NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 8

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Baltimore @ Tampa Bay (+1½)

The Bucs fell to 3-4 in a surprising 21-3 loss to the Panthers in Charlotte. Tom Brady hasn't had a losing record this far into a season since 2002.

"You can sum up what's happening here in Tampa with four words," Brady said, "and those four words are 'This is getting old.' And when I end my press conferences with 'I'm done,' don't read too much into it. Or do. But it's not the end of the world. Which, ironically, might be the only thing that would force me to stop playing."

The Ravens beat the Browns, 23-20, as Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 160 to 113.

"This will be a game featuring two quarterbacks with vastly different styles," John Harbaugh said. "Lamar doesn't make insensitive comparisons between football and military deployment; Tom Brady does. Lamar can run 40 yards in about 4.3 seconds. Brady can run 40 yards. Brady took a dump on his offensive linemen. Lamar took a dump on Monday Night Football."

Buccaneers win, 24-20.

Denver vs. Jacksonville (-3½)

With Russell Wilson injured, Brett Rypien stepped in at quarterback, but the results were practically the same: a Denver loss and only 9 points on the board.

"We ruled out Russell," Nathaniel Hackett said. "That's something we should have done before we traded for him.

"To his credit, or actually, to his discredit, Brett picked up right where Russell left off. And to his credit, Brett is doing the same thing Russell's done for a whole lot less money."

The Jaguars lost their fourth straight, going down 23-17 to the visiting Giants. New York punished the Jags on the ground, rushing for 236 yards.

"The Giants ran it right down our throats," Doug Pederson said, "and we took it, proving that we neither have a rush defense nor a gag reflex. And, depending on how we respond to losing four in a row, we'll find out if this team has a 'Jag Reflex.'

"Maybe a change of scenery is what we need. And, as someone who resides in Jacksonville, Florida, that is totally understandable. London has become almost a second home to the Jaguars. Even our fans are saying we should stay there."

Denver wins, 19-17.

Carolina @ Atlanta (-6)

The Panthers stunned the visiting Buccaneers, 21-3, just days after trading Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers. Carolina rushed for 173 yards and kept Tom Brady and the Bucs offense out of the end zone.

"When you get rid of your best player and your worst coach," Steve Wilks said, "the possibilities are endless.

"I think management's actions have let us all know that anyone is expendable. Plus, an entire day of film study was devoted to watching 'The Purge' film series.

"I think we proved that even with McCaffrey no longer on the team, we still have NFL talent in our backfield with D'Onta Foreman and Chubba Hubbard. And when you pair that with Arena League talent at the quarterback position, you've got the makings of this team drafting another bust at quarterback."

The Bengals mauled the Falcons, 35-17, as Joe Burrow passed for 481 yards and 3 touchdowns and added a rushing score.

"Burrow did more damage to us with his passing," Arthur Smith said, "than I think Marcus Mariota would do to us with his. Maybe that's why people are saying I should 'air out' this offense, because it's stale and musty, which makes sense, because it dates from the 1950s."

Falcons win, 24-17.

Chicago @ Dallas (-10½)

In Dak Prescott's return to the starting lineup, the Cowboys beat the Lions 24-6 at AT&T Stadium. Prescott passed for 207 yards and a touchdown, and the Dallas defense forced 5 turnovers.

"Our defense is really good," Prescott said. "They're so good, they could probably make some team hire Dan Quinn as a head coach, again."

Cowboys win, 31-17.

Miami @ Detroit (+3)

The Lions committed 5 turnovers in an ugly 24-6 loss to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Jared Goff had 4 of the turnovers, and Detroit dropped to 1-5.

"Let's see," Dan Campbell said. "If Jared was responsible for 4 of our 5 turnovers, then 'Dan Campbell math' says he's 80% of the problem. If Jared doesn't get that under control, then the next 'Swift exit' might be his, and not the one our injury-prone running back makes every season two games in."

The Dolphins beat the Steelers 16-10 on Sunday night in Tua Tagovailoa's return to the lineup after missing two games with a concussion.

"Tua played well," Mike McDaniel said. "We don't need him to be 'Superman,' but if we did, he wouldn't come out of a phone booth, he'd come out of a blue tent."

Lions win, 23-20.

