Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
Arizona @ San Francisco (+3)
The Cardinals fell to 1-3, losing to the visiting Rams, 17-13. Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game with a concussion and is questionable for Thursday night’s game.
“Carson’s feet weren’t made for ‘scrambling,'” Bruce Arians said, “and neither was his brain. Currently, he is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, where his head is being examined by a ‘concussion protocologist,’ not to be confused with a ‘concussion proctologist,’ who examines heads that are up asses, and that’s currently an epidemic on this team.
“But how on earth did we find ourselves at the bottom of the division with the 49ers? If they made a miniseries about how we ended up with the same record as the 49ers, it would be called ‘How The West Was 1-3.'”
The 49ers lost their third straight, dropping a 27-17 decision at home to the Cowboys.
“It’s imperative that we play well,” Chip Kelly said, “and we hope to give the fans a win. But let’s face it, this isn’t the caliber of 49er teams that were winning Super Bowls in the 80’s and 90’s. So, at Levi’s Stadium, success is probably not ‘in the jeans,’ and it’s certainly not ‘in the genes.’
“But we’ve got a big national television watching, and we want to impress. Plus, it’s ‘Thirsty Thursday’ at Levi’s Stadium, so you may even see Aldon Smith in attendance. And, if the stars align correctly, you may even see a sack. Of course, it will be the brown paper sack that’s holding Aldon’s beer.”
Palmer sits, and the Cards lean heavily on the legs of David Johnson, who powers for 178 total yards and 2 scores, while the Arizona defense steps up.
Arizona wins, 27-13.
Washington @ Baltimore (-4)
The Ravens lost for the first time, falling 29-28 to the visiting Raiders. Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree hooked up for three scores.
“They’re calling this the ‘Not As Cool Brother Bowl,'” John Harbaugh said. “I’m the ‘not as cool’ brother of Jim Harbaugh, and Jay Gruden is likewise the ‘not as cool’ brother of John Gruden. It seems ‘not as cool’ means you’ve won a Super Bowl.
“A lot of people have queried me if Justin Forsett is still on the roster. Before I answer that, I’ll have to go ‘axe’ him.”
The Redskins beat the Browns 31-20 as Kirk Cousins passed for 183 yards and three touchdowns, two to tight end Jordan Reed.
“That’s what Kirk calls ‘Reed-ing a defense,'” Jay Gruden said. “Jordan’s talent is immense. He could be the next Rob Gronkowski. In other words, he could be the next ‘great injury-riddled tight end who, when he plays, is a nightmare for opposing defenses, despite the notion that said opposing defenses should have, by now, discovered a way to cover those types of tight ends’ tight end That’s saying a lot.”
What’s the most interesting matchup of Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium? Of course it’s Steve Smith, Sr. going up against Josh Norman. It’s a battle of two players who the Carolina Panthers wish were still in a Panthers uniform.
Baltimore wins, 27-24.
New England @ Cleveland (+11)
Tom Brady returns after serving his four game suspension for his role in Deflategate. The Patriots are 3-1 after last week’s 16-0 loss to the Bills.
“I never expected to inherit a 3-1 team,” Brady said. “Neither did Roger Goodell, I’m guessing. If the commissioner really wants to know how one man can be responsible for a ball’s deflation, well, you suck it, Roger.
“I haven’t played a real game since January. And, at my advanced age of 39, my joints may be a little creaky. But I’ve found that quality time in a sauna helps alleviate the issue. I’m hoping I can find a place on the road for my needs. I think what I’m asking is where can I find a Cleveland Steamer?”
The Browns are winless after last week’s 31-20 loss to the Redskins. There was more bad news when Josh Gordon, who was eligible to return against the Patriots, announced that he was entering rehab.
“Josh checked out by checking in,” Hue Jackson said. “We tried to trade Josh before he entered rehab. Of course, no one had use for him. And isn’t that really what you want to hear entering rehab, that there were no ‘users?’
“But Terrelle Pryor has stepped up to become a dangerous receiver in his own right. Terrelle can play receiver, running back, quarterback, safety, and even has a pretty strong right leg. I hear he can even kick a habit. Terrelle has more positions than the Kama Sutra.'”
The Pats build a big lead early behind three Brady touchdown passes, two to Rob Gronkowski, then Brady “takes the air out of the ball,” by handing off to LeGarrette Blount 15 times in the second half.
