NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 7

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Denver @ Arizona (+2½)

The Broncos lost a close 23-20 decision in chilly Mile High Stadium to the Rams. While the Denver defense kept Jared Goff in check, Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.

"Denver was once known as the 'no-fly zone,'" Vance Joseph said. "Now, it's known as the 'why-fly-when-you-can-run zone.' That's two straight weeks we've allowed a player to rush for over 200 yards. I'm a defensive guy, so it's quite concerning. There's some things I need to talk a look at, like a mirror.

"On the bright side, our defense is getting pressure on the quarterback. On the other hand, our offense is putting pressure on Case Keenum, to perform up to the standards of his paycheck. The big question around town is, 'Who gets 'sacked' first? Me, or Case?'"

Arizona lost to the Vikings 27-17 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Latavius Murray rushed for 155 yards and the Vikes piled up 195 yards as a team on the ground.

"As I've said," Steve Wilks said, "all coaching jobs are in jeopardy, including mine. It's not our offense, but we know at least something may be 'firing' on all cylinders. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could be the first to go. That might be the kick in the butt this team needs. Apparently, heads need to roll before our offense does."

David Johnson racks up 132 yards from scrimmage and scores a touchdown.

Cardinals win, 27-24.

Tennessee @ L.A. Chargers (-6½)

The Titans were shut out 21-0 at home to the Ravens. Baltimore sacked Marcus Mariota 11 times and held the Titans to just 106 yards of total offense.

"That's a huge number of sacks," Mike Vrabel said. "To count those, you would need two hands, plus Bud Adams' middle finger.

"I submit that we were totally dominated. And if Marcus gets roughed up like that again, then I guess I'll be saying, 'Bring out the Gimp.' I'm pretty sure Marcus won't be getting his linemen anything for Christmas, except possibly restraining orders, or t-shirts that say 'Unabated to the QB.'

"Of course, when you can't run the ball, teams can tee off on your quarterback. This franchise once had a dominant run game. It was known as 'Smash and Dash.' Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis are both averaging just over 3 yards per carry. How about we call them 'Crash and Burn,' or 'Trash and Trash?' Or, better yet, 'D's Nots.'"

The Chargers whipped the Browns 38-14 at Cleveland, as Los Angeles racked up 246 yards on the ground, including 132 and 3 touchdowns from Melvin Gordon.

"I had a ball playing in the Dawg Pound," Rivers said. "I've never heard such foul-mouthed trash talk. And that was just me.

"But it's great to get a win in a hostile environment where nearly 100% of the fans are pulling against you. Usually, we call those 'home games,' but it can happen on the road. Sunday's game will take place in London. London is a lot like Los Angeles, because people there don't know anything about football."

Chargers win, 26-13.

New England @ Chicago (+3½)

The Patriots won a 43-40 shootout over the visiting Chiefs on Sunday night. Tom Brady passed for 340 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing score, while Sony Michel added two run scores.

"What a game," Brady said. "I was majorly impressed by Patrick Mahomes. I greeted him after the game and told him that if I could be reincarnated, I'd want to be him. My spiritual and fitness guru Alex Guerrero has convinced me it can be done.

"I also reprimanded our fans for throwing beer on Tyreek Hill. That's just totally wrong to sling a cold beverage at an opponent; it should have been hot clam chowder.

"We'd like to exact a measure of revenge for the 1985, who were annihilated 46-10 by the Bears in Super Bowl XX. In that game, a 'Refrigerator' scored a touchdown for the Bears. Times have changed since then, though. The Pats are coach by a man with the personality of a refrigerator."

The Bears faltered on the road to the Dolphins, losing 31-28 in overtime. Miami didn't surrender a single sack to Khalil Mack and Chicago's fearsome, rush, and Brock Osweiler had three touchdown passes as a late fill-in for the injured Ryan Tannehill.