Arizona @ Minnesota (-3½)

The Cardinals stumped the visiting Saints 42-34, powered by two pick-six's off Andy Dalton late in the second quarter.

"You probably saw Kyler Murray cursing at me," Kliff Kingsbury. "Not cool. But in his defense, my face is almost as cursable as it is punchable. Kyler hasn't earned the right to talk to an NFL head coach like that. Then again, I haven't earned the right to be an NFL head coach."

The Vikings lead the NFC North with a 5-1 record and return from their Week 7 bye looking to build on that lead.

"I look at the teams below us in the division," Kirk Cousins said, "and think, 'We can win this division.' On the other hand, those three teams are looking at us and thinking the very same thing.

"I wouldn't even dream of cursing at my head coach. Heck, I won't even use the word 'fudge' to describe chocolate."

Vikings win, 30-27.

Las Vegas @ New Orleans (+2)

The Raiders beat the Texans 38-20 at Allegiant Stadium. Josh Jacobs ran all over the Texans, with 143 yards and 3 touchdowns. Las Vegas is 2-4, third in the AFC West.

"There's a lot of holes in that Texans defense," Josh McDaniels said, "and Jacobs ran through each of them, some even twice.

"We started the season 0-3, but we didn't get down on ourselves and kept fighting. I think we've learned first hand that when you get knocked down, you've got to get up, brush yourself off, hire an unscrupulous lawyer, and press charges to get your way."

The Saints lost 42-34 to the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Thursday night. Andy Dalton threw 4 touchdowns, but also tossed 3 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

"That's what you call a 'Red Rifle sighting,'" Dennis Allen said. "And, apparently, there's never been a 'sighting' of Andy's red rifle, because it's way off the mark."

Saints win, 28-25.

New England @ NY Jets (+2½)

The Bears stunned the Patriots 33-14 at Gillette Stadium on Monday night, denying Bill Belichick his 325th win, which would have moved him past George Halas on the all-time wins list.

"The Bears are actually not who we thought they were," Bill Belichick said. "And we are obviously not who we thought we were.

"We played both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at quarterback against the Bears. Our QB situation is what they call 'fluid,' because it's hard to choose a 'No. 1' when they're both playing like 'No. 2.'"

The Jets won their fourth straight game, knocking off the Broncos 16-9 in Denver. New York is 5-2, just behind the 5-1 Bills.

"Believe it or not," Robert Saleh said, "there are people who want to jump off of this bandwagon. But it doesn't matter, because I know this team can do more with less Moore."

Patriots win, 19-18.

Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia (-11)

The Eagles return from their Week 7 bye and look to remain undefeated as the 2-5 Steelers come to town.

"Fifty years ago," Nick Sirianni said, "the Miami Dolphins went 17-0. I know it's early, but our quest to duplicate their undefeated season is, like the surviving members of that great Dolphins team, still alive.

"It's a great time to be a fan in Philadelphia. I know our fans get a bad rap for their behavior, and it's totally deserved, but if you think flying batteries are the most dangerous projectile in town, you haven't seen the 76ers play basketball."

The Steelers lost a 16-10 defensive struggle to the Dolphins on Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium. Kenny Pickett had 3 costly interception for Pittsburgh, and the Steelers dropped to 2-5.

"Kenny's going through some growing pains," Mike Tomlin said, "and that's to be expected. Luckily, he's got some veteran leadership in Mitch Trubisky to help guide him, and Mitch has experience with growing pains, and he's still growing."

Philadelphia wins, 31-19.

Tennessee @ Houston (+2)

The Titans took control of the AFC South with a 19-10 win over the visiting Colts. Tennessee's defense returned a Matt Ryan interception for a touchdown, and Randy Bullock kicked 4 field goals.

"That's a recipe for success here in Tennessee," Mike Vrabel said. "Unfortunately, that recipe also gets you 'cooked' in the playoffs.

"This game is a toss-up, especially if you're trying to figure out which team was the Oilers."

The Raiders hammered the Texans 38-10 in Las Vegas behind a huge day for Josh Jacobs, who torched Houston for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"I'm a defensive coach," Lovie Smith said. "148 yards rushing gets me fired up. It will probably also get me fired.

"If Josh Jacobs can rush for 148 yards on us, Derrick Henry should be able to drop 248 on us, unless we make some drastic improvement. But I'm confident things can get better, but only because they can't get worse, because we currently have the worst rush defense in the league. So, things are looking up, especially if you're at the bottom."

