NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 16

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Houston @ Tampa Bay (+2½)

The Texans edged the Titans 24-21 in Nashville in a battle for the AFC South lead. Deshaun Watson passed for 2 touchdowns and the Texans defense cooled off Ryan Tannehill.

"We got the job done," Deshaun Watson said. "Around here, we like to say, 'Do your job.' We say that to everyone, except our general manager, because we don't have one. Maybe that's the reason we mortgaged our future just to be the AFC's No. 4 seed, at best.

"I've got to be wary of that Tampa defensive line. I'm a Texans quarterback, and Ndamukong Suh is part of that line. That means I need to be on 'crotch watch.'"

The Buccaneers crushed the Lions 38-17 in Detroit as Jameis Winston passed for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns. Winston became the first player in NFL history to throw for 450 yards or more in consecutive games.

"Jameis did all that with a fracture in his throwing hand," Bruce Arians said. "I'm surprised Jameis doesn't have a wrist injury, because I've slapped him on the wrist so much this season."

Texans win, 27-23.

Buffalo @ New England (-6)

The Patriots beat the Bengals 34-13 in Cincinnati. Tom Brady passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Pats defense forced 5 turnovers.

"We had lost two games in a row," Brady said, "and things were not looking good. We had to look ourselves in the mirror and answer some hard questions that made us all uncomfortable. We also had to look in the eyes of NFL investigators and do the same thing.

"I passed for only 128 yards. That's because of our lack of a downfield threat. We sure could use a speedy wide receiver. While we have plenty of people in this organization who can stretch the rules, we just need one person who can stretch the field."

The Bills beat the Steelers 17-10 at Heinz Field on Sunday night and clinched a playoff spot.

"That was our first appearance on Sunday Night Football since 2007," Sean McDermott said, "and we didn't disappoint. As a franchise, I think the Bills have a pretty solid record on Sunday night, especially those 8:15 kickoffs. It's those 6:25 Sunday kickoffs that have really been a problem for the Bills.

"The Patriots have historically been tough for us to beat. As far as cheating scandals go, they've got us beat there as well. Personally, I'd be wary of any film or video made by a company called 'Kraft Productions.' Sounds like a company that produces videos featuring a 78-year-old billionaire football team owner/HJ enthusiast exercising to target his pudgy midsection. In other words, 'soft core.'"

Patriots win, 20-13.

L.A. Rams @ San Francisco (-6½)

The Cowboys smoked the Rams 44-21 to end L.A.'s two-game win streak and all but eliminating them from the playoffs. The Rams surrendered 263 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground, while posting only 22 yards rushing of their own.

"The Cowboys offensive line created some massive holes in our defense," Sean McVay said. "I contend that Jared Goff's contract could just as easily be credited with creating those holes.

"I guess I was out-coached by Jason Garrett. Now, Garrett probably will eventually be 'Out! Coach-ed' by Jerry Jones, but that's no consolation to me."

The visiting Falcons stunned the 49ers 29-22 at Levi's Stadium. Despite the loss, San Fran clinched a playoff spot by virtue of the Rams loss to Dallas.

"We choked," Kyle Shanahan said. "But so did the Rams against Dallas. So, that was 'good noose.'"

San Francisco wins, 27-24.

Jacksonville @ Atlanta (-7)

The Falcons shocked the 49ers 29-22 on the road, taking the lead on Julio Jones' 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan with 2 seconds left.

"We may be down," Ryan said, "but we're not out, unless you were talking about playoff chances in late September."

The Jaguars erased a 16-3 deficit and beat the Raiders 20-16 in the final Raider game in the Oakland Coliseum. Gardner Minshew hit Chris Conley for two fourth-quarter TD passes to secure the win.

"Let's face it," Minshew said, "the 'Black Hole' is not what it used to be, like in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Raiders were terrorizing the NFL. Now, they might as well call it the 'Black-ish Hole.'

"Doug Marrone really needed guys to step up in the fourth quarter. He wanted them to go out and play like caged animals, just like Jalen Ramsey did when he was still here. Jalen played like a caged animal, because he 'wanted out.'"

Prior to kickoff, while Shad Khan and Arthur Blank hold the bar, Marrone and Quinn do the "Limbo," symbolizing their futures as head coaches.

Falcons win, 27-17.

Baltimore @ Cleveland (+10)

Lamar Jackson passed for 5 touchdowns as the Ravens routed the visiting Jets 42-21 on Thursday night. Jackson also rushed for 86 yards to break Michael Vick's single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback.

