NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 8

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

Atlanta @ Carolina (-2½)

The Falcons allowed the Lions to drive 75 yards in the final 1:04 and lost 23-22 on Matthew Stafford's 11-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson on the final play of the game.

"Another game," Matt Ryan said, "another lead lost. I guess that means we'll have to answer more questions about how we continue to blow leads. Add that to the list of things we 'can't stop.'"

The Panthers lost 27-24 to the Saints and fell to 3-4 with their second consecutive loss. Joey Slye's 65-yard field goal attempt to tie the game late was just short, and the Panthers fell to 3-4.

"As they say," Matt Rhule said, "it's a game of inches. And sometimes feet, if you have a sick, perverted foot fetish and are a former New York Jets coach.

"Teddy Bridgewater continues to impress with his play. He's accurate, he's nimble on his feet, he limits his turnovers. But he's no Cam Newton, which, believe it or not, is his best attribute."

Panthers win, 29-24.

New England @ Buffalo (-3½)

The visiting 49ers pounded the Patriots 33-6, handing New England its second consecutive home loss. Cam Newton was ineffective, passing for only 98 yards and tossing 3 interceptions.

"We decided to bench Cam in the third quarter," Bill Belichick said. "Cam didn't argue. And that was the only correct decision he made all day.

"Yes, Cam will start against the Bills. His job is safe, as are the chances that we have to pay out on the performance incentives stipulated in his contract.

"And to dispel another falsehood, there's no truth to the rumors that we offered Cam's father Cecil $200,000 to take him off our hands."

The Bills beat the surprisingly competitive Jets 18-10 to snap a two-game losing streak. Buffalo got 6 field goals from Tyler Bass.

"We were coming off a two-game losing streak," Sean McDermott said. "So I had my work cut out for me. And trust me, as a coach, it's not easy convincing your team not to take the Jets lightly.

"The Patriots may be down, but we can't underestimate them. Especially not in a time of desperation. The Pats are always seeking an edge wherever they can find one. And they usually do find one. And their findings are usually followed by the 'findings' of an NFL investigation."

Bills win, 23-20.

Tennessee @ Cincinnati (+4½)

The Titans nearly erased a 27-7 deficit against the Steelers, but fell short in a 27-24 loss. Stephen Gostkowski's 45-yard field goal attempt to tie was wide right.

"We can't be discouraged by one loss," Mike Vrabel said. "I still believe we're easily one of the best teams in the NFL, and we've been making that case since Week 1. And we'll continue to do so. As you would expect, the 'cases' are piling up.

"This is an away game against an opponent with a 1-5-1 record. We consider this less of a challenge, and more so an 'off-site workout.'"

The Bengals lost a 37-34 shootout at home to the Browns, who scored with 11 seconds left to secure the win. Joe Burrow passed for 406 yards and 3 TD's, but was outgunned by Baker Mayfield's 5 TD passes.

"Joe's doing everything we're asking of him," Zac Taylor said. "He's making good defenses look mediocre, and bad defenses look worse, and our defense look expendable. Let the fire sale begin; we're raising funds to pay a first-round defensive pick next season.

"What the Titans have done so far this year is simply amazing. I think the kids these days would call it 'sick.' However, the NFL fined them $350,000 for COVID-19 violations. So, I guess they'll have to cough it up."

The Bengals problem this season is not the inability to score. No, it's the inability to score enough. The Titans have Derrick Henry and his stiff arm, as well as a healthy A.J. Brown, who is the 'A. Brown' whose only a handful on the field.

Titans win, 32-24.

Las Vegas @ Cleveland (-3)

The Raiders lost 45-20 to the visiting Buccaneers. Tom Brady picked apart the Las Vegas defense, passing for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Obviously," Jon Gruden said, "we have issues on the defensive side of the ball. Our defensive philosophy is not very well defined. In true Vegas fashion, it involves the roll of the dice, often followed by someone saying 'Crap's.'"

The Browns outscored the Bengals, 37-34, in Cincinnati, led by Baker Mayfield's 5 touchdown passes.

"Baker has listened to all the criticism," Kevin Stefanski said, "and I think he's fed up with it. So he decided to put this team on his back, and carry us to third place in the AFC North.

"Odell Beckham, Jr. is out for the season with an ACL injury. I guess this frees him up to go to LSU games. Sadly, he was banned from LSU games for two years for handing out cash to Tigers players after their national championship win over Clemson. It's a good thing he wasn't handing out cash to Instagram models, because then the 'S' would have really hit the fan. Literally."

