NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 9

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

San Francisco @ Arizona (+9½)

The 49ers routed the visiting Panthers, 51-13, to remain undefeated. Tevin Coleman scored 4 times, while the 49ers defense intercepted Kyle Allen 3 times, and recorded 7 sacks.

"I think Allen was nervous," Richard Sherman said. "And he couldn't hide it. Even his hands were shaking, and trust me, I know a 'hand shake' when I see one.

"We're winning with a stout defense, a strong running game, and a quarterback. No, I didn't forget the adjective before 'quarterback.'

"But seriously, Jimmy Garoppolo is the face of the franchise. He may not have the accuracy of Joe Montana, or the raw speed of Colin Kaepernick, but he's got star power. Heck, Jimmy should star in his own "The Bachelor" knockoff show called "The Catch." And once he selects his mate, there could also be a television show chronicling the engagement process, ideally called 'Taking a Knee.'"

The Cardinals faltered against the stingy New Orleans defense in a 31-9 loss to the Saints at the Superdome.

"Injuries have decimated our running backs corps," Kliff Kingsbury said. "David Johnson is hurt. Chase Edmonds is hurt. They won't be in uniform. However, they will be in costume, as the 'Blue Tent Man Group.'"

San Francisco wins, 24-13.

Houston vs. Jacksonville (+2½)

The Jaguars beat the visiting Jets 29-15, led by Gardner Minshew, who passed for 3 touchdowns. Jacksonville is 4-4, just 1½ games behind the Colts in the AFC South.

"Kudos to our defense, too," Doug Marrone said. "They sacked Sam Darnold 8 times and picked him off 3 times. Maybe Darnold still sees 'ghosts.' He shouldn't feel bad. Joe Namath still sees 'spirits,' usually in bottles.

"Gardner is already a cult hero in America. Now we're headed to England, where 'Minshew Mania' will likely add some 'funkadelic' to Parliament. Gardner is so cool, he can call the Queen 'Beth.'

"We're all looking forward to playing in London. Sometimes, a change of scenery is good for morale, and in some cases, good for back injuries."

The Texans nipped the visiting Raiders 27-24 to remain one game behind the Colts in the AFC South.

Deshaun Watson passed for 3 TD's and also rushed for 46 yards.

"Deshaun is without a doubt our leader," Bill O'Brien said. "This team goes as he goes. The logo on our helmet is a perfect representation of what Deshaun means, because he is the 'cattle-lyst.'

"Unfortunately, Deshaun's been sacked 24 times this season, which has us asking our offensive line, 'Where's the beef?'"

Jaguars win, 24-23.

Washington @ Buffalo (-10)

The Redskins lost 19-9 at Minnesota on Thursday night.

"Case Keenum suffered a concussion during the game," Bill Callahan said, "so we had to go with Dwayne Haskins in relief. Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen had to be over the moon seeing Dwayne in the game. Those two think Dwayne is the greatest quarterback under the sun.

"Adrian Peterson is now 6th on the all-time career rushing list. And he's vowed to climb higher. When Adrian says he's going to do something, he does it. He's never written a check his ass couldn't cash. Now, he has written checks that no one could cash."

The Bills ran into an angry Eagles squad and lost 31-13 to fall to 5-2. Philly ripped through the Bills defense for 218 yards on the ground.

"We didn't show gap discipline," Doug McDermotte said. "On the contrary, we showed 'gape' discipline.

"The Redskins are a 1-8 team. That's exactly how we like our opponents. We've made a name for ourselves winning against bad teams. The Bills of the 1990's made a name for themselves losing to good teams."

Buffalo wins, 27-13.

Minnesota @ Kansas City (+1)

The Vikings beat the Redskins 19-9 on Thursday Night Football to improve to 6-2. Dalvin Cook piled up 171 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

"Great job by our defense," Mike Zimmer said. "They didn't give up a single touchdown. Unfortunately, our offense is better at 'holding' than our defense. Honestly, I lost count of the holding penalties we committed. If I really need to know, I'll ask No. 65.