"Lamar may have just wrapped up the MVP award," John Harbaugh said. "He's basically unstoppable. As some people say, he's a 'Cheat Code,' a name that also happens to be in the table of contents of the 'New England Patriots Philosophy' handbook.

"The Browns beat us at home in Week 4, so we're anxious to avenge that loss. We're going to the 'Dawg Pound,' where 'polishing a turd' is a way of life."

The Browns lost 38-24 in Arizona in a battle of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks from the University of Oklahoma. Kyler Murray got the best of Baker Mayfield, and the Browns fell to 6-8.

"It's been a frustrating year," Mayfield said. "We were supposed to be the team leading the division and entertaining Super Bowl aspirations. Our expectations were suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy, because they were 'way too high.'

"This team could be vastly different next year. Odell Beckham, Jr. won't state it publicly, but he wants out. So don't be surprised if he gets the 'O,' the 'B,' the 'J,' and the 'F' out of here."

Ravens win, 34-19.

New Orleans @ Tennessee (+3)

The Saints beat the Colts 34-7 on Monday Night Football to improve to 11-3. Drew Brees passed for 4 touchdowns, and surpassed Peyton Manning as the all-time TD pass leader.

"Hopefully," Brees said, "I can put this record out of Tom Brady's reach. Tom's 42-years-old, so maybe old age will prevent it. What's he more likely to pass? A milestone, or a kidney stone?

"Also, Michael Thomas is well ahead of pace to break Marvin Harrison's season reception record of 143. Michael's a laid back unassuming guy. I bet if he gets that record, Michael will do nothing more than say 'Shoot.' Harrison, on the other hand, will probably shoot someone.

"We've clinched the NFC South; now we're playing for a first-round bye in the playoffs. That week off would really be helpful, so we're asking for prayers from the Church of Latter Day Saints fans to make it happen."

Titans win, 24-21.

Carolina @ Indianapolis (-6½)

The Panthers lost 30-24 to the visiting Seahawks as Carolina's late comeback from a 30-10 deficit fell short. Christian McCaffrey piled up 175 yards from scrimmage, but Kyle Allen threw 3 interceptions.

"There's a lot of things up in the air about this team," McCaffrey said. "Like, who will be our quarterback next season? Who will be our coach? Is it just coincidental that Ron Rivera's favorite 1980s action/adventure television show was 'The Fall Guy?'"

The Colts lost 34-7 to the Saints on Monday Night Football and were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

"We were actually in the playoff hunt not too long ago," Frank Reich said. "But that was then, this is 'not now.'"

Colts win, 28-20.

Cincinnati @ Miami (-1)

The Patriots whipped the Bengals 34-13 as the New England defense forced 5 turnovers, including 4 Andy Dalton interceptions.

"The Patriots lead the league in interceptions," Zach Taylor said. "So when you see the abbreviation 'INT' in Foxboro, you know it stands for 'interception,' and definitely not 'integrity.'

"Honestly, we don't mind the Patriots filming us. They have some of the best cinematographers in the business. And Robert Kraft insists that their 'key grip,' who lives in Florida, is the best in the business."

Miami wins, 24-20.

Pittsburgh @ N.Y. Jets (+3)

The Jets lost 42-21 in Baltimore on Thursday night. The Jets offense moved the ball effectively, but gave up 5 touchdown passes to Lamar Jackson.

"Gregg Williams is our defensive coordinator," Adam Gase said, "so you would expect better motivation. I mean, I don't need Gregg putting a bounty on someone's head. Heck, I'd be happy if he'd just put an idea in someone's head. Like one, maybe two, of the guys he coaches.

"Sam Darnold and I had a testy exchange on the sideline. Sure, we got heated, but at least we didn't have a 'testes exchange.' That's when your QB might say, 'I'd give my left nut for a different head coach.'"

The Steelers lost 17-10 at Heinz Field in a battle with wild card positioning implications. Devlin Hodges threw 4 interceptions, but Pittsburgh still holds the AFC's No. 6 seed.

"Some say Devlin is a below-average quarterback," Mike Tomlin said. "To that I say, 'If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then Devlin probably brought it here with one of his duck calls."

Steelers win, 17-13.

N.Y. Giants @ Washington (-2½)

The Giants whipped the visiting Dolphins 36-20 in Eli Manning's final start at home. Manning passed for 283 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

"It's one thing to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl twice," Manning said. "It's another thing entirely to beat the Dolphins in a meaningless Week 15 game. That's why I was fighting back tears, because I realized just how far I've fallen."

The Redskins lost 37-27 to the Eagles as Philly sealed the win with a fumble return touchdown on the game's final play.

