Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
Philadelphia @ Detroit (Even)
The Eagles looked terrible in a 45-17 loss to Jameis Winston and the visiting Buccaneers. Winston passed for 246 yards and five touchdowns.
“Some people say that’s the kind of loss that gets coaches fired,” Chip Kelly said. “I disagree. To me, it’s the kind of loss that gets assistant coaches fired. A lot of people say I might give up the pro’s and return to the college ranks. That’s crazy. Why leave for college when I’m getting ‘schooled’ here on a regular basis?
“Thanksgiving Day games are a long-running tradition. And speaking of traditions, this team loves to play that Christmas gift exchange game, especially when it’s administered by our backup quarterback. We call it ‘Dirty Sanchez.’
“Concussions are a hot subject in the league after the Case Keenum incident. Malcolm Jenkins played with a concussion a few weeks ago. As you know, Malcolm played half of the Cowboys game with a concussion after fooling doctors into thinking he was okay. Therein lies the problem: Malcolm hid his concussion, then forgot where he put it.”
The Lions have won two in a row after beating the Raiders 18-16 last week at Ford Field. Detroit is 3-7, four games behind the packers in the NFC North.
“So,” Matthew Stafford said, “Chip Kelly and his defense are coming to Detroit? Looks like toasted Eagle and goat are on the Thanksgiving menu.
“But we need to be prepared for the Eagles offense. The statistics can be misleading, but their passing game is one of the league’s most innovative, because they throw blame around like you wouldn’t believe.”
Detroit wins 23-20.
Carolina @ Dallas (+2) 46
The Panthers moved to 10-0 last week, whipping the visiting Redskins 44-16. Cam Newton passed for 246 yards and five touchdowns.
“I can’t wait to celebrate a touchdown at AT&T Stadium,” Newton said. “And I don’t think it’s even possible to offend anyone, because you can get away with anything in Dallas.
“I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for Greg Hardy, but I’m not too worried. There are people I trust to protect me from people like him, and it’s not the Mecklenburg County judicial system. It’s my offensive line. Those guys have been huge, and they are huge. They have their own celebratory dance; it’s not the ‘Dab,’ it’s the ‘Flab.’”
In his return to the lineup after missing the last seven games, Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a 24-14 win over the Dolphins. Romo threw for two scores, one to Dez Bryant, as Dallas improved to 3-7.
“That’s called ‘leadership,’” Romo said. “And I don’t even need to paint my face with a crayon to be a leader. I’m not sure what that scribble on Hardy’s face is, but I think he needs a visit from ‘Artsy-Craftsy Tony Romo.’”
Newton irks the Dallas faithful after a fourth quarter one-yard TD plunge, after which he sprints to the Dallas “star” at midfield, stuffs his face with popcorn, signs a football, and does a set of sit-ups, all before the Dallas defense can react and stop him. Hardy makes an attempt to lay out Newton, but is tackled by former Cowboy Roy Williams, who KO’s Hardy.
Carolina wins 27-24.
Chicago @ Green Bay (-10)
Chilly Lambeau Field is the site of the NFC North clash between the visiting Bears and the Packers, who dominated the Vikings 30-13 last week to take over the lead in the NFC North.
“We showed a lot more balance on offense,” Aaron Rodgers said. “Eddie Lacy rushed for 100 yards. When he wants to, Eddie can play with a mean streak, so we’re thrilled when he plays the ‘heavy,’ as opposed to just being heavy.”
The Bears lost 17-15 to Brock Osweiler and the Broncos at Soldier Field last week. At 4-6 in the NFC North, Chicago desperately needs a win to remain close to the Packers.
“I have seen the future in Denver,” Cutler said, “and it’s 6’8.” I’m actually taller than Osweiler, because when I was seen as the future in Denver, it turned out to be 8-8.
“My wife and I just welcomed our third child. I’m blessed to be able to give our kids a loving home and anything they want in life. And, if genetics has anything to do with it, I think it’s safe to say they’ll all grow up to be spoiled brats.”
