NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 9

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Oakland @ San Francisco (-3)

The 1-7 49ers and 1-6 Raiders meets at Levi's Stadium in what they're calling "Shitty By the Bay." The 49ers tumbled 18-15 to the Cardinals in Glendale last week.

"It's been a difficult year for both of these teams," Kyle Shanahan said. "And I certainly can't blame anyone, not even a quarterback, for crying about it.

"Jon Gruden is 1-6 as a head coach, and 1-7 if you count losing the locker room."

The Raiders lost their third straight game, losing 42-28 to the visiting Colts. Oakland is last in the AFC West.

"We were fine offensively," Jon Gruden said. "We just couldn't stop the run. Even our 'West Coast Defense' is struggling.

"Construction on our stadium in Las Vegas is moving along. It's a big deal there. I've heard some of my players talk about the 'huge erection in Vegas.' I assume they're talking about the stadium. They've also mentioned a 'huge dick in Oakland.' I assume they're not talking about me."

San Francisco wins, 29-24.

Chicago @ Buffalo (+8½)

The Bears beat the visiting Jets, 24-10, to snap a two-game losing streak.

"And we did it without Khalil Mack," Matt Nagy said. "Fielding a pass rush without Mack is like coaching a team with Jon Gruden.

"Mitch Tribisky arrived at Soldier Field dressed as Mike Ditka. He looked a lot like him. And to make the costume even more authentic, Mitch inquired into trading our entire 2019 draft for a running back."

The Bills lost 25-6 to the Patriots on Monday night.

"I think we held our own," Sean McDermott said. "We held our own because we couldn't hold the Patriots.' Of course, I'm referring to their jock straps.

"Our offense just isn't doing anything. They can't move the ball or the chains, and for our defense, the offense is the ball and chain. It's what's known as a 'too mi-nute offense.'"

Chicago wins, 24-10.

Kansas City @ Cleveland (+8½)

The Chiefs continued to roll with a 30-23 win over the Broncos, turning back Denver for the second time this year. Patrick Mahomes passed for 303 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Patrick is making a case for league MVP," Andy Reid said. "We had a good feeling when we made him our starter that he would challenge for the honor. That's why I titled an envelope 'Case For League MVP' back in March and mailed it to some colleagues. Not long after that, John Elway signed Case Keenum. John Elway is a colleague of mine, and jumps to conclusions.

"We can't afford a letdown at Cleveland. They're still a dangerous team. They have a strong defense, solid weapons on offense, and a coaching staff that is going places. Baker Mayfield and Mahomes actually met in college. The final score of that game was 66-59. Mayfield's Oklahoma Sooners won that game. But let's face it, Baker Mayfield is no Patrick Mahomes. Baker is also no Curtis Mayfield, but he is super fly for a white guy."

The Browns lost 33-18 at Pittsburgh to fall to 2-5-1, last in the AFC North. On Monday, the team fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

"That's right," Baker Mayfield said. "Another head coach gone in Cleveland. It's only fitting that I'm the one to announce the latest 'turnover' for the Browns. I heard that the last six coach firings in Cleveland have come after losses to Pittsburgh. I guess I'm surprised we haven't had even more head coaches.

"But defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named interim head coach, and I'm sure he's got his work cut out in defending Mahomes. Mahomes is such a huge part of the Chiefs' offense, it's difficult to quantify. So, surprisingly, Williams refuses to put a price on his head."

Kansas City wins, 31-25.

N.Y. Jets @ Miami (-3)

The Texans crushed the Dolphins 42-23 on Thursday night. Miami surrendered 5 touchdown passes to Deshaun Watson, and have given up 74 points in their last two games.

"Our defense was so bad," Adam Gase said, "I don't even know what to call it. So I'll just call it the 'No Name Defense.' I'm sure the 1972 Dolphins won't mind. Call it what you will, but defensive coordinator Matt Burke needs to make adjustments. Like, to his address, for example.

"What we need is a spiritual lift. And I think former Dolphin Ricky Williams can help with that. He is the definition of 'free spirit,' so he has plenty of spirit to offer. The only question is, 'Does he live nearby?' The answer is 'Yes,' because Ricky lives in a van down by the ocean."

The Jets lost 24-10 to the Bears at Soldier Field as Sam Darnold struggled, completing only 14 of 29 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.

"We're 3-5 for the third straight year," Todd Bowles said. "That's the kind of consistency that leads to job security, likely as the defensive coordinator at an NCAA Division II school.

"I know I'm on the hot seat. But being on the hot seat doesn't preclude success in New York. Rex Ryan was on the 'hot seat' for six season as Jets head coach, but only because his personal bathroom featured a heated toilet seat."

Jets win, 24-16.

Detroit @ Minnesota (-5½)

The Vikings lost 30-23 to the Saints in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game.

"There was no 'Minneapolis Miracle' this time," Kirk Cousin said. "Besides, I don't believe in miracles. Otherwise, I would have stayed in Washington and waited for the Redskins to offer me a long-term contract.

