NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 9

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Philadelphia @ Houston (+13)

The Texans surrendered 219 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground to Derrick Henry in a 17-10 loss to the visiting Titans. Houston fell to 1-5-1.

"Henry is a big man," Lovie Smith said, "and even a man that size has no trouble fitting through the holes created by our defense. It's been said many times before, but it bears repeating: 'Houston, we have a problem.' And that problem is this: there are many problems. The standings say we're the worst team in the AFC. And many others are in solid agreement with the standings.

"I know we're heavy underdogs, but we can take inspiration from the Astros in order to make this franchise a winning one. The Astros just know how to win. You could say they're 'wired' for it."

Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown hooked up for 3 first half touchdowns and the Eagles cruised to a 35-13 win over the Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. Hurts added another TD pass in the second half as Philly remained undefeated.

"That is not the 'Steel Curtain' defense," Hurts said. "But when A.J. gets behind a Pittsburgh defense, it is 'curtains.' I'm not sure why the Titans were willing to let him go. As big-time wide receivers go, A.J. is a 'somebody.' By contrast, in Tennessee, they have nobody to throw to.

"I was born in Houston, so this game has special meaning for me. There will be lots of family and friends in the stands at NRG Stadium. Couple that with all the Philly fans who'll be in attendance, and it looks like another Houston team will be dealing with more Philly 'homers.'"

Eagles win, 31-14.

L.A. Chargers @ Atlanta (+3)

The Chargers had a Week 8 bye and are 4-3, a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West.

"We've had an extra week to get healthy," Brandon Staley said. "That's about seven fewer than Keenan Allen needs. He's got a hamstring injury that's just as stubborn as me when I decide to go for it on fourth down.

"As you know, I'm meticulous about my analytics, to the point that some say I'm excessively obsessive-compulsive about it. They say I put the 'anal' in 'analytics.'"

Younghoe Koo's 41-yard field goal in overtime gave the Falcons a 37-34 win over the Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At 4-4, the Falcons lead the NFC South by a game over the Buccaneers and Falcons.

"If you would have told me at the beginning of the season," Arthur Smith said, "that the most likely 50-50 splits in the NFC South would be our record and Tom Brady's marriage, I would have called you crazy.

"We're leading the NFC South. And judging by the state of the other three teams in the division, we just might win the South easily. So what you will about my reluctance to pass the ball, but we might just 'run' away with this division."

Falcons win, 26-24.

Miami @ Chicago (+4½)

The Dolphins erased a 27-17 halftime deficit with two third-quarter touchdowns to vanquish the Lions 31-27 at Ford Field.

"Falling behind to the lowly Lions was a real kick in the balls," Mike McDaniel said. "And when your balls are so big that they need to be carried in a wheelbarrow, that was a devastating kick in the balls."

The Bears lost 49-29 to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Chicago moved the ball well, but faltered defensively, giving up 442 yards of total offense, including 200 on the ground.

"There certainly won't be any comparison between our defense and that of the 1985 Bears," Matt Eberflus said. "In fact, if Buddy Ryan were alive today, he'd be 91-years-old. And he'd punch every single member of our defense. Or at least those that haven't been traded away."

Miami wins, 26-23.

Carolina @ Cincinnati (-8½)

The Browns overwhelmed the visiting Bengals 32-13 on Monday night. Cincy struggled on both sides of the ball and the Browns pulled away in the second half.

"For us to play so badly," Zac Taylor said, "on a Monday night, in front of a national television audience, and against a hated division rival, no less, reflects poorly on me. Luckily for me, it was Halloween and I pretended to be a vampire; therefore, I was totally unable to see that reflection.

"We were without Ja'Marr Chase. He's dealing with a hip injury. So he, for one, had a legitimate excuse for not showing up."

The Panthers lost 37-34 to the Falcons in overtime in Atlanta, as Carolina's hopes were wrecked by a boneheaded penalty on D.J. Moore, and two missed kicks by Eddy Pineiro. "I'm surprised that D.J. made that mistake in judgment," Steve Wilkes said. "Usually, dumb decisions for the Panthers are reserved for head coaches, quarterback, front office executives, and draft evaluators."

Bengals win, 32-19.

