NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 3

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+1)

The Jaguars fell just short of upsetting the Texans in Houston when Leonard Fournette's attempt to convert a two-point conversion was stuffed, preserving the Texans 13-12 win.

"We're all frustrated," Doug Marrone said. "Especially Jalen Ramsey and myself. We got into a heated argument on the sideline. He was all up in my face. I told his teammates to get him off of me. What do you know — another restraining order filed against an NFL player.

"Gardner Minshew is taking the NFL by storm. Here are little known facts about him: his middle name is 'Fu.' His fan club is called the ''Shew Tang Clan.' I guess he's the hottest thing in the NFL right now, and his 1970's mustache is not far behind. So, we're gonna ride him and his mustache as far as they will take us. What's that? I've just been told that I should not say that we will 'ride his mustache.'"

The Titans lost 19-17 to longtime AFC South nemesis Indianapolis, and Tennessee has now lost 14 of its last 16 versus the Colts.

"Apparently," Mike Vrabel said, "we are who the Colts thought we were.

"Do we fear playing in Jacksonville. Not at all. Jaguars fans may be the most laid back in the NFL. Heck, they have a swimming pool in their stadium. It's awesome! You may know it as the 'Cess Pool,' or the 'Hep Sea.' Fans love it, and the stadium is even thinking of enlarging it to accommodate the added interest. In other words, it's contagious."

Ramsey has an interception, and after the game, meets Derrick Henry at midfield for the customary jersey exchange, and Ramsey demands a trade.

Jags win, 19-16.

Cincinnati @ Buffalo (-6)

The Bengals lost big, 41-17, to the visiting 49ers and fell to 0-2, last in the AFC North. San Fran rushed for over 250 yards, while Jimmy Garappolo passed for 3 touchdowns.

"The 49ers went through our defense like a knife through hot butter," Zac Taylor said. "Please, don't be misled by the 'knife and hot butter' reference; it's not describing Pacman Jones' latest escapade in a strip club.

"Obviously, we have some issues that need to be cleaned up on the defensive side. Like the sheets, because our defense 'S'd the bed.'"

The Bills are 2-0 after handling the Giants 28-14, and share the lead in the AFC East with the Patriots. Josh Allen passed for a score and rushed for another as the Bills won't their second game this year at MetLife Stadium

"It's awesome that we're 2-0," Allen said, "and it's awesome that those two wins came on the road at MetLife Stadium. But our most impressive accomplishment is doing something that many have tried, but few have succeeded: getting Eli Manning benched.

"This is our first home game of the season. So I expect the Bills Mafia to be out in full force. They're known for putting each other through tables, and I'd say they're the best in the world at this activity. They'd like to call themselves the 'World Champions' of table slamming, but let's face it, being the 'AFC Champions' of table slamming is probably the best they can do."

Bills win, 27-17.

Miami @ Dallas (-21)

The Cowboys downed the Redskins 31-21, led by Dak Prescott's 3 passing scores.

"Do the Dolphins have any chance to win this game?" Jerry Jones said. "Maybe if AT&T Stadium freezes over, and Leon Lett shows up on our field goal defense team.

"But we're more than happy to welcome the Dolphins to AT&T Stadium. I'm in no way biased, but it is the greatest place to experience an NFL game. You can practically get anything you want inside AT&T Stadium. For example, we have a vending machine that dispenses a gift-wrapped likeness of Dak Prescott. We call it 'Dak in a Box.'

"Speaking of Dak, I promise he will get his new contract. I'm gonna put my money where my mouth is. No, not soaking in a glass of Polident, but in Dak's pocket."

The Patriots embarrassed the Dolphins 43-0 at Hard Rock Stadium. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen combined for 4 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and were sacked a combined 7 times.

"You can't say our quarterbacks didn't put up some 'numbers,'" Brian Flores said. "Their QBR was a 'QBR't.'

