NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 5

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

L.A. Rams @ Seattle (-1½)

The Rams were stunned 54-40 by Jameis Winston and the suddenly explosive Buccaneers offense. Winston torched the Rams for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Rams lost for the first time.

"On one hand," Sean McVay said, "Jared Goff passed for 517 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the other hand, he had 4 turnovers. In both hands, he's holding $134 million. And for his performance against the Bucs, he should be "locked up" until 2024.

"I'm not sure what went wrong on defense. And I know, to a man, they're upset about it. I know it stings. And, according to my defensive backfield unit, it also burns.

"But I fully expect Wade Phillips to get these guys ready for Thursday. Wade is known as a quiet motivator, so I think his plan is to make each member of the defense practice in a James Laurinaitis jersey. That's gonna make it difficult to forget the number '55.'

"We're on a mission to get back to the Super Bowl. And when we do, we'll score more than the 3 we did last year. That tied the mark for fewest in the Super Bowl. In Seattle, they call that 'Least Mode.'"

Seattle overwhelmed the Cardinals 27-10, led by Russell Wilson, who was an efficient 22-of-28 for 240 yards and a touchdown.

"You know what I like most about Russell?" Pete Carroll said. "His touch. And I'm not even talking about his passing."

Rams win, 27-24.

Arizona @ Cincinnati (-4)

The Bengals lost 27-3 at Heinz Field to the Steelers on Monday Night Football and remain winless on the season.

"That places us dead last in the NFC North," Zac Taylor said. "That's like a home game to us, because that's 'familiar territory.'

"Tyler Boyd said we were 'embarrassed' by the Steelers. But I refuse to give our division rivals credit for something were perfectly capable of doing ourselves."

The Cardinals are still winless after falling 27-10 to the Seahawks. Kyler Murray had a rushing touchdown, but struggled through the air, with only 241 yards passing.

"Many people thought Kyler's 5'10" stature would be a problem," Kliff Kingsbury said. "They may have been right, because at times, it looks like he's in over his head.

"On the bright side, Larry Fitzgerald took over No. 2 on the NFL's all-time receptions list. Larry has 1,326 catches; Jerry Rice has 1,549 receptions, and also holds the record for most yardage in history. Larry's going after both of Rice's records, one reception at a time, and, with Kyler throwing to him, 5 yards at a time."

Cardinals win, 24-21.

Buffalo @ Tennessee (-3)

The Patriots nipped the Bills, 16-10, to take sole ownership of the AFC East division lead. While the Bills defense did its job, the Pats D outdid them, collecting 4 interceptions, 5 sacks, and an interception return for a touchdown.

"I guess the Patriots defense wanted to come to Buffalo and make a statement," Doug McDermott said. "And they did, personally, unlike Robert Kraft, who only makes statements through his legal representatives. Likely from the law firm of 'Rubbe, Tugge, and Finnish.'

"Two Bills fans were united in marriage at halftime. And I think they were real Bills fans, because they consummated the marriage not in a bed, but on a table, and inside the stadium!"

The Titans pounded the Falcons 24-10 to even their record at 2-2. Marcus Mariota passed for 3 touchdowns, two to rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown.

"Marcus may have found his go-to receiver," Mike Vrabel. "We're still determining if Marcus is our 'go-to' quarterback. Should a head coach be calling out his quarterback? Yes, because I'm a 'went-there' coach.

"Almost 19 years ago, the Titans beat the Bills in the playoffs thanks to the 'Music City Miracle.' This franchise has featured some amazing quarterbacks, but tight end Frank Wycheck may have had the greatest forward pass in Titans history."

Tennessee wins, 18-13.

Chicago @ Oakland (+4½)

The Bears beat the Vikings 16-6, powered by a defense that stifled the Minnesota offense. Mitch Trubisky left the game in the first quarter after injuring his left shoulder.

"I believe that's his non-throwing shoulder," head coach Matt Nagy said. "It's hard to tell sometimes. Doctors are diagnosing it as a 'STFU' injury. The full medical term is 'Shoulder That's F'd Up.'