Browns win, 32-26.

Indianapolis @ Detroit (+3)

The 4-2 Colts had a Week 7 bye and head to Week 8 chasing the 5-1 Titans in the AFC South.

"We haven't faced the Titans yet," Frank Reich said. "But we play them twice in a span of 17 days in November. That should work out, because we can easily fit a 14-day quarantine with those 17 days."

The Lions beat the Falcons 23-22 in Atlanta, winning on Matthew Stafford's 11-yard TD pass to T.J. Hockenson on the game's final play.

"Matthew has made clutch plays his entire career," Matt Patricia said. "Most have resulted in meaningless wins, or eventual losses.

"But we've won two games in a row, which to me, is a double-edged sword. It's great, because it is a winning streak. It's not so great, because it's probably my greatest accomplishment as Lions head coach."

Colts win, 26-17.

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-7)

The Packers bounced back from their 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers with a 35-20 win over the Texans at NRG Stadium. Aaron Rodgers passed for 283 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"Frankly," Aaron Rodgers said, "I was offended by my performance against Tampa. Hell, I haven't been that upset since the Packers drafted a quarterback."

Minnesota had a Week 7 bye and is 1-5 in the NFC North.

"With 5 losses already this season," Mike Zimmer said, "this is a must-win game for us. I think our players understand that. They know that if we lose, it could cost them their jobs. Oh, they'll still be getting paid to play football, just in another city. And that's assuming someone wants our players in trades."

Packers win, 35-24.

NY Jets @ Kansas City (-21)

The Jets fell 18-10 at home to the Bills and are now 0-7. The Jets kept the Bills out of the end zone, but failed to consistently move the ball.

"I relinquished play-calling duties," Adam Gase said. "That's something off my plate that I don't have to worry about. And let's face it, most people in this organization would like my plate totally empty.

"Playing the defending world champion Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium? That's our worst nightmare. The Jets may not be a team's worst nightmare, but we can be a person's. That person is Trevor Lawrence."

The Chiefs beat the Broncos 43-16 in snowy Denver. Kansas City's defense led the way, forcing 4 turnovers and scoring a TD on an interception return. The Chiefs also scored on a kickoff return.

"We can beat you in so many ways," Andy Reid said. "With the Broncos, we really needed to choose only one.

"Le'Veon Bell will be facing his former team. Adam Gase is known for his passing game acumen, but he's also the architect of what may be the best 'rushing' offense in the league, because he's awesome at running players out of town."

Chiefs win, 39-16.

L.A. Rams @ Miami (+3½)

The Rams beat the Bears 24-10 on Monday night. The Rams held the Bears to 49 yards rushing, intercepted Nick Foles twice, and sacked him 4 times.

"The Bears offense sucks," Sean McVay said, "but their defense is the real deal. Thank goodness we only have to play them once. What could be worse than playing that defense more than once? Well, being the offense that has to share the practice field with them, of course. Awkward."

Tua Tagovailoa makes his first NFL start as the Dolphins, fresh off a bye week, host the Rams.

"After much deliberation," Brian Flores said, "careful consideration, deep thought, serious cogitation, and total disregard for Ryan Fitzpatrick's best start to a season, I decided it was time for Tua to start."

Rams win, 26-17.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-3½)

The Ravens had a Week 7 bye and host the undefeated Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Steelers/Ravens games don't disappoint," John Harbaugh said. "Just ask Edgar Allan Poe's 'Raven.' It says, and I quoth, 'Never bore.'

"This may be the NFL's most intense rivalry. If you hear the words 'beef' and 'friction,' the subject is likely the Steelers/Ravens rivalry, although it could be Tony Siragusa's bitch tits."

The Steelers toppled the undefeated Titans 27-24 to improve to 6-0. Pittsburgh built a 27-7 lead and held on to hand Tennessee its first loss of the season.

"That's a great team we beat," Mike Tomlin said. "I have no doubt we'll see them again, most likely in the context of contact tracing."

Steelers win, 26-24.

L.A. Chargers @ Denver(+1)

The Chargers beat the Jaguars 39-29 to improve to 2-4. Justin Herbert passed for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead Los Angeles.

"Justin is the key to the rest of our season," Anthony Lynn. "And we expect him to continue to play like this, as long as he stays healthy. In other words, we need to keep him away from the team doctor."

