Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia (+2½)
The Giants earned a hard-fought 17-6 win over the visiting Lions, led by a surging defense that kept the Lions out of the end zone. Eli Manning passed for 2 touchdowns, including one to Odell Beckham, Jr.
“Odell made another spectacular one-handed catch,” Manning said. “That’s why he’s my ‘right-hand man.’ Then, he celebrated with a homage to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It.’ Odell’s already working on his next TD celebration. It’s a tribute to M.J. and the great Randy Moss, and is called the ‘Moonwalk.’
“I think we’re a great team, and good enough to win the Super Bowl. Of course, if you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. So suck it, NFL, we just used the ‘walkie talkie’ again.”
The Eagles came up short at Baltimore, losing 27-26 to the Ravens. Carson Wentz scored on a 4-yard run with four seconds left in the game, but the Eagles failed on the two-point conversion for the win.
“We were going for the win,” Doug Pederson said. “Who the heck plays for a tie anyway? Not us. I’ll tell you who doesn’t play for a ‘tie?’ Cam Newton.
“It’s a night game in Philadelphia, so you know Eagles fans will be pretty well oiled. This is certainly bad news for the organization. It was bad enough with just Riley Cooper, but when there’s a stadium full of ‘slurred’ speech, it’s worse.”
Giants win, 28-20.
Miami @ Buffalo (-3½)
The Dolphins smashed the Jets 34-13 at MetLife Stadium last Saturday to improve to 9-5. Matt Moore passed for 4 touchdowns in his first game starting for the injured Ryan Tannehill.
“Tannehill was walking with a cane,” Adam Gase said. “No, he wasn’t making fun of Darrelle Revis.
“Moore was really impressive. He may have just played his way into the starting lineup of a team like, say, the Jets, or 49ers, or maybe the Dolphins.”
The Bills walloped the Browns 33-14, led by 153 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns from LeSean McCoy. Buffalo improved to 7-7 and kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
“I guess the story for the remainder of the season is my job,” Rex Ryan said, “and our playoff hopes. If you set that to music, it would have to be performed by ‘Fatboy Slim.’
“We could finish 9-7. That’s a winning record, and yet all I hear is talk of me losing my job. So, I have to ask, ‘Why would you fire Rex Ryan?’ I guess the better question is, ‘Why would you hire Rex Ryan?'”
McCoy and Mike Gilleslie team up for 143 yards on the ground, and Tyrod Taylor says farewell to the fans at New Era Field, and goodbye to a $27 million roster bonus.
Buffalo wins, 25-20.
Atlanta @ Carolina (+3½)
The Panthers whipped the Redskins 26-15 at FedEx Field, dashing Washington’s playoff hopes. Carolina improved to 6-8.
“Despite the win,” Cam Newton said, “it’s been a tough season. Sadly, this season has been more defined by what I’m wearing than by wins. And I hate to ‘lose in this fashion.’ But I love dressing up. In my world, it’s always dress-up day, or Halloween.
“My wife and I are expecting our second child. My first child was a boy named ‘Chosen.’ I’ll definitely be there for the delivery, under center, and front and center, waiting for the birth. I just hope it’s a breech birth, because I’m sick and tired of things coming at me head first.”
The Falcons moved one step closer to clinching the NFC South with a 41-13 win over the 49ers last week. Without Julio Jones for the second straight game, Atlanta piled up 550 total yards, including 248 on the ground.
“With one more touchdown and a two-point conversion,” Matt Ryan said, “we would have ’49’d’ ’em.
“Hopefully, Julio will be ready to play. He’s got a turf toe injury that just won’t go away. Julio’s had these issues for much of his career, and it’s often prevented him from playing a full season. He can barely play half a season before his toe gets re-injured. We should call his injury ‘Nerf toe,’ because it falls apart after just a few weeks.”
Carolina wins, 27-26.
Washington @ Chicago (+3½)
The Redskins playoff hopes took a huge hit with a 26-15 loss at home to the Panthers. Kirk Cousins passed for 315 yards, but had 2 turnovers and no touchdowns.