"Khalil Mack can't wait to play against the team that traded him. He's practically salivating. That'll make it easier to spit in their faces."

The Raiders halted a two-game skid with a commanding 31-24 win over the Colts in Indianapolis. Derek Carr passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Raiders sealed the win with a late pick-six. Oakland is 2-2, tied for 2nd in the AFC West.

"I'm proud of this team," Jon Gruden said. "They made the long trip to a tough road environment and made a statement. That statement was this: when we play our very best, the optimal result will ultimately be a .500 record, at best.

"We'll have to face the Bears without Vontaze Burfict, who was suspended for the rest of the season for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Jack Doyle. You can say the NFL was a little hard on him, but I think the league showed 'necessary toughness.'

"This game is taking place in London. Frankly, I'm glad Antonio Brown is not with us. Can you imagine him in London? Standing in the shadow of 'Big Ben?'"

Bears win, 20-12.

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-3½)

The Bucs exploded for a franchise-record 55 points in a stunning 55-40 road win over the Rams. Jameis Winston passed for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 2 to Chris Godwin.

"Jameis deserves all the credit in the world," Bruce Arians said. "But I certainly don't want to put him on a pedestal. That's almost like putting Jameis on a table. And we certainly don't need one of Jameis' college motivational speeches.

"I told my team before the Rams game on the importance of 'finishing.' If I'm not mistaken, Warren Sapp once told prostitutes the same thing."

The Saints beat the visiting Cowboys, 12-10. The New Orleans defense held the Cowboys to 45 yards rushing and forced 3 turnovers.

"With Drew Brees out," Sean Payton said, "we really needed our defense to step up. And they did. Dennis Allen has done a great job, of not being Rob Ryan. Dennis has just as much knowledge as Rob, and about a third of the 'baggage.'"

Saints win, 26-21.

Minnesota @ N.Y. Giants (+4½)

The Vikings lost 16-6 to the Bears at Soldier Field, suffering their second NFC North division loss.

"Our offense just hasn't been clicking," Mike Zimmer said. "Some say I'm 'running' our offense into the ground. Adam Thielen agrees. He's made it known that Kevin Stefanski's play-calling has not been very 'well-received.' But Adam, Kevin, and I are going to sit down and have a brainstorming session to come up with solutions. There'll be a 'reception' afterwards, but Adam's not invited."

The Giants crushed the Redskins, 24-3, behind a defense that forced 4 turnovers, more than covering for a difficult day for Daniel Jones.

"Daniel had his struggles," Pat Shurmur said, "but he made plays when it counted most. He looks like he's our answer at quarterback. His bland expression may not say it, but he's 'all business.' Actually, I guess that means he's 'all business-casual.'

"I think Eli Manning realizes benching him was the right call. He's been great about it. He's taking it like a champ, which is as close to 'champion' as he's been in about eight years."

Zimmer starts the game with four consecutive passes to Thielen, followed by four consecutive end-arounds for Thielen.

Minnesota wins, 27-17.

N.Y. Jets @ Philadelphia (-14)

The Eagles upset the Packers 34-27 at Lambeau Field, led by 3 touchdowns from Jordan Howard and some late-game heroics from their defense.

"Our defense came to play when it counted," Doug Pederson said. "Sure, they gave up 27 points, but they held strong on two instances of 1st-and-goal. That tells me a lot about my defense, mainly that their best player is the back of the end zone.

"I'm guessing the 'Dougalos' will be out in full force. In case you're wondering, the 'Dougalos' are fanatic Eagles fans who paint their faces, do meth, and ask dumb questions, like 'How do batteries work?' Well, any real Eagles fan can tell you that batteries work best as projectiles."

The Jets return from their Week 4 bye seeking their first win.

"Sam Darnold is still recovering from the effects of mono," Le'Veon Bell said. "If he can play, it would be a huge lift for this team, because we're 0-3 and really need a win. In other words, we're on life support, and Sam just very well might be the man to give us mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."

Eagles win, 27-16.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (+3½)

The Ravens lost their second in a row, suffering a 40-25 beatdown to the visiting Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Cleveland posted 530 yards of total offense, the second week in a row Baltimore has surrendered at least 500 yards.

