Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
San Diego @ Oakland (-5)
The Raiders lost 30-20 to the Packers in the Black Hole, waylaid by turnovers that led to 14 Green Bay points. Oakland is 6-8, third in the AFC West.
“Of course we’re disappointed,” Jack Del Rio said. “That was our fifth home loss this season. That’s just terrible. Our fans are much better at defending our home field that we are. I hear one of our fans tried to stab a Cheesehead who dared pull for the visiting team in the Black Hole. You’ve seen our fans. I think they’re all willing to cut the cheese.
“Charles Woodson announced that he’s retiring at season’s end. He’ll be a sure-fire inductee into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. He’s already in the New England Patriots Hall Of Fame, where his bust sits proudly in the ‘Tuck Rule” wing. Remember, before the Patriots were breaking the rules of the NFL, the NFL was making the rules for the Patriots.
“The Raiders are the team of the future. And the fans know it. Just ask a fan, any fan, how many times they’ve said ‘Wait until next year.’”
The Chargers creamed the visiting Dolphins 30-14, led by four touchdowns from Danny Woodhead, three through the air and one on the ground.
“If he played for some other teams,” Philip Rivers said, “Danny would be a household name. He’s a wide receiver trapped in a running back’s body, trapped in a Chargers uniform.
“We very well could be moving to Los Angeles. That shouldn’t be much of a problem, because we packed it in weeks ago.”
Derek Carr tosses three touchdown passes and the Raiders win 31-17.
Washington @ Philadelphia (-3)
The Eagles surrendered 493 yards of total offense in a 40-17 blowout loss to the Cardinals. Philly fell to 6-8, one game behind the Redskins in the NFC East.
“We just couldn’t stop the Arizona offense,” Chip Kelly said. “On the bright side, being down for most of the game allowed us to run my favorite offense. That would be the ‘Hurry Up Offense,’ as in ‘Hurry up offense and get on the field; the defense just allowed another score.’
“Once again, Demarco Murray played his butt off. When he’s in the game, I say get your ‘butt off’ the field. I think he’s learned his lesson about speaking to the owner before the coach. That’s earned him a new nickname, ‘DeNarco, as well as a special spot on the team plane. It’s not a seat, it’s a bench.”
The Redskins beat the Bills 35-25 last week as Washington improved to 6-2 at FedEx Field. Kirk Cousins passed for 319 yards and four touchdowns, and the ‘Skins now hold a one-game lead in the NFC East over the Eagles and Giants.
“I’d like to give a shout out to the ‘U,’” Cousins said. “No, I didn’t play at the University Of Miami, and even if I did, I’m not sure I’d admit it these days. No, I’m talking about the ‘U Like That.’
“I think I’ve proven myself as the team’s franchise quarterback. Barring an injury in a playoff game, and being rushed back into the lineup too soon, and total ineptness and callousness by the coaching staff and front office, and absolute betrayal by the fan base, I foresee a long and fruitful career as a Redskin.”
The Eagles wish Cousins a “Reggie White Christmas” and sack him four times, all while simultaneously trying to get him to go to church.
Eagles win 24-17.
New England @ NY Jets (+5)
The Jets beat the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, winning 19-16 on Randy Bullock’s 40-yard field goal with 36 seconds remaining. The Jets are 9-5 and solidly in line for a wildcard playoff berth.
“The Patriots are our most hated rival,” Todd Bowles said. “And they know how to get under our skin. They also know how to push our buttons. More importantly, they know how to push the ‘record’ button.
“As an opponent of the Patriots, you can feel only one of two ways: either you believe they’re ‘under investigation,’ or they’re ‘under-investigated.’
The Pats easily handled the visiting Titans last week, winning 33-16. Tom Brady passed for two scores and the New England defense forced three turnovers and recorded five sacks.
“It was a total team effort,” Brady said. “It will take a similar effort to beat the Jets. Not only will we need our offense and defense clicking, we’ll need our special teams doing the same. Of course, this organization has ‘special teams,’ and we have ‘very special teams.’ They work behind the scenes, so to speak. They’re not in the spotlight; they’re mostly in the shadows.
“I support Donald Trump. Is that a surprise? It probably is. If there’s one thing I love full of hot air, it’s my politicians.”
The Jets race to a 14-0 lead, but the Patriots storm back, forcing three turnovers, and New England clinches home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Patriots win 27-23.
