NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 8

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Miami @ Houston (-7½)

The Dolphins lost 32-21 at home to the Lions as Ryan Tannehill missed another game with a shoulder injury. Detroit rambled for 248 yards rushing, but a solid day from Brock Osweiler was not enough to overcome the Lions.

"Brock is making his return to Houston," Adam Gase said. "Back in 2016, he signed a four-year, $72 million contract. Most can agree they were paying him too much. One year later, they couldn't pay him enough to leave.

"Ryan Tannehill is playing. Or is he? Our injury reporting is listed as 'questionable.' Can anyone get a straight answer from me? Doubtful. Will I get in a pissy mood if you question my statements? Probable. Here's the truth: Osweiler is starting."

The Texans overwhelmed the Jaguars 20-7 in Jacksonville to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Houston is 4-3, one game ahead of the Jags and Titans.

"We like our position," Bill O'Brien said. "And we plan on maintaining it. History tells us that good things come to the winner of the AFC South, like a first-round playoff game against a much better team.

"Deshaun Watson took the bus to Jacksonville instead of flying. We were concerned that the air pressure would affect his bruised lung and injured ribs. To play with that condition means Deshaun is one tough son of a gun. Our team doctors have been seen examining him with a stethoscope on the sidelines. The only other team to do that is the Raiders ten years ago, when they needed to determine if Al Davis needed to be revived."

Houston wins, 24-20.

Philadelphia @ Jacksonville (+3)

The Eagles squandered a 17-0 fourth quarter lead and suffered a 21-17 defeat at the hands of the visiting Panthers. Philly dropped to 3-4, a game-and-a-half behind the Redskins in the NFC East.

"You can't blow late leads like that and expect to make the playoffs," Doug Pederson said. "We've done it far too often. There's a 'Process' here in Philly. Currently, we're employing the 'Process of Elimination.'"

The Jaguars looked awful in a 20-7 home loss to the Texans. Blake Bortles was benched for Cody Kessler in the second half.

"No one ever said Blake wasn't a 'game changer,'" Doug Marrone said. "But Blake's meant a lot to this team over the years, and he should be rewarded for his efforts. That's why, when all is said and done, I'll be giving him a permanent seat on our bench.

"We bolstered their running game by acquiring Carlos Hyde in a trade with the Browns. Having Carlos on the team could cause some confusion. In Jacksonville, when someone says 'Mr. Hyde,' they're likely referring to the Blake Bortles who throws interceptions and bounces balls off helmets. 'Dr. Jekyl' Blake Bortles is the Blake who needs a dominant defense to be effective. We haven't seen Dr. Jekyl since the New England game.

"Leonard Fournette is out at least until after our bye week with his lingering hamstring issue. Leonard is known as the 'Mr. Whipple' of the NFL, because he has the softest tissue."

Marrone sticks with Bortles, which in the past tense is "Marrone stuck with Bortles."

Eagles win, 21-17.

N.Y. Jets @ Chicago (-7)

The Jets lost 37-17 at home to the Vikings. Minnesota's defense harassed Sam Darnold, forcing 4 Darnold turnovers and sacking him 3 times.

"Sam was exhausted after the game," Todd Bowles said. "Isaiah Crowell would say he was 'wiped.'

"But Sam is adapting well to being a New York Jet quarterback. Heck, he showed up to practice in a fur coat and pantyhose one day last week. Well, I guess that could have been some rookie hazing gone horribly wrong, or maybe he was just looking for feedback on his Derek Carr Halloween costume."

The Bears fell to the visiting Patriots, 38-31, at Soldier Field. Chicago has now lost two in a row.

"Mitch Tribisky kept us in the game," Matt Nagy said. "He can win games with his arm and legs, and lose them the same way.

"Khalil Mack played with a sore ankle but was ineffective. Our pass rush generated a measly one sack. So I guess I now understand what it's like to be Jon Gruden. Just with more wins and less money."

Bears win, 27-17.

Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati (-4½)

The Bucs beat the Browns 26-23 in overtime, winning on Chandler Catanzaro's 59-yard field goal with 1:50 left in OT. Tampa improved to 3-3, good for third in the NFC South.

"Even though he didn't have a big passing day," Dirk Koetter said, "Jameis Winston still had a solid day. He has clearly established himself as our best quarterback. When the opportunity presented itself, he grabbed the bull by the horns, as opposed to grabbing the crab by the legs."

The Bengals were creamed 45-10 at Kansas City and have now dropped two in a row. Cincy surrendered 358 yards passing and 4 touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes.

"It felt like a playoff atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium," Marvin Lewis said. "And you know how we react to a playoff atmosphere. With 'playoff atmos-fear.'

"Vontaze Burfict was fined $112,000 for a number of illegal hits against the Steelers. That makes it over $400,000 he's paid in fines since he entered the NFL. What does the NFL do with the money they receive from Vontaze, you ask? Well, they launder it, because it's dirty. The league has thrown the book at Burfict; he's thrown his checkbook back at them."

Bengals win, 31-24.

