NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 11

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Green Bay @ Seattle (-2½)

The Packers whipped the Dolphins, 31-12, behind 2 TD passes from Aaron Rodgers, and a big day from Aaron Jones, who rushed for 145 yards and 2 scores.

"After two straight losses," Aaron Rodgers said, "it was imperative that we got back on track. And we did. I consider it a success when you play a game and the result is a win, and you don't trade a player for a fumble and you don't cut a player for lightly slapping an opponent.

"Credit goes to our defense. They sacked Brock Osweiler 6 times, and forced 2 Osweiler turnovers. That's no small feat, because Brock has big feet. He stands 6-foot-7, which earns him the nickname 'The Towering Inturno(ver).'"

The Seahawks lost 36-31 to the Rams in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"I have fond memories of playing in the Coliseum," Pete Carroll said. "And the smoke from the wildfires intensified those feelings, because much like the NCAA told me back then, 'Where there's smoke, there's fire.'

"Did you see Tyler Lockett hand Floyd 'Money' Mayweather the ball after he scored a third quarter touchdown? I've never seen someone hand something to 'Money,' but I have seen someone hand money to someone else. It's called 'college recruiting.'

"Now, I'm not sure why Mayweather was at the game. Is he looking for another outlet to legally hit someone? Does he want to try his hand at NFL football? If so, he needs to change his nickname to 'Mini.'"

Seattle wins, 30-27.

Dallas @ Atlanta (-3½)

The Cowboys beat the Eagles 27-20 in Philadelphia. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown, and added a receiving touchdown.

"Our identity is a hard-nosed running game," Jerry Jones said. "My identity is a hard-headed owner. I just have to be involved, sometimes to the detriment of my organization. Ezekiel likes to say, 'feed me.' I like to say, 'need me.'

"Had we lost that game, we would have been in full-on crisis mode. There's a reason AT&T Stadium has a retractable roof, because the sky is falling all the time here."

The Falcons defense struggled in a 28-16 loss to the Browns at Cleveland. Baker Mayfield passed for 3 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb rushed for 176 yards and a score as Atlanta's three-game winning streak ended.

"Our defense got pushed around," Dan Quinn said, "and pushed over. Because our defense is a pushover."

Atlanta wins, 27-24.

Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville (+5½)

The Steelers blasted the visiting Panthers 52-21 on Thursday night, led by 5 passing touchdowns from Ben Roethlisberger.

"I only had 3 incompletions against the Carolina defense," Ben Roethlisberger said. "Passing on the Panthers was like taking candy from a baby, specifically lollipops, because they suck.

"Antonio Brown drove right past a cop doing 100 miles per hour a few weeks ago. But let's not let that one error in judgment cloud all the good things Antonio does for the community. For example, he's established an after-school program where kids can have their needs attended to. Fittingly, Antonio calls it the 'Center of Attention.'

"It's official: Le'Veon Bell won't be joining the team this year. I guess it won't be officially official until Le'Veon says so in a 'joint' press conference. That's what you call a press conference featuring Le'Veon Bell and his best friend."

The Jags suffered their fifth consecutive loss, a 29-26 decision to the Colts in Indianapolis. Leonard Fournette had 109 total yards and 2 touchdowns in his return, but the Jacksonville defense couldn't stop Andrew Luck and the Indy offense.

"It's hard to believe this is the same team that beat the Patriots," Doug Marrone said. "Almost as hard as it is to believe the Patriots lost to this team.

"But we have something the Steelers need. And that's the blueprint for beating the Patriots, because they'll need it come playoff time. First, they need to find the blueprint for beating us."

Steelers win, 27-20.

Carolina @ Detroit (+4)

The Panthers gave up 5 passing touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger in a 52-21 blowout loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field.

"We were like the towels in Pittsburgh," Ron Rivera said. "Terrible."

The Lions lost 34-22 in Chicago. The Bears forced 3 turnovers and sacked Matthew Stafford 6 times as the Lions woes continued.

"It's not good," Matt Patricia said, "when giving up 6 sacks is an improvement. Suffice to say, the only thing Matthew will be giving his offensive linemen for Christmas is an invoice for his insurance premium."

Panthers win, 29-21.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis (-2½)

The Titans pummeled the Patriots, 34-10, handing New England their worst loss of the season.

"The atmosphere was electric in Nissan Stadium," Mike Vrabel said. "I think everyone, even the footballs, get a little more 'pumped' anytime the Patriots come to town.

"Malcolm Butler was looking to play well against his former team, the one that benched him for their Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles. That enraged Malcolm then, and it still upsets him to this day, so he's been getting 'burned' ever since.