"As far as I'm concerned, Dalvin is the MVP of the league. If he does win the MVP award, that would be his Adrian Peterson moment. Now, if he's stopped in an airport carrying a Whizzinaator-like device, likely called the 'MVPee,' then that would be his Onterrio Smith moment."

The Chiefs lost 31-24 to the visiting Packers in their first game without Patrick Mahomes. Aaron Rodgers passed for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead Green Bay.

"I'm sure Patrick felt pretty helpless standing on the sidelines," Andy Reid said. "Probably as helpless as my competition in the 1973 Punt, Pass, And Kick competition felt.

"Without Patrick, our philosophy has to change. We're going to need much more from our defense. We need them to play like Patrick isn't there to give them a quick 14-0 lead. We need the defense to be nasty. Nasty enough so the nickname 'MO. Fo's' fits.

"Matt Moore was scouting for the Dolphins before we signed him to be our backup quarterback. Identifying talent for the 2019 Dolphins? I guess his job was to locate talent and make sure it never found its way to the team."

Vikings win, 27-25.

N.Y. Jets @ Miami (+4½)

The Jets followed their 33-0 lost to the Patriots with an equally uninspired 29-15 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Sam Darnold struggled again, suffering 8 sacks and 3 interceptions against the attacking Jaguars defense.

"I've seen 'ghosts' for the last 2 weeks now," Darnold said. "Maybe that explains why I'm playing like 'sheet.' And, that would explain all the 'boo's' I'm hearing lately. Some say I'm 'scary bad.'

"I just have to get my mind right. To do so, I'm cancelling all Halloween activities at my house. Why? Because I'm absolutely sick of 'giveaways.'"

The Dolphins raced to a 14-0 lead, but eventually lost 27-14 at Pittsburgh on Monday night and fell to 0-7.

"We were ahead 14-3," Brian Flores said, "and a win was looking good. Then Ryan Fitzpatrick threw his first interception, and I guess that 'No. 1 pick' jarred us back into reality. And we did nothing for the rest of the game

"This is our first home game since October 13th, so we really want to encourage fans to come out. To boost attendance, were distributing Dolphins 2019 'tank' tops to each of the first 60,000 fans through the gates. I'm not sure what they'll do with the 40,000 leftovers."

Jets win, 24-18.

Chicago @ Philadelphia (-5)

In desperate need of a win, the Eagles responded with a complete 31-13 victory over the Bills in Buffalo. Philly controlled the clock with a rushing attack that piled up 218 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"I thought we played with a lot of attitude," Doug Pederson said. "Obviously, this team plays better with a chip on their shoulder than they do with a 'Chip' on the sideline."

The Bears lost 17-16 to the visiting Chargers after Eddie Pineiro missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired.

"Eddie has to make that kick," Matt Nagy said. "That being said, it opened up his options for a Halloween costume. Now, he can either go as a 'goat,' or a free agent kicker.

"Now, let me address my decision to take a knee before Eddie's field goal attempt. As I stated previously, I gave 'zero thought' to running or passing before the kick. Is that an indictment of quarterback Mitch Tribisky? Let's just say I'm a 'QB atheist,' because I have no faith in him."

Eagles win, 23-21.

Indianapolis @ Pittsburgh (+1)

The Steelers beat the Dolphins 27-14 on Monday Night Football and improved to 3-4.

"The Dolphins jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead," Mike Tomlin said. "After that, our defense settled down and actually looked like the 'Steel Curtain' from the 1970s. Of course, it helps that the Miami offense looks four decades behind the times, as well.

"Believe it or not, we're in second place in the NFC North. We're only 2 games behind the Ravens at the top. That's the good news. The bad news? We're just 3 games ahead of the 0-7 Bengals."

The Colts beat the Broncos 15-13, winning on Adam Vinatieri's 51-yard field goal with 22 seconds left. Vinatieri had earlier missed a field goal and an extra point.