The Broncos lost to the visiting Chiefs, 45-20. Denver turned the ball over 4 times and are 2-4 in the AFC West.

"Temperatures were in the teens," Vic Fangio said, "which immediately piqued the interest of Lawrence Taylor.

"We held Patrick Mahomes to one touchdown pass. Now, Justin Herbert is no Mahomes, but they have one thing in common: you'd never see either one in a Broncos uniform."

Broncos win, 23-20.

New Orleans @ Chicago (+2½)

The Saints beat the Panthers 27-24 despite playing without top receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Drew Brees passed for 2 touchdowns and rushed for another.

"Drew still has it," Sean Payton said. "Does he really have anything else to prove? He's done it all for this franchise? He's won a Super Bowl, he's a pillar of the community, and he kept his mouth shut about the bounty program."

The Bears lost 24-10 to the Rams on Monday Night Football. Chicago's offense did very little, with the Bears' only touchdown coming on a fumble return by Eddie Jackson.

"We just couldn't move the ball," Matt Nagy said. "Our offensive performance was much like our offensive coaching staff holding a Zoom meeting to discuss ways to improve on offense — we did 'virtually' nothing."

Saints win, 24-17.

San Francisco @ Seattle (-3½)

The 49ers hammered the Patriots 33-6 in Foxboro in Jimmy Garapollo's return to New England. San Fran piled up 197 rushing yards, and Jeff Wilson rushed for 3 scores.

"Jimmy wasn't great," Kyle Shanahan said. "He didn't pass for any touchdowns and tossed 2 picks. Jimmy doesn't have all the answers; that's because we don't ask much of him.

"The NFC West is clearly the NFL's toughest division. You could take the worst team in the West, and that team could easily win the NFC East, with a winning record, if not an undefeated one."

The Seahawks lost 37-34 in overtime at Arizona. Russell Wilson passed for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns, but had 3 costly interceptions, including one in overtime that led to the Cardinals game-winning field goal.

"Sometimes," Pete Carroll said, "we ask Russell to 'cook' too much. Now I'm hearing that question that continues to drive me crazy — why didn't you run the ball?

"We dabbled with signing Antonio Brown, but thought better of it. Don't get me wrong, it's got nothing to do with talent. Brown will have a "jacket" in Canton one day, but only if the asylum he's committed to is in Canton."

San Francisco wins, 28-26.

Dallas @ Philadelphia (-3½)

The Eagles erased a 21-10 fourth quarter deficit to beat the Giants 22-21 on Thursday night. At 2-4-1, the Eagles have sole possession of the NFC East lead.

"I think we match up well with the Cowboys," Doug Pederson. "In other words, we're equally as bad.

"As a team that's dealing with multiple injuries, you just have to find ways to win. Luckily, we play in the NFC East, where opponents are better at finding ways to lose."

The Cowboys looked awful, suffering their second consecutive blowout loss in a 25-3 loss to Washington at FedEx Field. Andy Dalton suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit.

"That was a dirty hit," Mike McCarthy said. "And not one player stood up for Andy. I'd say it was the most pathetic display of 'defense' I've seen this year, but it doesn't even make our top 10.

"We've been humiliated two weeks in a row. And rightfully, we took offense at that, because that's something we can do ourselves.

"You may have heard that some of our players have questioned the preparation of some coaches. I'm stunned by that revelation. Not because it happened, but because only some of our players feel that way. Now, I have to question their judgment."

Eagles win 30-17.

Tampa Bay @ NY Giants (+10)

The Buccaneers beat the Raiders 45-20 at Allegiant Stadium. Tom Brady passed for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns, including one to Rob Gronkowski for the second week in a row.

"We left Vegas with a win," Tom Brady said, "and hopefully nothing else.

"This team made a bold move by signing Antonio Brown. There's no mistaking that Antonio is a one-of-a-kind receiver. He can do things that no other receiver can do. And I can do things that no other quarterback will do; one of those is vouching for Antonio."

The Giants lost 22-21 at Philadelphia after blowing a 21-10 fourth quarter lead.

"Daniel Jones' 80-yard run was a perfect representation of the game," Joe Judge said. "We started strong, and stumbled late. And we're the laughingstock of the league.

"Brady may not know what down it is, or fact from fiction in the COVID-19 subject, but I'm sure he hasn't forgotten to whom he lost Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. That was just 12 and eight years ago. To Brady, it probably seems like yesterday. To Giants fans, it probably feels like 100 years ago."

Buccaneers win, 35-16.

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