"I'm sure the Pats would love to exact revenge. Maybe we'll see them again in the playoffs. And if that happens, there's one thing I can promise you in regards to that game: it will take place in Foxboro."

Andrew Luck's 3 touchdown passes, 2 to Eric Ebron, powered the Colts to a 29-26 win over the visiting Jaguars. Indy won its third straight to improve to 4-5.

"More importantly," Andrew Luck said, "I haven't been sacked in 4 games. That's a far cry from years past, when I feared for my life behind my offensive line. Maybe saying 'I feared for my life' is a little hyperbolic. Real 'fear for my life' is detailing my car at Marvin Harrison's car wash.

"The AFC South is anybody's division. Any of the four teams could represent the division in the playoffs. Also, only one of the four teams could represent the division in the playoffs."

Colts win, 24-23.

Philadelphia @ New Orleans (-8)

Philadelphia fell to 4-5 after Sunday night's home loss to the Cowboys. Dallas wore down the Eagles on the ground, piling up 171 rushing yards.

"Sadly," Doug Pederson said, "that defense was still better than our defense of Super Bowl title.

"The phenomenon known as 'Super Bowl babies' is happening in Philly. About nine months after our Super Bowl win, there's a baby boom in effect. We call it 'willy willy.' Like many Eagles fans, these babies will wear diapers so they don't have to go to the bathroom during games."

The Saints overwhelmed the Bengals 51-14 in Cincinnati for their eighth-straight win. Drew Brees passed for 3 touchdowns, 2 to Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara rushed for 2 scores.

"You probably heard that I destroyed a fire alarm in our locker room before the game," Sean Payton said. "Now the firemen have a bounty on my head.

"Drew passed Brett Favre for second on the NFL's all-time pass touchdown list. It seems Favre has been 'intercepted' again. I believe that's number 700.

"Michael Thomas was fined $30,000 for his cell phone celebration against the Rams. I'm not sure a phone has cost an NFL player that much since Tom Brady."

Saints win, 30-24.

Tampa Bay @ N.Y. Giants (-1)

The Giants beat the 49ers 27-23 at Levi's Stadium on Monday night. Eli Manning passed for 3 touchdowns, 2 to Odell Beckham, Jr., and the G-Men improved to 2-7.

"Eli's still got it," Beckham said. "He proved he's still good enough to quarterback in this league. He may not be the 'goat,' but at least he's not hitting 'pigs' with his car.

"That being said, Eli might be put out to pasture soon. So don't bet the farm on my assertion that we can win our final 7 games and make the playoffs. That's a pipe dream, which is also what Lawrence Taylor has when he sleeps."

The Buccaneers lost 16-3 to the visiting Redskins. Despite piling up 501 yards of total offense, Tampa managed only a field goal. It was the first time in NFL history a team gained over 450 yards but scored 3 or fewer points.

"We just made too many mistakes," Dirk Koetter said. "We shot ourselves in the foot. And speaking of self-inflicted wounds, we're approaching the 10th anniversary of Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the thigh in New York City. That was a crazy time in Burress' life. Had that bullet gone four inches higher, it would have been nuts.

"Last Sunday's pre-game ceremonies included 'Salute To Service' festivities for the military. It was important to honor them, and it was also important to let Warren Sapp know that 'Salute To Service' has nothing to do with prostitution."

Bucs win, 26-24.

Houston @ Washington (+3)

The Texans emerged from their Week 10 bye ready to build on their six-game winning streak, which has them in first place in the AFC South, a game ahead of the 5-4 Titans.

"I'm hoping we don't lose our momentum from having a week off," Bill O'Brien said. "I'm interested to see how we perform coming off a bye. Not many people know this about me, but I'm 'bye-curious.'

"We hope to expand Demaryius Thomas' role in the passing game. I want him to be comfortable with the offense. More importantly, I want him to feel at home. So I told him we're not going to trade him."

The Redskins bounced back from their Week 9 loss to Atlanta with a 16-3 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

"Our defense carried us," Jay Gruden said. "Heck, they lead the team in 'carries.'"

Houston wins, 27-20.

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-4)

The Ravens had a Week 10 bye and now face a crucial AFC North battle against the Bengals, who whipped the Ravens 34-23 in Week 2.

"I chose not to practice during our bye week," John Harbaugh said. "I felt like our guys needed rest more than anything, and some time off is the best manner of recovery. Besides, there's only so much deer antler spray can do.

