NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 2

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-5½)

The Ravens embarrassed the visiting Browns, 38-6, as Cleveland was dominated on both sides of the ball.

"We should be embarrassed," Kevin Stefanski said. "Frankly, I'm ashamed to show my face in Cleveland. Luckily, there's this COVID-19 thing, so I only have to show half of it.

"To say Baker struggled would be an accurate statement. And that is probably the only time you can use 'Baker' and 'accurate' in the same sentence. Surprisingly, Baker only threw 1 interception, and that's a painful reminder that in the 2018 draft, he was the 'No. 1 pick.'"

The Bengals lost to the visiting Chargers 16-13. Cincy had a chance to win, but A.J. Green's TD catch was nullified by offensive interference. Then, Randy Bullocks' 31-yard field goal to tie sailed wide right.

"This is 2020," Zac Taylor said. "An election year. So, I suggest that instead of categorizing badly-missed field goals as 'wide left' or 'wide right,' we instead use the terms 'radically left' and 'radically right.'

"As AFC North foes, we're very familiar with the Browns. The secret to success in this sport is understanding your opponents tendencies, and for the life of me, I can't wrap my head around those of Odell Beckham, Jr.

"One of the big questions for this game is whether Mayfield will stand or kneel. I'm guessing he'll stand, because kneeling would require him to 'step up,' which he clearly can't do."

Mayfield and the Browns use a week's worth of brutal criticism to fuel them, thus they're driving with an extremely full tank, and jump on the Bengals early. Joe Burrow, forced to throw, faces the wrath of Myles Garrett, who records 3 sacks. Mayfield passes for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Browns win, 31-16.

NY Giants @ Chicago (-5½)

The Giants lost 26-16 to the Steelers on Monday night, as the Pittsburgh defense stifled Saquan Barkley and the Giants' running game.

"Saquan couldn't find room to run," Joe Judge said, "much less the line of scrimmage. I asked if his rushing game was going all right, and Saquan replied 'Negative.'

"Despite the loss, I like what Jason Garrett's done with the offense. There's no telling what Jason can do without Jerry Jones breathing down his neck, which has to be a horrifying olfactory experience, because Jerry's breath probably smells like an old factory."

The Bears staged a late comeback in Detroit, scoring 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to stun the Lions, 27-23.

"Mitch Trubisky came through when we needed him," Matt Nagy said. "He took it upon himself to dig us out of a hole, mostly because he's the one that put us there.

"If we can start the season with two division wins, we'll be 'sitting pretty.' Add an 'H' between the 'S' and 'I' in 'sitting,' and you've perfectly described what an Instagram model does for Odell Beckham, Jr."

Giants win, 21-20.

Atlanta @ Dallas (-5)

Offensive line issues hurt the Cowboys in a 20-17 loss to the Rams on Sunday night. Pressured all night, Dak Prescott managed only one TD pass, which went to Ezekiel Elliott.

"What's harder than blocking Aaron Donald?" Dak Prescott asked. "Blocking the fact that he's unblockable out of my mind.

"I'm playing under the franchise tag. That's because Jerry Jones, a billionaire, was unwilling to give me a long-term contract this year. So, in more ways than one, I'm going to make Jerry pay."

The Falcons lost at home 38-25 to the Seahawks and Russell Wilson, who dropped 4 TD passes on the Atlanta defense. Matt Ryan passed for 450 yards and 2 fourth quarter scores in a losing effort.

"You could call our fourth quarter 'garbage time,'" Dan Quinn said. "You could also call our first three quarters that."

Dallas wins 32-28.

Detroit @ Green Bay (-6)

The Packers exploded for 522 total yards in a 43-34 win over the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, serving notice that Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC North.

"We played with attitude," Matt LeFleur said, "especially Aaron Rodgers. Aaron has always played with a chip on his shoulder, and sometimes, when he's really feeling disrespected, a corn cob up his ass.

"Adrian Peterson is back in the NFC North as a member of the Lions. AP absolutely dominated the Packers when he was with the Vikings. But let me tell you, we're not gonna be his whipping boy any more."

The Lions squandered a 23-6 lead in the fourth quarter and lost 27-23 to the visiting Bears.

"We let that one get away from us," Matt Patricia said. "You could say we 'dropped the ball.'

"This organization has made it a habit of losing games like that. As a coach, I've apparently continued that rich tradition. Take away my New England Patriots background, and I'm probably nothing more than Wayne Fontes. Or, that's what I'm told on Twitter."

Packers win, 27-17.

Minnesota @ Indianapolis (-3)

In his Colts debut, Philip Rivers threw 2 costly interceptions in a 27-20 upset loss to the Jaguars.