"Despite the loss, Adam Thielen continued to dominate. He posted his eighth consecutive 100-yard receiving game, tying Calvin Johnson. Adam is the best wide receiver in the game. We call him 'The Great White Open.'"

The Lions lost 28-14 at home to the Seahawks, who attacked the Detroit defense through the air. The Lions surrendered 237 yards passing and 3 touchdowns to Russell Wilson.

"Golden Tate used to be a Seahawk," Matt Patricia said, "and he used to be a Lion, because we traded him, and now, he's an Eagle. That really boosts Philly's chances of repeating. I'm pretty sure they'll throw Tate a nice party welcoming him as an Eagle-to-be. It'll be quite the 'Golden shower.'

"Although he struggled against Seattle, we think we've found our running back of the future in Kerryon Johnson," Matt Patricia said. "He's a rookie, and our veteran running backs have played a big part in shaping him. He's been heavily influenced by LeGarrette Blount. That's why we're so high on him."

Minnesota wins, 28-24.

Atlanta @ Washington (-1½)

The Falcons had a Week 8 bye to assess what has been a disappointing season so far. Atlanta is 3-4, tied for last in the NFC South with the Bucs.

"If we're going to keep pace in the NFC South," Dan Quinn said, "we need to go on a hot streak. And I'm challenging Julio Jones to be the one to lead it. It's a big challenge. I'm drawing a line, and daring Julio to cross it. That line is the goal line.

"This is only our eighth game, but we already face a must-win situation. And it's the first of many. As a head coach, all I can do is tell my team, 'Must-win, baby.'"

The Redskins beat the Giants 20-13 at MetLife Stadium to improve to 5-2. Washington shut down New York's run game, while Adrian Peterson rushed for 149 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown.

"Among the things A.P. has been known to punish," Jay Gruden said, "defenses are second on that list.

"Adrian passed Tony Dorsett for ninth on the NFL's all-time leading rushers list. Yes, there are some lists A.P. does want to be on."

Washington builds an early lead, and fights off a late Falcons rally.

Redskins win, 30-24.

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-6½)

Tampa lost 37-34 at Cincinnati to fall to 3-4 in the NFC South. Jameis Winston struggled and was yanked after his fourth interception. Ryan Fitzpatrick led a comeback that just fell short.

"We were hoping Jameis would excel and spark us to a long winning streak," Dirk Koetter said. "In other words, we needed him to be a 'roll' model. I know that's a difficult position to put him in, but that's only fair, because Jameis has done nothing but put coaches in difficult positions.

"But it seems 'Fitzmagic' is still alive and well. Ryan led the team on a 10-play, 88-yard drive that culminated in the game-tying TD pass to O.J. Howard. It's what Jameis would call an 'Uber drive.'"

The Panthers KO'd the Ravens 36-21 at Bank Of America Stadium. Carolina racked up 386 yards of total offense against the NFL's top-ranked defense.

"We knew the Ravens' defense was formidable," Cam Newton said, "but we refused to let them dictate what we do on offense. I don't bow for anyone, but we're happy to 'take a knee' on the Ravens defense, especially with a 15-point lead and our backup quarterback in the game."

"Our defense will have to be prepared for Fitzpatrick. We know his history. He might throw 4 interceptions in a game; then again, he might throw 4 touchdowns. Fitzpatrick is always in the conversation for the title of the NFL's 'Most Variable Player.'"

Carolina wins, 33-22.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-3)

The Steelers beat the Browns 33-18. Antonio Brown and James Conner had two touchdowns apiece as Pittsburgh held on to first place in the AFC North.

"Those two guys get game balls," Mike Tomlin said. "As for Le'Veon Bell's supposed return to the team — it's 'ball game.'

"Besides, I'm afraid Le'Veon's presence could ruin our team chemistry, if you get my drift. I think he's enjoying his freedom a little too much. He's making rap music and hobnobbing at South Beach nightclubs. Come on. I'm not saying Le'Veon's smoking weed. Wait, yes I am. Of course, he may claim he's a victim of second-hand smoke. Technically, that's probably true, because in this case, 'second-hand smoke' means he's smoking with two hands.

"These teams don't like each other, but at least with the Ravens, we know the hits will be clean. That's opposed to the Bengals, whose hits are often so scary, it makes your forearm shiver."

The Ravens lost 36-21 to the Panthers in Charlotte and have now lost two in a row. Joe Flacco had trouble against the Carolina defense, completing only 22-of-39 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown, with 2 interceptions.

"We're never really sure which Joe we'll get," John Harbaugh said. "Against the Panthers, we got the 'Say it Ain't So-So' Joe."

Ravens win, 27-21.

Houston @ Denver (-2½)

Deshaun Watson passed for 5 touchdowns in Houston's 42-23 win over the Dolphins on Thursday night.

