NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 3

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

N.Y. Jets @ Cleveland (-3)

The Browns lost a heartbreaking 21-18 decision at New Orleans. Zane Gonzalez missed 2 field goals and 2 extra points, as the Browns dropped to 0-1-1.

"Having Gonzalez as our kicker?" Hue Jackson said. "Well, it's 'no good.' We cut Gonzalez, so we had to find a new kicker. We searched far and wide left and wide right, and found our guy in Greg Joseph.

"It's unfortunate any time an undefeated season comes to an end. We were winless last year, so a tie in our first game looked pretty good. 0-0-1 looked great to us, and even better in a mirror.

"Sadly, we had to part ways with Josh Gordon. Josh has had the same issue for years, and we've given him the benefit of doubt. Ironically, it was us who sobered up and made the decision. We wish Josh the best and hope his future is full of good health. In other words, 'Cheers!'"

"Of course, we're disappointed we had to part ways with Josh. He's talented. Josh once led the league in receiving yards, and currently leads the league in second chances, burned bridges, and camel-back-breaking straws. He will be missed."

Sam Darnold struggled in his second start as the Jets lost at home to the Dolphins 20-12. Darnold threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 3 times.

"We realize Sam will go through some growing pains," Todd Bowles. "But not his head. Have you seen that noggin? It's already huge."

Browns win, 19-13.

New Orleans @ Atlanta (-3)

The Saints bounced back from their Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay with a narrow 21-18 win over the visiting Browns. The Saints trailed for most of the game, but New Orleans put 18 points on the board in the fourth quarter.

"You could say we pulled that one out of our behinds," Sean Payton said. "The Browns let that one get away. I bet they were kicking themselves, but not before they auditioned some kickers to find one who could successfully kick themselves.

"Michael Thomas is coming up big four us. He's on pace for 224 receptions, which is an unbelievable number, but it probably wouldn't be enough to satisfy Antonio Brown."

Atlanta outgunned the Panthers 31-24. Matt Ryan passed for 2 scores, and also rushed for 2 scores.

"It appeared Matt was doing his best Cam Newton impression," Dan Quinn said. "Now, Matt's no Superman, and he surely doesn't wear a cape, but he does vacation in Cape Cod."

Saints win, 27-24.

San Francisco @ Kansas City (-6½)

Patrick Mahomes passed for 6 touchdowns in the Chiefs' 42-30 upset win over the Steelers at Heinz Field.

"The Steeler just had no answer for Mahomes," Andy Reid said. "But I'm guessing Mike Tomlin has lots of questions for the Pittsburgh defense. Rumor has it Tomlin was yelling at defensive coordinator Keith Butler. It's unclear what he was yelling, but it was either 'Make a stop' or 'Make it stop.'

"This is Patrick's first start at Arrowhead Stadium. We're calling it 'Mahomes in Mahouse.' And you can best believe he'll be looking for his favorite target, Tyreek Hill. Tyreek has incredible speed. He likes to be called 'Cheetah,' but unfortunately, that name is copyrighted by the Patriots."

The 49ers evened their record with a 30-27 win over the visiting Lions. Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"I had a disappointing opener against the Vikings," Garoppolo said. "I was feeling down on myself, but I was encouraged by the words of several teammates, who boosted my confidence to make sure my performance didn't suffer. A good friend tells me those are called 'fluffers.' She also told me Vikings helmets make her horny.

"A 49ers/Chiefs matchup is special. These are the only two teams that Joe Montana played with. They're calling it the 'Skechers Bowl,' with the winning quarterback receiving a shoe contract worth hundreds."

Can the 49ers stop Mahomes and the dynamic Chiefs offense? There's only one way to do it, and that's keep them off the field. And the way to do that is to keep your offense on the field, which entails keeping the Chiefs defense on the field, which opposing offenses have found difficult. Why? Because they score so darn fast on the Chiefs defense.

Kansas City wins, 31-27.

Oakland @ Miami (-3)

The Raiders blew a 12-0 lead at Denver and eventually lost, 20-19, on Brandon McManus' 36-yard field goal with 6 seconds left. Oakland dropped to 0-2 on the season.

"It wasn't supposed to start like this," Jon Gruden said. "But what better place to have second thoughts as an NFL coach than Miami?