And speaking of “spoiled brats,” Cutler’s pregame meal of a sausage dog doesn’t agree with him, and he spends much of the game with a look of constipation on his face. We’ve seen that before, as we have two interception games from Cutler.
Green Bay wins 27-20.
Oakland @ Tennessee (+2)
The Titans are 2-8 after last Thursday’s 19-13 loss at Jacksonville. Tennessee is 0-5 at home this season.
“Hey,” Marcus Mariota said, “I think the grass at Nissan Stadium is exceptional, and I resent anyone that says otherwise. That, my friend, is the closest you’ll come to seeing a Titan ‘defending his turf.’”
Raiders win 27-20.
Buffalo @ Kansas City (-5)
The Chiefs smashed the Chargers in San Diego last week, registering their second consecutive lopsided win over an AFC West opponent. The Chiefs have won four in a row and are 5-5, two games behind the 7-3 Broncos in the AFC West.
“We did the impossible two weeks ago at Denver,” Alex Smith said. “We made a future Hall Of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning, look like a current Hall Of Fame quarterback, because he should have retired five years ago.”
The Bills lost to the Patriots, losing 20-13 to New England on Monday night. Buffalo fell to 5-5 on the season, five games behind the 10-0 Patriots.
“That’s two losses this season to New England,” Rex Ryan said. “I hate losing at the hands of the Patriots. Luckily, I can always find comfort watching videos of the feet of my wife.
“The Patriots offense ran a play called ‘Rex Ryan’ during Monday night’s game. I hear their defense has a play called ‘Rob Ryan.’ It’s an all-out blitz, in which all eleven defenders give chase to an opponent racing towards the end zone.”
Chiefs win 22-20.
Tampa Bay @ Indianapolis (-3)
Matt Hasselbeck passed for two touchdowns and the Colts defense forced four Atlanta turnovers in a 24-21 Indy win at the Georgia Dome.
“I also threw two interceptions,” Hasselbeck said, “but not a single one was picked off by Al Harris on the first play from scrimmage in overtime after I won the coin toss and said ‘We want the ball and we’re going to win.’ But I’ve put that behind me. Like Troy Aikman, I don’t dwell on the past.”
The Buccaneers pounded the Eagles 45-17 at Lincoln Financial Field. Jameis Winston passed for five touchdowns in the Bucs, becoming the fourth Tampa quarterback to accomplish the feat.
“There hasn’t been a beating like that in Philadelphia since the Broad Street Bullies roamed the ice,” Winston said. “In the National Hockey League, there’s a code of conduct, and if you cross the line, you won’t get away with it. That’s why when I commit an illegal act, I make darn sure I don’t do it in an NHL arena.”
Colts win 30-17.
NY Giants @ Washington (+2)
The Redskins were hammered by the Panthers 44-16 last week in Charlotte, foiled by five turnovers from the offense.
“I don’t think anybody in our organization was pleased with our play,” Kirk Cousins said. “It’s like I said emphatically after the game, ‘Who likes that?! Who likes that?!”
The Giants enjoyed a bye week, made especially more enjoyable losses by the Redskins and Eagles, their two closest pursuers in the NFC East.
“We had a great week,” Eli Manning said. “Everyone was able to spend Thanksgiving with their families. It’s nice to be thankful. The thing for which I’m most thankful is the fact that you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving with fireworks.”
Giants win 28-17.
New Orleans @ Houston (-3)
The Saints bye week was spent reorganizing their defense in the wake of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s firing after week 11’s 47-14 loss at Washington. New DC Dennis Allen has been tasked with the job.
“Dennis is really excited to have the job,” Sean Payton said, “and he’s very motivated. Dennis is not Rob Ryan. Dennis has fire in his belly, instead of food.
“I’m confident Dennis and the defense will regroup. Ryan wanted to do the same while he was here, but his idea of ‘regrouping’ was finding eleven new players on defense.”
The Texans registered their third straight win, besting the Jets 24-17. J.J. Watt dominated the Jets offensive line, recording two sacks, five tackles for losses, and five quarterback hits.
