NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 18

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Kansas City @ Denver (+10½)

The Chiefs lost 34-31 to the Bengals in Cincinnati, undone by Joe Burrow's 446 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. The loss dropped the Chiefs from atop the AFC standings, and now hold the No. 2 seed behind the Titans.

"We heard so much about Ja'Marr Chase 'dropping the ball,'" Andy Reid said, "that we went and dropped it ourselves.

"But we just have to forget about losing to Cincy and go out and take care of business against the Broncos. What's the next best thing to being the AFC's No. 1 seed? Being the No. 2 seed when Tennessee is the No. 1 seed."

Chiefs win, 27-13.

Dallas @ Philadelphia (+2½)

The Eagles beat Washington 20-16 and clinched a playoff spot when Minnesota lost to Green Bay on Sunday night.

"Wow," Nick Sirianni said, "the Packers are so good, they're clinching playoff spots for other teams.

"Jalen Hurts averted disaster when a railing collapsed at FedEx Field. It was an odd situation for Jalen, but even odder for those fans leaning on the railing. Philly fans aren't used to railing separating them from the ground; they're used to railing separating them from police."

Eagles win, 27-20.

New Orleans @ Atlanta (+3½)

The Falcons lost 29-15 to the Bills at New Era Stadium. Buffalo exploited the Atlanta rush defense, piling up 233 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.

"233 yards is a lot," Matt Ryan said. "That's over two lengths of the football field. Amazingly, the Bills did it by running circles around us. That tells me we need to get our defense straightened out."

The Saints beat the lowly Panthers 18-10 to improve to 8-8. The Saints are still alive for a playoff spot, and will need a win and a loss by the 49ers to the Rams.

"Alvin Kamara scored our lone touchdown," Sean Payton said. "That was our first TD in more than 11 quarters, and we only managed to beat the Panthers, who suck, by 8 points. Those two facts alone should be more than enough to eliminate us from playoff contention."

Falcons win, 26-21.

NY Jets @ Buffalo (-16½)

The Bills beat the visiting Falcons 29-15 and secured a playoff berth. Josh Allen struggled through the air, but rushed for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"'It was hard to throw under those conditions,'" Allen said, "is probably something Robert Saleh says every week when he looks in his quarterback room.

"If we beat the Jets, we'll clinch the AFC East and guarantee ourselves a home playoff game. That's a very, very, very tiny 'if.'"

The Jets nearly upset the visiting Bucs, but lost 28-24 after a late Tom Brady touchdown won it for the Bucs.

"I applaud our effort," Robert Saleh said. "We left the field with our heads held high, and our uniforms still on."

Bills win, 31-19.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-2½)

Joe Burrow passed for 446 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Bengals beat the visiting Chiefs 34-31. Burrow hooked up with rookie Ja'Marr Chase for 3 of the touchdowns.

"I'm lighting up defenses like I do cigars," Burrow said. "In the last two games alone, I've passed for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns. I've set the bar high, and set Baker Mayfield's goal for the entire 2022 season."

The Browns lost 26-14 to the Steelers at Heinz Field on Monday night. Baker Mayfield was sacked 9 times and threw 2 interceptions.

"Baker's having surgery on his left shoulder soon," Kevin Stefanski said. "Assuming it goes well, it will be the first time this season the words 'Baker Mayfield' and 'surgical precision' have been used in the same sentence.

"While having surgery, Baker will be under anesthesia. Another thing Baker is 'below:' average. Another thing he is 'under:' achievement."

Browns win, 23-21.

Green Bay @ Detroit (+5)

The Packers hammered the Vikings, who were without Kirk Cousins, 37-10, and clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed. Aaron Rodgers passed for 2 touchdowns, and A.J. Dillon rushed for 2 scores.

"I was looking forward to playing against Kirk," Aaron Rodgers said. "I consider him my equal, but only in our beliefs of nonsensical vaccination conspiracy theories.

"A.J. played great. He's got several nicknames for his massive thighs, like 'Quadzilla' and the 'Quadfather.' If you don't think A.J.'s gonna come up big for us in the playoffs, then you don't know 'squat.'"

The Lions lost 51-29 to the Seahawks at Lumen Field. Seattle piled up nearly 500 yards of total offense, as the Lions fell to 2-13-1.