"After we gave up 503 yards to the Chiefs in Week 3," John Harbaugh said, "I felt it was a good time to recite Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' to the team, especially the part in which the raven says 'Nevermore.' Then the Browns dropped 530 on us.

"If Ray Lewis were dead, he'd be rolling in his grave. And that would probably look a lot like one of his famous pre-game dances/convulsions/seizures."

The Steelers won for the first time this season, knocking off the Bengals with a decisive 27-3 win on Monday night.

"We're gonna call this win a 'building block,'" Mike Tomlin said. "And I'm gonna spout my routine cliches to prove to everyone that I'm a no-nonsense coach. Words like 'man-up,' 'fundamentals,' and 'accountability.'

"At 1-3, we're only one game out of first in the AFC North. Conversely, we're only one game out of last in the division."

Ravens win, 27-21.

New England @ Washington (+15½)

The Patriots nipped the Bills 16-10 in Buffalo, eventually silencing a raucous New Era Field crowd.

"Our goal heading to Buffalo was two-fold," Tom Brady said. "We wanted to avoid two things: a letdown, and flying dildos. I think we succeeded on both fronts.

"Incidentally, my fitness guru and virtual fluffer Alex Guerrero puts me through an exercise called the 'latex gauntlet' in which I'm continually pelted by dildos and fists. Or maybe that's just a meme on the Internet.

"Antonio Brown is filing a record nine grievances to try to recoup over $61 million he thinks he's owed. If Antonio contacts me about being a character witnesses, I'll have no choice but to lie, and destroy my phone."

The Redskins lost to the Giants 24-3. Case Keenum was benched in the second quarter after a poor start, and rookie Dwayne Haskins finished the game and threw 3 interceptions.

"'It's time for a change,'" Jay Gruden said, "is the phrase I dread hearing from Dan Snyder.

"I don't think it's a good idea to start Dwayne against the Patriots. That could destroy a man's confidence. What will build Dwayne's confidence is watching Case try to beat the Patriots. If Dwayne sees that, his thought will be, 'Well, I may not be able to do better, but I can't do worse.'"

New England wins, 31-9.

Jacksonville @ Carolina (-3)

The Panthers were victorious on the road at Houston, knocking off the Texans 16-10. Christian McCaffrey posted 179 total yards and a touchdown, helping to overcome 3 Kyle Allen fumbles.

"Even when he's struggling," Ron Rivera said, "Kyle's still displaying great leadership. He's a great learner. He's done what I've asked and then some. When I told him to 'Show me something,' I didn't realize I was using a line that forced Jerry Richardson into selling the team.

"Cam Newton admitted he hid the extent of his foot injury. That's called 'Cam-ouflag-ing.' I'm guessing he hid it underneath an overpriced pair of alligator skin loafers."

Leonard Fournette rushed for a career-high 225 yards, helping the Jaguars complete a 26-24 comeback win at Denver's Invesco Field.

"A good running game is a rookie quarterback's best friend," Gardner Minshew said. "Not mine. My best friend in my jock strap. It goes with me everywhere, and I honestly can't function without it. So, I need my jock strap for support, emotional and otherwise.

"Jalen Ramsey has missed quite a few practices. Let's see, he had the flu, his back hurt, and he wanted to be present for the birth of his child. You know what they say — 'bad excuses come in threes.' Anyway, they all sound like legitimate excuses to me. On the other hand, Jalen is a poor excuse for a teammate."

Panthers win, 20-19.

Atlanta @ Houston (-5)

The visiting Titans whipped the Falcons, 24-10, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Tennessee built a 24-7 halftime lead and kept Atlanta's potent passing attack out of sync.

"I'm barely surviving behind my offensive line," Matt Ryan said. "I mean, there are plenty of places in Atlanta where a 30-something yuppie would have to run for his life, but Mercedes-Benz Stadium should not be one of them. You'd think things might be better at Houston's NRG Stadium, but Deshaun Watson has warned me it most certainly is not."

The Texans lost 16-10 to the visiting Panthers, and at 2-2, Houston is in a four-way tie in the AFC South.

