Thursday, September 15, 2022
NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 2
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
L.A. Chargers @ Kansas City (-3½)
The Chargers beat the Raiders 24-19 in an early AFC West battle at SoFi Stadium. Justin Herbert passed for 279 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Chargers picked off Derek Carr three times.
"Justin has proven he's a superstar," Brandon Staley said, "and absolutely belongs in the conversation, along with Patrick Mahomes, as to who is the best QB in the game. And just check out this division: the AFC West is the home of future Hall of Famers, and Derek Carr.
"The Chiefs have home-field advantage, but we're not intimidated at all by the crowd at Arrowhead. Heck, it will feel just like a home game, with 80,000 + fans rooting for the team that's not us."
The Chiefs smashed the Cardinals 44-21 at State Farm Stadium as Patrick Mahomes passed for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns.
"Kyler Murray should thank me," Mahomes said. "He doesn't even need to worry about studying film, because I just gave him an in-person clinic.
"The bottom line is, I'm head and shoulders above Kyler, figuratively and literally. And in regards to Tyreek Hill, we proved, much like his wife and child, that we're better off without him."
Chiefs win, 31-28.
NY Jets @ Cleveland (-6½)
Rookie Cade York's 58-yard field goal with 8 seconds left gave the visiting Browns a 26-24 win in Charlotte over the Panthers and former Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
"Obviously," Kevin Stefanski said, "we're very familiar with Baker's strengths, weaknesses, and fetishes. We know now that Baker's weaknesses greatly outweigh his strengths, just as we know now that Deshaun Watson's fetishes massively outweigh his strengths.
"I thought Jacoby Brissett handled himself well against Carolina. Now, if Watson would have 'handled himself' himself, we wouldn't even be talking about Jacoby."
The Ravens overwhelmed the Jets, 24-9, as Joe Flacco, starting while Zach Wilson recovers from a knee injury, struggled to lead the Jets offense to anything significant.
"Joe can pass the ball," Robert Saleh, "but unlike Zach, he offers zero running ability. Joe is like our offense under Joe — stationary. Once upon a time, Flacco was elite. Now, he just makes defenses look elite.
"And speaking of Jets quarterbacks facing criticism, let's clear one thing up: thanks to Watson, Joe Namath asking Suzy Kolber for a kiss back in 2003 was not that big of a deal."
Browns win, 25-16.
Washington @ Detroit (-1½)
The Commanders beat the visiting Jaguars, 28-23, led by Carson Wentz's 4 touchdown passes.
"That is exactly why we signed Carson," Ron Rivera said. "Carson also had 2 interceptions, which is exactly why we were able to sign him.
"I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it looks like Carson may be this team's 'savior' at quarterback. Now, I understand the religious implications of that word, and I don't want to offend anyone, but let's face it, Carson now leads Jesus Christ 2-1 in total number of resurrections."
The Lions lost a 38-35 shootout against the visiting Eagles. Detroit's 386 yards of total offense were outdone by Philly's whopping 455.
"Defensively," Dan Campbell said, "we've got a lot of work to do. Our goal line defense was abysmal. The Eagles scored 3 TD runs of 1 yard, and one TD run of 2 yards. They apparently know the front of our end zone as well as Dan Orlovsky knows the back of it.
"But I think our offense can play with anyone. They're capable of putting up 30 points on every other defense in the league, and probably way more against ours."
Lions win, 24-23.
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (+2½)
Jameis Winston overcame a slow start and passed for two second half touchdowns, both to Michael Thomas, as the Saints came from behind to post a 27-26 win in Atlanta.
"Crabs aren't the only thing Jameis can steal," Thomas said. "He can also steal the show."
The Bucs defense shut down the Cowboys offense in a 19-3 Tampa win on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. The Bucs held Dallas to 269 yards of total offense.
"It's always interesting playing in Dallas," Tom Brady said. "I've always wondered what it would be like to be the Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Now I know what it's like to send the fans home disappointed, so I guess I found out."
Saints win, 21-20.
Carolina @ NY Giants (-2½)
The Panthers lost 26-24 to the visiting Browns as Jacoby Brissett out-dueled Baker Mayfield in a game dubbed as "The Johnny Manziell Feel So Much Better About His Tenure as a Browns Quarterback" Bowl.