Green Bay @ Detroit (+3)

The Packers lost 27-17 to the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday night. Green Bay was down 24-7 at the half, and struggled to dig themselves out of the hole.

"And speaking of digging holes," Aaron Rodgers said, "our issues are 'grave.' And, unlike most of our receivers, our problems go deep. Now, did we address any of these issues or problems before the Tuesday trade deadline? The answer, much like our game script, was 'negative.'"

The Lions offense stagnated in the 2nd half, going scoreless and blowing a 27-17 lead in a 31-27 to the visiting Dolphins. Detroit dropped to 1-6 with their 5th consecutive loss.

"I don't think this bodes well for my future," Dan Campbell said. "I can see the future, and in it, I see myself out.

"But I survived another week, but defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant didn't. He was fired on Monday. And when that happens in the middle of autumn, it makes him the 'fall guy.'"

Lions win, 27-24.

Indianapolis @ New England (-5½)

The Patriots picked up an important road win, topping the Jets 22-17 at MetLife Stadium. Bill Belichick passed George Halas on the all-time wins list with his 325th win as a head coach.

"There's only one thing to say about that," Belichick said, "and that's 'bye George, I think I've got it.'

"As for the Jets game, that's the kind of hard-nosed defensive battle you can expect between two teams whose offenses necessitate hard-nosed defensive battles." The Colts gave up a late Washington touchdown and lost 17-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Sam Ehlinger's first start at quarterback.

"We're having trouble holding leads," Frank Reich said. "In our defense, we have very little experience in that field.

"In an effort to shake things up, we fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady on Tuesday. Marcus is no relation to Tom Brady, but his dismissal left him with a deflated feeling."

Patriots win, 23-14.

Buffalo @ NY Jets (+13½)

The Bills beat Aaron Rodgers and the visiting Packers 27-17 in Buffalo. The Bills built a 24-7 halftime lead and were not threatened the rest of the way.

"I've always been a big fan of Aaron Rodgers," Josh Allen said. "We actually have a lot in common, especially a massive appreciation for having a No. 1 receiver.

"We're looking for this franchise's fifth Super Bowl appearance. As this city knows all too well, it's one thing to appear in a Super Bowl, it's another to actually show up."

The Jets lost 22-17 to the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, as Zach Wilson tossed 3 interceptions. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak.

"Zach just has to make better decisions," Robert Saleh said. "Defenses aren't stupid. I don't think Zach realizes that the defenders he faces are just as experienced as the women he dates.

"The Bills defense may be the best in the league, so Zach's gonna have to react much quicker. He needs to get the ball out of his hands quicker, or I'll get it out of his hands even quicker."

Bills win, 27-16.

Minnesota @ Washington (+3½)

The Vikings improved to 6-1 with a 34-26 win over Kyler Murray and the Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kirk Cousins passed for 2 TDs, and added a rush score, while the Vikes rushed for 173 yards.

"I may not have the physical gifts of Kyler Murray," Cousins said, "but for what I lack in athleticism, I make up for in the ability, willingness, and desire to watch film and study. Unlike Kyler, I see it as a responsibility. So Kyler and I have completely different ideas about what 'call of duty' means.

"I'm not sure how I'll be received when I make my return to D.C. I guess all I can do when I get there is ask, 'You like me?'"

The Commanders stunned the Colts 17-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Taylor Heinicke rushed for a 1-yard score after finding Terry McLaurin for a 42-yard pass to the Colts one, giving the Commanders the winning points and their third straight win.

"We're the fourth-hottest team in the NFC East," Ron Rivera said, "which still makes us better than three-fourths of the teams in the NFC.

"The Vikings are a really good team. They're 6-1 and it looks like they could easily run away with the NFC North. So, we can't take them lightly, but we're going to anyway. I think we all know how this Vikings season plays out. A division title, a first-round loss in the playoffs, and somehow, some way, Kirk Cousins will get paid more money."

Redskins win, 27-24.

Las Vegas @ Jacksonville (+1½)

The Jaguars lost 21-17 to the Broncos in London, dropping their fifth straight game. Trevor Lawrence had 2 interceptions, including one from the Broncos one-yard line.

"Russell Wilson allegedly exercised on the flight over to London from Denver," Doug Pederson said. "On our flight home from London, I also exercised ... my right to consider benching Trevor.

