Thursday, October 10, 2019

NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 6

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

NY Giants @ New England (-16½)

The Patriots walloped the Redskins 33-7 at FedEx Field to remain undefeated. Tom Brady passed for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the top-ranked Patriots defense forced 2 turnovers and sacked Colt McCoy 6 times.

"I passed Brett Favre for third place on the all-time passage yardage list," Brady said. "And on that note, I'd like to show my 'D.' Pardon me, I didn't finish that sentence. I'd like to show my 'D' some appreciation. Those guys do it all, except ask for trades, call out teammates, and whine on social media.

"Now, a health update. Bill Belichick has mono. 'Monotone,' that is. In Bill's case, it's incurable."

The Giants lost 28-10 to the visiting Vikings. Daniel Jones struggled against the formidable Minnesota defense, completing only 21-of-38 passes for 182 yards and suffering 4 sacks.

"Daniel had some struggles," Pat Shurmur said. "But he's a competitor. He certainly doesn't lack confidence in his offensive. Can you blame him? He gets to play our defense in practice.

"Tom Brady may not be the most physically gifted quarterback, but his mental acumen is unparalleled. That could be due to the exercises of the mind his body and brain coach, Alex Guerrero, implements, or it could be from the incredibly beneficial head scissors delivered by his wife, Giselle, on a daily basis."

Patriots win, 36-6.

Carolina vs Tampa Bay (+2)

The Bucs lost 31-24 to the Saint at the Superdome, as the Saints defense roughed up Jameis Winston to the tune of 6 sacks. Tampa is 2-3, third in the NFC South.

"Jameis is lucky he left New Orleans without being injured," Bruce Arians said. "If he was injured, I'm sure he'd at least tell us about it. Jameis has never been dishonest about an injury he's suffered. He doesn't hide injuries, he hides crab legs."

The Panthers beat the visiting Jaguars 34-27. Christian McCaffrey posted 237 total yards and scored 3 touchdowns.

"Christian was unstoppable," Ron Rivera said. "You could even say he was on a 'crusade' to slaughter defenses.

"We seem to be doing just fine offensively without Cam Newton. And Cam still needs to recover from his secret foot injury. So I told him to 'sit.' I also told him to 'heal.' No one told Cam to 'roll over,' but he did anyway in Super Bowl 50."

Newton turns heads when he arrives at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London wearing a powdered white wig and a black robe, while carrying a cartoonishly-oversized gavel.

Panthers win, 27-24.

Seattle @ Cleveland (-1)

Russell Wilson passed for 4 touchdowns to lead the Seahawks to a 30-29 win over the visiting Rams on Thursday night.

"Let me tell ya,'" Pete Carroll said, "having Russell as my quarterback makes it easy for me to find spiritual peace. Especially when my defense in nowhere near the caliber of the dominating Seahawks defenses of old. Who needs the 'Legion of Doom' when Russell gives me the 'Legion of Kum(baya).'

"Former Seahawks Percy Harvin recently said he smoked weed before every NFL game he played. And we must have been high when we acquired him from the Vikings in a trade."

The 49ers pounded the Browns 31-3 on Monday night. San Fran rushed for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns in dispatching the error-prone Browns.

"That was utter humiliation," Baker Mayfield said. "That's not as bad as 'Hue-miliation,' which is two whole years of humiliation.

"It was an especially rough day for me. Richard Sherman falsely claimed I refused to shake his hand before the game, and then Nick Bosa mocked me. Put those two situations together, and I got 'flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.'

"Odell Beckham, Jr. had more combined passes and rushes than he did receptions. Freddie Kitchens needs to get him the ball. Odell is being utilized more improperly than Odell utilizes jewelry."

Seattle wins, 26-23.

Houston @ Kansas City (-5½)

The Colts held Patrick Mahomes to 1 touchdown pass and sacked him 4 times in Indianapolis' 19-13 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

"If there's a blueprint for beating us," Andy Reid said, "the Colts just created it. What does that blueprint entail? Well, using a potent rushing attack to eat clock and keep the ball from Patrick, which renders our offense impotent. Or flaccid. I guess an ever better word to describe it is 'limp.'

"But let's not get too worried about a single loss. It's not the end of the world. We're still going to win the AFC West handily, and be seeded No. 2 in the AFC come playoff time. The Patriots will be the No. 1 seed. Easily. And they'll celebrate the division title with cupcakes and cream puffs, because that describes half of the division."

The Texans demolished the visiting Falcons, 53-32, to improve to 3-0. Deshaun Watson passed for 5 touchdowns, 3 to Will Fuller.

"Deshaun was practically unstoppable," Bill O'Brien said. "Of course, that's because the Falcons defense is 'unstop able.' Like any good team, we found a weakness and exploited it. Then we found another weakness and exploited it. Et cetera. That's Latin for 'the Falcons defense continues to suck.'

"Will is one of the league's most explosive receivers. His issue is not talent, it's remaining healthy. His injury history suggests his name should be 'Will Fuller D,' not 'Will Fuller V.'"

Chiefs win, 27-24.