Houston wins, 24-22.

Washington @ Indianapolis (-3)

The Colts lost 19-10 to the Titans in Nashville, their second loss to Tennessee this season. Matt Ryan had 2 interceptions and the Colts struggled to generate offense.

"The Titans not only have our number," Frank Reich said, "they have our letter, and it is 'L.'

"We're benching Matt for Sam Ehlinger. We think Sam gives us a better chance to win. Matt gave our opponents a better chance to win.

"Don't get me wrong, we appreciate everything Matt's done for us this season. They're unquantifiable, but not because there are so many. It's because they're aren't any."

The Commanders stunned the Packers 23-21, as Taylor Heinicke passed for 2 touchdowns.

"Taylor's not fazed by anything," Ron Rivera said, "especially the quarterback in front of him on the depth chart.

"We placed Carson Wentz on injured reserve. When he returns to the roster, there's only one thing we can guarantee him, and that's his contract money."

The Colts rally around Ehlinger, and Jonathan Taylor rushes for two short scores.

Indy wins, 24-23.

San Francisco @ L.A. Rams (+2)

The Chiefs blasted the 49ers 44-23 at Levi's Stadium as San Fran debited trade acquisition Christian McCaffrey, acquired on October 20th from the Panthers.

"I was thrilled to get out of Charlotte," McCaffrey said. "This is a much better situation for me here in the Bay. I went from a team with three bad quarterbacks to a team with just one.

"I think I fit right in with this team. They're injury-prone, I'm injury-prone."

The Rams had a Week 7 bye and have yet to flash the dominance that resulted in their Super Bowl title last year.

"If I could take last year's magic and put it in a can," Sean McVay said, "that would be another canned product I could shamelessly plug on television.

"And speaking of 'cans,' the 49ers kicked ours when we played back on October 3rd. And we haven't forgotten. My guys have short memories, mostly because of CTE and not necessarily pride."

49ers win, 25-21.

NY Giants @ Seattle (-3)

The Giants upset the Jaguars 23-17 in Jacksonville and are now 6-1, trailing the undefeated Eagles in the NFC North. New York dominated on the ground, outrushing Jacksonville 236 to 142.

"Daniel Jones had 107 of those yards," Brian Daboll said. "Daniel is a very unique quarterback, because he's much better at running than he is at running an offense."

Seattle upset the Chargers 37-23 at SoFi Stadium, as Geno Smith and Kenneth Walker II powered the Seahawk offense. Seattle is 4-3 and leads the NFC West.

"Seattle's '12th Man' made themselves heard at SoFi Stadium," Pete Carroll said. "The '12th Man' might make another appearance, when we make that last pick and realize exactly how much we got in the Russell Wilson trade."

Seattle wins, 29-20.

Green Bay @ Buffalo (-10½)

The Bills return from their Week 7 bye with loads of confidence after beating the Chiefs on October 16th.

"Confidence is at an all-time high," Doug McDermott said. "And in a nationally-televised game against the historic Packers on a Sunday night, you can be sure the 'Bills Mafia' will be enjoying an all-time high."

The Packers have now lost three in a row after their 23-21 loss to the Commanders at FedEx Field.

"I'm not sure if this team has fully realized its potential," Rodgers said. "I, on the other hand, have realized this team's potential, and it's 8-9.

"To turn this season around, we've got to get our heads in the right place. Some of our heads are in the clouds, some are up our asses, and others are dreaming of their next hallucinogenic trip."

Home field rules for Buffalo, and let's face it, the "Bills Mafia" is greater than the "Medicare Mafia."

Bills win, 31-17.

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (+3)

Joe Burrow passed for 481 yards and 3 scores, and added a rushing score, in Cincinnati's 35-17 win over the visiting Falcons.

"My receivers were open all day," Burrow said. "Falcons coaches are also open, to suggestions, about how to stop them."

The Browns lost 23-20 to the Ravens in Baltimore and are now 2-5 after losing four in a row.

"This game takes place on Halloween night," Kevin Stefanski said, "and both teams wear orange. We're encouraging fans to come dressed in their favorite costume. If that costume is Deshaun Watson's, we're encouraging fans to remain dressed."

Bengals win, 27-26.

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