“I chased Ryan Fitzpatrick all over the field,” Watt said, “and I’m exhausted. Fitzpatrick may have graduated from Harvard, but I’m the one that got an ‘I.V.’ after the game.
“I’ve joined Peyton Manning in a Papa John’s pizza commercial. Peyton likes his pizza made with every topping imaginable. That’s the only way he goes ‘all the way’ these days.”
The revamped Saints defense steps up and makes a statement, that statement being, “Our offense needs to score at least 27 points for this defense to work.”
Saints win 27-24.
Minnesota @ Atlanta (-2 1/2)
The Falcons lost their third in a row, blowing a fourth quarter lead before losing 24-21 to the Colts. Matt Ryan tossed three TD passes, but also had three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
“With the third pick in the 2008 NFL Draft,” Ryan said, “the Falcons chose me. With the third pick in Sunday’s game, I chose to lose the game for us.”
The Vikings lost 30-13 to the motivated Packers, who limited Adrian Peterson’s effectiveness. The loss knocked Minnesota out of the lead in the NFC North.
“The Packers did what no one has been able to,” Mike Zimmer said. “Keep Peterson from beating them.
“Maybe we were overconfident starting the season 7-2. Maybe we thought we would beat the Packers easily. We were wrong. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done some good things. There’s a time and a place to toot your own horn, probably in the privacy of your own home, but not prior to a game against the Packers.”
Atlanta wins 23-20.
St. Louis @ Cincinnati (-8)
The Rams blew a 13-3 lead, giving up 13 fourth quarter points to the Ravens in a 16-13 loss.
“I wasn’t even aware that Case Keenum had a concussion until well after the game,” Jeff Fisher said. “Apparently, when it comes to player safety, and coaching in general, I’m clueless.
“John Harbaugh seems to think we are a dirty team. I resent that. I don’t want our name dragged through the mud, or off an elevator for that matter.”
The Bengals have lost two in a row after an 8-0 start to the season. Their latest defeat came in Arizona, where the Cardinals edged Cincy 31-28 on Chandler Catanzaro’s 32-yard field goal with one second left.
“That should have been a 47-yarder,” Marvin Lewis said, “but the officials flagged us 15 yards for simulating a snap count. That’s a ‘phantom’ call in my opinion. In Cincy, we say ‘Who dey?’ In Arizona, we said ‘What da?’”
“But we won’t let a two-game losing streak in November ruin our year. That only takes one game, in January.”
Cincinnati wins 27-16.
San Diego @ Jacksonville (-4)
The Jaguars are 4-6 after last Thursday’s 19-13 win over the Titans.
“Believe it or not,” Gus Bradley said, “we’re just a game out of first in the AFC South. And just two games out of last place. In this division, that’s known as being right in the ‘thin’ of things.”
The Chargers looked hapless in last week’s 33-3 loss at home to the Chiefs.
“We’re not a very good team right now,” Mike McCoy said. “That insinuates that we were a good football team at some point.
“Is a cross-country road trip to play a team that’s had ten days rest what we need right now? No, but at least it’s not a home game at Quallcomm Stadium, where the visiting team’s fans outnumber Chargers fans 10-1, much like the Chiefs side of the scoreboard did last week.”
Jaguars win 27-21.
Miami @ NY Jets (-3 1/2)
After a 4-1 start to the season, the Jets have lost four of their last five, including last week’s 24-17 loss at Houston.
“Our defense is giving up too many big plays,” Todd Bowles said. “Even Darrelle Revis is struggling. He was continually beaten by DeAndre Hopkins. Revis got a concussion, and that goes to show that, sometimes, memory loss is a good thing.”
The Dolphins lost 24-14 at home to the Cowboys and are now 4-6 on the season.
“Instead of Tony Romo,” Dan Campbell said, “I would have much rather seen Leon Lett on the other side. That would have surely resulted in a Dolphins win.”
Jets win 24-23.
Arizona @ San Francisco (+10 1/2)
The 49ers lost at Seattle 29-13 last week despite a solid game from Blaine Gabbett. The 49ers cause was not helped by a running game that produced only 59 yards on the ground.
