Thursday, October 1, 2020

NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 4

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Denver @ NY Jets (+3)

The Jets were thoroughly beaten 36-7 by the Colts in Indianapolis.

"What happens when you're 'riddled' with injuries?" Adam Gase said. "You become the punchline of the league. "As I've said before, if you're gonna play for me, you'll need a pulse. In short, any warm body will do, which is also something former Jet and family man Antonio Cromartie has definitely said."

The Broncos lost 28-10 at home to the Buccaneers. Denver only managed 42 yards rushing, and Jeff Driskel struggled at quarterback.

"We're 0-3 this season," Vic Fangio said, "and so am I. I've lost as a coach, a mask wearer, and as a clock manager.

"With Drew Lock injured, currently the only 'Lock' in Denver is Peyton Manning making the Hall of Fame one day."

With fans not allowed at MetLife Stadium, attendance is zero. Also registering at zero are playoff implications, fan interest, fantasy football starters, and F's given.

Jets win, 21-17.

Indianapolis @ Chicago (+2½)

The Colts beat the injury-depleted Jets, 36-7, led by a defense that forced 3 turnovers, scoring touchdowns on two of them.

"The Jets are the walking wounded," Frank Reich said. "They could barely field a team. Heck, they can barely field a field. That field at MetLife Stadium has done more knee damage than Ric Flair.

"Philip passed for his 400th touchdown pass. He's thrown more touchdowns than the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Ryan. On the other hand, he's tossed more 'picks' than the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Satriani."

Nick Foles, called to action after Mitch Trubisky was benched, engineered a fourth quarter comeback that gave the Bears a 30-26 win over the Falcons in Atlanta.

"Don't let Mitch's benching be a surprise to you," Matt Nagy said. "Much like a defense reading one of Mitch's passes, everybody saw it coming.

"Certainly, our defense just hasn't played up to expectations. In fact, they've been piss poor. If the Chicago defense had their own television show, it would be called 'Chicago Pee D.'"

Bears win, 24-22.

Jacksonville @ Cincinnati (-3)

The Jaguars lost 31-13 to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins on Thursday night. Gardner Minshew struggled, with no touchdown passes and 2 turnovers.

"Sure," Doug Marrone said, "Gardner had a tough night. But he'll recover, and his jersey will continue to sell, mostly to women who wake up in the morning wearing it and nothing else."

The Bengals battled to a 23-23 tie with the Eagles in Philadelphia. Joe Burrow passed for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns, despite enduring 8 sacks.

"Joe is maturing before our very eyes," Zac Taylor said. "That was also the opinion of our 'Young Player Evaluation Department' when they checked Joe out last year. That department is also known as the 'Boy Scouts.'"

Bengals win, 26-24.

Cleveland @ Dallas (-4½)

The Browns are 2-1 after taking a hard-fought 34-20 win over Washington. Nick Chubb rushed for 2 scores, and the Browns defense forced 5 turnovers.

"The Browns have their first winning record in 6 years," Kevin Stefanski said. "I'm proud to be a part of that. As a coach, I'm proud to have my name associated with this franchise. And if I continue at this current rate, the Browns record will improve significantly, but not as significantly as striking Hue Jackson's and Freddie Kitchens' losses from the record.

"I'm sure a lot of our critics will say we haven't beaten any good teams. That's b.s. Say what you will about Ron Rivera's squad, but Washington is the best 'Football Team' in the NFL."

The Cowboys came up short in Seattle, losing 38-31 despite a big 3-touchdown game from Dak Prescott.

"Our defense is giving up over 32 points per game," Mike McCarthy said. "Apparently, there's no 'D' in Dallas. Or in Seattle. Or in Los Angeles. Or anywhere we play.

"Luckily for our defense, they're not on the field for long. Our offense makes sure of that, as do the offenses of opposing teams."

Browns win, 30-27.

New Orleans @ Detroit (+4)

The Saints lost 37-30 to the visiting Packers on Sunday night. Drew Brees passed for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns, but continued to struggle with downfield throws.

"If you're looking for Drew's name in the statistics for air yards per pass attempt," Sean Payton said, "I suggest you 'check down' the list.

"The demise of Brees has been greatly exaggerated. Drew's passed for over 77,000 yards and over 550 touchdowns. I'm not going to bench him. Not for those reasons, but for this one: Jameis Winston would be that much closer to playing."