"I really wanted to beat my former team," Mayfield said. "I mean, really badly. But it was not to be, and maybe that's for the better. Sometimes, you can want something so bad, that even if you get it, it can be disastrous. Like when the Browns drafted me No. 1."
The Giants stunned the Titans 21-20 in Nashville, winning on Saquon Barkley's 2-point conversion run with 1:06 left in the game. Barkley finished the game with 194 total yards and a touchdown.
"I knew I had to break that plane," Barkley said. "I was inspired by the words of the great Lawrence Taylor. No, not that 'crazed dogs' quote, but the one about having a 'nose for the white line.'"
Giants win, 27-20.
New England @ Pittsburgh (+1½)
The Patriots offense stagnated and wilted in the heat of Miami, as the Dolphins took a dominant 20-7 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Quarterback Mac Jones was evaluated for a back injury after the game.
"Not all of us can expect a happy ending when we travel to Florida," Bill Belichick said. "Or when we travel to Pittsburgh, for that matter. But if there's an Orchids Of Asia day spa in Pittsburgh, Robert Kraft will surely find it. And I'm guessing it will be in an abandoned steel mill."
The Steelers upset the Bengals 23-20 at Paycor Stadium, winning on Chris Boswell's 53-yard field goal on the last play of overtime. Pittsburgh's defense sacked Joe Burrow 7 times and forced 5 Burrow turnovers.
"It was a question of who wanted it more," Mike Tomlin said. "Apparently, Burrow wanted it less. 'Less,' in this case, is our defense."
Steelers win, 22-17.
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (+4½)
The Colts erased a 20-3 fourth quarter deficit to the Texans, but couldn't close the deal for the win and left Houston with a 20-20 tie.
"I played for the Bills in the 1990s," Frank Reich said, "so I know an unsatisfactory conclusion when I see one. And that would be the perfect intro into an erectile dysfunction advertisement.
"Obviously, we've got the NFL's best running back in Jonathan Taylor. And with 31 carries, it's clear we're going to 'feed' him. And when it comes time to negotiate a new contract in the offseason, we're probably going to 'starve' him."
Colts win, 30-19.
Miami @ Baltimore (-3½)
Lamar Jackson passed for 3 touchdowns in a 24-9 win over the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
"I may or may not have turned down a $250 million contract extension," Jackson said. "I feel like I deserve more. I guess the Ravens front office could look at my playoff record and say the same thing."
The Dolphins dominated on both sides of the ball and handed the visiting Patriots a 20-7 loss. Miami's defense forced 3 turnovers and scored a touchdown, while Tua Tagovailoa passed for 270 yards and a score.
"This win means a lot," Mike McDaniel said. "Now, I know what Dolphins ownership pays for a loss; now I'd like to know what they pay for a win.
"Tyreek Hill said after the game that I'll need a wheelbarrow to carry my testicles. Me? I prefer to credit our defense with the huge sacks."
Ravens win, 27-24.
Atlanta @ L.A. Rams (-10½)
The Bills overwhelmed the Rams 31-10 at SoFi Stadium on Thursday night. Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times and Josh Allen passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
"We just didn't seem to have our heads in the game," Sean McVay said. "You would think in a town such as Los Angeles, we could at least 'act' like defending Super Bowl champs.
"We basically need to improve in all areas, especially those that Jalen Ramsey is covering."
Rams win, 31-17.
Seattle @ San Francisco (-7½)
The 49ers fell 19-10 in Trey Lance's debut at quarterback. Lance struggled, completing 13 of 28 passes for 164 yards and an interception, and added 54 yards on the ground.
"Trey is obviously not Joe Montana," Kyle Shanahan said. "I doubt Skechers would let Trey wear their shoes, much less endorse them. Of course, I doubt Trey would even want to wear or endorse Skechers.
"But in a game featuring a quarterback duel between Geno Smith and Trey Lance, you don't need to throw out the record books, but you can close them, because nothing will need to be added."
Brandon McManus' 64-yard field goal just missed left with 20 seconds left, and the Seahawks upset the Broncos 17-16 in Russell Wilson's return to Seattle.
"What a win," Pete Carroll said. "Even if that's the only victory we have this year, I won't complain, because why would I complain about having the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft?"
San Francisco wins, 28-16.
Cincinnati @ Dallas (+7)
The Bengals lost 23-20 in overtime as the Steelers defense forced 5 Joe Burrow turnovers and sacked him 7 times.