"It wasn't our finest moment," Dan Campbell said. "How do I know? When you're 2-13-1, your finest moment is easily identified, probably because there's only one of them."

Packers win, 27-24.

New England @ Miami (+6½)

The Patriots smashed the visiting Jaguars 50-10, as New England chewed up the Jags on the ground, rushing for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"The Jacksonville defense has more holes than an Urban Meyer apology," Bill Belichick said, "and is just as sketchy. That being said, I could hire Meyer to join my staff. First, there would need to be an opening. Second, that opening would have to be in the 'Douchebag Operations' department. Thirdly, I would have to be a fool.

"We could beat the Dolphins, but if the Bills beat the Jets, we won't win the AFC East. As Robert Kraft said while pointing at the Orchid of Asia spa in Jupiter, Florida, 'There's the rub.'"

The Titans crushed the visiting Dolphins, 34-3, snapping Miami's seven-game winning streak. The defeat eliminated the Dolphins from playoff contention.

"The Titans ran the ball right down our blowhole," Brian Flores said. "That resulted in a 'packed blowhole.' That, in turn, resulted in a Ricky Williams reference."

Patriots win, 23-20.

Chicago @ Minnesota (-2½)

The Vikings lost 37-10 at frigid Lambeau Field with Kirk Cousins out after contracting COVID.

"There's good news and there's bad news with Kirk," Mike Zimmer said. "In both cases, depending on who you are and your level of compassion, the answer is, 'He survived.' I fall firmly into the 'It was bad news' camp.

"Sunday's game could very well be my last as head coach of the Vikings. Or not. All I know is they'll have to drag me kicking and screaming back if I'm gonna keep coaching this team."

The Bears crushed the Giants 29-3 at Soldier Field, led by a defense that forced 4 Mike Glennon turnovers.

"Glennon had that 'deer in the headlights' look," Matt Nagy said. "That's because like deer and headlights, you should never see Mike Glennon on a football field."

Vikings win, 24-20.

Washington @ NY Giants (+6½)

Washington lost 20-16 to the Eagles, who overcame a 16-7 halftime deficit to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Washington fell to 6-1, third in the NFC East.

"I thought we showed some fight," Ron Rivera said. "And speaking of 'showing fight,' highlights of two of our players doing exactly that appeared on all forms of media last week.

"Going forward, the NFL has added a referee to our sideline, as well as three judges, who will be scoring our teammate interactions on the 10-point must system."

Mike Glennon committed 4 turnovers and was sacked 4 times as the Bears smacked the Giants 29-3 at Soldier Field.

"Mike had minus 10 net yards passing," Joe Judge said. "That's the lowest since Ryan Leaf had minus 23 back in 1998. You know when you're mentioned in the same conversation with Leaf, it's bad, or you're a lawyer.

"As I said after the Bears game, this organization is by no means a 'clown show.' However, the series of bad hires at head coach looks a lot like a 'clown car.'"

Washington wins, 27-17.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-7½)

The Buccaneers came alive late, scoring the final 17 points, to repel the Jets upset bid with a 28-24 win at MetLife Stadium. Tom Brady passed for 410 yards and 3 touchdowns, while witnessing an odd situation when Antonio Brown removed his shoulder pads and jersey and left the field in the second quarter.

"That's just A.B. being A.B.," Brady said. "But I wish him all the luck in the world in his future endeavors, starting with the reality show circuit.

"Now, to segue from wide receivers in the 'help needed' department to wide receivers in the 'help wanted' department: we're going to need one or more of our wideouts to step up and fill the void created by injuries and A.B.'s sudden departure."

The Panthers lost 18-10 to the Saints in New Orleans. Sam Darnold completed 17-of-26 throws for 132 yards and 1 interception, and was sacked 7 times.

"Apparently," Matt Rhule said, "Sam is still seeing ghosts. Sam may see ghosts next year, but I surely don't think Sam will be a ghost next year, because his 'presence' won't be felt.

"Honestly, at this point, I have no idea how to choose a starting quarterback. I certainly can't base it on merit. What I should do is put the names of Sam Darnold and Cam Newton on slips of paper and place them in a hat, along with a black widow spider. Of course, that's a 'no-win situation,' which in Charlotte these days is also called 'a game.'"

