NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 14

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-4½)

The Titans came back to beat the Jets 26-22, winning on Marcus Mariota's 11-yard TD pass to Corey Davis with 36 seconds left. Tennessee is now 6-6, well behind the 9-3 Texans in the AFC South.

"Apparently," Mike Vrabel said, "it took us a quarter to realize we were playing the Jets, another quarter to realize we were playing at home, and another quarter to realize our potential.

"I have mixed feelingS about our season so far. First the bad news: we're three games behind the Texans. The good news: neither Derrick Henry nor Dion Lewis have appeared on a TMZ highlight reel this season."

The Jaguars shut out the visiting Colts 6-0 as Cody Kessler started at quarterback for Jacksonville. Jacksonville's defense forced 2 turnovers and sacked Andrew Luck 3 times.

"It's a pretty big deal to keep the Colts out of the end zone," Jalen Ramsey said. "It's not that big of a deal to keep our offense out of the end zone.

"It's Thursday Night Football, and it's prime time. So, it's put up or shut up time for me. And since it's never 'shut up' time for Jalen Ramsey, I guess that means it's 'put up' time."

Ramsey serves as Jags captain, and when asked to call the coin toss by the referee, Ramsey replies, "trash." It's tails, and the Titans defer and kick off. The Jags immediately go 'three-and out,' the first of 11 'three-and-out' possessions by both teams on the night.

Titans win, 18-10.

N.Y. Jets @ Buffalo (-3½)

The Jets lost their sixth straight game, falling 26-22 to the Titans after blowing a 16-0 lead.

"Stupid mistakes just killed us," Todd Bowles said. "And I let my team know it. I gave each player on the roster a grade of 'F,' and I told each and every one of them as much to their face. So, it was basically a normal week in the Jets locker room, because the 'F you's' were flying freely.

"We're 4-8. We have only four games left. So our season's on it's 'last leg,' just like me."

The Bills lost 21-17 in Miami as Josh Allen's last ditch pass to Charles Clay in the end zone fell short. Buffalo fell to 4-8, third in the AFC East.

"So close," Sean McDermott said, "yet so far away. That's what Don Beebe said when he chased down Leon Lett and kept Lett from scoring on a fumble return, thus keeping the Cowboys margin of victory at 35, and not 42, in Super Bowl XXVII.

"This should be a great game. It's a battle to stay out of the AFC East cellar. In addition, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are dueling for 15th place in the Rookie of the Year voting. Should be a classic."

Bills win, 20-13.

Carolina @ Cleveland (+1½)

The Panthers' losing streak reached four games after a 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Cam Newton threw 4 interceptions and was sacked 4 times. Carolina is 6-6 after a 6-2 start.

"Maybe I should spend more time in the film room," Newton said, "and less time in the dressing room. Did you see my ensemble after the game? I looked like a well-dressed homeless person from 1929.

"Ron Rivera canned two defensive coaches and will take over the defensive play-calling duties. He'll probably start by calling the defense 'crappy,' or 'underachievers,' or 'soft,' or 'the reason we're in this mess of a three-game losing streak.'"

The Browns lost 29-13 at Houston, as Baker Mayfield threw 3 interceptions and only 1 touchdown.

"People say I play with a chip on my shoulder," Mayfield said. "That's true. I like to pretend there are actually two 'Chips' on my shoulder. One is 'Good Chip' and he tells me to throw that touchdown pass. The other is 'Bad Chip' and he tells me to throw that interception. He also tells me to run from the cops."

Browns win, 25-22.

Atlanta @ Green Bay (-5½)

The Packers season hit a new low with a 20-17 home loss to the Cardinals. Three hours after the loss, Mike McCarthy was fired as head coach.

"I know it's been hectic around here," Aaron Rodgers said, "but I'd just like to tell everyone to 'R-E-L-A-X.' Because McCarthy just got 'T-H-E A-X.' I hate to see Mike go, but I was asking for it. It was nothing personal. But it was personnel.

"It's good to finally have something go right. It's been a tough year, from injuring my knee is our first game, to having my agent wreck my bathroom with a dump he refused to take responsibility for. But turnabout is fair play, because I've been taking a year-long dump on McCarthy."

The visiting Ravens rushed for 207 yards, while their defense put the clamps on the Falcons offense in a 26-16 Atlanta loss.

"Injuries have decimated our defense," Dan Quinn said. "It's not whole. Thus, there are 'holes,' which is 'whole' without the 'W.' And our season has been defined by a lack of 'W's.'"

Packers win, 34-27.

Baltimore @ Kansas City (-7)

The Ravens pounded the Falcons 26-16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the Baltimore ground game continued to dominate. The Ravens piled up 207 yards rushing.

"Lamar Jackson is the next wave of NFL quarterback," John Harbaugh. "And my 'next wave' may be telling Joe Flacco 'bye bye.'

"Michael Vick had some words of wisdom for Lamar. Vick told him to 'proceed with caution.' That's good advice. And if you're going to take advice from a disgraced former player who spent 21 months in federal prison and went bankrupt, then Vick is the one. I think what Vick is trying to say is, 'Keep yourself on a short leash.'"