"Joe Flacco is dealing with a hip issue. It's a nagging problem, one that's bothered him for the duration of his career, because Joe is anything but 'hip.' That being said, I think you'll hear a big cheer of 'Hip, Hip, Hooray!' if Joe can't play and Lamar Jackson gets the start."

The Bengals suffered a humiliating 51-14 loss at home to the Saints and fell to 5-4.

"We tried to go toe-to-toe with the Saints," Marvin Lewis said. "Obviously, the Saints have more toes than us, five to be exact, all connected to the foot they kicked our ass with.

"As a result, I fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Austin 51:14 says 'I just fired your ass.'"

Baltimore wins, 27-19.

Oakland @ Arizona (-4)

The Raiders fell to 1-8 after a 20-6 home loss to the Chargers.

"We're struggling," Jon Gruden said, "but it was good to hear Mark Davis give me a vote of confidence. He stopped short of giving me a 'Coach of the Year' vote, but he had no problem calling me 'Coach of the Decade.' That's one of the perks of a 10-year contract.

"But let's be serious, if Al Davis were alive, he wouldn't allow his team to be this bad. So I suggest a 'Weekend at Bernie's' scenario to create the ruse that Al is alive. Sounds crazy, right? It may be, but it's arguably the third worst idea I've had this year."

The Cardinals hung tough with the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium before falling, 26-14.

"My team has a lot to be proud of," Steve Wilks said. "For example, Larry Fitzgerald moved to No. 2 on the all-time receiving yardage list. He trails only Jerry Rice. Now, Larry will probably never catch Rice, and he's never won a Super Bowl, but Larry can still hold his head up high, because he's never done a CopperFit commercial."

"This game could determine who gets the first pick in the 2019 draft. Call it 'tanking' if you like, but losing our remaining games gives us a great chance for the No. 1 pick in the draft. So it's 'lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-win' situation."

Arizona wins, 21-13.

Denver @ L.A. Chargers (-7)

The Broncos return from their bye week facing a tough three-game stretch, at the Chargers, at home versus the Steelers, and at Cincinnati.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned with my job security," Vance Joseph said. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't lie to Demaryius Thomas.

"We plan on moving forward without Demaryius. That's easy. The hard part is moving forward with Case Keenum."

The Chargers continued to roll with a 20-6 win over the hapless Raiders in Oakland.

"There was a time when playing in Oakland evoked fear," Philip Rivers said. "You would crap your pants just by simply looking into the stands. Now, the crap has moved from the pants to the field.

"We're the forgotten team in the AFC. While everyone's talking about the Chiefs, Patriots, and Steelers, we're quietly building our resume by beating some of the NFL's worst teams, and losing to some of the league's best teams."

Chargers win, 29-20.

Minnesota @ Chicago (-3)

The Bears spanked the visiting Lions 34-22. Mitch Tribisky accounted for 4 touchdowns and the Bears sacked Matthew Stafford 6 times.

"We're ready for the Vikings," Tribisky said. "I believe this game will be won in the trenches. The Vikings are a physical team, but we're even more physical. And I'll take real men over real 'Mn.' any day, and every day."

The Vikings had a Week 9 bye, giving them an extra week to prepare for their NFC North showdown with the Bears, with the winner taking possession of first place.

"We're not in any way intimidated by Chicago," Kirk Cousins said. "I'm referring, of course, to the band, not the team.

"We are concerned with Chicago the team, especially their defense. But we've got Dalvin Cook back, and he's fully healthy. Dalvin's not from the 'U,' but someone from the 'U' would tell you he's from 'FSU,' which I hear stands for 'Florida's Suckiest University.'"

Vikings win, 26-23.

Kansas City vs L.A. Rams (-2½)

Kansas City beat the Cardinals 26-14 at Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes passed for 2 touchdowns, giving him 31 on the year, surpassing Len Dawson's single-season record of 30.

"It's amazing that it only took Patrick 9 games to break Dawson's record," Andy Reid said. "It's also amazing that Alex Smith couldn't break Dawson's record in 16 games.

"This game features the NFL's top 2 offenses, and two defenses that are the reason the two offenses have to be the best."

The Rams beat the visiting Seahawks 36-31 to increase their lead in the NFC West. The 9-1 Rams lead the 4-5 Seahawks by 4½ games.

"A lot of people think our game with the Chiefs will be an offensive showcase," Jared Goff said, "and there will be a caravan of offensive players headed to the border, or as we call it, the goal line. That was probably the case before the game was moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles.

"In any case, the game will be a turf war. Shockingly, these two teams will engage in a shootout without the presence of Aqib Talib."

Chiefs win, 38-35.

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