Houston @ Tennessee (Even)
The Texans seized sole possession of the AFC South with a 16-10 win over the visiting Colts last week. Brandon Weeden entered the game late in the first half and led the Texans to the come-from-behind victory.
“The team was ecstatic after the win,” J.J. Watt said. “No one was more excited than Vince Wilfork. Vince got the giggles. When he gets the giggles, his big round belly shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly. And speaking of a ‘bowl full,’ Vince likes a bowl full of anything.
“Have you heard about the ‘Concussion’ movie? I hear they’re already working on a sequel. It will star Brian Hoyer and will be called ‘Concussion 2.’”
The Titans lost 33-16 to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Marcus Mariota was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. Tests later revealed an MCL sprain, and Mariota is out for the rest of the year.
“If you look back in Titans history,” Mike Mularkey said, “you’ll see that Titans quarterbacks don’t perform well on tests. That includes Vince Young on the Wonderlic test, Kerry Collins on the Breathalyzer test, and Marcus on leg exams.”
Houston wins 20-17.
Cleveland @ Kansas City (-12)
Johnny Manziel and the Browns lost 30-13 to the Seahawks last week. Cleveland scored on their first drive of the game, but managed only two field goals in the remainder of the game.
“After the first drive,” Manziel said, “I was feeling confident. But things didn’t work out so well afterwards. It’s certainly not the first time that lofty expectations haven’t panned out.
“I hope I’m able to stay in Cleveland. I feel a special connection to the city, as well as the other sports teams, particularly the Cavaliers. I’d love to be known by a single name. The Cavaliers have ‘Lebron.’ I’d like the Browns to have ‘Lebro.’”
The Chiefs defense scored two touchdowns as Kansas City coasted to their ninth win of the year, beating the Ravens 34-14. Alex Smith was 21 for 25 for 171 yards and a touchdown.
“If you look up the word ‘efficient’ in the dictionary,” Andy Reid said, “you’ll find it approximately 275 pages in, which is about where you’d find Alex in the quarterback record book.
“This team could make some noise in the playoffs. Or, we could go very quietly.”
Kansas City wins 26-21.
Indianapolis @ Miami (Even)
The Colts lost 16-10 to the Texans last week and now are one game behind Houston in the AFC South. Indy held a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but went scoreless the rest of the way.
“Once again,” Matt Hasselbeck said, “I took a lot of hits and left the game for a bit after hurting my jaw. At my age, my body is telling me it may be time to quit. That’s called ‘internal ceding.’
“But Andrew Luck is close to returning to the lineup. The question is, does he want to? As you know, it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to stand behind our offensive line. Former Colt Peyton Manning always had a knack for keeping himself out of danger. Luck? Not so much. Luck, like Manning, has a connection to a former Washington State quarterback drafted by the Chargers, because Andrew is ‘Leak-ing.’”
The Dolphins were pounded 30-14 by the Chargers at San Diego last week, losing for the fourth time in five games.
“Despite rushing for only 44 yards,” Dan Campbell said, “we still were able to run the Chargers out of town.”
Miami wins 26-23.
Jacksonville @ New Orleans (-3 1/2)
The Jaguars lost 23-17 at home to the Falcons and fell to 5-9 in the AFC South, two games behind the Texans. Blake Bortles accounted for 341 total yards and two scores, but the Jacksonville defense could not stop Julio Jones.
“Blake may be the NFL’s best young quarterback,” Gus Bradley said. “He just turned 24-years-old. He reminds a lot of people of Brett Favre. I assume it’s because they both dig 24-year-olds.
“We look forward to playing in the Superdome. As you know, the Saints haven’t had much of a home-field advantage this year. And they haven’t been any better on the road. Just ask any of their opponents. You don’t have to be in the Superdome to be in Saints territory.
“Justin Blackmon was arrested again for a DUI. That’s his third alcohol-related arrest. While in the league, Blackmon was a serious downfield threat. Give him a cornerback or a beer, and Blackmon will say the same thing, ‘Let’s make a toast.’”
The Saints disappointing season continued with a 35-27 Monday night loss to the visiting Lions. Matthew Stafford passed for254 yards and three touchdowns.
“Usually,” Sean Payton said, “our fans are motivated by a natural disaster. But maybe not so much when the team is the natural disaster.
“Drew Brees tore the plantar fascia in his right foot. That’s a real blow to our offense. To state it simply, offense: blow; defense: blows.”
Jacksonville wins 30-24.