Patrick Mahomes passed for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Chiefs held off the Raiders in Oakland. Two of those TDs went to Travis Kelce, who grabbed 12 catches for 168 yards.

"Travis has taken over as the league's best tight end," Andy Reid said. "He's like Rob Gronkowski, just with working body parts.

"Never has film study been so revealing. As a result, Kareem Hunt was released. As they say in this business, 'What happens in a Cleveland hotel stays in a Cleveland hotel, until it doesn't, then all hell breaks loose, and you have to do the right thing, which you should have done long ago.' I'm pretty sure the Cleveland Tourism Bureau will reject that as a slogan, but only because of its length."

Chiefs win, 33-24.

New England @ Miami (+8)

The Patriots beat the Vikings 24-10 as Tom Brady passed for 311 yards and a touchdown, the 579th of his career, including the playoffs, tying him with Peyton Manning for most all time.

"It's just a matter of time before Peyton is second on that list," Brady said. "And Peyton knows that. But he's got a sense of humor about it. He sent me a No. 2 Browns jersey and a roll of toilet paper with a note that said 'I'm pooped from holding all these records.'

"I also hit 1,000 yards rushing for my career. I ran a 5.24 second 40-yard dash at the 2000 NFL Combine. Most people who saw that probably thought there was no way I'd ever rush for 1,000 yards. Others who saw it probably thought that if I ever did rush for 1,000 yards, it would take me 19 years."

The Dolphins beat the visiting Bills 21-17 at home to improve to 6-6, good for second in the AFC East.

"We know we'll need to score some points to keep up with the Patriots," Ryan Tannehill said. "And I think we have the weapons to do that. I call them 'Miami-nition.'"

Patriots win, 27-21.

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (+8)

The Cowboys defense stifled the New Orleans offense as the Saints fell 13-10 at AT&T Stadium on Thursday night. The loss knocked the Saints out of the No. 1 spot in the NFC.

"Our offense only managed 176 yards of total offense," Sean Payton said. "I hope everyone understands that that amount of yardage is not a bounty of yardage. So I deny that there was a bounty.

"I lost count of how many penalties our defensive backs took. If 'Eli Apple' was a number, it would be that many. Our defensive backs need to be better about not committing penalties, because that will certainly 'interfere' with a team's success."

Jameis Winston passed for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the Bucs handed the Panthers their fourth straight loss, 24-17 at Raymond James Stadium.

"Most importantly," Dirk Koetter said, "Jameis didn't have a turnover for the second week in a row. So, for two weeks in a row, Jameis hasn't made a bad decision. That sure would have come in handy while he was in college."

Saints win, 29-24.

N.Y. Giants @ Washington (+3½)

The Giants upset the visiting Bears 30-27 in overtime. New York's defense stepped up, while Odell Beckham, Jr. caught 1 TD pass, and also threw a 49-yard scoring pass to Russell Shepherd.

"It is so nice when Odell does his talking on the field," Pat Shurmur said. "If only he would take 'mouth off' literally.

"Odell has thrown 2 touchdown passes this year. He may, in fact, be our second-best quarterback. And probably the Redskins' best. If Eli couldn't play for whatever reason, I'd feel very comfortable handing the keys to our offense to Odell. I wouldn't feel comfortable handing the keys to anything to Kyle Lauletta."

The Redskins lost 28-13 to the Eagles on Monday night. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy fractured his tibia and is out for the season.

"I told Mark Sanchez to 'assume the position,'" Jay Gruden said. "So he ran face first into an offensive lineman's butt. That's probably because Mark's been so conditioned over the years that peoples' only use for him is to reenact the 'Butt Fumble' for their entertainment."

In honor of Doug Williams and Reuben Foster, Redskins vendors at FedEx Field suspend the selling of all forms of potatoes, small or otherwise, for one game.

Giants win, 24-21.

Indianapolis @ Houston (-4½)

The Colts were shut out in a 6-0 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville. The defeat snapped Indy's five-game winning streak and left them at 6-6, three games behind the Texans.

"We just didn't bring our 'A' game," Andrew Luck said. "The Jags? They definitely brought there 'D' game.

"Sunday's game in Houston is a must-win for us. We have to win to keep our playoffs hopes reasonably alive. So, we've got to go into NRG Stadium, let the Texans know that we won't go down without a fight, and make a strong statement. That statement from the Colts will be: 'Houston, we are a problem.'"

The Texans beat Baker Mayfield and the Browns 29-13 to win their ninth straight game. The Houston defense forced 4 turnovers, including 3 Mayfield interceptions.

"Somewhere," J.J. Watt said, "Hue Jackson is probably laughing hysterically. You could even say he's probably losing his mind. Because that's what Hue does. He loses things."

Texans win, 27-24.

Cincinnati @ L.A. Chargers (-14)

The Bengals lost 24-10 to the visiting Broncos in Jeff Driskel's first start at quarterback. Denver's defense roughed up Driskel, while Denver rushed for 218 yards.