“If you’re trying to play your way into the playoffs,” Jay Gruden said, “or into a huge contract, the way to do it is ‘not like that.'”
The Bears put a scare into the Packers before losing, 30-27. Matt Barkley passed for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns, but threw 3 interceptions.
“Matt reminded me a lot of Jay Cutler,” John Fox said, “because he won’t be the starting quarterback in Chicago next year.”
Bears win, 24-22.
San Diego @ Cleveland (+6)
The Browns lost 33-14 at Buffalo and remain winless at 14-0. Afterwards, Hue Jackson said he’s considering “all options” to prevent the Browns from going 0-16.
“We were just awful,” Jackson said. “Richard Sherman said Thursday Night Football is a ‘poopfest.’ Well, we’ve been a poopfest all year. Of course, it was no different last year. We went from the outhouse to the outhouse. See, there’s no avoiding ‘John-y Football.’
“I’m not sure winning a game or two means anything at this point. Is there really a difference in finishing 0-16 as opposed to 1-15? You’d just call that a ‘wash.’ For a ‘wash’ to take place, you have to have ‘scrubs,’ and we’ve got that covered.
“We’ve got a load of picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Hopefully, we will evaluate properly and make good picks. We’d much rather the ‘choice words’ come before the draft than after.”
The Chargers lost 19-16 at home to the Raiders for their third straight loss.
“Raiders fans easily outnumbered ours in Qualcomm Stadium,” Philip Rivers said. “In San Diego, that’s called the ‘loyalty discount.’ If we really want to improve turnout at home games, we should hold voting referendums for a new San Diego stadium during games.
“We’re easily the best 5-9 team in the NFL. But 5-9 won’t get you much in this league, except a new stadium in another city.”
Chargers win, 27-17.
Minnesota @ Green Bay (-6½)
The Vikings were blasted 34-6 by the visiting Colts and may have seen their playoff hopes disappear with the loss. Indy manhandled the Minnesota defense, rolling up 411 yards of total offense.
“I’m embarrassed,” Mike Zimmer said. “If I would have known we’d play this way, I would have worn two eyepatches.
“We still have faint hope to make the playoffs. So, if I have an eye on the postseason, the view is cloudy at best. Adrian Peterson is back in the lineup. His powers of healing are amazing, and he’s still a powerful runner, able to run through any player on a defense. He’s a man among boys, and no matter the place, on the field or elsewhere, that’s bad news for the boys.”
The Packers survived at Soldier Field, winning 30-27 to go to 8-6. With wins in their last two games, the Packers would clinch the NFC North.
“My calf injury was really painful,” Aaron Rodgers said, “but I fought through the pain. If you’re the quarterback that follows the NFL’s real ‘Iron Man,’ Brett Favre, then you have to be tough. Favre has always been the standard-bearer for iron, and copper, for that matter. If you’re one of the few people who’ve heard Favre’s Christmas album, ‘Favre Away in a Manger,’ then you know one of the songs on it is ‘Copper and Iron,’ performed by Burl Ives.”
Packers win, 27-24.
Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+5)
The Titans stunned the Chiefs 19-17 at Arrowhead Stadium, winning on Ryan Succup’s 53-yard field goal as time expired. Tennessee is 8-6, tied with the Texans atop the AFC South.
“We could have folded when we were down 14-0 in the first quarter,” Marcus Mariota said, “but we didn’t. We knew if we just got it close, Andy Reid would eventually call the game-saving timeout. And, as you all know, Andy Reid doesn’t disappoint, unless he’s coaching your favorite team.”
The Jaguars lost 21-20 to the Texans in Houston, losing for the ninth consecutive game to fall to 2-12. Hours after the game, head coach Gus Bradley was fired. On Monday, Doug Marrone was named interim head coach.
“Gus even had to take the same flight home with the team,” Marrone said. “He had a seat in first class, because he certainly wasn’t flying ‘coach.'”
Titans win, 23-20.
New York Jets @ New England (-16½)
The Jets were crushed 34-10 by the visiting Dolphins, who got 4 touchdown passes from Matt Moore. New York fell to 4-10 and is last in the AFC East.