"Offensively, help is on the way. Martavis Bryant is back with the team, and the NFL is letting him play while his year-long suspension is under appeal. I think I've lost count of how many suspensions Martavis has appeal. It seems excessive. Just add that to the long list of things he's abused.

"We have to find creative ways to get pressure on the quarterback. I've asked my defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to bring me a list of suggestions. In turn, he's asked me to attend a Richard Pryor film festival, where the only movie on the bill is 'The Mack.'"

The Dolphins shut down the Jets on their way to a 20-12 win. Ryan Tannehill threw for 2 scores and added 44 yards on the ground. Miami is 2-0 and leading the AFC East.

"Ryan Fitzpatrick may be lighting it up in Tampa," Tannehill said, "but we've got our own 'Fitzpatrick' here in Miami. His name is 'Minkah' and he plays safety. And much like Ryan, we eventually expect Minkah to be responsible for a lot of interceptions."

A desperate Gruden gives his team a passionate pre-game speech, imploring them to give their all, leave it all on the field, and do not mention Khalil Mack's name under any circumstances. The speech goes down in the annals of Raiders lore as the "Pride of Chucky" speech.

Oakland wins, 24-21.

Buffalo @ Minnesota (-16½)

The Bills lost their home-opener 31-20 to the Chargers in rookie Josh Allen's first start.

"Josh was probably thrust into starting before he was ready," Doug McDermott said. "But when the alternative is Nathan Peterman, you should expect thrusting. When Nathan was relegated on the depth chart, he went clear through the bench faster than a member of the Bills Mafia goes through a table.

"More importantly, we had a player quit at halftime. Vontae Davis left at halftime and later announced his retirement. He literally 'took it to the house.'"

The Vikings played Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to a stalemate in a 29-29 tie. Daniel Carlson missed 2 field goals in overtime, the last from 35 yards as time expired.

"Carlson's right leg is practically as useless as Aaron Rodgers' left. "I said Rodgers could walk on water; Carlson can just walk. Carlson cleared 'wavers,' because we're saying 'goodbye.' And on his way out, he should pass Dan Bailey on his way in. Dan is our new kicker, and he should fit in well here, because he's never won a Super Bowl, either.

"And on the subject of Super Bowls, there has been eight Super Bowl losses between these two teams. That's why they're calling it the 'Super-Disappointment Bowl.'"

In a stunning moves, the Vikes sign Vontae Davis, not to their roster, but to throw in the ceremonial first towel.

Vikings win, 31-10.

Indianapolis @ Philadelphia (-6½)

The Colts picked up a road victory with a 21-9 win over the Redskins. Andrew Luck passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Indy defense kept Washington out of the end zone.

"Here's my favorite stat of the game," Frank Reich said. "Luck only threw the ball 31 times, as opposed to 53 the previous week. We need to keep that arm fresh. We don't want Andrew's performance to fall off, or his arm."

The visiting Eagles lost to the Buccaneers, 27-21, as Ryan Fitzpatrick torched Philly for 4 TDs, including one to former Eagle DeSean Jackson.

"Carson Wentz will play on Sunday," Doug Pederson said. "He's been cleared by doctors, and endorsed by the hardcore hip-hop, clown-loving segment of my fan club, the 'Dougalos.'"

Eagles win, 28-24.

Green Bay @ Washington (+3)

The Packers escaped Minnesota with a 29-29 tie with a less-than-100% Aaron Rodgers. Mason Crosby kicked 5 field goals, but missed a potential game-winning 52-yarder as time expired.

"Aaron played a gutsy game," Mike McCarthy said. "I know he was hurting. But the pain tolerance displayed by Green Bay quarterbacks is historic. You could ask Brett Favre what his opinion of pain is, and he'd tell you he's got no feeling one way or the other."

The Redskins offense stagnated in a 21-9 home loss to the Colts.

"Our offensive line play was shoddy," Jay Gruden said. "We didn't give Adrian Peterson any room to run. But Adrian continues to amaze. Even after all these years, AP still lives up to the 'All Day' nickname. And he's still scoring touchdowns. In fact, Peterson's career has been defined by lots of abbreviations, like 'AP,' 'AD,' 'TD,' and 'DSS.'

"Now, we know NFL officiating crews are taking a lot of criticism for their roughing the passer calls. That is totally not fair to them. We respect the job of the officiating crew. Especially here in Washington, D.C., where not only do we respect the officials, we cooperate with them."

