Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
Denver @ San Diego (+3)
“I was coaching with a case of the flu,” Gary Kubiak said. “Obviously, it was a case of the bird flu, specifically the ‘Falcon flu.’ I guess one of my symptoms was seeing double, because there were two Atlanta running backs giving me chills.
“I’m sitting out Thursday’s game against the Chargers. But we’ve already decided that Trevor Siemian will start at quarterback over Paxton Lynch. We have two quarterbacks with shaky passing skills. And their names are ‘Trevor’ and ‘Paxton.’ That leads me to the conclusion that we have to ‘rush.’ No, not rush Sigma Chi, but rush the ball.”
The Chargers lost 34-31 to the Raiders to fall to 1-4 and 0-3 on the road. San Diego had 4 giveaways and again blew a second-half lead.
“We’re finding ways to lose,” Philip Rivers said. “This time, we botched a field goal attempt that would have tied the game. Now I know why Eli Manning didn’t want to play in San Diego. Playing for the Giants? It’s Super Bowls. Playing for the Chargers? It super blows.”
The turnover-prone Chargers are facing a Denver defense eager to regain their swagger, mojo, and any other thing that could be considered an intangible or an Old Spice product.
Denver wins, 26-17.
San Francisco @ Buffalo (-8)
The 49ers lost 33-21 to the Cardinals last Thursday night and have now lost four straight. Blaine Gabbert was 18-for-31 for 162 yards, with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
“Blaine didn’t play well,” Chip Kelly said, “and he acknowledges it. That’s because he’s a stand-up guy. So, we’re starting Colin Kaepernick. I applaud Colin for his beliefs. He may not stand up for the national anthem, but his hair does. He’s is a true ‘Afro-American.’
“I’m going to take a hard look at every player on this roster. And, I’m going to take a hard look at my magic mirror, which I’ll ask, ‘Who’s the fairest of them all?’ It will respond, ‘If ‘fair’ means ‘average,’ then you are the fairest. Because you are ‘average, at best.'”
The Bills beat the Rams 30-19 in Los Angeles to improve to 3-2, one game behind the Patriots in the AFC East.
“LeSean McCoy rushed for 150 yards,” Rex Ryan said. “And he wants nothing more than to repeat that performance against the 49ers and Chip Kelly. As the Eagles head coach, Kelly traded LeSean to the Bills. LeSean wants nothing more than to ‘stick it’ to Kelly. Turnabout is fair play, I guess, because Chip stuck it to him.
“The playing of the national anthem may be the most exciting part of this game. Myself, I’m very excited. Sitting? Standing? Butts? Feet? That all gets me standing at attention.
“This is a game between the two teams that O.J. Simpson played for during his NFL career. O.J. said he’d love to be here, but he’s locked up in a Nevada prison. But he’s staying in shape. When he’s allowed outdoors, he sprints the length of the exercise area 2,000 times. He calls it ‘2,000 Yards.'”
The Buffalo defense plants its flag on pressuring Kaepernick, and force 3 turnovers. McCoy rushes for a score in the second quarter, celebrates while kneeling in the end zone, and then presents the football to a relative in the stands, his Uncle Sam.
Buffalo wins, 27-16.
Jacksonville @ Chicago (-3)
The Jaguars enjoyed a bye week after their Week 4 win over the Colts in London. They’ll head to Chicago to face the 1-4 Bears.
“We’re happy to get that first win under our belts,” Gus Bradley said. “It’s good to leave the ranks of the winless, although we could still be categorized with the 0-5 Browns, because we’ve yet to win in America this year.”
“The quarterback job is Hoyer’s to lose,” John Fox said. “I think his hold on it is pretty safe. If Hoyer loses, that means Cutler wins, and we all know Cutler doesn’t win.
“And speaking of ‘jobs to lose,’ my employment is on slippery ground. I’m not even sure why the Bears hired me in the first place. Will I ever be a coach better than the one that led the Jake Delhomme-quarterbacked team to the Super Bowl? So, the question is, who will ‘Out-Fox’ me first, me, or the Bears front office?”
Jacksonville wins, 27-23.
Los Angeles @ Detroit (-3)
The Rams three-game winning streak ended with a 30-19 loss to the visiting Bills. Case Keenum struggled, throwing two interceptions.
“Case had his issues,” Jeff Fisher said, “but he’s doing the best he can. Case has done everything we’ve asked of him. And he was a steal as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He’s made me wish I could ‘un-draft’ Jared Goff.