Seattle @ Detroit (-3)

The Lions beat the Dolphins 32-21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Rookie Kerryon Johnson rushed for 158 yards as Detroit easily won the time of possession battle.

"We knew if we used the clock," Matt Patricia said, "we could keep the ball out of Brock Osweiler's hands. In year's past, that's been the job of his own offense."

The Seahawks return from a bye week to continue their chase of the Rams in the NFC West. Seattle is 3-3, well behind the 7-0 Rams.

"The Rams are running away with the division," Pete Carroll said. "They could probably walk away if they wanted."

Seattle wins, 27-24.

Denver @ Kansas City (-10)

The Broncos snapped a four-game skid with a 45-10 destruction of the Cardinals on Thursday night. Denver scored 2 defensive touchdowns, and Emmanuel Sanders passed for a score and caught a long TD pass from Case Keenum.

"Arizona may be the worst team in the NFL," Von Miller said. "But a 'W' is a 'W.' And if you're talking about the Cards, they're in a league of their own. And that's the minor leagues.

"The Chiefs are a vastly different story. Their offense is explosive, as opposed to Arizona's, which should be blown up."

The Chiefs smashed the Bengals 45-10 at Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes torched the Bengals for 358 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Patrick set an NFL record with 22 touchdowns in his first 8 starts," Andy Reid said. "'He'll break many more records,' which is a phrase that sounds like a broken record.

"We have to be prepared for the Broncos. They've had 10 days to study film of Patrick. It takes that long just to watch his touchdowns."

Chiefs win, 34-27.

Washington @ N.Y. Giants (+1)

The Giants lost 23-20 to the Falcons on Monday night at Atlanta. New York fell to 1-6, alone in the NFC East cellar.

"Mercedes-Benz Stadium is home of the Falcons 'Benz Then Breaks' defense," Eli Manning said. "So we're disappointed we only scored 20 points. And I'm disappointed my two quarterback sneaks failed to result in a touchdown. One would think Saquon Barkley would be our first option on first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. But I figured Saquon had already reached his quota for one-yard runs for the night."

The Redskins beat the visiting Cowboys, 20-17, holding on for victory when Brett Maher's potential game-tying 54-yard field goal attempt clanged off the left upright.

"Football is a game of inches," Jay Gruden said, "until you involve the officials, then it becomes a game of yards. Often 5 yards, on a penalty called a 'snap infraction.' They say playing at home is worth 3 points. They were exactly right.

"We're now all alone atop the NFC East. Daniel Snyder thinks this makes all Native Americans proud, and Redskins fans, too. Now, our critics will say that any Redskins fan who thinks we'll actually win the division is a 'Naive American.'"

Washington wins, 24-21.

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-8)

The Steelers had a Week 7 bye and moved into first place in the AFC North thanks to losses by the rest of the AFC North.

"Maybe we should not play more often," Mike Tomlin said. "Hmmmmm. I think I now understand why Le'Veon Bell is holding out.

"Speaking of Le'Veon, we haven't heard anything from him, except for his rap album, 'My Side of Things.' I'm not a big rap fan. It's just words that carry no meaning, That's like Le'Veon's actual words, just not to music.

"We'll be just fine without Le'Veon. James Conner is having a great year. James always gives 100% effort. That's why he gets 100% of his salary. James shows more 'hustle' than Santonio Holmes did growing up in Coral Gables, Florida. And, like Santonio, he delivers."

Steelers win, 26-21.

Baltimore @ Carolina (+1½)

The Panthers upset the Eagles 21-17 at Lincoln Financial Field after erasing a 17-0 deficit in the fourth quarter with 3 touchdowns.

"We stunned the Eagles crowd," Cam Newton said. "Sometimes it takes a lot to silence a Philly fan, like scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Other times, it takes very little to silence a Philly fan, like asking them to recite the alphabet backwards.

"We know the Ravens are coming to our place with a chip on their shoulder, much like the one Joe Flacco shows anytime Lamar Jackson enters the game. It's likely the game will be a low-scoring affair, possibly even a one-point game. So, it could really just come down to one team having an 'extra point.'"

The Ravens lost 24-23 to the visiting Saints after Justin Tucker missed what would have been the game-tying extra point after a late Ravens touchdown.

"Justin's XP attempt went wide of the right upright," John Harbaugh said. "It was so shocking, most people fell to the ground, so no one was 'left upright.'

"The Saints out-rushed us by 57 yards. We've got to be better against the Panthers. I've asked our running backs to elevate their games. Now, I made sure they knew that should have nothing to do with elevators."

Panthers win, 20-19.

Indianapolis @ Oakland (+3)

The Raiders are 1-5 and in dead last in the AFC West. A Week 7 bye gave them time to unload Amari Cooper on the Cowboys for a 2019 first-round pick.

"We now have 3 first-round picks in 2019," Jon Gruden said. "I've talked to Mark Davis, and he's perfectly willing to ship all three of those picks to the Rams for Sean McVay.

"We're struggling, but we're not out of it. And I definitely am not out of it. By 'it' I mean 'money.' Mark Davis paid me $100 million to do this. And I guess you get what you paid for.