"He may not make every kick," Frank Reich said, "but he always makes the big kick. That's why Peyton Manning calls Adam the 'Non-Idiot Kicker.' Does anyone know what Mike Vanderjagt is doing these days? I think he has a soft spot in the hearts of some Colts fans. In other words, he's the 'most-missed' kicker.

"We've got a one-game lead over the Texans in the AFC South. And we already have a victory over them. So, we're in the driver's seat, which is a good place to be, unless you just got pulled by the cops in Carmel, Indiana with drugs in your possession and reeking of alcohol."

Colts win, 23-20.

Tennessee @ Carolina (-3½)

The Titans beat the Buccaneers, 27-23, to move to 4-4. Ryan Tannehill passed for 3 touchdowns and is now 2-0 as the starter.

"Ryan has really got our offense working," Mike Vrabel said. "He's a playmaker, whereas Marcus Mariota is a 'nay-maker.'"

The 49ers crushed the Panthers 51-13 at Levi's Stadium, as the San Fran defense sacked Kyle Allen 7 times to go along with 3 interceptions.

"I blame myself for this loss," Ron Rivera said. "I just didn't have a competent game plan. There's 'riverboating,' and there's 'motorboating.' I 'motorboated,' because my game plan wasn't worth two tits, or two shits.

"Kyle will still be our starting quarterback. Cam Newton will continue to work towards a full return to health, all while listening to Amy Winehouse's 'Rehab.'"

Panthers wins, 23-20.

Detroit @ Oakland (-3½)

The Lions beat the Giants 31-26 to end a three-game losing streak. Matthew Stafford passed for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"Matthew played great," Matt Patricia said, "or average, if you factor in that he was playing the Giants defense. That Giants defense doesn't make opposing quarterbacks see ghosts, it makes them see wide open receivers.

"We may be struggling as of late, but I couldn't be happier with the progress this team has made. I wouldn't trade this team for anything, unless the draft picks were just too juicy to pass up."

The Raiders lost 27-24 to the Texans despite 285 yards passing and 3 touchdowns from Derek Carr.

"That was a tough loss," Jon Gruden said. "It's important that we keep our heads up. When your teammate is Richie Incognito, that's what you have to do.

"I'm sure the 'Black Hole' will be rocking on Sunday. I expect even more fans in wild costumes, being that it's just a few days after Halloween. I'm sure Darth Vader will be in attendance. That was Al Davis' favorite Star Wars character. Robert Kraft has a favorite Star Wars character of his own — it's called 'Hand Solo.'"

Raiders win, 27-24.

Tampa Bay @ Seattle (-6½)

The Seahawks beat the Matt Ryan-less Falcons 27-20 to improve to 6-2. Seattle built a 24-0 halftime lead and coasted to the victory.

"Atlanta's defense may be the league's worst," Pete Carroll said. "Let's face it, the Falcons haven't had a good defense since Deion Sanders had Jheri curls."

The Buccaneers lost 27-23 to the Titans in Nashville to fall to 2-5. Tampa out-gained the Titans 389 to 246, but 4 Jameis Winston turnovers proved too costly.

"We call Jameis 'The Exorcist,'" Bruce Arians said, "because he's an expert at getting rid of 'possession.' If you say 'turnover' three times, Jameis will appear, sometimes twice."

Seattle wins, 29-27.

Cleveland @ Denver (+2½)

The Patriots beat the Browns 27-13 to send Cleveland to its third straight defeat. Three first quarter turnovers left the Browns in an early hole from which they couldn't escape.

"Freddie Kitchens made some odd decisions against the Pats," Baker Mayfield said. "Or did he? Maybe Freddie's just a step ahead of everyone else. How else could you explain sending out the punt team on fourth down, changing your mind, intentionally causing a false start to save a time out, and taking a five-yard penalty to make a 4th-and-11 a 4th-and-16? The genius of it is mind boggling. Just call Freddie the 'Round Mound of Confound.'

"We're the latest victims of the Patriots defense. Now, unlike Sam Darnold, I didn't see ghosts. But, in true Halloween-season fashion, I didn't recognize any of their defenses, because they were all 'in disguise.'"