“Bryce Petty really struggled,” Todd Bowles said. “We thought we’d have better results when we replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick with Bryce. It appears, though, it was just a ‘New York Suck Exchange.’
“Sheldon Richardson was in a Snap Chat video is which he uttered four profanities in seven seconds. That’s not the kind of behavior we want from a Jets player. Now, a Jets fan? We encourage that. A Jets fan could easily reel off seven profanities in four seconds, especially if they’re watching us play.”
The Patriots dominated the Broncos in Denver, winning 16-3, clinching the AFC East with the win.
“I guess you can’t have a Jets-Patriots game without talking about ‘Spygate,'” Bill Belichick said. “I’ve been accused of refusing to address that subject. On that charge, I can easily admit guilt.
“But we have to prepare for today’s Jets, and not worry about what happened nine years ago. I don’t think we need to skirt the rules to beat these Jets. Maybe someday in the future, when and if the Jets are good, we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, in Foxboro it’s done ‘underhand.'”
New England wins, 34-12.
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-3)
Drew Brees passed for 389 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Saints outgunned the Cardinals 48-41 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
“Two of those scores were long TD passes to Brandin Cooks,” Brees said. “Brandin is 5’10” and only 189 pounds and can fly. He’s fast enough to get behind a defense, and small enough to get under their skin.
“We may be out of the playoff hunt, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play the role of spoiler. Our defense already plays the role of spoiler, for their own team.”
Jameis Winston was sacked 4 times and threw 3 interception as the Bucs lost 26-20 to the Cowboys. The win snapped Tampa’s six-game winning streak, and leaves them needing help to make the playoffs.
“We went in to Dallas with a load of confidence and swagger” Jameis Winston said. “We wanted to find out who had the ‘biggest D.’ I guess it’s not us.”
Bucs win, 27-24.
Indianapolis @ Oakland (-4)
The Raiders clinched a playoff berth with a 19-16 win in San Diego. Sebastian Janikowski‘s 44-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter provided the winning margin.
“Offensively, we’re playing great,” Jack Del Rio said. “Defensively, we’re playing well, but there’s room for improvement. I want our defense to be feared like the great Oakland defenses of the 1970s. Those guys struck fear in everyone. Heck, you could get a concussion by just talking to Jack Tatum. Back in the day, Jack would tell you he was going to knock you out. That was the real ‘Assassin’s Creed.'”
The Colts destroyed the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, winning 34-6. Andrew Luck passed for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns as Indy improved to 7-7.
“We silenced that home crowd in a hurry,” Luck said. “We went up so fast, they didn’t know what hit ’em, and now they’re all in the concussion protocol.”
Raiders win, 31-24.
San Francisco @ Los Angeles (-4)
The Rams were whipped 24-3 in Seattle last Thursday night in their first game without Jeff Fisher. Jared Goff struggled, and was knocked out of the game on a hit by Richard Sherman.
“Jeff Fisher said he wants the chance to coach against the Rams,” Todd Gurley said. “I think Rams fans would totally support that, because that practically guarantees a Rams win.”
The 49ers were steamrolled by the Falcons 41-13 in Atlanta and fell to 1-13.
“We were thoroughly whipped,” Chip Kelly said. “If I never see Atlanta again, I’ll be happy. In other words, I want to leave this town for good. Fans in San Fran want me to leave their town for good.”
Rams win, 28-17.
Arizona @ Seattle (-8½)
The Seahawks roughed up Jared Goff and the Rams 24-3 last Thursday at Century Link Field. Seattle clinched the NFC West and now looks to secure a first-round playoff bye.
“Like I said,” Richard Sherman, “that game was a ‘poopfest.’ And I’m sure not many people were watching, so rating went down the ‘poop chute.’
“But Thursday night games are a creation of the NFL to make more money for the league and owners. It’s a load of crap. You might have seen them in the crowd at our game. No, they’re not the ’12s;’ they’re the ‘2s.'”