Washington wins, 27-23.

Cincinnati @ Carolina (-3)

The Bengals raced to a 21-0 lead over the Ravens and held on to take a 34-23 win last Thursday night.

"We're 2-0," Marvin Lewis said, "and all alone in first place in the AFC North. It's not often you can say 'Bengals' and 'lead' in the same sentence, or at the end of a playoff game.

"A.J. Green was sensational. He had 3 touchdown catches in the first quarter. Believe it or not, that's the first time A.J.'s had 3 TDs in one game. Actually, that shouldn't be that hard to believe, because last year, A.J. did something else he hadn't done before — viciously attack a defensive back."

Despite a big game from Cam Newton, Carolina lost 31-24 in Atlanta. Newton passed for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns, and rushed for 42 yards.

"Once again," Ron Rivera said, "Cam led the team in rushing. That's great for Cam, but not good for the team. If you lead your team in rushing with 42 yards, your team lost, or you play for the Lions, or both.

"Now, who would win a fight between a tiger and a panther? I don't know, but I'd pay to see it, and so would fans, who would surely make a 'feline' to the ticket booth."

Bengals win, 24-21.

Tennessee @ Jacksonville (-7½)

With Marcus Mariota out with an elbow injury, the Titans controlled the clock with the run game, and scored a touchdown on a fake punt in a 20-17 win over the Texans.

"Marcus is in a pair of walking boots," Mike Vrabel said. "No, he doesn't have two injured legs, that's just what you call footwear for someone who's always injured. Marcus is an avid outdoorsman, and always camps in a blue tent."

The Jaguars physically dominated the Patriots in a 31-20 win. Blake Bortles passed for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville defense kept Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in check.

"We talked the talk," Jalen Ramsey said, "and we walked the walk. We also ran the run, and passed the pass."

Jacksonville wins, 20-17.

Denver @ Baltimore (-5)

The Ravens fell down 21-0 early at Cincinnati, and suffered an eventual 34-23 loss. The Bengals stopped the Baltimore rush attack, forcing Joe Flacco to throw 55 times.

"Luckily," John Harbaugh said, "we've had 10 days to prepare for the Broncos. That's three extra days to convince myself that Flacco is my best option at quarterback. Let's face it, though, Lamar Jackson has been breathing down Joe's neck since he arrived in Baltimore. But that's only because Lamar wants to know what a real NFL quarterback smells like."

Baltimore wins, 22-18.

N.Y. Giants @ Houston (-6)

The Giants lost 20-13 at Dallas, as Eli Manning and Saquan Barkley struggled behind a makeshift offensive line. Manning was sacked 6 times, while Barkley rushed for only 28 yards, although he had 14 receptions for 80 yards.

"There's smashmouth football," Pat Shurmur said. "And then there's 'mushmouth' football, which is what you get when you hear Eli talk after suffering 5 sacks.

"But we'll make some adjustments on the line, and you'll see improvement in a New York minute. That's quicker than the time Eli has to pass, which is a 'New York second.'"

The Texans lost 20-17 at home to the Titans. Houston out-gained Tennessee 437 to 283, but didn't make enough plays in the end.

"I've got to play much better," J.J. Watt said. "I don't even have a sack this year. It seems I've become more famous for my efforts raising money after disasters than I have for my exploits on the field. That has to change. From now own, if you need a handout, you can 'go fund yourself.'

"Stopping Odell Beckham, Jr. is our key to victory. Beckham is a great receiver. He's got speed, great hands, and fabulous hair. Too much praise? It's all part of my master plan to defend Beckham. 'Butter' him up, jam him at the line, and render OBJ nothing more that PBJ."

Giants win, 23-21.

L.A. Chargers @ L.A. Rams (-7)

The Chargers whipped the Bills 31-20 in Buffalo to even their record at 1-1. Melvin Gordon scored 3 touchdowns, and the Bolts defense forced 2 turnovers and sacked Josh Allen 5 times.

"I think it says alot about our team that we had 5 sacks and forced 2 turnovers," Philip Rivers said. "I think it says even more about us that we had 5 sacks with 2 turnovers against the Bills and only won by 11 points."