"The SS Mutiny is docked nearby, and it's taking on water. Luckily, nearly all of our players are willing to 'bail.' That includes Minkah Fitzpatrick, who demanded a trade and got it. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is 'Fitzmagic,' Minkah would have to be 'Quitzmagic.' Now, I guess I can honestly say there's no 'quit' on this team."

Dallas wins, 38-6.

Denver @ Green Bay (-8)

The Broncos fell to 0-2 with a devastating 16-14 loss to the visiting Bears. After Joe Flacco's TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders and the ensuing 2-point conversion, the Broncos led 14-13 with 35 seconds left.

"That's about the time the officiating got a little 'hazy,'" Vic Fangio said. "I know marijuana is legal in Colorado, but officiating in Denver should not be known as taking place in 'While High Stadium.'

"But there's no need to panic. The optimistic me says, 'It's a long season.' The pessimistic me says, 'It's gonna be a long season."

Packers win, 24-19.

Atlanta @ Indianapolis (-2)

The Falcons beat the Eagles 24-20 on Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Julio Jones had 106 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns, including the go-ahead 54-yard screen pass with 2:10 remaining.

"Julio is just awesome," Matt Ryan said. "He is not just 'so money,' he is 'so much money.' He's the highest-paid wide receiver in the game. And, unlike some wide receivers who will remain nameless, Julio is only a problem on the field, not off the field."

The Colts upset the Titans 19-17 in Nashville to even their record at 1-1. Jacoby Brissett passed for 3 touchdowns, and the team rushed for 167 yards.

"Our offensive line did a fantastic job," Frank Reich said. "But the best 'block' of the day was the mental one we have on the Titans.

"On a more somber note, Adam Vinatieri missed 2 extra points, and has now missed 3 already this season. Our team owner Jim Irsay says he was 'concerned' about this and would discuss it with Adam. If Jim Irsay giving someone a 'talking to' isn't the very definition of hypocrisy, I don't know what is."

Vinatieri is perfect on 3 extra points and kicks the game-winning 43-yard field goal, and the Colts win, 26-23.

Vinatieri shows his appreciation to Irsay by donating $29,000 dollars to local drug prevention programs.

Baltimore @ Kansas City (-6½)

The Ravens beat the visiting and surprisingly tough Cardinals, 23-17, to remain undefeated. Lamar Jackson passed for 2 touchdowns and rushed for 120 yards.

"Offensively," John Harbaugh said, "I'm very satisfied with our performance so far this season. Defensively, there are some questions to which I'd like answers. Like, 'How did we let the Dolphins score 10 points?'"

Patrick Mahomes passed for all 4 of his touchdowns in the second quarter, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 28-10 to move to 2-0.

"Most coaches wish their signal caller was half the quarterback Patrick is," Andy Reid said. "Now, Patrick has proved they'd be just fine if their man was just a quarter of the QB Patrick is."

Chiefs win, 28-24.

Oakland @ Minnesota (-7½)

Despite a huge day from Dalvin Cook, the Vikings lost 21-16 at Green Bay. Kirk Cousins struggled through the air, completing only 14-of-32 passes for 230 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.

"Kirk needs to work on his accuracy," Mike Zimmer said. "And he needs to understand this. So I'm going to diagram some plays on the broad side of a barn.

"He also needs to work on his decision-making. Here's a little exercise I use to drive home that point. I ask Kirk to pick a number between three and five. If he answers correctly, I congratulate him on making the right decision. That's positive reinforcement. Then I tell him that 4 is his QBR. That's negative reinforcement."

Cousins passes for 2 scores, and Minnesota wins, 31-19.

N.Y. Jets @ New England (-23)

The Patriots wrecked the Dolphins, 43-0, as the New England defense forced 4 turnovers, recorded 7 sacks, and scored 2 defensive TDs. Antonio Brown had 4 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in his Patriots debut.