"Joe was under duress throughout the game," Zac Taylor said. "That statement would still be factual if the Steelers had a defensive lineman named 'Duress.'
"Despite all that, we still had a chance to win the game. I don't know whose offense that statement insults more — ours or Pittsburgh's."
The Cowboys offense sputtered in a 19-3 Sunday night home loss to the Buccaneers. To compound the issues, Dak Prescott suffered a right thumb issue that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks.
"Actually," Jerry Jones said, "Dak could come back in as little as four weeks. Now, I'm not a doctor, but I occasionally pay women to call me one, so I feel somewhat qualified to make medical statements in regards to my players."
Bengals win, 28-23.
Houston @ Denver (-10½)
The Texans blew a 20-3 fourth-quarter lead over the visiting Colts, and ended the day with an unsatisfying 20-20 tie in Lovie Smith's debut as head coach.
"If you would have told me before the game," Smith said, "that we would have a 20-3 lead and end up with a tie, then I would have hired you after the game to tell me what our final record could be, so I could go ahead and start looking for my next job. Because I already hate working for the McNair's."
The Broncos lost 17-16 in Seattle in Russell Wilson's debut as a Bronco, as Denver's potential game-winning drive ended with Brandon McManus's missed 64-yard field goal.
"Nathaniel Hackett's name sounds like it dates from the 1800s," Wilson said. "It appears his offensive philosophy does, as well."
Denver wins, 30-23.
Arizona @ Las Vegas (-3½)
The Cardinals were embarrassed 44-21 at home by the Chiefs, who were powered by Patrick Mahomes's 5 touchdown passes.
"That was just awful," Kliff Kingsbury said. "And I apologize to our fans for having to witness it. Mahomes is good buddies with 'Jake from State Farm' — what you saw from us against K.C. was 'jank in State Farm.'
"I like to think I helped make Patrick Mahomes the quarterback he is. Others like to think I wouldn't be here without him. After that game, many think I shouldn't be here because of him."
The Raiders lost 24-19 to the Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Davante Adams had 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown in his Raiders debut, but Derek Carr had 3 costly turnovers.
"Davante told me Aaron Rodgers had 4 interceptions," Carr said. "I was feeling pretty good about myself until Davante told me those 4 picks were Rodgers' season total."
Raiders win, 30-24.
Chicago @ Green Bay (-8½)
The Bears shocked the visiting 49ers, overcoming a 10-0 deficit to post a 19-10 win at soggy Soldier Field.
"I was impressed how my team handled the weather," Matt Eberflus said. "But not surprised. You want to talk about 'adverse conditions?' A lot of these guys played for Matt Nagy for four years."
The Packers lost 23-7 to the Vikings as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense struggled. Rodgers was sacked 4 times and failed to throw a TD pass.
"Correction," Rodgers said. "I threw a TD pass, my receiver, however, did not catch it.
"To say I miss Davante Adams would be a huge understatement. When I look at our wide receiver depth chart, I have to say to myself 'R-E-A-L-L-Y.'"
Tennessee @ Buffalo (-11)
The Bills overwhelmed the Rams 31-10 at SoFi Stadium as Josh Allen has 353 total yards and 3 touchdowns.
"If you remove the 'defending' from 'defending Super Bowl champs,'" Allen said, "then you get the version of the Rams we played in Week 1.
"I felt like I could throw the ball anywhere against the Rams defense. I haven't seen that much open space since Wyoming."
The Titans lost 21-20 to the visiting Giants, who converted a late two-point conversion for the win. The Giants bullied Tennessee with 238 yards on the ground, while Derrick Henry managed only 82 on the ground.
"We're not used to getting pushed around," Mike Vrabel said. "Usually, we're the ones doing the pushing. I guess if you're gonna say to your team, 'Let's get physical,' it probably shouldn't be to the tune of the Olivia Newton-John song. God rest her soul."
Bills win, 31-23.
Minnesota @ Philadelphia (-4½)
The Vikings dominated the visiting Packers, winning 23-7 as Justin Jefferson torched the Green Bay defense for 9 receptions for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"I'm not sure what defense the Packers were playing against Justin," Kirk Cousins said. "Maybe it was the 'Brett Favre defense,' because there's 'no defending' his actions."
Eagles win, 30-27.