“Sure,” Mike Tomsula said, “our running game on the field is weak. But in our front office, the run game is strong. They piled up nearly 2,400 miles when they ran Jim Harbaugh from San Fran to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Colin Kaepernick was placed on injured reserve due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. This is similar to our decision to bench Colin, because in both cases, we didn’t want him to do any more damage.”
The Cardinals are a step closer to the AFC West crown after last week’s 31-28 win over the Bengals. Arizona is 8-2, three games up on the 5-5 Seahawks.
“I don’t think there’s a defense that can stop this offense,” Palmer said. “I thumb my nose at defenses, and thrust my pelvis in your general direction.”
Arizona wins 27-12.
Pittsburgh @ Seattle (-4 1/2)
The 6-4 Steelers have a bye week under their belt, meaning Ben Roethlisberger had an extra week to rest his ailing body.
“We’re only two games behind the 8-2 Bengals in the AFC North,” Roethlisberger said. “Trust me, the Bengals hear footsteps, but they’re not mine, because much like Jimmy Graham, I walk verrrry gingerly these days.”
The Seahawks beat the 49ers 27-13 last week and improved to 5-5. Russell Wilson passed for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while Thomas Rawls rushed for 209 yards.
“Rawls has filled in nicely for Marshawn Lynch,” Wilson said. “Marshawn is out for a couple of weeks while his abdominal injury heals. Marshawn has been ordered by the doctor not to do any sit-ups, and no ‘sit-downs’ with the media.”
Seattle wins 27-24.
New England @ Denver (+3)
The Patriots beat the Bills 20-13 in a defensive struggle last Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
“As you would expect,” Tom Brady said, “there was an awkward post-game hand shake between Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan.
“It’s always an honor to play against Peyton Manning, even if he’s not starting. Manning has practically every passing record in the book. As if he needed another reason to ‘call it a career.’
“Rob Gronkowski just signed an endorsement deal with Monster Energy drink. Gronk deserves to have a major endorsement deal. If you would have asked me before the season if an NFL tight end would have been the face of a Monster, I would have guessed Scott Chandler.”
Brock Osweiler, starting in the place of the injured Peyton Manning, passed for two touchdowns, leading the Broncos to a hard-fought 17-15 win over the Bears at Soldier Field.
“Brock is six foot, eight inches tall,” Demaryius Thomas said. “That gives us two quarterbacks who are larger than life, but only one who ‘can’t stand losing.’
“Osweiler celebrated his 25th birthday last Sunday. Manning has interceptions that are older than that. Brock has been named the starter against the Patriots, and Peyton is out for at least two more weeks. Even healthy, I think Gary Kubiak would prefer that Peyton back up Osweiler. I never thought I’d hear Kubiak quote a Juvenile lyric, but he asked Peyton to ‘back that Os’ up.’”
Denver wins 23-21.
Baltimore @ Cleveland (-2 1/2)
The Ravens won a dramatic 16-13 comeback win over the visiting Rams last week. It was a costly win, as the Ravens lost both Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett to season-ending injuries.
“I know Joe and Justin didn’t deserve this,” John Harbaugh said. “All I know is we lost two men to a terrible tragedy. Fifteen years from now, someone, Ray Lewis maybe, will write a book that will use Jesus-speak and half-truths to make sense of it all.
“In any case, Matt Schaub will take over quarterbacking duties. Joe will be with us in spirit. It’s not the ‘Holy Spirit,’ which overtakes Ray Lewis from time to time, or the ‘hole-y’ spirit, which inhabits our defense from time to time.”
The Browns quarterback drama reached a new level after video surfaced of Johnny Manziel partying in Texas during the Browns bye week. Josh McCown was named the starter, while Manziel was demoted to third string.
“You know what they say,” McCown said. “Next man up, third man down.
“Johnny needs to learn the difference in ‘representing the Browns’ and just simply ‘representing.’ If I had to grade Johnny on his time in Cleveland on a scale from A to F, I’d give him both, because he’s a ‘dumb A’ and an ‘F up.’”
Baltimore wins 19-17.