The Lions upset the Cardinals 26-23 at Glendale. Matthew Stafford passed for 2 touchdowns, and the Lions were +3 in turnover margin.

"Never count this team out," Stafford said, "until probably late October, early November at the latest.

"We're going with Adrian Peterson as our lead running back. Even at 35 years of age, A.P. still has the power and drive to compete. That takes discipline, as as we all know, A.P.'s got so much of that, he can afford to give some to others. Sometimes too much of it."

Saints win, 30-27.

Seattle @ Miami (+6½)

Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 2 scores and rushed for another as the Dolphins crushed the home-standing Jaguars on Thursday night.

"Ryan has the best beard in the NFL," Brain Flores said. "If you don't believe me, then locate his chin strap.

"With a beard like that, it's a wonder Ryan has never played for the Vikings. Heck, he's got a viking's beard. And, with the way Kirk Cousins is playing, Fitzpatrick in Minnesota could be a distinct possibility. In that happens, it would be a case of the Minnesota quarterback situation going from 'Bad to Norse.'"

Russell Wilson passed for 5 touchdowns to lead the Seahawks to a 38-31 win over the visiting Cowboys. Wilson now has 14 TD passes in 3 games.

"Russell is on pace to throw for nearly 75 touchdowns this season," Pete Carroll said. "Ninety if he could play the Cowboys every week, and 96 if D.K. Metcalf can wait just a sec to celebrate."

Seattle wins, 34-30.

L.A. Chargers @ Tampa Bay (-7½)

The Buccaneers ousted the Broncos 28-10 in Denver, as Tom Brady passed for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"The altitude didn't bother me at all," Brady said. "I'm used to it, because the pedestal I live atop is well over a mile high."

The Chargers lost 21-16 to the visiting Panthers and are now 1-2, third in the AFC West.

"We had our opportunities," Anthony Lynn said. "But we just made too many self-inflicted mistakes. I don't want to say we're our own worst enemy, because our team doctor is."

Buccaneers win, 28-16.

Baltimore @ Washington (+13)

The Ravens looked lost in a 34-20 loss to the visiting Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Baltimore's offense managed only 228 yards of total offense.

"We put ourselves in a 27-10 hole," John Harbaugh said. "Edgar Allan Poe would call that a 'Premature Burial.'

"But we can't dwell on the past, or the 'passed.' So, I promise you, we're going to establish the rush on Sunday. D.C. is just a short trip down the road from Baltimore. We could drive, but we choose to run."

Dwayne Haskins had 4 costly turnovers as Washington lost 34-20 to the Browns in the Dawg Pound.

"Dwayne is still the starter," Ron Rivera said. "Keep in mind, that sentence should be prefaced with, 'It pains me to say this, but...' Now, if Dwayne falters, I won't hesitate to call on the backup. So, to Kyle Allen, I say, 'Stand back, and stand by.'"

Ravens win, 33-14.

Arizona @ Carolina (+3½)

The Panthers upset the Chargers 21-16 in Los Angeles, giving Matt Rhule his first NFL victory.

"I remember my first victory at Baylor," Rhule said. "I celebrated by celebrating that I had absolutely no sexual assault allegations on my watch.

"Cam Newton appears to be having a great time in New England. I'm sure the Carolina front office had their reasons for letting Cam walk. I think the main reason was they thought he couldn't 'run.'"

Kyler Murray bounces back from a lackluster performance against the Lions with 3 touchdown passes and 70 yards on the ground.

Cardinals win, 27-20.

Minnesota @ Houston (-4½)

The Vikings are 0-3 after losing 31-30 to the visiting Titans. Minnesota racked up 464 yards of total offense, but committed 3 costly turnovers.

"Defensively," Mike Zimmer said, "we're struggling. Our defense lacks identity. Meaning, I can't identify a defense when those 11 guys are on the field.

"What this team needs is a nice day on Lake Minnetonka on the SS Fred Smoot to get their heads off of football and get their head on the boat. Sure, it may be unethical, but I can turn my head so as not to see something that may offend me. I do it all the time with our product on the field."

Texans win, 28-21.