"Marshawn Lynch is out at least a month with a groin injury. It's really easy to tell when Marshawn has a groin injury, because he 'grabs his crotch.'"

The Colts beat the visiting Bills 37-5 as Andrew Luck passed for 4 touchdowns, 2 to T.Y. Hilton, who returned after missing 2 games with a hamstring injury.

"I'm looking forward to battling Derek Carr at his place," Luck said. "To clarify, I'll be battling him in quarterbacking at Oakland Alameda Coliseum, not at a Halloween costume contest at Derek's home, where he's sure to be dressed as a 'ghost of his former self.' What does that ghost say? 'Boo hoo.'"

Raiders win, 29-27.

Green Bay @ L.A. Rams (-8½)

The Packers enjoyed a bye week after their Week 6 33-30 win over the 49ers. That gave Aaron Rodgers and extra week to rest his ailing left knee.

"Rest is important," Rodgers said, "and so is keeping my knee iced. And boy have I been icing it. My knee is cold, but it's only my second coldest body part. First is whichever shoulder I turn to ignore Mike McCarthy."

The Rams remained the NFL's only undefeated team with a 39-10 win over the 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Todd Gurley III scored 3 touchdowns to give him 14 scores on the year.

"Todd has more touchdowns than some teams," Sean McVay said. "I'm just glad he's on my team, because anytime we give Todd the ball, there's a good chance he'll score. As they say, 'Good things come in III's.'

"I can't speak on the Rodgers/McCarthy relationship, but I can tell you that Jared Goff and I always talk during timeouts. McCarthy likes to use a laminated play sheet to make calls. I think I know why that sheet is so huge — so Rodgers can't see his face."

Rams win, 31-26

San Francisco @ Arizona (-1)

The Cardinals were hammered 45-10 by the Broncos on Thursday night as Josh Rosen was battered by Von Miller and the Denver defense. Rosen was sacked 6 times and had 5 turnovers.

"I fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy," Steve Wilks said. "Mike 'had to go,' so I 'relieved' him of his duties. But I know I'm still on the hot seat. But here in Arizona, it's a dry heat.

"Byron Leftwich was promoted to offensive coordinator. His plans are to open up the playbook, and rip out anything McCoy devised.

"We still have a lot to play for this year. Like our pride. When the season is over, I don't want anyone to say we didn't give our all. What I do want to hear when the season is over is someone say, 'With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals select....'"

The 49ers lost 39-10 to the visiting Rams and are now 1-6, tied with the Cardinals for last in the division.

"It's been a tough year," Kyle Shanahan said. "We lost Jimmy Garoppolo, who was our best hope for giving San Francisco another defining moment, like 'The Catch.' Maybe he did by dating a porn star, hence 'The Snatch.'"

Cardinals win, 27-24.

New Orleans @ Minnesota (-1)

The Saints beat the Ravens 24-23 at M&T Bank Stadium, securing the win when Justin Tucker missed the extra point after Baltimore scored a late touchdown to seemingly tie the game.

"The Baltimore Orioles call that a 'boot,'" Sean Payton said.

"We all remember what happened last year in the playoffs at U.S. Bank Stadium. It was called the 'Minneapolis Miracle.' The teams also met in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. The 'Minneapolis Miracle' in that game was that Brett Favre lived through it."

The Vikings blasted the Jets 37-17 at MetLife Stadium and are now 4-2-1, first in the NFC North.

"The Jets wanted to sign me in the offseason," Kirk Cousins said. "But I told them I'd rather be somewhere else, which is better an improvement on what most potential free agents say, which is, 'I'd rather be anywhere else."

Saints win, 24-23.

New England @ Buffalo (+13)

Tom Brady passed for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Patriots held on to beat the Bears at Soldier Field.

"It will be a historic contest," Brady said. "These two teams have combined for 13 Super Bowl appearances. And they've also combined for 5 Super Bowl wins. The Patriots define success by the number of rings on their fingers, not in their belly-buttons. Kudos to Chris Sale for fooling the media. If you put Sale and former Pats tight end Zeke Mowatt in a locker room, you'd likely get a fascinating story about a 'Prince Albert.'"

The Bills could brighten a disastrous season with an upset of the Patriots on Monday Night Football.

"I've never seen the 'Bills Mafia' this excited for a game," Doug McDermott said. "The parking lot at Rich Stadium will be a madhouse. It will be the NFL equivalent of the 'Gathering of the Juggalos.' Bills Mafia are putting each other through tables at a record pace. Even Kelvin Benjamin is getting in on the act. He just sits on a table and it breaks."

"The Pats have a lot of weapons, so you have to decide who you will try to stop. Josh Gordon may be the most difficult matchup. Gordon is a superb athlete and a huge physical talent. He's what you'd called a 'specimen.' A 'specimen' is also what the NFL's drug testing facility requests from him on a regular basis."

New England holds a special ceremony before kickoff in which they name Justin Tucker an honorary "PAT" for the game.

New England wins, 30-11.

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