Thursday, September 22, 2022
NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 3
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland (-3½)
The Patriots beat the Steelers 17-14 at Heinz Field as the Pittsburgh offense sputtered under Mitch Trubisky.
"Until further notice," Mike Tomlin said, "Mitch is still our quarterback moving forward. He also happens to be our quarterback moving backward, because that's the direction he's taking our offense."
The Browns blew a 30-17 fourth-quarter lead to the Jets, and surrendered 2 late Joe Flacco touchdown passes as the Jets won, 31-30. On the day, Flacco threw 4 TD passes and the Jets amassed 402 yards of total offense.
"It's unacceptable to let a 37-year-old washed up quarterback throw 4 touchdown passes," Keven Stefanski said. "And trust me, I know 'unacceptable' from a quarterback when I see it. That being said, we'd love to have Joe on our team.
"We've got a new midfield logo at FirstEnergy Stadium. It's called 'Brownie the Elf,' and if you're asking why this team would put an undersized troll on the field, then you probably had those same concerns when we drafted Johnny Manziel."
Browns win, 16-14.
Houston @ Chicago (-2½)
The Bears lost 24-7 to the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Chicago scored on its first possession, but was ineffective thereafter.
"Some day," Matt Eberflus said, "this team's going to have a domed stadium. And in that stadium, if we stink it up like we did against the Packers, that dome's going to act like the world's largest dutch oven."
The Texans managed only three field goals in a 16-9 loss to the Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.
"To say I get a kick out of our offense would be a blatant falsehood," Lovie Smith said. "Our offense is anything but dynamic, and is exactly what you'd think the offense of a coach with this long, gray beard would run."
Houston wins, 22-20.
Las Vegas @ Tennessee (+½)
The Raiders blew a 20-0 lead and eventually lost 29-23 in overtime to the visiting Cardinals.
"People have been saying throughout my career that I can't win the big one," Derek Carr said. "They've been saying this year that I can't win one."
The Titans were demolished 41-7 by the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night. Tennessee managed just 187 yards of total offense and committed 4 turnovers.
"We're 0-2," Mike Vrabel said. "Historically, it's almost impossible for teams that start 0-2 to make the playoffs. So, we've put ourselves in a big hole, and that's one more big hole than Derrick Henry's seen from his offensive line.
"Do I regret trading away A.J. Brown? Let me put it this way: in respect to that trade, the Eagles gave up a lot. So they 'paid for it,' and, judging by the looks of our offense, so did we."
Raiders win, 26-17.
Kansas City @ Indianapolis (+6½)
The lackluster Colts fell 24-0 in Jacksonville, as Matt Ryan threw 3 interceptions and was sacked 5 times. The loss put Indy in a 0-2 hole with the Chiefs awaiting them at Arrowhead Stadium.
"I've got to be better at my job," Ryan said. "But it's not all on me. The Colts front office also has to be better at their job, particularly in choosing quarterbacks for this team.
"I know my arm doesn't compare to Mahomes. Obviously, I can't throw the ball nearly as far as him, and with this being Indianapolis, any talk of 'sidearm' would probably only refer to Marvin Harrison and his car wash."
Indy controls the clock with 42 rushes, and whomever kicks for the Colts nails a 33-yard field goal as time expires.
Colts win, 27-24.
Buffalo @ Miami (+4½)
Tua Tagovailoa passed for 469 yards and 6 touchdowns in Miami's comeback 42-38 win over the Ravens in Baltimore.
"Those were both career highs," Tagovailoa said. "And the last time anyone talked about 'career highs' in Miami, they were talking about Ricky Williams.
"Mike McDaniel is a players' coach. He doesn't yell at players. He's the kind of guy that speaks softly and carries a big wheelbarrow."
The Bills beat the Titans 41-7 as Josh Allen passed for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns, three to Stephon Diggs.
"At 2-0," Allen said, "Miami is riding high now. But we're thrilled to be facing the Dolphins in Miami. That way, we can 'put them in their place,' and they'll already be there."
Bills win, 34-20.
Detroit @ Minnesota (-7½)
Jared Goff passed for 4 touchdowns, 2 to Amon-Ra St. Brown, and the Lions eased past the visiting Commanders, 36-27.
"We're pleased with the outcome," Goff said, "but we have to remember it's just one win. Now, we want our fans to be excited, but within reason. So, while it's okay to drink the Kool-aid, we urge them not to drink the water."
The Eagles defense stifled Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense in a dominant 24-7 win on Monday night. Cousins threw 3 interceptions and was off target on nearly half of his passes.
"Traditionally," Cousins said, "I'm not very good on Monday nights. In fact, I'm 2-10. Does anyone have an explanation as to why that is? Not really. They just say, 'He's like that.'"
Vikings win, 29-24.
Baltimore @ New England (+3½)
Tua Tagovailoa exposed the Ravens defense to the tune of 469 yards passing and 6 touchdowns in the Dolphins' 42-38 win in Baltimore.
"Let's not look past Lamar Jackson's day," John Harbaugh said. "He had 437 total yards and 4 total touchdowns. Just think of what he could have done if he played against our defense.
"How bad was our defense? They allowed 555 yards to the Dolphins. But that's not the worst of what they allowed? They allowed a monster day for Lamar to be overshadowed."
Patriots win, 24-22.