"In years past," Tom Brady said, "the Dolphins have given us trouble in Miami. But we realized overreacting to that does no good. I think that's what Robert Kraft was referring to when he told us, 'Just keep your pants on.'

"Antonio Brown made an immediate impact. And that's a function of hard work. Antonio wants badly to be the best. He won't settle for second-best. In fact, he won't settle for anything."

With Sam Darnold out with mono, Trevor Siemian assumed the quarterback position on Monday night before an ankle injury sent him to the bench. Luke Falk took over as the Jets lost 23-3 to the Browns. Falk will start against the Patriots.

"Luke has a chance to shine," Adam Gase said. "If he somehow leads us to a win over the mighty Patriots, he'll become an immediate legend. A 'Falk' hero, if you will. Then, he can say to all the people who criticized him, 'Falk you and the high horse you rode in on.'

"As you know, mono is highly contagious. So, we've got Sam quarantined from the rest of the team. And just to be safe, we've instructed our other quarterbacks not to kiss anyone on the sideline. And that goes for Joe Namath, as well."

Patriots win, 27-7.

Detroit @ Philadelphia (-7)

The Lions overcame some sloppy play to beat the visiting Chargers, 13-10, at Ford Field to improve to 1-0-1.

"'It wasn't pretty,'" Matt Patricia said, "'but I'll take it.' I'm not sure why I'm reciting my wife's wedding vows, but here we are."

The Eagles lost 24-20 to the Falcons in Atlanta as a slew of injuries hampered Philly's efforts.

"One week after falling down 17-0 to the Redskins," Doug Pederson said, "we suffer an unimaginable number of injuries in one game. Neither are ideal. You could say our start to the season has been 'rocky-themed.'"

Eagles win, 26-23.

Carolina @ Arizona (+2½)

With Cam Newton struggling with accuracy, the Panthers lost 20-14 to the visiting Buccaneers last Thursday night.

"Is Cam is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery?" Ron Rivera said. "What do you think? Of course he shoulder still bothers him. Heck, he can barely dress himself.

"Now Cam has re-aggravated a foot injury suffered in the preseason. Now, I can't say that it will prevent him from playing; it will, however, prevent him from wearing high heels."

The Cardinals hung with the Ravens in Baltimore but ultimately lost, 23-17. Kyler Murray became only the second quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two games.

"I think Kyler played very well in a hostile environment," Kliff Kingsbury said. "No interceptions, no fumbles, and most importantly, no scarves."

Arizona wins, 24-21.

N.Y. Giants @ Tampa Bay (-6½)

The Buccaneers beat Cam Newton and the Panthers 20-14 on Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium. Chris Godwin had 121 yards receiving and a touchdown reception, and Peyton Barber added a rushing score.

"More importantly," Bruce Arians said, "Jameis Winston did not have a single turnover. That's unusual. Often, when a 'zero' is used in reference to Jameis, it's not referencing turnovers, it's referencing 'redeeming qualities.'

"Todd Bowles has really made a difference as defensive coordinator. And I think he'll have success against Daniel Jones and the Giants. Todd's as a defensive coordinator is just as tough on rookie QBs as Todd as a head coach."

The Giants lost to the visiting Bills, 28-14, as Eli Manning struggled. On Tuesday, Pat Shurmur announced that Daniel Jones would start in Tampa.

"Is it Halloween?" Manning said. "Because I've been getting boo'd on a constant basis.

"I realized my job was in jeopardy. I know Pat Shurmur had a tough decision to make. I'm sure he looked to the past for guidance, and asked himself, 'McAdoo, or McAdon't.'

Buccaneers win, 27-24.

Houston @ L.A. Chargers (-3)

The Chargers lost 13-10 to the Lions at Ford Field, squandering a chance to send the game to overtime when Philip Rivers was intercepted with 1:10 left to play.