San Francisco @ Detroit (-9)
The 49ers turned the ball over four times in a 24-14 loss to the visiting Bengals last week. With the run game ineffective, Blaine Gabbert was forced to throw 50 times.
“That’s a lot of passes,” Mike Tomsula said, “and that can take its toll on an arm. Blake’s right arm is really sore, especially his bicep. Maybe his mommy can kiss it. Or better yet, maybe Colin Kaepernick can.”
The Lions snapped a two-game losing streak with a 35-27 win over the Saints in the Superdome. Matthew Stafford passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
“We also ran the ball effectively,” Stafford said. “The Saints have one of the worst defenses in NFL history. If I had to choose a defense, and the Saints were offered, I’d pass on them, and run on them.
Detroit wins 27-13.
Dallas @ Buffalo (-6)
The Cowboys were officially eliminated from playoff contention after falling to the Jets 19-16 in Dallas. Matt Cassel was benched after a series of errors and was replaced by Kellen Moore, who kept Dallas in the game but also threw three interceptions.
“Cassel may soon be officially eliminated from the roster,” Jason Garrett said.
“Kellen played his college ball at Boise State. The field there is known for its blue playing surface. Jerry Jones once talked of making the field at AT&T Stadium Cowboy blue. That didn’t pan out, so Jerry tried to change the color of the footballs. But, he came to his senses while partying with a bevy of 20-something beauties, when he realized that blue balls are never a good thing.”
Moore throws two picks, but tosses a touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, who throws up the “X,” then announces the 2016 release of his first children’s Christmas book, “Throw Up This X-Mas,” which tells story of his mother’s Christmas Day heroin overdose back in 2002.
Buffalo wins 24-20.
Chicago @ Tampa Bay (-3)
Lovie Smith welcomes his former team as the Bears travel to Raymond James Stadium to face the Buccaneers. Tampa lost 31-23 last Thursday at St. Louis, a defeat that ended their playoff chances.
“We just weren’t good enough,” Jameis Winston said. “But I’m pleased with the improvements we’ve made this year. And I’m satisfied with my progress this year. I think I’ve done enough to make people forget about my troubled past. And I want to tell the world about. So, I took my past transgressions, leapt atop a table, and yelled that I was going to ‘chuck them right in the garbage.’”
The Bears were hammered at Minnesota, losing 38-17 to fall to 5-9 on the year. Chicago has lost three in a row since defeating the Packers on Thanksgiving night.
“We were on the top of the world after beating the Packers,” Jay Cutler said. “Now, were at the bottom of the NFC North.”
Bucs win 27-21.
Carolina @ Atlanta (+6 1/2)
The Falcons are eager to avenge week 14’s 38-0 loss to the Panthers. Atlanta is coming off a 23-17 win over the Jaguars last week.
“We’d love to be the team to ruin Carolina’s undefeated season,” Matt Ryan said. “Probably as much as the Panthers would like to join the long list of teams that have ruined our season.
“We were humiliated by that 38-0 loss. The Panthers put five touchdowns on the board and had a different celebratory dance for each one. I think you may see Roddy White and Josh Norman partner up on Sunday, because judging by their recent comments, they both are saying ‘Let’s dance.’”
The Panthers blew a 35-7 lead against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, but held on to win 38-35 on Graham Gano’s 43-yard field goal as time expired. Cam Newton passed for five touchdowns and the Carolina offense piled up 490 yards.
“It was a slugfest,” Josh Norman said. “Odell Beckham, Jr. did the slugging, and we did the ‘festing,’ because 14-0 calls for a party.
“Does Odell Beckham, Jr. play defense? Because he hits like a girl. His behavior was totally uncalled for. On the bright side, Odell put me in the holiday mood, because I couldn’t help but sing ‘What Child Is This?’”
“Beckham and his representatives are claiming some of my players directed homophobic slurs towards Beckham before the game. That’s ludicrous. Calling someone ‘out’ is not considered a homophobic slur in my book.
Ron Rivera has a decision to make between two Christmas carols. Should he sing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “No L?”
The Panthers take care of business against the Falcons, then carry their baseball bats to sensitivity training class.
Carolina wins 31-19.
St. Louis @ Seattle (-13 1/2)
The Rams opened up a 21-3 second quarter lead against the Bucs on Thursday night and held on for a 31-23 win. St. Louis is 6-8, in third place in the NFC West.
“It was a great win,” Jeff Fisher said, “and may have guaranteed my return as coach next year. So, it definitely wasn’t a win-win situation for this franchise.