The Cardinals lost a shootout to the Saints 48-41 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona’s injury-riddled defense could not stop Drew Brees and the Saints offense, which amassed 488 yards of total offense.
“I noticed Sarah Palin was at CenturyLink Stadium for the Rams game,” Carson Palmer said. “I hope she’ll be there on Sunday, because David Johnson will make sure she can see ‘rushin’.”
Seattle wins, 26-16.
Cincinnati @ Houston (-2)
Tom Savage passed for 260 yards after Brock Osweiler was benched in the second quarter following his second interception. The move spurred a Texans comeback from a 13-0 deficit, and ended with a 21-20 win.
“I thought Savage gave us a better chance,” Bill O’Brien said. “Ironically, Brock’s play has been ‘savage.’ Tom took a sure loss and turned it into a win. If you take that ‘L’ and combine it with ‘Savage,’ you get ‘Salvage.’
“Change is good, and compared to what we’re paying Brock, ‘change’ will pay Savage’s salary. Tom has earned the right to start against the Bengals. Brock has just earned.”
Texans win, 27-19.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-5)
The Steelers came back from a 20-6 deficit to defeat the Bengals 24-20 in Cincinnati. Chris Boswell kicked 6 field goals, and Ben Roethlisberger‘s touchdown pass to Eli Rogers completed the comeback.
“We slowly chipped away at the Bengals lead,” Le’Veon Bell said. “That may explain why the game was ‘chippy.’
“I think the Bengals get frustrated when they play us, but I’m not going to say they’re a dirty team. I’m refuse to enter into a war of words. People who know me know I take the ‘high’ road on almost any issue.”
The Ravens held off the Eagles 27-26 to improve to 8-6. With a win at Pittsburgh, Baltimore would take over first place in the AFC North.
“This game won’t be for the faint of heart,” Terrell Suggs said. “It will be physical and violent. Players on both teams will feel the effect for days after. Recovery won’t be a problem, though. Ray Lewis is providing us with mass quantities of deer antler spray. There are bottles and bottles of that stuff. Le’Veon Bell is playing a similar role for the Steelers. There are bowls and bowls of his stuff.”
Pittsburgh wins, 22-20.
Denver @ Kansas City (-4)
The Chiefs let a 14-0 first quarter lead slip away in an eventual 19-17 loss to the Titans. Tyreke Hill had a 68-yard touchdown run early in the game, but didn’t touch the ball again.
“We probably should have given Tyreke the ball more,” Alex Smith said. “For some reason, we didn’t. It’s like Andy Reid chose to put him in ‘time out.’ Tyreke developed his speed by running from wild dogs when he was a kid. He further developed that speed as an adult by running from the law.
“The Broncos offense has a very glaring weakness, and there’s no way they can cover it up. To be exact, they can’t run, and they can’t hide.”
The Broncos offense sputtered in a 16-3 loss to the visiting Patriots last week. After the game, a heated shouting match took place between left tackle Russell Okung and cornerback Aqib Talib.
“This disagreement could have easily been settled with a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,'” Gary Kubiak said. “But if you say ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot‘ in front of Talib, you sure as hell won’t get rock, paper, or scissors.”
Broncos win, 21-18.
Detroit @ Dallas (-7)
Dak Prescott completed 32-of-36 passes for 279 yards as the Cowboys picked apart the Buccaneers 26-20 at AT&T Stadium. Ezekiel Elliott added 159 yards on the ground and a score to put Dallas on the brink of clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“I think Dak put Jerry Jones, and Tony Romo, in their place,” Elliott said.
“I jumped into a giant Salvation Army kettle after I scored. But the NFL didn’t fine me for the celebration, and that’s surprising, because the league is never lenient on players who have an issue with ‘pot.'”
The Lions lost 17-6 to the Giants at MetLife Stadium and fell to 9-5. Detroit can clinch the NFC North with a win and a Green Bay loss to Minnesota.
“My middle finger is still sore,” Matthew Stafford said. “I hear Prescott doesn’t have a middle finger problem, but he showed it to Jerry Jones anyway.”
Dallas wins, 27-23.