Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
Seattle @ San Francisco (+6)
The 49ers beat the Ravens 25-20 last week to improve to 2-4 in the NFC West. Colin Kaepernick passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns and had no turnovers in the win.
“But I know Russell Wilson. His athletic ability is amazing. You could say he’s a ‘Jesus freak.’ He’s the quarterback that speaks to God. Well, I’ve never spoken to God, but I have chatted with Lorde.
“I really feel like our passing game is strong. My arm feels great. I really put some zip on my throws. I think I’ve been clocked at 64 miles per hour. In baseball, that would be called ‘throwing heat.’ Our flatulent head coach Jim Tomasula calls it ‘passing gas.’”
“We couldn’t stop Olsen,” Pete Carroll said. “We even double-teamed him, with a scheme we call the ‘Olsen twins.’
“We’ve had fourth quarter leads in all four of our losses this season. That’s certainly a disturbing trend, and take it from me, disturbing trends don’t go unrecognized, not by opposing teams, not by opposing coaches, and especially not by NCAA investigators.
“And what to make of these sinkholes in the Levi’s Stadium turf? Are we responsible for replacing our own divots? Is it safe to play there? Heck, when I hear the words ‘safety’ and ‘49ers’ used in conjunction, I expect it to be in relation to a Ronnie Lott informational seminar called ‘The Pros And Cons Of Voluntary Partial Pinkie Amputation.’ I assume that seminar would be sponsored by Stub Hub.”
Early on Thursday, the Seahawks convene for a players only meeting, which is immediately followed by a “playas only” meeting, attended by everyone in the first meeting except Russell Wilson, who has vowed to abstain from “playas only” meetings.
Seahawks win 24-14.
Buffalo @ Jacksonville (+4 1/2)
The Bills and Jaguars meet in London, with both teams coming off loses last week. The Bills are 3-3 after losing 34-21 at home to the Bengals.
“The Bengals attacked us right in the middle of our defense,” Rex Ryan said. “Normally, I love watching ‘soft core,’ but not in this case. And while we’re on the subject of ‘soft core,’ did you see Pacman Jones interviewed by the NFL Network in the Cincy locker room? You would expect heads hanging in our locker room, not theirs. Maybe we should call them the ‘Cincinnati Dangles.’
“We made an effort to get Sammy Watkins the ball, and he responded with four catches and a touchdown. I guess Sammy’s mouth isn’t the only thing that’s open. Of course, he hurt his ankle on the TD, and was later seen walking with a cane. They say ‘Pimpin’ ain’t easy.’ I say ‘Limpin’ and pimpin’ ain’t easy, either.’”
The Jags head to London having lost four games in a row, the latest a 31-20 loss to the Texans.
“We’re listed as the home team,” Blake Bortles said, “and we’re winless on the road this season. With that being said, we’ve got ‘aways’ to go before we can call ourselves a good team.
“But our prized free agent acquisition Julius Thomas made an impact against Houston with 78 yards receiving and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he suffered a rib contusion. Julius is currently in the league’s ‘contusion protocol.’ What is that, you ask? I don’t know, but if you asked an ancient Chinese philosopher, he would reply ‘Contucius say ‘Julius Thomas is injured a lot.’’”
Bills win 31-22.
Tampa Bay @ Washington (-4)
The Bucs enjoyed a bye week to assess their 2-3 start to the season. They’ll face the Redskins at Fed Ex Field on Sunday.
“We’ve spent a great deal of time reviewing Jameis Winston’s performance,” Lovie Smith said. “Is it the first time Winston’s been the subject of a full and proper investigation? Probably.
“After Jameis threw four interceptions in our week 4 loss to the Panthers, some people said he was the worst quarterback in the league. That’s a serious allegation. I disagree with that opinion, and Jameis does as well. He swears he’s innocent, of being the worst quarterback in the league.”
The Redskins were soundly beaten 34-20 by the Jets last week at MetLife Stadium. The Jets piled up 221 yards on the ground while holding the ‘Skins to only 34 rushing.
“Obviously,” Jay Gruden said, “the Jets knew what they were doing. Stopping our rush attack forced Kirk Cousins to pass, and the Jets have one of the NFL’s best defensive backfields. I’ve got to hand it to Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie—they know how to handle a quarterback.”
The ‘Skins sack Winston four times, and Cousins passes for two scores.
Washington wins 26-13.
Atlanta @ Tennessee (+3 1/2)
The Falcons are unbeaten no more, losing 31-21 to the motivated Saints in New Orleans last Thursday.
“Once again,” Dan Quinn said, “we found ourselves playing from behind. Before the game, I spoke to the team about starting fast, not falling behind, and preventing themselves from getting in a hole. Unfortunately, I closed with the statement, ‘Can you dig it?’
“We turned the ball over three times, and that resulted in us falling out of first in the NFC South. I haven’t done this since I was 17, but I’m now going to use the term ‘sloppy seconds.’”
Atlanta wins 27-20.