The Rams powered past the Cardinals 34-0 and lead the NFC West with a 2-0 record. Todd Gurley rushed for 3 touchdowns and has 4 on the year.

"That's why Todd is the NFL's highest-paid running back," Sean McVay said. "Because he shows up for work.

"We plan to emerge from this game undefeated. That should officially give us the title of this city's real team, and the Chargers can lay sole claim to the city of 'Loss Angeles.'"

Rams win, 28-24.

Chicago @ Arizona (+6)

The Bears beat the visiting Seahawks 24-17 on Monday night. Chicago sacked Russell Wilson 6 times, including 1 by Khalil Mack.

"Khalil has made a splash since we acquired him in a trade with the Raiders," Matt nagy said. "In turn, the Raiders defense has been watered down.'"

Arizona fell to 0-2 with a 34-0 blowout loss to the Rams in Los Angeles.

"That was embarrassing," Steve Wilks said. "But before we talk football, let me address my name. My name is 'Steve Wilks.' I am not 'Steve Wilkos,' the former director of security of the Jerry Springer Show and current talk show host. But in times like these, I wish I was."

Chicago wins, 24-13.

Dallas @ Seattle (-1)

The Seahawks struggled protecting Russell Wilson in a 24-17 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field. Wilson was sacked 6 times and had 2 turnovers as the Seahawks fell to 0-2.

"There's a new 'Legion of Doom' in Seattle," Pete Carroll said. "And it's called our offensive line.

"On the bright side, our defense played well. We signed Mychal Kendricks, who was recently charged with insider trading, and we've been criticized for it. Sure, Mychal did something wrong. But the notion that a person can't change, well, I don't put stock into it.

"We're 0-2, but in these tough times, it's important to stick together as a team. I'm a big proponent of the buddy system. That means each of us should select a teammate to pair up with. I choose Russell."

The Cowboys defense shut down the Giants, and Dak Prescott tossed a 66-yard TD pass to Tavon Austin to power Dallas to a 20-13 win.

"It's unacceptable," Jerry Jones said, "that another team would sign a convicted criminal before we could."

Seattle wins, 19-17.

New England @ Detroit (+6½)

The Patriots were manhandled in Jacksonville, 31-20, in a rematch of last year's AFC title game.

"We knew it would be a physical game," Tom Brady said, "and we failed our physical.

"There was a lot of trash talk in that game. I've never heard so many four-letter words, which is certainly understandable seeing that the 'Jags' and 'Pats' were playing.

"We acquired Josh Gordon on Monday in a trade with the Browns. Josh is a true deep threat, so excitement has spiked here in Foxboro, as has sales of Amy Winehouse music."

The Lions fell to 0-2 after their 30-27 loss in San Francisco.

"I'm looking forward to matching wits with Bill Belichick," Matt Patricia said. "This is a classic case of the student taking on the teacher. But really, it all comes down to the players. Now, if Belichick were a player, his position would not be receiver, it would be 'receivee,' because he's been 'caught' so many times."

Patriots win, 33-24.

Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay (+2)

The Steelers were torched by the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who passed for 6 touchdowns to 5 different receivers.

"I've seen the future of quarterbacking," Mike Tomlin said, "and it is Patrick Mahomes. But let's face it, he has so many weapons on offense that make him such a better player. I think that's called 'supportive teammates.' And speaking of Le'Veon Bell, he's out for Monday night's game. He's on the injury report, with hurt feelings.

"I don't know what was up with our defense. I'm sure the Steelers players from the 1970's are wondering what happened. Well, this city is no longer defined by steel, and neither is its curtain."

Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 402 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Bucs 27-21 win over the visiting Eagles. Fitzpatrick leads the NFL in passing yardage with 819 yards.

"Fitzpatrick is awesome," Dirk Koetter said. "Heck, he's more than just awesome — he's 'Uber-'awesome. Jameis Winston may not have a job when he returns from suspension. In fact, I might just tell him to go home. I won't tell him to 'Take an Uber.' No, after three weeks off, he needs some exercise, so he should 'take a hike.'

"Fitzpatrick is making good defenses look ordinary. That begs the question, 'What will he make ordinary defenses look like?' I guess playing the Steelers is a good place to find out."

Antonio Brown puts on his big boy pants, and straps his belt on extra tight, because his size is "baby," and catches 2 touchdown passes,

Pittsburgh wins, 34-27.

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