The Seahawks pounded Johnny Manziel and the Browns 30-13 at Century Link Field last week. Seattle clinched a wildcard playoff spot with the victory.
“I don’t think Manziel fully realized the impact of our fans,” Richard Sherman said. “When you mention the ‘12’s’ to Manziel, I’m sure he’s thinking ‘ounces.’
“And speaking of the ‘12’s,’ nothing beats our fans, especially during the holiday season. I wouldn’t be surprised if they break into a rendition of that classic Christmas tune ‘The 12’s Of Christmas’ during the game on Sunday.”
Seattle wins 30-14.
Green Bay @ Arizona (-4 1/2)
The Packers beat the Raiders 30-20 at O.co Stadium last week. Green Bay can clinch the NFC North with a win and a Vikings loss to the Giants.
“James Jones really stuck it to his former team,” Aaron Rodgers said. “They never should have let him go. James has been one of the best bargains in the league this year. We’re only paying him $870,000 this season. So, while myself and others count our millions this holiday season, James will be enjoying a ‘Peanuts’ Christmas.
“I would say a Vikings loss to the Giants is unlikely. New York will be without Odell Beckham, Jr. He’ll be somewhere in the stadium in street clothes, which won’t do the Giants any good, but at least he’ll be properly attired for a street fight.
David Johnson rumbled for 187 yards and three touchdowns as the Cardinals smashed the Eagles 40-17 at Lincoln Financial Field.
“David sat beside owner Bill Bidwell on the flight home,” Bruce Arians said. “He complained about being overworked.”
Cardinals win 27-24.
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (+10)
The Steelers erased a 27-10 deficit to the Broncos with 24 unanswered points to win 34-27 last week. The Steelers currently hold the AFC’s No. 5 seed in the playoff standings.
“The Broncos jumped on us quickly,” Ben Roethlisberger said. “We didn’t panic, and said ‘Get off me,’ which is exactly what they tell you to do when a team, or someone, is making unwanted advances.”
The Ravens lost for the tenth time this year, falling to the Chiefs 34-14.
“Despite this tough season,” John Harbaugh said, “I’m still moved by the Christmas spirit, especially when I receive anonymous gifts. Recently, I found his and hers sleds in my office with bows and a note saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ I’m not sure who they’re from, but I have a pretty good idea that it’s a former Raven linebacker legend. But before I can be positive, I want to question Ray Lewis about two sleighings.”
Steelers win 34-18.
NY Giants @ Minnesota (-5)
The Giants were beaten 38-35 by the Panthers in a game marred by veritable combat between Odell Beckham, Jr. and Josh Norman. Beckham was flagged three times for unsportsmanlike conduct and eventually suspended one game by the league for his conduct.
“Odell lost his head,” Tom Coughlin said. “If he’s not careful, he’ll lose his Head And Shoulders. He’s known for his one-handed catches. I suggest Odell take his one hand, reach between his legs, and grab his crotch firmly, because he really needs to get a hold of himself.
“Odell’s situation reminded me of that of Plaxico Burress. Odell’s lucky. Plaxico Burress once reached for his crotch without knowing for sure if it was really there.”
The Vikings whipped the Bears 38-17 to improve to 9-5 on the year. Teddy Bridgewater passed for four touchdowns and ran for another. With a win over the Giants, Minnesota clinches a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
“That may have been Teddy’s finest performance as a Viking,” Mike Zimmer said, “and people are taking notice. Former Vikings defensive legend Jim Marshall said Teddy was ‘headed in the right direction.’ Fran Tarkenton saw Teddy’s stats for the game and said, ‘That’s incredible.’ Randy Moss quipped, ‘Hats, and pants, off to Teddy.’”
Minnesota wins 26-17.
Cincinnati @ Denver (-3 1/2)
The Broncos blew a 27-10 lead at Heinz Field and lost to the Steelers 34-27. Denver has lost two in a row, and in both games has gone scoreless in the second half. Brock Osweiler will start for the Broncos for the sixth consecutive game.
“Do you hear what I hear?” Brock Osweiler said. “I think those are footsteps, Peyton Manning footsteps. How can I tell those are Manning’s footsteps? Because they are approaching, and not backing up.
The Denver defense harasses former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron into a three-turnover day, and McCarron is so upset with his play that he considers “Saban-ing,” which means “giving up and going back to college.”
Denver wins 23-10.