NY Giants @ L.A. Rams (-12)

The Giants fell to 0-3 with a resounding 36-9 beating at the hands of the visiting 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Daniel Jones struggled, with 2 turnovers, and the G-Men failed to move the ball on the ground.

"Turnovers have plagued Danny," Joe Judge said. "When he's avoiding turnovers, he can 'cook' with the best of them. When he's not avoiding them, he's a recipe for disaster."

The Rams stormed back from a 28-3 third quarter deficit in Buffalo, only to have a controversial pass interference call lead to the Bills game-winning TD with 15 seconds left.

"In Seattle," Sean McVay said, "Russell Wilson is cooking. Here in Buffalo, there's 'home cooking.'"

Rams win, 30-21.

New England @ Kansas City (-7)

The Patriots rushed for 250 yards in a commanding 36-20 win over the Raiders at Gillette Stadium.

"We just updated the 'Tuck Rule,'" Bill Belichick said. "Because we made the Raiders to tuck their tails between their legs and get the heck out of Foxboro.

"Robert Kraft is now free of soliciting charges, at least until his next video comes out. Inspired by Kraft, we have a staff specifically trained to treat the cramps and sore muscles of our players. We call them the 'Kraft Korps,' because they're here to 'rub one out.'"

The Chiefs handled the Ravens 34-20 in Baltimore as Patrick Mahomes passed for 4 touchdowns and ran for another.

"It was the 'Game of the Century,'" Andy Reid said. "In this case, the 'Century' was us doing 100% of what we wanted to.

"Patrick just announced that he and his fiancee are expecting a baby. I guess their wedding just became the shotgun version."

Chiefs win, 34-23.

Buffalo @ Las Vegas (+2½)

The Bills blew a 25-point third quarter lead, but used a favorable defensive pass interference call to eventually score the game-winning TD in a 35-32 win over the Rams.

"We were up 28-3," Josh Allen said, "and got a little overconfident. Then we started envisioning ourselves in the Super Bowl. Understandably, that's when we started losing.

"But we're 3-0. That's got Bills fans thinking 'Super Bowl.' That, in turn, has older Bills fans thinking 0-5."

The Raiders lost for the first time, dropping a 36-20 decision to the Patriots. New England outmuscled the Raiders on the ground, piling up 250 yards rushing.

"Bill Belichick identified our weaknesses," Jon Gruden said, "and exploited them. So what viewers saw was a 'Silver and Black-sploitation' film.

"We had several players break COVID-19 protocol by not wearing masks at Darren Waller's charity event. So, we're probably going to face some hefty fines from the league. But I've got a better solution. Let's say we take the eye patch off that Raider on our helmet and move it to his mouth."

Raiders win, 27-24.

Philadelphia @ San Francisco (-6½)

The Eagles and Bengals played to a 23-23 tie in Philadelphia. "We played arguably the worst team in the league," Doug Pederson said, "and made them look like they were the second-worst team in the league.

"The 76ers had 'The Process.' At our current rate of success, we're looking at 'The Process of Elimination.'"

The 49ers demolished the Giants at MetLife Stadium 36-9, despite being without several starters out with injuries or lost for the season.

"I'm not sure who was more short-handed," Kyle Shanahan said. "Us, or the Giants. "Not much has gone as we expected so far. One thing that has gone as expected is that Jordan Reed is injured three games into the season."

San Francisco wins, 24-21.

Atlanta @ Green Bay (-7½)

Aaron Rodgers passed for 283 and 3 touchdowns to lead the Packers to a 37-30 win over the Saints in the Superdome.

"Aaron is playing with a renewed vitality," Matt LaFleur said. "It's like he visited the 'Fountain of Youth.' Although, it seems like Aaron shouldn't visit the 'Fountain of Youth,' because he might get pissed that someone younger is there.

"Aaron took it personally when the team drafted Jordan Love at quarterback. I guess Aaron's made it a dick-measuring contest with our front office. Now, I'm not sure who has the biggest dick, but I'm sure Aaron is the biggest dick."

The Falcons squandered another big lead, blowing a 26-10 fourth quarter advantage and losing 30-26 to the Bears.

"If this were baseball," Dan Quinn said, "I'd be begging for a 'closer,' so he could 'save' my job.

"Now, if the Falcons fire me, I'm guessing they'll allow me to make a "comeback" with another team, probably when they play the Falcons."

Packers win, 38-28.

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