“But we’ll have to be ready for the Lions. Their offense is sneaky-good. Jim Bob Cooter has one of the most innovative offenses in the NFL. When they empty the backfield and go with four wideouts, it’s tough to defend. But we’ll be prepared. We’ve watched hours upon hours of video of cooters spread, and also of Cooter’s spread offense. Both are very impressive.”
The Lions knocked off the previously undefeated Eagles 24-23, winning on Matt Prater‘s 29-yard field goal with 1:28 left in the game.
“I guess we can beat a good team,” Jim Caldwell said. “That’s assuming to Eagles are a good team. Are they? I think people were quick to anoint Carson Wentz the greatest thing in Philadelphia since Rocky Balboa. Let’s not forget, Rocky Balboa is a fictional character. So are white Eagles quarterbacks worth a damn.
“But we have to concentrate on the Rams. They may be the most unpredictable team in the NFL. Ironically, Jeff Fisher is the most predictable coach in the NFL. You can predict every year that he will suck and will have a job.”
Lions win, 24-17.
Pittsburgh @ Miami (+8)
The Steelers overwhelmed the Jets 31-13 behind 380 yards passing and 4 touchdowns from Ben Roethlisberger. Two of the touchdown passes went to Sammie Coates, while Antonio Brown and Jesse James had one apiece.
“Sammie has learned a lot from Antonio,” Roethlisberger said. “Antonio is not only a great player, he’s a great teammate. He’s taken some of our younger receivers under his wing, in what he calls his ‘Twerk-study’ program.
“If you would have told me before the game that I would have thrown the same number of interceptions as Ryan Fitzpatrick, I would have been extremely worried. Luckily, Ryan didn’t throw any. That may be the best offense the Jets could run, the ‘Ryan doesn’t throw any‘ offense.”
The Dolphins began a four game home stand with a 30-17 loss to the Titans. Ryan Tannehill was sacked six times and threw 2 interceptions.
“Offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil slipped in the shower and hurt himself,” Adam Gase said. “So he actually missed the game against the Titans. You could say he was, ironically, lucky.
“I hear the Steelers are bringing their talents to South Beach. At this point, I welcome any talent in South Beach.
“Someday, I’d like to be mentioned alongside Don Shula as a great coach in Dolphins history. For now, though, I’d like not to be mentioned alongside Nick Saban, Tony Sparano, and Joe Philbin as great failures in Dolphins history. That’s the Mount Rushmore of bad hires in Miami. That’s only three coaches. That means there’s ‘space’ for one more. I don’t want to be there. Trust me, I’ve seen what Ric Flair looks like. I do not want to ride ‘Space Mountain.'”
Can the Dolphins defense slow Pittsburgh’s “Steel Certain” offense? Who’s more likely to do the “stomping,” Ndamukong Suh, or the Pittsburgh offense? Gase is a so-called offensive genius, but it doesn’t take a genius to solve the Steelers’ 26th-ranked defense. The ‘Fins come out firing on offense, and build an early lead before blowing it late due to a Tannehill fumble.
Pittsburgh wins, 32-21.
Cincinnati @ New England (-9½)
“I sent a message,” Brady said. “It was a text message. Now, whether it reaches its intended destination before I destroy my cell phone remains to be seen.
“That win was not only for myself, but also for Coach Belichick. You know, he was fired by the Browns in 1995. Five years later, he was hired by the Patriots. And the rest is historic.
“Not only do we have two of the best tight ends in football, we also have the best collection of slot receivers in the NFL. I like to call those guys ‘slotty,’ and my good friend Donald Trump likes to call their significant others ‘slotty girlfriends.’ Of course, you’ll only hear that type of chatter in the locker room.”
The Bengals fell behind 28-0 at Dallas and lost 28-14. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cincinnati is 2-3 in the AFC North, in third place.
“We put ourselves in a hole,” Andy Dalton said. “Elliott put himself in a hole, and through it. It was a hug hole. I’ve heard of ‘double A’ gaps and ‘double B’ gaps. This was a ‘double E’ gap.
“Many consider Tom Brady the ‘Greatest of All-Time.’ While the Patriots have only one ‘GOAT,’ our winless playoff record under Marvin Lewis says we have many.”
Just a few weeks ago, Brady was on a beach in Italy with Giselle Bundchen. That’s also known as “coasting,” which the Pats do for three quarters before a few late Bengals scores close the gap.
New England wins, 34-27.
Carolina @ New Orleans (+3)
The Saints return from a bye week to host the Panthers in a crucial NFC South contest for both team.