"Adrian Peterson scored a touchdown and now has 110 rushing touchdowns," Bill Callahan said. "That tied him with Walter Payton for fourth an the all-time list. Payton was nicknamed 'Sweetness.' Adrian once nicknamed a switch 'Sweetness.'"

Redskins win, 24-20.

Detroit @ Denver (-6½)

The Lions lost 38-17 to the visiting Buccaneers, suffering their seventh consecutive loss to drop to 3-10-1 on the season.

"There are things we certainly need to improve upon," Matt Patricia said. "There are things my players can work on, and there are things I can work on, like a resume.

"That may not be necessary, because I just got word from owner Martha Ford that I'll be back as head coach in 2020. It's quite humbling to hear from a 94-year-old that you'll be around for another year."

The Chiefs waxed the Broncos 23-3, handing Denver their ninth straight loss to the Chiefs. Drew Lock struggled mightily, completing only 18-of-40 passes for 208 yards and 1 interception.

"I guess the Chiefs have our number," Vic Fangio said. "That number is 'zero.'

"Drew is a Kansas City native. He used to have a key to the city, but the Chiefs revoked it. He's still welcome at Arrowhead anytime, though."

Broncos win, 31-13.

Oakland @ L.A. Chargers (-6)

The Raiders blew a 16-3 halftime lead and lost 20-16 to the visiting Jaguars in the last game at Oakland Coliseum.

"We really disappointed the people in the 'Black Hole,'" Jon Gruden said. "Frankly, we owe them an apology, so here goes. We're very sorry, and we apologize for being so dad gum sorry."

The Vikings hammered the Chargers, 39-10, forcing Phillip Rivers into a miserable outing. Rivers threw 3 interceptions and was sacked 3 times.

"It looks like guys just quit playing," Anthony Lynn said. "We had 4 other turnovers in addition to Phillips.' So, not only did we turn over, we also rolled over."

Chargers win, 23-20.

Dallas @ Philadelphia (+2½)

The Cowboys blasted the Rams, 44-21, emphatically snapping a three-game losing streak. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns rushing.

"We played great across the board," Jason Garrett said. "All of our guys did a great job. And for me, it's great to finally talk about other peoples' jobs other than my own."

Carson Wentz passed for 3 touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 37-27 win over the Redskins in Washington.

"Carson looked great," Doug Pederson said. "He's really effective when he's rolling out of the pocket. If he wants his own statue outside Lincoln Financial Field, then he should not be one in the pocket."

Cowboys win, 26-23.

Arizona @ Seattle (-9½)

The Seahawks beat the Panthers 30-24 in Charlotte, led by Russell Wilson and Chris Carson, who had 2 touchdowns apiece.

"Those guys make plays," Pete Carroll said. "So, they're called 'playmakers.' Big plays deliver a blow to your opponent. Those are called 'haymakers.' When I was at USC, I recruited some incredible athletes. Those were called 'paytakers.'

"Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse. If there's a drug that players shouldn't use, or a list of players using these drugs, then Josh is 'on it.'"

Kenyan Drake rushed for 137 yards and 4 touchdowns to power the Cardinals to a 38-24 win over the Browns.

"Kenyan has shown great promise," Kliff Kingsbury said. "We think he could be our franchise running back. I think the Dolphins probably felt the same way. So, Kenyan is the ultimate 'two-team teaser.'"

Seattle wins, 33-22.

Kansas City @ Chicago (+4½)

The Chiefs beat the Broncos 23-3 at snowy Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Chiefs defense rendered the Denver defense useless.

"We claimed Terrell Suggs off waivers," Mahomes said. "As you might know, Terrell has a PhD. from 'Ball So Hard University.' Robert Kraft's masseuse graduated with honors from 'All So Hard University.'

"The Patriots are in the news again for all the wrong reasons. I think we can help them navigate the media storm that is inevitable. We'll allow our own LeSean McCoy to serve as official spokesman for controversial New England Patriots scandals, because he's 'Shady.'"

Chiefs win, 23-20.

Green Bay @ Minnesota (-4½)

Aaron Jones rushed for 2 touchdowns as the Packers beat the visiting Bears, 21-13. Green Bay later clinched a playoff spot when the Rams lost to the Cowboys.

"Wow," Aaron Rodgers said. "The Cowboys are better at clinching playoff spots for other teams than they are for themselves. The Eagles are hoping they continue that."

The Vikings forced 7 turnovers in a 39-10 rout of the Chargers at Digital Sports Health Park. Minnesota is 10-4, one game behind the Packers in the NFC North.

"I've never had a defense with that many takeaways," Mike Zimmer said. "And the Chargers can't fill a stadium without 'giveaways.'"

Vikings win, 24-22.

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