Bucs win, 28-17.

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (+15½)

The Colts lost 23-20 to the visiting Raiders, as Daniel Clarkson booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give Vegas the win.

"Carson Wentz was not very sharp after missing time with COVID," Frank Reich said. "Carson is not vaccinated, so, with the Omicron variant running rampant, he was really playing with fire. And so are we, with Carson at quarterback.

"And speaking of COVID, Carson's feeling about vaccination is a lot like our chances to win the Super Bowl with him at quarterback: no shot."

Colts win, 31-13.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-4½)

The Steelers beat the visiting Browns 26-14 on Monday night is what was likely Ben Roethlisberger's last game at Heinz Field.

"If this is indeed Ben's last game," Mike Tomlin said, "it's a bittersweet thing. It's sad that he won't have another season to say his farewells to the league. It's even sadder, because with the state of his arm, he's not even able to wave goodbye. But it's also a happy occasion, because he won't be our quarterback."

Ravens win, 24-21.

Tennessee @ Houston (+10½)

The Texans lost 23-7 to the 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Houston's offense struggled, with only 222 yards of total offense.

"Davis Mills had his troubles," David Culley said, "but I see a lot of good in him. I think he may be our quarterback of the future. Davis may not have the physical talent of Deshaun Watson, but he's damn sure better than David Carr, plus he's not dumb enough to pick the Raiders to win the Super Bowl."

The Titans demolished the visiting Dolphins, 34-3, and clinched the AFC South. Tennessee rushed for 198 yards and 2 TDs, and Ryan Tannehill passed for 2 scores against his former team.

"I had some good times in Miami," Tannehill said. "That's pretty much why I had to leave."

Titans win, 28-21.

L.A. Chargers @ Las Vegas (+2½)

Daniel Carlson kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to give the Raiders a 23-20 win at Indianapolis.

"The winner of our game with the Chargers gets into the playoffs," Derek Carr said. "The loser goes home. I know we have all of Raider Nation pulling for us, and that includes Jon Gruden. I even got a personal e-mail from Jon wishing me luck. There are two things to know when you get an email from Gruden. One, you read it with great apprehension. And, two, and most importantly, you delete it immediately."

Raiders win, 28-24.

San Francisco @ L.A. Rams (-4½)

Trey Lance passed for 2 touchdowns to lead the 49ers to a 23-7 win over the visiting Texans. San Fran can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Saints loss at Atlanta.

"Trey played well," Kyle Shanahan said. "But if Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy enough, he'll get the start. Either way, I'll have my doubts that my quarterback can make all the throws I need him to. It's called 'complete trust,' and I don't have it in either of my QBs.

"Somehow, a child got loose on the field and approached me on the sideline in our game with Houston. The most shocking thing about it was that it wasn't Antonio Brown. This kid was way too mature."

The Rams edged the Ravens 20-19 in Baltimore, as Matthew Stafford overcame a slow start and threw the go-ahead touchdown to Odell Beckham, Jr. with 57 seconds left in the game.

"OBJ is getting more comfortable with the offense," Stafford said. "And he's comfortable with his role. You can't call OBJ a 'diva' anymore. He's no Antonio Brown. AB is high maintenance. And quitting on the team right before the playoffs when they need him greatly puts the Bucs in a state of 'bye' maintenance."

Rams win, 27-24.

Seattle @ Arizona (-6½)

Russell Wilson threw 4 touchdowns passes, three to D.K. Metcalf, as the Seahawks rolled to a 51-29 win over the visiting Lions.

"I hope this wasn't my last game in Seattle," Wilson said. "I just hope it was my last game as the quarterback in Seattle."

The Cardinals upset the Cowboys 25-22 at AT&T Stadium, as Kyler Murray passed for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. With the win, Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I've never lost at AT&T Stadium in my life," Murray said. "Something else that hasn't happened in my lifetime? The Cowboys winning a Super Bowl."

Cardinals win, 29-27.

Comments and Conversation

January 6, 2022

Anthony Brancato:

Dude, you got ten times my sense of humor - and without bragging, that is saying something.

January 12, 2022

Jeffrey Boswell:


Thanks! Mine can be a little sick and perverted at times. But it’s the NFL—-so easy to find things to laugh at, especially when Antonio Brown is being himself.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

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