"I was stunned by our defense's performance," Matt Nagy said. "They were drawing comparisons to dominant Chicago defenses of years past. We gave up 31 points to the Dolphins, for heaven's sake. Just think if we would have played a better offense, like the Rams or Chiefs. Can you imagine how many points they would have scored? We truly would have been the '86' Bears.

"Osweiler is the tallest quarterback in the NFL, so he was able to see over our defense. And he saw that they were 'overrated.'

"I certainly expect Khalil to bounce back with some sacks on Tom Brady. Mack is quickly making a name for himself as one of the greats in a long line of Bears linebackers. There's Dick Butkus, Brian Urlacher, and Mike Singletary. Those are household names in Chicago. When you say 'Singletary' in Chicago, people think of greatness. Now, if you were to say 'Singletary' in Pittsburgh, people automatically think of Terry Bradshaw's marriage history."

Patriots win, 29-27.

Buffalo @ Indianapolis (-7½)

The Bills lost 20-13 to the Texans and dropped to 2-4 in the AFC East. Josh Allen left with an elbow injury in the third quarter, and Nathan Peterman threw 2 interceptions in relief.

"Nathan's problems are all about his mechanics," Doug McDermott said, "so we're going to work diligently on his 'release.'

"Josh is out for the Colts game, so we're starting Derek Anderson. Bills fans are ecstatic.The only thing worse for a Bills fan to hear than the words 'Nathan Peterman' and the words 'Nathan Re-Peterman.'"

The Colts lost a wild 42-34 shootout to the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Andrew Luck completed 23-of-43 passes for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.

"I think it's safe to say Andrew's right shoulder is fully healed," Frank Reich said. "He's at 100%, meaning he's 100% of our offense.

"I'll be facing the team with whom I spent the majority of my playing years with. I was the guy that rallied the Bills from a 32-point deficit in the 1991 wild card playoffs. If we find ourselves with a 32-point lead over the Bills on Sunday, then Nathan Peterman played a whole half."

Colts win, 24-13.

Detroit @ Miami (-4)

With Ryan Tannehill out with an injury, backup Brock Osweiler passed for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Dolphins' 31-28 overtime win over the visiting Bears.

"What a performance by Brock," Adam Gase said. "I can't lie. It was a huge surprise to see him play so well. At 6',7," Brock is easily the tallest quarterback in the league. So, it's with a bit of irony that I say, 'I didn't see that coming.'

"As head coach, you'd think I'd have all the details on the nature of Tannehill's injury. But when asked about it, some say I get my panties all in a wad. I totally disagree with that notion. This is South Beach; nobody wears panties, not even me, so how could my panties be in a wad? Ask me questions I can answer, like, 'Is anyone on your staff romantically involved with a stripper?' Or, 'Does anyone of your staff have a cocaine problem?' Or, 'Is it the same person?'"

The Lions return from a Week 6 bye with intentions of turning their season around after a 2-3 start.

"We're ready to make a run in the NFC North," Matt Patricia said. "And I think we're more than capable. We've proven we can beat the best, like our dominant win over the Patriots. And we can win in other ways too, like forcing the opposing kicker to miss 7 kicks."

Lions win, 24-22.

Minnesota @ N.Y. Jets (+3)

After a 1-2-1 start, the Vikings have won two in a row to get their season back on track. Latavius Murray rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown, giving the Vikings their first rushing TD of the season.

"This is a game of interest to Brett Favre," Kirk Cousins said. "What could be more 'Vikings-Jets' than Brett Favre texting a pic of a 'Whizzinator' to a sideline reporter? Did that happen? I don't think so. Could it happen? It sure could. Just outfit Brett in a copper knee brace and a copper elbow sleeve, hand him a nice check to pay him for his endorsement, and he'll do anything."

Vikings win, 26-17.

Carolina @ Philadelphia (-4)

Carson Wentz passed for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Eagles easily dispatched the Giants 34-13 at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night.

"We finally looked like the team that won the Super Bowl last season," Doug Pederson said. "The Giants, as well, were in 2017 form.