"Philip put on a clinic," Frank Reich said. "Unfortunately, it was a fertility clinic. My suggestion to Philip is 'more contraception, less interception.'

"But we have to be more committed to running the ball. We have arguably the league's best offensive line. Our O-line is capable of opening holes so big that even Trent Richardson could find his way through them. If you've forgotten who Trent Richardson is, you're probably a Browns or Colts fan, and you made yourself forget."

The Vikings were manhandled 43-34 by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers passed for 4 touchdowns, while Kirk Cousins struggled before throwing 2 meaningless fourth quarter scores.

"The Packers defensive scheme really messed with Kirk's head," Mike Zimmer said. "And, as you would expect, Kirk couldn't 'mask' his confusion."

In a battle to see who can make the least-glaring mistake, Rivers beats Cousins.

Colts win, 27-24.

Buffalo @ Miami (+6)

The Bills smoked the Jets, 27-17, led by Josh Allen, who passed for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns and added a rushing score. Allen became the first Bills quarterback to top 300 yards in the air since December of 2016.

"That tells you our QB situation is safe," Doug McDermott said. "And so is Jim Kelly's legacy.

"Our defense looked exceptional. Of course, we were playing the Jets, so take that statement with a Lake Erie-sized grain of salt."

The Dolphins lost 21-11 to the Patriots, hindered by 3 interceptions by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"There obviously was no 'Fitzmagic' against the Pats," Brian Flores said. "Unless it was how Ryan 'magically' made possessions disappear. But if you're looking for the best wings in Miami, check out Ryan's new club, 'Fitzmagic City Wings.'"

Bills win, 22-12.

San Francisco @ NY Jets (+7)

The Jets struggled to move the ball in a lopsided 27-17 loss to the Bills.

"We started the game with three three-and-outs," Adam Gase said. "That's totally unacceptable, but sadly, not totally unexpected.

"Le'Veon Bell has been placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. I might be partially responsible for that, because I put Bell back in the game after he was injured. That decision has been designated 'Questionable.' Will I make more bad decisions. It's 'Probable.' Will I be Jets coach in November. 'Doubtful.'

"But this is the very reason we signed Frank Gore. Frank started his career with the 49ers. He's seen many many offensive lineman come and go. So, you could say he's 'been around the block a time or two.'"

The Cardinals shocked the 49ers, as the San Fran defense couldn't stop DeAndre Hopkins, who had 14 catches for 151 yards.

"The 'air quality' was crap," Kyle Shanahan said. "That statement refers to our passing defense."

San Fran wins, 27-16.

L.A. Rams @ Philadelphia (+1½)

The Rams edged the Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday night, led by Malcolm Brown's 2 rushing touchdowns and a strong effort by the defense.

"When our rushing attack is on," Sean McVey said, "that means we can give Jared Goff the night 'off.' Some offenses live and die by the vertical passing game; we've mastered the horizontal passing game.

"Credit Jalen Ramsey for selling an offensive pass interference call to the officials. Jalen is the NFL's highest-paid quarterback. He signed a deal that could pay him up to $105 million. That's a lot of cash. And Jalen puts his money where his mouth is. You know why? Because there's room."

The Eagles blew a 17-0 lead and lost 27-17 to Washington. Carson Wentz was sacked 8 times and had 3 turnovers.

"Things are looking up for Carson," Doug Pederson said. "To clarify, that's what happens when you're sacked 8 times — you find yourself looking up.

"Pretty much everything went wrong with our offensive line. So we're gonna have to get creative with our pass blocking schemes. That's called 'creative righting.'"

Philly remedies their offensive line woes with a diet of screen passes and quick slants for Wentz, and Jim Schwartz turns his blitzers loose on defense.

Eagles win, 24-22.

Denver @ Pittsburgh (-7½)

The Steelers whipped the Giants 26-16 on Monday night, led by an active defense and the return of Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 2 touchdowns, both to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

"Just like last year," Mike Tomlin said, "our defense is playing with attitude. Unlike last year, our offense is playing with aptitude."

The Broncos lost 16-14 to the visiting Titans on Monday night.

"There were things we could have done differently," Vic Fangio said. "And I'm going to find out what those things are. So, I'm going to take some 'time out' of my schedule to look into the situation."

Steelers win, 24-13.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-9)

Tampa lost 34-23 in Tom Brady's debut in a Buccaneers uniform. Brady passed for 2 scores, but also tossed 2 picks.

"This is not how I wanted my first game to go," Brady said. "I'd like to just forget it altogether. Out of habit, I destroyed my cell phone, because I know of no better way to delete memory.

"Bruce Arians said he was 'surprised' by my struggles against the Saints. I say 'Deal with it, Coach. You got a 'surprise party' when you were expecting a 'coming out party.'