"It's been a season I'd love to forget," Marvin Lewis said. "That may be hard to do, because my memory is sharp. How do I know? Because I can't remember ever winning a playoff game.

"Hearing about Mike McCarthy getting fired really makes me see how lucky I am to still have a job. Just think, if I would have had Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback, I would have been fired long ago."

The Chargers stormed back from a 23-7 halftime deficit to shock the Steelers 33-30 at Heinz Field. Philip River passed for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Mike Badgley's 29-yard field goal as time expired won it.

"Beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh was amazing," Rivers said. "It was the perfect way to celebrate the announcement that my wife and I are expecting our ninth child. People talk all the time about how I throw the ball with a sidearm motion. But I think we can all agree that my wife's delivery deserves all the attention."

Chargers win, 34-17.

Denver @ San Francisco (+5½)

The Broncos beat the Bengals 24-10 behind a huge day from Phillip Lindsay, who rushed for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. Denver improved to 6-6 and kept their playoff hopes alive.

"We call Phillip the 'Pit Bull,'" Vance Joseph said. "He packs a lot of power into his 5'9" frame, but not a lot of salary. Phillip is an undrafted free agent from the University Of Colorado. No one else wanted him, so we just signed him off the street. As for quarterback, we've tried the draft, we've tried free agency, but we've yet to pull a quarterback off the street. We've certainly put our share of quarterbacks on the street."

Broncos win, 28-17.

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-4)

The Cowboys stunned the visiting Saints 13-10 on Thursday night, ending New Orleans' 10-game winning streak. The Dallas defense held the Saints to under 200 yards.

"That may be the biggest Cowboy win since Super Bowl XXX in 1995," Jerry Jones said. "I'm not sure if I should be proud of that statement, or ashamed.

"I'd like to address the Kareem Hunt situation, but I'd like to do so without mentioning the names 'Greg Hardy' or 'Ezekiel Elliott.' Here in Dallas, an 'exception' is what we call an 'exceptional' player. And 'zero tolerance' is what we have for background checks."

The Eagles beat the Redskins 28-13 and now trail the Cowboys by a single game in the NFC East.

"If we can just get back into the playoffs," Doug Pederson said, "I think we can do some damage. But only to our playoff record."

Cowboys win, 27-24.

Detroit @ Arizona (+2½)

The Cardinals stunned the Packers, 20-17, at cold and snowy Lambeau Field, a loss which led to the firing of Mike McCarthy.

"Many people speculated that my team's play would get a coach fired," Steve Wilks said. "I always assumed it would be me."

Cardinals win, 23-19.

Pittsburgh @ Oakland (+11)

The Steelers blew a 23-7 halftime lead and lost, 33-30, to the visiting Chargers.

"We just collapsed," Mike Tomlin said. "It's bad enough when Antonio Brown has a meltdown; it's another story entirely when the whole team does.

"You never know what you might find in the crowd at an Oakland game. Besides the weapons, there could be a Darth Vader, or a Grim Reaper, or an ordained minister called 'His Black Holiness.'"

The Raiders lost 40-33 to the visiting Chiefs. Oakland nearly matched the Chiefs yard for yard on offense, but three fumbles cost them.

"I was encouraged by our performance against the Chiefs," Jon Gruden said. "And I think we can beat the Steelers. Anything the Steelers can do, I feel we can do better. Like, for example, if they let their best player leave, we can let our two best players leave."

Pittsburgh wins, 30-24.

L.A. Rams @ Chicago (+3)

The Rams earned a surprisingly tough 30-16 win over the Lions at Ford Field. Todd Gurley rushed for 2 scores in the fourth quarter, as the Rams pulled away.

"You can slow this offense," Sean McVay said, "but you can't stop it. Short of a TMZ video, I don't know what can stop this offense.

"And we clinched the NFC West crown. And that's after only 12 games. So, it will be smooth sailing for the remainder of the regular season. We're gonna put the 'coast' in the 'West Coast offense.'"

Rams win, 28-24.

Minnesota @ Seattle (-3½)

The Seahawks beat the 49ers, 43-16, as Russell Wilson stayed hot with 4 touchdown passes. The win solidified Seattle's playoff standing, and they currently hold the NFC's No. 5 seed.

"Not only is Russell on fire," Pete Carroll said, "but our rushing offense is easily the NFL's best. So, we'll take that No. 5 seed in the NFC and 'run' with it, all the way to the home of the NFC East champion, and 'run' them out of their own stadium."

The Vikings lost, 24-10, at New England as the Patriots battered the Vikings defense with 471 yards of total offense.

"If there was some way I could blame this on our kicker," Mike Zimmer said, "I would.

"Anytime we play the Seahawks, it brings back painful memories of the 2015 wild card playoffs, when we lost 10-9 to them after Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal attempt that would have given us the win. Reliving that is always gut-wrenching, like I've taken a sharp object to the side. I think they call that being 'shanked.'"

Dan Bailey hooks a 51-yard attempt as time expires, and the Seahawks hold on for a 23-20 win.

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