"We considered trading for LeSean McCoy. We were in serious negotiations with the Bills. Not since Lenny Dykstra have we seen such 'Shady dealings' in Philadelphia."

Carolina wins, 23-20.

Cleveland @ Tampa Bay (-3)

The Browns were whipped 38-14 by the visiting Chargers, who quieted a Cleveland crowd early.

"Indeed," Baker Mayfield said. "The Chargers not only marked their territory, they marked our territory with 5 touchdowns. Rated on a scale of A to Z, I'd say we got 'P'd.'

"Much like me, Jameis Winston has some behavioral issues in college. You could say his 'track record' was 'suspect.' My 'track record' was a 20-yard dash that ended with me being tackled by police."

The Bucs and Jameis Winston lost to the Falcons 34-29. In his first game as a starter this year, Winston passed for 395 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Jameis brings his own brand of magic to the game," Dirk Koetter said. "Here are things he can make disappear: soda, crab legs, decency, the truth.

"We fired our defensive coordinator Mike Smith. We're hoping the change will make a difference. Best-case scenario: the D makes a 180 degree turnaround. Worst-case scenario: they make a 360-degree turnaround."

The Browns attack the Bucs on the ground, opening up play-action opportunities for Mayfield, who throws for 2 touchdowns.

Cleveland wins, 26-23.

Houston @ Jacksonville (-5)

The Jaguars were crushed 40-7 in Dallas in a miserable performance on both sides of the ball.

"We can't just blame Blake Bortles for everything," Doug Marrone said. "Then again, the closest he's ever going to get to be the 'greatest of all-time' is to be the 'scapegoat.'

"I expect our team to be much better in all phases of the game. And I expect Jalen Ramsey to be back to his dominant ways after a subpar game. Sometimes Jalen loses focus on getting better as a defensive back. That happens when he's more concerned with trash-talking, or demeaning an opponent, or working on his autobiography, 'Bulletin Board Material.'"

The Texans outlasted the Bills, 20-13, as the Houston defense carried the load with Deshaun Watson struggling at quarterback.

"Deshaun was sacked a whopping 7 times," Bill O'Brien said. "Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times. That means between them, they were sacked 18 times, which was a typical Sunday for David Carr back when he was the Texans quarterback.

"J.J. Watt is battling his brother T.J. for the league lead in sacks. I guess sacking the quarterback is in their genes. So, it looks like the family jewels and held in the 'family sack.'"

Jacksonville turns up the heat, knocking Watson out of the game in the second quarter.

Jaguars win, 25-13.

New Orleans @ Baltimore (-2½)

The Saints enjoyed a Week 6 bye week after their Week 5 43-19 destruction of the Redskins. In that game, Drew Brees passed Peyton Manning on the all-time passing yardage list.

"That was an awesome moment for me," Brees said. "You know when play is stopped to celebrate an NFL record, it's a huge deal. I don't know if that's happened in New Orleans before. Usually, when a game is temporarily halted at the Superdome, it's to cart an unconscious opponent off the field, not to acknowledge a record. In both cases, something changed hands, whether it be a passing record, or a cash payment."

The Ravens bounced back from their Week 5 loss at Cleveland with a commanding 21-0 win over the Titans. Baltimore sacked Marcus Mariota 11 times, setting a franchise record.

"After last week's loss to the Browns," John Harbaugh said, "we rededicated ourselves to our craft. We vowed to have zero distractions. Officially, we call it 'Ravens Only'; unofficially, in a nod to the famous 19th century horror writer, we call it 'Poe's Before Ho's.'"

New Orleans wins, 27-24.

Dallas @ Washington (-1½)

The Redskins jumped to a 17-0 lead and held on to beat the visiting Panthers, 23-17. Alex Smith passed for 2 scores and the Washington defense held the Panthers on their final drive.