"And speaking of 'coming out,' I promise I'm gonna come out firing against the Panthers. Will people ever learn? The point is, never doubt Tom Brady, unless you're an NFL investigator."

The Panthers lost a 34-30 shootout to the visiting Raiders in Teddy Bridgewater's debut at quarterback for Carolina.

"We had a chance to win," Matt Rhule, "but I foolheartedly didn't give the ball to Christian McCaffrey on a 4th-and-short late in the fourth quarter. If you're looking for me to take responsibility, forget about it. If there's one thing I learned coaching at Baylor, it's never to admit guilt."

Bucs win, 35-20.

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-9)

The Jaguars upset the visiting Colts 27-20, led by Gardner Minshew's three touchdown passes.

"Contrary to what our front office's offseason moves tell you," Minshew said, "we're not going down without a fight. Don't get me wrong, we are going down, probably 10-12 times this season, but we're going to fight. Luckily, we won't be fighting with each other, since Jalen Ramsey's no longer here."

Stephen Gostkowski's 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds left lifted the Titans to a 16-14 win over the Broncos in Denver. The winning kick came after 4 missed kicks by Gostkowski.

"There's the 'Patriot Missile,'" Mike Vrabel said, "and then there's the 'Patriot I'll Miss.' Gostkowski epitomizes the 'Patriot Way (Off).'"

Titans win, 26-14.

Washington @ Arizona (-6½)

Washington rode an attacking defensive line to a comeback 27-17 win over the Eagles. Washington sacked Carson Wentz 8 times.

"Jack Del Rio has really put together a defense that strikes fear into opponents," Ron Rivera said. "Of course, not many people know that. That's because Jack has downplayed it so as not to create a panic."

Cardinals win, 23-13.

Baltimore @ Houston (+7)

The Ravens demolished the visiting Browns, 38-6, as Lamar Jackson passed for 3 touchdowns, two to Mark Andrews.

"In case you've forgotten," John Harbaugh said, "we drafted Lamar 31 picks after the Browns picked Baker Mayfield. Asked when they'd like to draft the former Oklahoma QB, the Browns front office said 'Sooner.' We, on the other hand, said 'Later.'

"On that note, what did Odell Beckham, Jr. say to Mayfield that he also said to an Instagram model? 'Get your 'S' together.'"

Ravens win, 30-17.

Kansas City @ L.A. Chargers (+8½)

The Chiefs whipped the visiting Texans 34-20, led by three touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes, and an impressive debut from rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who rushed for 138 yards and a TD.

"One thing is clear," Andy Reid said, "and it's definitely not my face shield. It's the fact that one of the two quarterbacks in that game was worth his new contract."

The Chargers picked up an ugly 16-13 win at Cincinnati, securing the win when Randy Bullock's 31-yard field goal went wide right.

"Bullock may have injured his leg during the kick," Anthony Lynn said. "Was that the truth? Who knows? I think we can all agree that among all the kickers in this league, you can't 'trust' most of them."

Chiefs win, 30-19.

New England @ Seattle (-4)

The new-look Patriots beat the Dolphins 21-11 as Cam Newton scored 2 rushing touchdowns.

"Cam can do things that Tom Brady can't," Bill Belichick said. "That being said, Tom can do a number of things that Cam can't. That number of things is 6."

Russell Wilson's 4 touchdown passes led the Seahawks to a 38-25 victory over the Falcons in Atlanta.

"Russell passed 35 times," Pete Carroll said, "yet had only 4 incompletions. Four incompletions? Some quarterbacks can do that in a half, or a quarter, or, if you're Mitch Trubisky, in your first 4 passes.

"Now, with this being the Patriots versus the Seahawks, there will be numerous references to Super Bowl LIV. That's a painful memory for me. If you ask me to comment on it, I'll pass. And if you continue to pester me, I'll run."

Seahawks win, 24-23.

New Orleans @ Las Vegas (+6½)

The Raiders outgunned the Panthers 34-30 in Charlotte as Josh Jacobs rumbled for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground.

"Can you imagine the great Raiders teams of the 1980s playing in Vegas?" Jan Gruden said. "They'd have more likely been 'enshrined' in concrete than the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

The Saints vanquished Tom Brady and the visiting Bucs 34-23 at the Superdome. The Saints defense forced 2 Brady turnovers, while Alvin Kamara scored 2 TDs.

"Apparently," Sean Payton said, "Brady's game has gone 'South.'

"Drew Brees' Super Bowl window is closing. Derek Carr's Super Bowl window is his television screen, because that's the only way he can see the Super Bowl."

The Saints overcome an early 10-0 deficit, and win, 31-27.

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