The Broncos lost 15-13 to the Colts on a late Adam Vinatieri field goal. The Broncos led for nearly the entire game, but allowed the Colts to drive for the winning kick.

"I feel like we were too conservative," Joe Flacco said. "So I called out our offensive play-calling after the game. And I think my teammates applauded me for making my best toss of the year, which was 'throwing' someone under the bus.

"But sadly, by sticking my neck out, I injured my neck and can't play against the Browns. Or is that really how I injured my neck. It possibly could have been when John Elway used the 'Vaudeville Hook' to end my press conference. Kudos to Elway for finally making a sound quarterback decision."

Browns win, 23-12.

Green Bay @ L.A. Chargers (+3)

The Packers beat the Chiefs, 31-24, on Sunday night to improve to 7-1, one game ahead of the 6-2 Vikings in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers passed for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 173 yards and all 3 TDs to running backs.

"We just took what the defense gave us," Rodgers said. "Candy, meet baby.

"Matt LaFleur's done an outstanding job of applying his philosophies, without inconveniencing me. Let me tell you, you don't want to step on my toes, just as you don't want to step on Davante Adams' toe.

"We made sure we'll be prepared for the Chargers crowd at Digital Health Sports Park. In practice, we piped in the sound of crickets, mixed in with the sound of 20,000 of our fans cheering."

The Chargers nipped the Bears 17-16 at Soldier Field, winning when Eddie Pineiro's 41-yard field goal attempt went wide left. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Chargers.

"It's good to see the opposing team lose in typical Chargers fashion," Philip Rivers said. "I guess you'd call that a 'pick' play, because we 'rubbed off' on the Bears.

"We fired offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt on Tuesday. With Ken, 'OC' stood for 'offensively-challenged.'"

Packers win, 27-22.

New England @ Baltimore (+3½)

The Patriots beat the Browns 27-13 as Bill Belichick won his 300th game as a head coach.

"The win on Sunday gave Bill Belichick his 300th win," Tom Brady said. "Only Don Shula and George Halas are ahead of him, in wins, and in personality.

"Our defense will definitely have to be at its best against Lamar Jackson. Lamar is definitely more athletically gifted than me. He once ran a 4.34 40-yard dash. That's great, but there's only one '40 time' I've ever cared about, and that was sharing a bottle of malt liquor with Randy Moss after every game of the 2007 season."

The Ravens return from a bye week to face their toughest game of the season.

"We've had a good two weeks to prepare for the Patriots," John Harbaugh said. "The main thing we're concerned about are whether the Pats intend to employ a 'spy.' And, if they, in fact, do employ a spy, will it be in the game, or at one of our practices."

Patriots win, 27-21.

Dallas @ N.Y. Giants (+7)

The Giants lost 31-26 to the Lions at Ford Field and are now 2-6, third in the NFC East.

"We had a players-only meeting on Monday," Daniel Jones said. "It wasn't very well-attended, because, not surprisingly, the defense didn't show up."

The Cowboys return from a bye week with a ½-game lead over the Eagles in the NFC East.

"We're glad to be leading the division," Jason Garrett said, "but we've still got a lot of improvement to make. Making the playoffs is just not good enough. It's Super Bowl or bust. Honestly, though, the closest Cowboys fans might get to a 'Super Bowl' while I'm here is a 100-lane bowling alley."

Cowboys win, 30-20.

Comments and Conversation

November 1, 2019

Eric Christensen:

Jeffrey Boswell doesn’t know a thing about Al Davis. According to Amy Trask, when she arranged a meeting between a guy dressed as Vadar and Al Davis for an obvious all-time photo op, Davis asked Trask, “who the F is Darth Vadar?”

Once again, as it has been since 1960, it’s us against the world, Raider Nation.

November 3, 2019

Jeffrey Boswell:

Come on, Eric. Al was obviously playing dumb. Of course, he knew who Darth Vader was. When Mark was born, Al said, “Mark, I am your father, but wish I wasn’t.”

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