"Right now," Bill O'Brien said, "we're nothing more than an average team. And ultimately, that's my fault. This team is a reflection of me. As a coach, when I look in the mirror, I see 'Me-diocrity.'"

Texans win, 27-24.

Denver @ L.A. Chargers (-6½)

The Broncos blew a 17-6 lead and lost 26-24 to the visiting Jaguars. Denver is 0-4 and last in the AFC West.

"We're the latest victims of 'Gardner Minshew Mania," Joe Flacco said. "I hear Gardner is one cool dude. But let's be real, personality doesn't win football games. If it did, I'd be absolutely winless."

The Chargers whipped the Dolphins 30-10 at Hard Rock Stadium. Austin Ekeler scored 2 touchdowns, and the Chargers defense recorded 5 sacks.

"We've got Melvin Gordon back," Rivers said. "As holdouts go, Melvin was tackled for a huge 'loss' behind the line of scrimmage.

"With Melvin and Austin in the backfield, we have two of the top running backs in the league. Some people would call that a 'two-headed monster,' which is something only the Bible told me ever existed."

Chargers win, 23-20.

Green Bay @ Dallas (-3½)

The Packers lost 34-27 to the visiting Eagles despite a huge night from Aaron Rodgers, who passed for 422 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"That's Aaron Rodgers doing Aaron Rodgers things," Matt LaFleur said. "Maybe Aaron Rodgers should do some Peyton Manning things and call an audible to switch from a pass to a run at the goal line.

"We failed to score on first and goal on two occasions. That's not good for our red zone percentage. We set a goal before the season to have our red zone percentage at least be higher than Eddie Lacy's body fat. Speaking of Eddie, does anyone know what he's up to now? I'm guessing about 350."

The Cowboys lost 12-10 in New Orleans and dropped to 3-1 on the year.

"Our offense struggled," Dak Prescott said. "It was like we were stuck in wet cement. Well, maybe not that bad. It was like we were stuck in Chunky Soup. That's just a cheap plug for one of my many endorsements. Oddly enough, I'm contractually obligated to reference Chunky Soup in all communications, especially texts. Those are the 'soup emojis.'"

Prior to kickoff, Dez Bryant makes a special appearance and checks the Fox Broadcasting cables, and determines that there's "good reception," then presents each of the seven officials a swag bag.

Cowboys win, 26-24.

Indianapolis @ Kansas City (-11)

A slow start doomed the Colts in a 31-24 home loss to the Raiders. With receivers T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess out with injuries, the Indy offense was lethargic and unable to sustain drives.

"We hung our defense out to dry," Frank Reich said. "That's not good against the Raiders, and certainly doesn't bode well against the Chiefs. After a game with no touchdown passes, my guess is Patrick Mahomes will be ready to lay down the law. The law of averages, that is."

Despite no touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs left Detroit with a 34-30 win. Mahomes passed for 315 yards, and the K.C. ground game accounted for 123 yards and 3 TDs.

"Even when he's not throwing touchdowns," Andy Reid said, "he's still impacting the game. Patrick is my one-man fantasy team. He is undoubtedly the centerpiece of hundreds of fantasy teams; he is the 'centerfold' of mine.

"But we are anything but a one-dimensional team. That's mostly because Patrick is from another dimension."

Kansas City wins, 31-24.

Cleveland @ San Francisco (-3½)

The Browns destroyed the Ravens, 40-25, in Baltimore to even their record at 2-2. Nick Chubb battered the Ravens for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"This game had it all," Baker Mayfield said. "Punching, choking, taunting, lost earrings. Big deal. At the Dawg Pound on game day, that just what goes on in the concessions line.

"I'm managing multiple feuds right now. One with Rex Ryan and one with Antonio Brown. Those guys are quick to say things they probably shouldn't. I can understand it from Rex; he likes putting a foot in his mouth.

"If you'd like to know more about NFL gossip centered around Cleveland, check out 'Eye on Cleveland' on WJW FOX 8, or the late-night version on Adult Swim called 'Brown Eye.'"

Cleveland wins, 26-24.

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