New Orleans @ Indianapolis (-5)
The Saints knocked off the unbeaten Falcons 31-21 behind a strong game from Drew Brees and tight end Benjamin Watson, who connected for 127 yards and a touchdown. New Orleans is now 2-4, last in the NFC South.
“Sean Payton put a bounty on Watson’s hands,” Brees said. “I collected, because I hit him ten times.
“I think it’s important to address the issues affecting a team. And we did that. And speaking of ‘a dress,’ Ricky Williams once wore one and posed with Mike Ditka for the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Talk about a ‘bounty;’ Ditka gave up one just for the right to draft Williams.
“I feel like we’ve turned a corner. Of course, two more corner turns and we’ll be right back where we started.”
The Colts lost 34-27 to the Patriots, thanks in part to a batched call on fourth down that gave the Patriots the ball in Colts territory. The Pats quickly took advantage, as Tom Brady found LeGarrette Blount for a TD and a 34-21 lead.
“I think Bill Belichick used reverse mind tricks to make Chuck Pagano call that play,” Andrew Luck said. “We should raise a banner inside Lucas Oil Stadium in his honor, a banner that says ‘Stupid,’ because Chuck took it to a new level.
“If nothing else, we made people realize the Patriots aren’t invincible. They like to walk around with their chests puffed out. And that’s surprising, because to do that, theirs lungs have to be fully inflated.
“Luckily, we’re still in first place in the AFC South. If I could say that in a much more concise manner, I would, because that ain’t saying much.”
Former Saints and Colts head coach Jim Mora, Sr. serves as honorary coin tosser prior to kickoff, and also reviews the “Playoffs!? Playoffs??! You’re asking me about playoff” implications of the game with captains from both teams.
Saints win the toss, and win the game, 27-24.
Minnesota @ Detroit (+2 1/2)
“We’re No. 1,” Stafford said, “but only in the win column.“
I thought I had a great game, and I thought I responded well to being benched the previous week against the Cardinals. That’s led to even more people suggesting that I should be benched more often.”
Despite a subpar game from Adrian Peterson, the Vikings held off the Chiefs 16-10, winning thanks to a defense that allowed only one touchdown. Peterson managed just 60 yards on 26 carries.
“I think most decent people would applaud what the Chiefs did,” Peterson said, “because they stopped me from doing what I do.
“But I’ve promised my coaches that I’ll be better, mainly because they threatened me with physical violence.”
Detroit wins 23-20.
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City (+2)
In their first game without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs struggled to run the ball and lost 16-10 to the Vikings.
“We are at a pronounced disadvantage without Jamaal,” Alex Smith said. “And speaking of ‘pronounce,’ I can’t even say Charcandrick West’s first name correctly. If I’m not mistaken, his parents were expecting twin boys and were to name one ‘Charc’ and the other ‘Rick.’ Only one baby came out, thus the name ‘CharcandRick.’
“Anyway, at 1-5, the outlook is not good for us. I would say ‘Stick a fork in us, because we’re done,’ but Andy Reid has forbidden use of the word ‘fork.’”
After passing for just six yards in the first half, Michael Vick injured his hamstring in the second half and left the game. Third-stringer Landry Jones entered the game, and rallied the Steelers to a 25-13 win, hitting Martavis Bryant for two touchdowns.
“Obviously,” Mike Tomlin said, “Vick didn’t injure himself ‘doing too much.’ But it’s not serious. Vick’s not out for the season, but he’s out for a reason.
“If Ben Roethlisberger can’t play on Sunday, Jones will start. He’s a product of Oklahoma, so it was easy to say, ‘Landry? Sooner! Vick? Later!’”
Pittsburgh wins 26-20.
Cleveland @ St. Louis (-4 1/2)
“Manning and I were both mediocre,” McCown said. “He can’t say he ‘outdueled’ me, but Peyton can say he ‘outdulled’ me.
“You’ve probably heard about the incident involving Johnny Manziel and his girlfriend. They were arguing, and both admitted to drinking earlier in the day. Women, beer, and police—-it’s just like Johnny’s still in college. His quarterbacking skills reflect that as well.”
The Rams bye week was made even more positive with losses by the Cardinals and Seahawks. St. Louis is 2-3, second in the division.
“We’re going to expose the Browns offense,” Jeff Fisher said. “After all, this is the ‘Show Me State.’ The turf at the Edwards Jones Dome won’t show signs of burning, but there will be a ‘Brown stain’ on it.”
The Rams force three turnovers, and Todd Gurley rushes for 115 yards and a score.
Rams win 26-17.
Houston @ Miami (-4 1/2)
“I doubt Mariota has seen a defense like this,” Campbell said. “They made him look ordinary, much like what a practice squad defense would do to Ryan Tannehill.
“But it’s all about ‘accountability. If you ask Ndamukong Suh and his $114 million, it’s all about ‘account ability.’”