Washington @ Miami (+3½)

The Dolphins return from their bye week to host the Redskins.

"This may be our best chance to win a game this year," Brian Flores said. "Will we win? I don't know. Some say our coaches meeting involves brainstorming ways to actually lose games. I can't verify that. If I could, it would be called our 'Think Tank.'"

The Redskins lost 33-7 to the visiting Patriots, ultimately resulting in Jay Gruden's firing as head coach early Monday morning.

"You know the saying?" Gruden said. "The one that goes, 'I could see the writing on the wall.' Well, that's bull. I couldn't see the writing on the wall. I could see the writing on my windshield. That's how I found out I was fired.

"I've got players crying on my behalf, like Chris Thompson. Say what you will, but Chris is a 'bawler.'

"There were rumors swirling that I didn't even want Dwayne Haskins. And I guess there were facts swirling that Dan Snyder didn't want me. There were also rumors swirling that the Patriots tasked a child with filming our practices with his head-mounted camera. But I can assure you, there was no 'Kid Go Pro.'"

Kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium is delayed for 30 minutes when both teams refuse to call the coin toss out of fear of actually winning it. Finally, the Dolphins agree to make the call in exchange for Washington's seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Miami wins, 24-17.

Philadelphia @ Minnesota (-3)

The Vikings offense found its high gear in a 28-10 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Kirk Cousins passed for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to Adam Thielen.

"I told Kirk to 'give me the damn ball!'" Thielen said. "Now my teammates call me 'Thie-Shawn.' This team may be better at airing out grievances than it is of airing out the actual football.

"Stefon Diggs has a great idea for a Halloween costume. He's gonna walk around in a tent with tears in his eyes. He calls the costume the 'Unhappy Camper.'"

The Eagles pounded the lowly Jets 31-6 and made life miserable for quarterback Luke Falk, who was sacked 10 times and turned the ball over 3 times.

"What do you call it when a Eagles defense carves up a hopelessly overmatched young quarterback in Philadelphia? The 'Fillet Special.'

"We're looking forward to playing in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank Stadium is a fantastic facility, and I hear early October is the absolute best time of the year to take a boat trip on Lake Minnetonka."

Vikings win, 24-23.

New Orleans @ Jacksonville (-1)

The Jaguars lost 34-27 in a shootout to the Panthers as both teams combined for 952 yards of total offense.

"Our defense certainly struggled," Doug Marrone said. "And they just didn't make any adjustments. Maybe I need to have a talk with defensive coordinator Todd Wash. I may 'demand a trade.' Meaning, I may demand that he have a 'trade' other than defensive coordinator.

"On a lighter note, it's true what you've heard about Gardner Minshew. He does stretch in the locker room wearing only a jock strap. And it's quite the site. You know it's a down year for our defense when our quarterback leads the team in 'sacks' and 'Ds.'"

The Saints beat the Buccaneers 31-24, led by Teddy Bridgewater, who passed for 4 touchdowns, including 2 to Michael Thomas.

"Teddy's done everything we've asked of him," Sean Payton said. "And that includes lying about his knowledge of 'Bountygate.'

"You've probably noticed Teddy wears two gloves when he plays. That aids with his grip. Because you definitely need a good grip when you're holding the fort down."

Saints win, 23-20.

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-11)

The Ravens beat the Steelers 26-23 at Heinz Field to halt a two-game losing streak. Marlon Humphrey stripped JuJu Smith-Shuster in overtime to set up Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal.

"One week Marlon's choking someone," John Harbaugh said. "The next, he's 'stripping' someone. Now he's on Hollywood's short list to play the lead in 'Making it Rain: The Pacman Jones Story.'

"We have to have the same intensity for the Bengals as we did for the Steelers. It's a little different. Whereas facing the Steelers is a rivalry game, facing the Bengals is a revelry game, because we know we'll be partying afterwards."

The Bengals lost 26-23 to the visiting Cardinals and are now one of four winless teams in the NFL. It's the seventh time since 1990 that the Bengals have started a season 0-5.

"Hey," Zac Taylor said, "the Bengals hired me in the hopes that I would 'make history.' Not only did I make it, I rewrote it."

Baltimore wins, 29-16.

San Francisco @ LA Rams (-4)

The Rams lost 30-29 in Seattle after Greg Zuerlein's 44-yard field goal drifted wide right. L.A. is 3-2.

"I guess you could call that the 'Big Miss,'" Seam McVay said. "But we can't, because that nickname was already taken. It was used to describe signing Jeff Fisher to a five-year contract.

"As they say, it's a 'game of inches.' And we are inching closer to the bottom of the NFC West standings."

The 49ers blasted the Browns 31-3 on Monday Night Football, piling up 275 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.

"We had 14 days to prepare for the Cleveland defense," Kyle Shanahan said. "So, 13 days too many.

"That game started at approximately 5:00 Pacific Standard Time," Kyle Shanahan said. "It was one of the few times you can see not one, but two of Jimmy Garappolo's 5 o'clock shadows."

Rams win, 29-27.