"This is a huge game in the division," Jay Gruden said. "The winner will be atop the division, and in good position to represent the NFC East in the playoffs. With that comes a lot of responsibility, like being a gracious host to the No. 5 seed who will eliminate us from the post-season."

The Cowboys destroyed the visiting Jaguars 40-7. Dak Prescott passed for 2 scores and rushed for another as Dallas improved to 3-3.

"I thought our offense looked great," Jason Garrett said. "Heck, we only punted 3 times. Easiest fourth down decisions I've ever had to make.

"Conor McGregor was the guest of Jerry Jones before the game. It was 'Notorious MMA meets Notorious AARP.' Jerry said it was nice to have a world champion in the facility.

"Dak played a great game. Just when people start doubting our passing game, we surprise them. We're always adding some new plays to our offensive playbook. That's called 'new wrinkles,' something Jerry Jones adds on a daily basis."

Cowboys win, 23-20.

L.A. Rams @ San Francisco (+10)

The Rams edged the Broncos 23-20 in the snow at Mile High Stadium to remain the NFC's only undefeated team. Todd Gurley plowed through the Denver defense for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"I think we proved we're much more than just an indoor team," Jared Goff said. "We can score in any type of weather, even the snow. And let me add, Denver has the finest snow in the NFL. I would call it 'The Greatest Snow On Earth.' Former Cowboy Michael Irvin would not, because he's surely had better in Miami.

"It's common knowledge Sean McVay has a great memory. I can't say the same for former Rams coach Jeff Fisher, because he was responsible for horrible memories."

Rams win, 31-23.

Cincinnati @ Kansas City (-6)

The Bengals lost to the visiting Steelers 28-21 in a showdown between AFC North rivals that do not like each other. It was Pittsburgh's eighth straight win over Cincinnati.

"You mean to tell me I'm 0-8 against the Steelers?" Marvin Lewis said. "That sucks, but at least my playoff record is better than that. It's 0-7.

"Vontaze Burfict is at it again. He's being investigated for three hits from Sunday's game, including one in which he elbowed Antonio Brown's head. It appears that suspensions and fines just aren't getting through to Vontaze. But he may unwittingly be the solution to the NFL's concussion problem, because Vontaze has to have the thickest skull in the league."

The Chiefs lost 43-40 to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in a battle of perhaps the two best teams in the AFC. Patrick Mahomes' 4 passing touchdowns weren't enough as Stephen Gostkowski's 28-yard field goal as time expired won it for New England.

"That was quite a display from two of the NFL's best offenses," Andy Reid said. "It went back and forth, with each offense continually outdoing the other. It had to be the most entertaining pissing contest ever.

"We definitely need to take a look at our defense. We're going to spend a lot of time breaking down things. 'Defensive breakdowns' are becoming all too common around here."

Chiefs win, 34-30.

NY Giants @ Atlanta (-6)

Despite a huge night from Saquon Barkley, the Giants slipped to 1-5 after a 34-13 shellacking from the Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Thursday.

"Just a word of advice," Pat Shurmur said. "When you say 'one-man wrecking crew' around here, be specific. Do you mean Barkley, or Eli Manning?

"But despite his struggles, Eli will remain the starter. 'I believe in Eli.' People may say, 'Pat, do you really?' Just look closely at the word 'believe.' It says 'Eli' right in the middle. On the other hand, it also says 'lie.'"

The Falcons ended a three-game skid with a 34-29 win over the visiting Buccaneers.

"First, let me address the 'Eli' situation," Matt Ryan said. "Maybe Ben McAdoo was on to something. That being said, how can you trust a man with that mustache?

"Next, let me address the Odell Beckham, Jr. situation. Giants owner John Mara said Odell should be making headlines on the field and not off. That's quite an admonishment. We haven't heard such strong wording from an NFL owner since Falcons owner Arthur Blank told Scarlet O'Hara, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

"We may be last in the NFC South, but we feel like we can contend. Offensively, we can play with anyone. Defensively, opponents just play with us."

Atlanta wins, 31-27.

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