Cincinnati @ NY Jets (+5)
The Bengals fell to 0-2, losing 20-17 to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
"I've been sacked 13 times in two games," Burrow said. "That means I'm on pace to buy my offensive linemen absolutely nothing for Christmas."
Joe Flacco tossed 4 touchdowns passes, including the game-winning 15-yarder to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left in the game, to power the Jets to a 31-30 upset win over the Browns.
"Joe's still got it," Robert Saleh said. "What's 'it?' 'It's' the ability to keep Zach Wilson on the bench. Joe is old enough to be Zach's father, or the husband of the woman he's sleeping with."
Bengals win, 27-23.
Philadelphia @ Washington (+6½)
The Eagles beat the Vikings 24-7 on Monday Night Football, as Jalen Hurts passed for 333 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 2 scores.
"Jalen has become a complete quarterback," Nick Sirianni said. "Before this year, he was only about 55% complete as a quarterback, because that was close to his completion percentage,"
Washington's defense gave up 191 yards on the ground and 4 touchdown passes to Jared Goff in the Commanders 36-27 loss to the Lions at Ford Field.
"My first order of business is defense," Ron Rivera said. "In particular, finding one.
"You can run on us and you can pass on us. And, if you're a disgruntled fan, you can 'S' on us. Right now, we're a 'Burger King defense,' because you can have it your way."
Eagles win, 31-27.
New Orleans @ Carolina (+3)
The Panthers fell to 0-2, losing 19-16 to the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
"I've got to be better about getting the ball to Christian McCaffrey," Baker Mayfield said. "And D.J. Moore. When I came to Charlotte, I wanted to be a game wrecker. I've achieved that goal; unfortunately, though, for the wrong team."
"I hear there's a 'Rhule of Thumb' in Charlotte. And that rule is you won't need a thumb to count the Panthers number of wins for a Matt Rhule-coached team."
Saints win, 22-20.
Jacksonville @ L.A. Chargers (-7)
Mistakes and squandered opportunities cost the Chargers in a 27-24 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Justin Herbert tossed 3 TD passes, but threw a crucial late interception that was returned for a touchdown. Herbert also suffered a fracture to his rib cartilage.
"Justin's injury is a painful one," Brandon Staley said, "but one he will be able to play with. Justin has an extremely high pain tolerance; you kind of have to when you're being treated by our training staff."
The Jaguars shocked the visiting Colts, 24-0, led by Trevor Lawrence's 2 touchdown passes, both to Christian Kirk.
"Trevor had a good day," Doug Pederson said. "He's had good days before, but most were just good hair days, and not necessarily good football days."
Chargers win, 29-24.
L.A. Rams @ Arizona (+3½)
The Rams beat the Falcons 31-27 to even their record at 1-1. Matthew Stafford tossed 3 touchdown passes, two to Cooper Kupp, and Los Angeles survived a late Falcons rally.
"Jalen Ramsey intercepted the potential go-ahead touchdown pass in the end zone," Sean McVay said. "Occasionally, Jalen actually walks the walk, instead of just talking the talk. As for our leaky defense, it may be time to caulk the caulk."
Arizona stunned the Raiders in Las Vegas, winning in overtime 29-23 on Byron Murphy's 59-yard return of a Hunter Renfro fumble.
"That was great," Kyler Murray said, "but did you see the first of my two-point conversions? I scrambled around in the pocket for at least 15 seconds, which is about 10 seconds more than I invest in film study per week."
Rams win, 30-24.
Atlanta @ Seattle (-2½)
If there ever was a game that should be flexed completely off the NFL schedule, this is it.
Falcons win, 23-14.
Green Bay @ Tampa Bay (-4)
The Packers beat the Bears 27-10 on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers passed for 2 scores, and Aaron Jones had a rushing and a receiving touchdown.
"I thought we had wide receiver issues," Rodgers said, "until I saw that the Bucs signed Cole Beasley."
The Buccaneers muscled past the Saints in New Orleans, winning 20-10 while forcing 5 Saints turnovers, including 3 by Jameis Winston.
"Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore need to be permanently separated," Tom Brady said. "And speaking of 'permanently separated,' I ironically have no comment."
Packers win, 23-20.
San Francisco @ Denver (+1½)
The 49ers beat the Seahawks, 27-7, but lost Trey Lance for the season to a broken ankle suffered in the first quarter.
"I guess it really worked out for us that we couldn't trade Jimmy Garoppolo," Kyle Shanahan said. "Because we're paying our starting quarterback like a backup."
The Broncos took control late and held off the Texans, 16-9, to improve to 1-1.
"It wasn't pretty," Nathaniel Hackett said, "but we'll take a win any way we can get it. We should be 2-0. Then again, most, if not all, teams should be 2-0 if they had to face the fear-inducing Seattle/Houston gauntlet in their first two games."
Broncos win, 23-20.
Dallas @ NY Giants (-2)
The Cowboys upset the visiting Bengals, 20-17, winning on Brett Maher's 54-yard field goal as time expired. Cooper Rush passed for a TD, and guided the Cowboys into range for Maher's winning kick.
"Cooper did an incredible job under unusual circumstances," Mike McCarthy said. "Those circumstances are that he is a quarterback with two healthy thumbs, serving as the backup for a teammate with one thumb in a cast, and working for a coach with two thumbs up his ass."
Giants win, 24-17.