Atlanta @ Arizona (+2)

The Falcons were humiliated 53-32 by the Texans in Houston and fell to 1-4. Atlanta's struggling defense couldn't stop Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller, who connected for 3 scores.

"My background is in defense," Dan Quinn said. "But never before have I seen an 'all out blitz' called by an offense. We just gave up 50 points in a loss. The Romans call that the biggest of 'L's.'

"I take my share of blame for our defensive issues. My worst decision was probably firing my defensive coordinator last year and assuming the coordinator duties. Why was that such a bad decision? Because, more than anything, I need a defensive coordinator to fire right now.

"Team owner Arthur Blank said he's 'disappointed,' but doesn't think a coaching change is needed. I think that's code for, 'You're standing on thin ice, ice as thin as my mustache.'"

The Cardinals took their first win of the year, beating the Bengals in Cincinnati, 26-23. Kyler Murray rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, and set up the game-winning field goal with a 24-yard scramble.

"Kyler's decision-making is improving," Kliff Kingsbury said. "He's learning when to stay in the pocket, and when to take off running. Plus, he's learning when to slide instead of taking hits.

"And speaking of former Oklahoma quarterbacks 'sliding,' what's up with Baker Mayfield? He's not planting flags. Instead, he's planting seeds of doubt in the Browns on whether they made the right decision to draft him."

Falcons win, 31-28.

Tennessee @ Denver (-2½)

The Titans suffered a hard-fought 14-7 loss over the visiting Bills. Marcus Mariota was sacked 5 times, and Cairo Santos missed 4 field goals.

"Santos was cut on Monday," Mike Vrabel. "Unlike his kicks, he won't be missed.

"Luckily, we play in the AFC South, where you can go from first to last, and vice versa, in a single day. The AFC South's motto is, 'Let's get this parity started.'"

The Broncos defense came up big in a 20-13 win over the Chargers, forcing 3 turnovers, while Phillip Lindsay starred on offense with 114 yards rushing and a score.

"Those were our defense's first takeaways of the season," Vic Fangio said. "Before that, they had been very quiet. I guess that makes them the 'Orange Hush' defense.

"Getting our first win was encouraging, but I don't think we can definitively say we've exited the 'World Of Suck' that Emmanuel Sanders described earlier this year. Luckily, 'World of Suck' is not a lonely place. There's 10-15 of John Elway's failed quarterbacks that call that place home."

Titans win, 22-17.

Dallas @ NY Jets (+8)

The Jets were hammered 31-6 by the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Luke Falk was sacked 10 times.

"Ten sacks is brutal," Adam Gase said. "But Luke took it like a man. He even appeared on ESPN's 'Get Up' show on Monday morning.

"I guess the outcome shouldn't be a surprise. We didn't give Luke any first-team reps until the last day of practice. In other words, he was 'set up to fail.' Many said that very thing about the Jets organization. On the day I was hired."

The Cowboys lost 34-24 to the Packers at AT&T Stadium, as the Dallas defense had no answer for Aaron Jones, who rushed for 107 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"We just got bullied in our own house," Dak Prescott said. "And that's very surprising given the 'stand your ground' laws in the state of Texas.

"We're 0-2 in our last two games, and 0-2 in our last two games against teams that don't suck balls."

In a drunken sideline interview with Suzy Kolber before the game, Joe Namath raises eyebrows when he suggests the Jets can "kiss the playoffs goodbye."

Dallas wins, 27-20.

Pittsburgh @ L.A. Chargers (-6½)

The Steelers lost at home to AFC North rival Baltimore, going down 26-23 in overtime. Pittsburgh is 1-4.

"I decided to kick off to start overtime," Mike Tomlin said. "And once again, I lead the league in 'things that make you go 'mmmmmm.' But it turned out to be the right decision. Add that to the list of 'things that make you go 'mmmmmmm.'''

"One thing we can always count on is our fans. We know our fans travel well. In fact, our 'Eastern Pennsylvania Hispanic Fan Chapter' is making the trip to Los Angeles. That club is led by Jesus of Nazareth, PA. That group alone will probably outnumber Chargers fans."

The Chargers committed 2 red zone turnovers and lost 20-13 to the Broncos. Los Angeles is 2-3, third in the AFC West.

"This is a huge game for us," Phillip Rivers said. "We badly need a win. And we need our home crowd to show up. So, we're giving every fan through the gates a t-shirt that says 'Partisan,' so for once we can boast that we have a partisan crowd at home."

Chargers win, 24-16.

Detroit @ Green Bay (-5)

The Lions had a Week 5 bye, and head to Lambeau Field with a 2-1-1 record.

"First place in the NFC North is on the line," Matt Patricia said. "And this is probably the latest in a season that anyone's been able to say that about the Lions in quite a while."

The Packers physically dominated the Cowboys in a 34-24 win at AT&T Stadium. Adam Jones rushed for 4 touchdowns, and the Packers had no turnovers.

"AT&T Stadium is like a second home to me," Aaron Rodgers said. "That's where I won my Super Bowl back in 2011. And I continue to break the hearts of Cowboys fans. I've crushed more dreams of Dallas fans than the Cowboys themselves."

Packers win, 27-23.

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