"Just as importantly," Bill O'Brien said, "Deshaun wasn't sacked a single time. That means we can breathe easy, and so can his lungs.

"After an 0-3 start, we've reeled off 5 consecutive wins. But just like a kid dressed as a Houston Texan for Halloween, that doesn't scare anyone.

The Broncos lost 30-23 to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Case Keenum had 2 TD passes, but also had 2 turnovers.

"For every touchdown Case gives us," Von Miller said, "he often gives us an equal number of turnovers. So, he's hurting us with turnovers, but he's not killing us. That's why his nickname is the 'Humane Turnover Machine.'

"I guarantee that if we beat the Texans, there will be a party at my house. Chad Kelly will not be invited. You've obviously heard the story about Chad wandering drunk into a stranger's home plopping himself down on their couch. That makes Chad 'sofa king stupid.'

"Chad's uncle is former Bill and NFL legend Jim Kelly. Jim is NFL royalty; that makes Chad a royal 'F-up.'"

Broncos win, 27-24.

L.A. Chargers @ Seattle (-1½)

The Chargers had a Week 8 bye after their 20-19 Week 7 win in London. Los Angeles is 5-2, in second in the AFC West behind the 7-1 Chiefs.

"We like our position," Philip Rivers said. "Our nickname is the Chargers — we're always within 'striking' distance.

"We know the Seattle crowd will be loud. They're called the '12th Man,' and that's also what we call a capacity crowd at the Stub Hub Center."

The rested Seahawks beat the Lions at Ford Field behind 237 yards passing and 3 touchdowns from Russell Wilson.

"Russell is the heart and soul of this team," Pete Carroll said. "I love him like a son. Many would say he's my 'favorite son,' even my own sons."

Seahawks win, 28-24.

L.A. Rams @ New Orleans (-2)

The Saints beat the Vikings 30-23 at US Bank Stadium on Sunday night. New Orleans improved to 6-1 and 4-0 on the road.

"I thought we mixed things up well on offense," Sean Payton said. "We ran some, we passed some, and we utilized Taysom Hill, the 'Man of All Positions.' He's our most versatile weapon on offense. He can line up anywhere on the field, and score from anywhere. We call him 'Kama Sutra.'"

The Rams came from behind to turn back the Packers 29-27 to remain undefeated. After a slow start, Jared Goff passed for 3 touchdowns, and the Rams forced a late turnover to secure the win.

"How about Todd Gurley going down before scoring to kill the clock?" Sean McVay said. "Not scoring on purpose? Jeff Fisher lasted five seasons as Rams coach doing that.

"We can't let Drew Brees have a clean pocket to pass in. We have to get pressure on him, and if anyone knows how to bring pressure on a QB, it's Wade Phillips. Wade's been doing it for so long, he once dialed up pressure on a rotary phone."

Saints win, 34-31.

Green Bay @ New England (-6½)

The Patriots beat the scrappy Bills 25-6 on Monday night, led by a defense that forced 2 turnovers and scored a defensive TD. "We weren't able to acquire a wide receiver before the trade deadline," Tom Brady said, "so the pressure is on Josh Gordon to be our downfield threat. He's still learning the nuances of our complicated offense, so we're trying to keep his routes simple. Our favorite pass play to call for him is the 'straight and narrow.'"

The Packers fell short in their upset bid over the Rams, losing 29-27 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Aaron Rodgers passed for 286 yards and a touchdown, but a late turnover on a kickoff return derailed any hope for a game-winning drive.

"We were down, 29-27," Rodgers said. "I was thinking the game could end in one of three ways: win, lose, or Ty. It was the latter, caused when Ty Montgomery fumbled the kickoff after the Rams scored the go-ahead field goal. He was specifically told to take the touchdown. I guess he just suffered a brain fart, possibly the biggest in Packers football history. In Green Bay, that makes him a Raven. In Los Angeles, that makes him 'Fart Starr.'

"My knee still aches, but I'm getting lots of support from my training staff, as well as others. Like Brett Favre. Brett texted me the word 'penis.' It was an obvious misspelling. Brett meant to say 'pennies,' which I believe is his way of saying 'put some copper on it.'"

Patriots win, 34-30.

Tennessee @ Dallas (-6½)

The Cowboys had a Week 8 bye, and used the time to boost their wide receiving corps by trading for Amari Cooper from the Raiders. Dallas sent a 2019 first-round pick for Cooper, who mostly struggled this season, but has the breakaway speed the Cowboys have lacked.

"Everyone deserves a second chance," Jerry Jones said. "Even players without a criminal record.

"The bye week gave us some extra time to get Amari up to speed on the offense. Dak Prescott played a big part in that by going over plays in great detail with Amari. Ezekiel Elliott says, 'Feed me.' Amari Cooper says 'Spoon feed me.'"

The Titans lost 20-19 to the Chargers in London in Week 7.

"Win or lose," Mike Vrabel said, "any time you can say you went to 'Pound Town,' it's a plus."

Cowboys win, 21-13.

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