagles 51-23 at Lincoln Financial Field as Carson Wentz tossed 4 touchdowns. Brock Osweiler, in his first start of the season, threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 3 times.

"I'm placing our whole team in the 'No Fly Zone,'" Vance Joseph said, "because that performance won't 'fly.'

"We're going to stick with Brock as the starter. He sucks as a quarterback, but he did recently stay at a Holiday Inn, and he also just finished Tom Brady's book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance. The general consensus is this: by the you finish reading that book, Brock's career will be over, and, by the time you finish reading the book's title, Brock's reign as starter will be over."

What would a clearly concerned Vance Joseph do, terrified by the site of Osweiler at quarterback and the Patriots, with a bye week under their belt, approaching? Run.

Denver leans on the running game, picking and choosing their spots for Osweiler to throw 7-yard slants. It keeps the Broncos in it, but Brady maneuvers the offense down the field late, setting up Stephen Gostkowski's long field goal for the win.

Patriots win, 27-24.

Miami @ Carolina (-8½)

The Panthers erased a 10-0 deficit and rushed for 201 yards to beat the Falcons, 20-17. Cam Newton accounted for 86 of the 201 and scored a touchdown.

"I think Cam just decided he needed to take over," Ron Rivera said. "Sometimes, Cam puts his foot down. In most cases, he puts it down his mouth."

The Dolphins lost to the Raiders, 27-24, on Sunday night, as their offense livened up while their defense was unable to stop Marshawn Lynch, who scored 2 touchdowns.

"I'm not sure how we warrant three consecutive prime time games," Adam Gase said. "But I think fans will be very intrigued by a Jay Cutler/Cam Newton battle. People want to know who wears their panties best. I'm guessing Cutler's are crotchless, and Cam's are very stylish, yet far too suggestive."

Panthers win, 27-17.

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