Brian Hoyer passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns, leading Houston to a 31-20 win in Jacksonville. The Texans are now 2-4, second in the AFC South.
“Hoyer was just fantastic,” Bill O’Brien said, “and I’m sticking with him at quarterback. We’re going to ride the hot hand, and Ryan Mallett will ride the pine.
“I keep getting asked about ‘new leadership.’ I assume they’re referring to the Dolphins situation.”
Miami wins 29-17.
NY Jets @ New England (-9)
The Patriots turned a close game at the half into a comfortable 34-27 win over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tom Brady passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns.
“It was quiet in there in the fourth quarter,” Tom Brady said. “We’re so good, we can take the air out of a whole building.
“We’re starting to use LeGarrette Blount more. Blount is a monster. He’s mean on the field, but off the field, he’s the total opposite. He’s so laid back and chill, we sometimes call him ‘CiGarrette Blount.’
“I hear Bill Belichick hasn’t been to the grocery store in two years. I can believe that. I know Belichick doesn’t need any dairy products, because he’s got Chuck Pagano’s milk.”
The Jets pounded the Redskins 34-20 last week, led by a stifling defense and a strong run game, led by Chris Ivory’s 146 yards and a touchdown.
“The winner of Sunday’s game takes sole possession of first in the AFC East,” Darrelle Revis said. “Everyone is excited. Even the footballs are pumped.”
New England wins 29-23.
Oakland @ San Diego (-4)
Despite 503 yards passing and two touchdowns from Philip Rivers, the Chargers lost 27-20 to the Packers at Lambeau Field. Rivers last ditch pass to Danny Woodhead on fourth and goal was batted away, and San Diego fell to 2-4.
“The Packers defense made a play,” Rivers said. “By that, I mean they made one play.
“I’m on pace to throw for over 6,000 yards this season. That will shatter Peyton Manning’s NFL record of 5,477 yards. If that happens, we can finally put a Charger quarterback’s name in front of Manning’s, and it won’t be Ryan Leaf’s.”
Chargers win 27-24.
Dallas @ NY Giants (-3 1/2)
“Neither Weeden nor Cassel compare in ability to Tony Romo,” Jason Garrett said. “I think we’ll learn the hard way that Weeden and Cassel are equally as bad. That will be called the ‘Lesson Of Two Evens.’
“We’ll have to prevent the big plays on defense. That means making sure Odell Beckham, Jr. doesn’t get behind us. I think Eli should be the one doing Head And Shoulders commercials, because if you’ve seen any of his other commercials, you know he’s white and flaky.”
The Giants were overwhelmed in Philadelphia, losing 27-7 to drop to 3-3. After an early TD pass, Eli Manning struggled, throwing two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
“The Eagles pressured me all game long,” Manning said. “They sacked me three times. Dallas’ Greg Hardy had two sacks of Tom Brady, so I fear for my life. Luckily, I’ve got two guards to protect me.”
Manning engineers a late drive, and Josh Brown kicks the game-winning field goal.
New York wins 26-24.
Philadelphia @ Carolina (-3 1/2)
The Panthers stunned the Seahawks in Seattle, winning on Cam Newton’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 32 seconds left. Carolina remained undefeated and is now alone at the top of the NFC South.
“We silenced the CenturyLink Field crowd,” Newton said. “After the winning score, the only ‘sound’ you could hear was ‘Puget.’
“It’s on to the next game for us. Unlike Chip Kelly, we’re focused on the Eagles. Chip Kelly is like a hard-working high school student. He’s college bound.”
Despite three Sam Bradford interceptions, the Eagles used a furious defensive effort to whip the Giants 27-7.
“We expected more from Bradford,” Kelly said. “And we got it, but only in interceptions. He’s thrown nine of those already. Fans in Philadelphia expect better accuracy. Heck, Sam can’t hit a receiver ten yards downfield with a football. How can he be respected by someone who can hit Santa Claus with a snowball from the upper deck.”
Panthers win 24-17.
Baltimore @ Arizona (-8)
The Ravens fell to 1-5 after losing 25-20 to the 49ers.
“It will be good to head west,” Joe Flacco said. “It’s about time this team decided to head in a new direction other than south.
“But we won’t give up on the season. Now is not the time to quit. According to Steve Smith, it’s time to fight. That means I have to play better. I used to be known as ‘Joe Cool.’ Now, it’s more likely my play will cause a teammate to say ‘Joe, Not Cool.’”
The Cardinals held Michael Vick to six yards passing in the first half and held a 10-3 lead at the break. But the Steelers roared back, led by Landry Jones, who replaced an injured Michael Vick, and Martavis Bryant.
“Our worst play of the game was injuring Vick,” Bruce Arians said. “And Bryant was unstoppable. If the game had been played in Arizona, the outcome would have been different. University Of Phoenix has a retractable natural grass turf. I don’t think Pittsburgh players like Bryant and Le’Veon Bell would even show up if they knew their ‘grass’ was going to be retracted.”
Arizona wins 31-16.