“Bye weeks are great,” Sean Payton said. “We gave our team several days off. We even gave the defense an extra day off. Some of them wanted to come in anyway, but to make sure they didn’t, we closed the facility. That’s the first time we’ve ever ‘posted a shutout.'”
“We haven’t played up to our capabilities,” Newton said. “But I know we can. We just have to do it. We can’t go 1-5, so we really have to do it. You could say we’re in deep ‘do-do.’
“I’m back and better than ever. Honestly, I can’t remember why I missed the game in the first place. Actually, it was good to get away and free my mind from all the distractions I bring upon myself. So, much like the concussion doctors, I ‘cleared my head.’
“The Saints-Panthers rivalry is one of the NFL’s hottest. If you want to get a Carolina player fired up, show him a Saints jersey. If you want to get a Carolina player fired, show him a Julio Jones jersey.”
Saints win, 30-28.
Baltimore @ New York Giants (-3)
The Giants lost their third straight game, losing 23-16 to the Packers at Lambeau Field. Odell Beckham, Jr. had 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.
“Odell controlled his emotions in a much better manner,” Eli Manning said. “But we can’t blame Odell for all of his temperament issues. For three years now, he’s been all the rage. Now, he’s got all the rage.
“We’ve asked Odell to spend more time with Victor Cruz, who is as even-tempered as they come. In other words, we’ve urged Odell to get on ‘Cruz control.’
“The Ravens and Giants once met in the Super Bowl. Those teams were led at quarterback by Trent Dilfer and Kerry Collins, respectively. Sadly, one of those had to go home a loser. Even more sadly, one of those scrubs had to go home a winner.”
The Ravens lost to the Redskins 16-10 at M&T Bank Stadium and have now lost two straight after a 3-0 start. On Monday, offensive coordinator Marc Trestman was fired and replaced with quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg.
“It’s early October,” John Harbaugh said. “What better time of year than now to create a ‘Fall Guy?’ But seriously, it’s never easy firing a coach you’ve worked with. But it’s a necessary evil. I called Marc into my office, put down my copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, looked him in the eye, and said, ‘There’s the door, quoth this Raven. There’s the door.'”
In pre-game warm-ups, Beckham meditates on a yoga mat, and sips hot tea in an attempt to drown out all the negativity in his life. And he’s all smiles after his two TD catches helps the Giants end their three-game losing streak.
New York wins, 27-21.
Cleveland @ Tennessee (-7)
The Browns lost to the Patriots 33-13 in Tom Brady’s return to the New England lineup. Rookie quarterback Cody Kessler was knocked out of the game with rib and chest injuries, leaving Charlie Whitehurst and Terrelle Pryor to share duties.
“We certainly have quarterback issues,” Hue Jackson said. “But there is some good news. Johnny Manziel‘s suspension is over, so he is free to sign with any team. Now, when Johnny was at Texas A&M, ‘free to sign’ wasn’t in his vocabulary. That’s because ‘A&M’ stood for ‘Autographs & Money.'”
Titans win, 27-13.
Philadelphia @ Washington (+2½)
The Eagles lost for the first time, falling down 14-0 before an eventual 24-23 defeat to the Lions in Detroit.
“The Eagles has landed,” Doug Pederson said, on ‘Planet Reality.’
“That was a tough defeat, and the team took it very hard. It was like a funeral in the locker room. You would call that a ‘black mood,’ unless you’re Riley Cooper.”
The Redskins have won three in a row after last week’s 16-10 win over the Ravens. Washington is 3-2 in the NFC East.
“I like the way our defense is playing,” Jay Gruden said. “Josh Norman has arguably been the best free agent signing in the league. I think it’s ludicrous the NFL fined Josh for his ‘bow and arrow’ celebration. But that won’t stop him from debuting his self-produced Nike shoe commercial called ‘BowKnows.'”
Eagles win, 23-17.
Kansas City @ Oakland (-3)
The Chiefs had a Week 5 bye to nurse their wounds after Week 4’s destruction at the hands of the Steelers.
“We dissected in great detail the film of that game,” Andy Reid said. “By that, I mean we chopped it into several pieces.”
“I like our deep passing game,” Carr said. “I like to stretch the field vertically, while Sebastian Janikowski likes to stretch moral boundaries horizontally.
“But if you can characterize our passing game as a ‘bombs,’ then the Chiefs could be characterized as a ‘dud.’ When I have a 50-yard completion, it’s because the ball travels 50 yards in the air. When Smith has a 50-yard completion, the ball travels 6 yards through the air, then a receiver runs for 42. That’s what happens when Alex takes a huge dump-off.”