"Most visiting teams comment on the 'hostile' crowd at Digital Health Sports Park," Rivers said. "I think what they mean to say is 'hostel' crowd, because our home crowd is so welcoming to visitors, they'd let you live in their house."

The Texans survived the Jaguars upset bid, winning 13-12 when the Jags' two-point conversion attempt for the win failed.

"We were lucky to get the win," Bill O'Brien said. "And I'm lucky to still be the coach. How do you explain a team featuring Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and J.J. Watt, playing at home, against a Jaguars team with a backup quarterback with a douchey mustache, and a coach and a cornerback who nearly came to blows, that only won by a single point? If defies explanation."

Texans win, 26-24.

Pittsburgh @ San Francisco (-7)

The Steelers lost 28-26 to the visiting Seahawks, undone by a seemingly uninspired offense, as well as injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and James Conner. Roethlisberger is out for the season after undergoing elbow surgery on Thursday.

"Big Ben is devastated," Mike Tomlin said. "He was so upset, he locked himself in a bathroom.

"But we're all in with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. Mason spent last year observing Roethlisberger day in and day out, so he's learned first hand how to alienate not only the best wide receiver in the game, but the best running back, and drive them away. Luckily, we don't have either anymore, so here's to Mason just throwing, and not throwing anyone under the bus."

Pittsburgh wins, 24-21.

New Orleans @ Seattle (-4½)

The Saints lost 27-9 to the Rams, failing to avenge last year's loss in the NFC Championship Game. Drew Brees injured the thumb on his right hand, and will miss six weeks after surgery.

"Drew remained in Los Angeles to see a hand specialist," Brees said. "He'll need a thorough examination before he's told he's good to go. So, before the doctor gives Drew the 'thumbs up,' he'll have to say, 'Sup, thumb?'

"Once again, we were screwed by the officiating. And, once again, we were done in by a 'whistleblower.' We had a fumble return for a touchdown, but the play was blown dead, and the rest was history. That's now three times we've been on the wrong end of a bad call. If I didn't know better, I'd say we were being 'targeted.'"

Seattle wins, 27-20.

L.A. Rams @ Cleveland (+3)

The Rams stomped the visiting Saints, 27-9, and are now 2-0.

"See," Sean McVay said, "we can beat the Saints without the officials' help. With that loss, coupled with the injury to Drew Brees, the Saints season might as well be 'blown dead.'

"Aqib Talib has assured me he's going to get under Odell Beckham, Jr.'s skin. If Beckham wears that watch on Sunday, Talib's gonna make time travel, because he's taking it back to L.A. with him. That's the truth, and he's not pulling your chain."

The Browns improved dramatically from their Week 1 performance with a dominating 23-3 win over the Jets on Monday night. Odell Beckham, Jr. had 6 catches for 161 yards, including an 89-yard TD.

"Once again," Baker Mayfield said, "Odell made a spectacular one-handed grab. It's verification that he is the most 'hand-y' wide receiver in the NFL. That's opposed to Antonio Brown, who may be the most 'hands-y."

Aaron Donald wreaks havoc on the Browns offensive line, and the Rams escape with a 24-18 win.

Chicago @ Washington (+4)

The Bears beat the Broncos and former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio 16-14 on Eddy Pineiro's 53-yard field goal as time expired.

"If you said the refs 'handed us that game,'" Matt Nagy said, "I would reply, 'Wait just a second.' That's also what the officials said in Denver."

The Redskins lost 31-21 to the visiting Cowboys to fall to 0-2, with both defeats in the division. On the bright side, Adrian Peterson rushed for a score, passing Jim Taylor for 5th on the NFL's all-time rushing list.

"Adrian is amazing," Daniel Snyder said. "He's been an NFL MVP, Rookie of the Year, multiple-time All-Pro, the NFL's single-game rushing record, as well as countless other honors. In other words, he's got more trophies than he knows what to do with. What he doesn't have is a championship belt. And I think we should keep it that way."

Washington wins, 19-17.

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