"Las Vegas is known as 'Sin City.' Jacksonville doesn't have a cool nickname, so I'm gonna give it one. It may not be New York, but it's close, so let's call it 'The City That Never Sleeps (Because of Meth).'"

The Raiders laid an egg in New Orleans, losing 24-0 to the Saints. Las Vegas fell to 2-5, last in the AFC West.

"We had nothing for the Saints," Josh McDaniels said. "And it appears that should be taken literally. And the scoreboard can verify that.

"None of us were prepared for the Saints game. All we can do is go back to the drawing room, take a good, hard, long look at the game film, and shove the cameraman that filmed it down a flight of stairs."

Raiders win, 27-24.

Seattle @ Arizona (-1)

The Seahawks beat the visiting Giants 27-13 as Geno Smith continued his hot streak with 2 touchdowns. Seattle improved to 5-3 and leads the NFC West by a game over the 49ers.

"Geno has resurrected his career," Pete Carroll said. "You might as well call him 'Ge-sus.' I would have loved to coach Geno in college. And I would have loved to provide his parents with luxury housing accommodations during that time."

The Cardinals lost 34-26 to the Vikings in Minnesota. Kyler Murray passed for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns, but threw 2 costly interceptions.

"Kyler is just as unstoppable as he is uncoachable," Kliff Kingsbury said. "I know he sometimes gets a little antsy in the pocket, and this often leads to interceptions. So when that's happening, I urge Kyler to 'calm the F down.' Then he tells me the same thing."

Arizona wins, 23-21.

L.A. Rams @ Tampa Bay (-3)

Tampa managed just 44 yards rushing in a 27-22 home loss to the Ravens on Thursday night. Tom Brady completed just 26-of-44 passes and also became the most sacked quarterback in NFL history.

"I'm still breaking records," Brady said. "And speaking of 'broken records,' I'm tired of people saying I should retire for good. Tom Brady is not a quitter, although there are some people who would disagree with that assessment.

"I know my head is still in it. But my body is saying otherwise. In short, my mind is saying 'Yes,' but my body is saying 'Are you out of your f'n mind?'"

The Rams were flummoxed in the second half by the 49ers, who turned a 14-10 halftime deficit into a 31-14 San Francisco win.

"I think we should respect Tom Brady in such a sensitive time," Sean McVay said. "I hear his divorce was quite contentious. Word is his wife Giselle was so angry, she wanted to stab Tom. But seriously, we've seen Tom play lately. Forget the knife; you can just stick a fork in him."

Bucs win, 22-17.

Tennessee @ Kansas City (-12½)

With Ryan Tannehill out with an injury, Derrick Henry rumbled for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Titans beat the Texans, 17-10. Tennessee leads the AFC South with a 5-2 record.

"Derrick is averaging 30 carries per game in our last three contests," Mike Vrabel said. "Has he fully recovered from the foot injury that sidelined him last season? It appears we're going to try our best to find out, or Derrick's gonna die trying.

"Derrick tied O.J. Simpson and Adrian Peterson for the most 200-yard rushing games. Even if Derrick doesn't have another 200-yard game, I think everyone can agree that he is still the better person."

The Chiefs had a Week 8 bye and currently lead the AFC West with a 5-2 record.

"We're always looking to get better," Andy Reid said. "That's why we traded for Kadarius Toney from the Giants. I think the consensus is he's gonna be a problem, mostly for us."

Chiefs win, 30-24.

Baltimore @ New Orleans (+2½)

The Ravens second-half surge turned a 10-3 halftime deficit into a 27-22 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa on Thursday night. Lamar Jackson passed for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"No lead is safe when we're playing," John Harbaugh said. "Especially when we're the team with the lead. This time, though, we came through in crunch time. Lamar proves once again that he is a multi-generational talent. Tom Brady proved that he is just multi-generational."

The Saints dominated in a 24-0 win over the visiting Raiders. New Orleans limited Las Vegas to 183 total yards, and Alvin Kamara scored 3 touchdowns.

"The Raiders must have brought the 'Black Hole' with them," Dennis Allen said, "because their offense disappeared without a trace.

"The Ravens will be a different story. Finding a way to stop Lamar Jackson is a tough task for any defense. But we're gonna take a stab at it."

Saints win, 28-24.

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