Chiefs wins, 28-26.
Dallas @ Green Bay (-5)
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Cowboys overwhelmed the visiting Bengals 28-14. Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 546 yards.
“Ezekiel is the most famous ‘Zeke’ in the NFL since Zeke Mowatt,” Dez Bryant said. “Zeke Mowatt was famous for showing his ‘Patriot Missile’ to a female reporter back in 1990. His actions were immoral, but they’ve since been ‘Trumped’ in egregiousness several times over. I can tell you this. If Donald Trump made a pass at me at Lambeau Field, the officials would surely rule it incomplete.”
“Tony Romo‘s back will be healthy soon. When that happens, we have to decide who will be our quarterback going forward, Dak Prescott or Romo. Will it be ‘Dak to the Future’ or ‘Back to the Future?’ If the ‘flux capacitor’ was fueled by the actions of a meddling owner, Jerry Jones could ride that DeLorean 60 years into the future. That way, the women he prefers would finally be his age.”
Green Bay wins 24-21.
Atlanta @ Seattle (-6)
After a Week 5 bye, the 3-1 Seahawks host the 4-1 Falcons, who just beat the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge of covering Julio Jones,” Richard Sherman said. “He’s what you call a beast. Some consider Julio unstoppable; in fantasy leagues, he’s undroppable. I just rhymed there. In other words, I went ‘Beast Ode.'”
The Falcons stunned the Broncos in Denver, winning 23-16 behind big days from Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Atlanta improved to 4-1 and is atop the NFC South.
“We rendered the vaunted Denver D a ‘D-minus,'” Freeman said. “ESPN The Magazine’s ‘Body Issue’ wasn’t the only thing to ‘expose’ a Denver linebacker. We rode the Broncos for 8 seconds, and then some. Now, if we go 3-8 in our last 11 games like we did last year, then everyone who’s jumped on our bandwagon this year will have truly been taken for a ‘bull ride.’
“Playing the Seahawks in the confines of Qwest Stadium will be a challenge. That place gets so loud, plus the acoustics are amazing. When the ’12’s’ start screaming, it can get super sonic.”
Seattle wins, 29-24.
Indianapolis @ Houston (-4)
The Texans were pounded 31-13 by the Vikings, as the Minnesota defense rendered the Houston running game useless and roughed up Brock Osweiler.
“There’s good news and there’s bad news,” Bill O’Brien said. “First the bad news: We’re not a very good team. Now the good news: We play in the AFC South.
“But there’s no point dwelling on the past. And let’s not dwell on the passeither, because we’re not good at it. We thought Brock Osweiler was the solution at quarterback. Maybe we were wrong. You would think before we made a $72 million investment, we would have been sure we were getting our money’s worth. All we can do now is consider it ‘money, well, spent.'”
Andrew Luck out-dueled Brian Hoyer as the Colts beat the Bears 29-23. Luck passed for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Hoyer threw for 397 yards and 2 scores.
“Andrew was fantastic,” Chuck Pagano said. “The defense, not so much. But you get what you paid for, or so says our general manager Ryan Grigson. Defensively, we have a ‘nickel’ package and a ‘dime’ package. Grigson’s personnel moves have given us a ‘nickel and dime’ package.
“Of course, our offensive line is just as shaky. Luck has been sacked 20 times this year. That’s four times per game. Or once per quarter. You don’t see offensive lines this bad but once per lifetime.”
The Texans have an opportunity to reestablish themselves as the best team in the AFC South. And in this crappy division, that’s easier done than said. O’Brien’s game plan is to establish the pass immediately, not at all costs, but at the very least at a cost of $72 million. Osweiler hits DeAndre Hopkins for a score on the Texans first drive, and goes on to pass for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Houston wins, 31-23.
New York Jets @ Arizona (-7)
David Johnson racked up 185 total yards and score 2 touchdowns as the Cardinals beat the 49ers 33-21 last Thursday. Arizona is 2-3, two games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West.
“David played college ball at the University Of Northern Iowa,” Bruce Arians said. “He wasn’t heavily sought after by major colleges. So, while major college recruiters weren’t telling David where he could go to, he’s now telling them they can go to hell.”
The Jets couldn’t stop the Pittsburgh defense, allowing 31 points and 433 yards of total offense in a 31-13 loss.
“We had no answer for the Steelers,” Todd Bowles. “Their question was, ‘Do you call this a defense?'”
Arizona wins, 27-23.