New England wins, 38-14.
Philadelphia @ Detroit (+3)
The Lions are 1-3 after last week’s 17-14 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field. They’ll face the undefeated Eagles and former head coach Jim Schwartz, who was fired in 2013.
“Schwartz was sent packing from Detroit with little more than a pat on the back,” Matthew Stafford said. “He was replaced by Jim Caldwell, who is still our coach. Those guys couldn’t be any different. It’s like the difference between black and white.”
The Eagles’ Week 4 bye allowed then to rest, recuperate, and revel in the glory of their 3-0 start.
“Those are the ‘three R’s,'” Carson Wentz said. “There’s also another ‘R,’ and that’s ‘reality,’ which is bound to hit soon. But not against the Lions. Jim Schwartz has promised victory against his former team. He’s so pumped up for this game, he’s bouncing of the walls, of his padded room.”
Eagles win, 27-19.
Chicago @ Indianapolis (-4½)
The Bears won for the first time, edging the visiting Lions 17-14. Brian Hoyer passed for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“If you suggested that Hoyer should be our starting quarterback going forward,” John Fox said, “I would give you two thumbs up.
“This is a rematch of Super Bowl 40. I’m inspired by Lovie Smith’s coaching job that year. Why? Because if he can lead a Rex Grossman-quarterbacked team to the Super Bowl, then I should win the Super Bowl. But that would be ludicrous, wouldn’t it? Not a Hoyer-quarterbacked team winning the big game, but a John Fox-coached team winning it.”
The Colts struggles continued with a 30-27 loss to the Jaguars in London. Andrew Luck was sacked 6 times and hit 13 times.
“I’m getting sacked entirely too much and I can’t explain it,” Luck said. “In other words, I’m getting ‘tackled for a loss of words.’
“I’m not sure what our front office was thinking when they put together this offensive line. Apparently, they didn’t utilize any skill to do so. It looks to me like they’re relying way too much on ‘Luck.’ For that reason, there may be a pink slip for Chuck Pagano or Ryan Grigson in the console of Jim Irsay’s vehicle, along with cash and prescription drugs.”
Chicago wins, 27-24.
Tennessee @ Miami (-3½)
The Dolphins lost 22-7 to Cincinnati last Thursday night to fall to 1-3, last in the AFC East. The Miami defense couldn’t stop A.J. Green, who had 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown.
“Don’t blame me,” Adam Gase said. “I’m an offensive guru. I can’t tell you how to stop Green, I can only how to tell you how to get him the ball. And the best way to do that is to play us.”
Miami wins, 27-21.
Houston @ Minnesota (-5½)
The undefeated Vikings welcome the 3-1 Texans to U.S. Bank Stadium, where Minnesota is 2-0. Last Monday, the Vikes frustrated Odell Beckham, Jr. and the Giants, 24-10.
“We got up in OBJ’s personal space,” Xavier Rhodes said. “We’re not stupid, and we’re not the Carolina Panthers defensive game plan; we know you can’t check one of the league’s best receivers with one man. A cornerback, much like the mentally unpredictable OBJ, ‘needs help.’
“U.S Bank Stadium is a magnificent structure. I can’t think of a better place in Minnesota to watch a game, except for Brett Favre‘s sports bar, the ‘Vike-O-Den.’ That place really has a great atmosphere, and drinks are so cheap there, you’re guaranteed to be feeling no pain by the time you leave.”
Without J.J. Watt, who was placed on injured reserve, the Texans beat the Titans to improve to 3-1 and a two-game cushion on the rest of the division.
“J.J. has a back injury that just wouldn’t heal,” Bill O’Brien said. “But Vince Wilfork has assured me his back is healthy. And with Vince, it’s clear that ‘baby got back.’
“You probably heard that I assumed offensive play-calling duties last week. Let me tell you, it was a rousing success. Not many coaches have the guts to install a punt return touchdown into the game plan, but I did.”
Blair Walsh kicks the game-clinching field goal, on his third try, and the Vikings win, 20-10.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh (-7)
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 5 touchdowns as the Steelers squashed the Chiefs 43-14. In his return from a three-game suspension, Le’Veon Bell accounted for 178 total yards.
“The NFL legalized Bell last week,” Mike Tomlin said, “and Le’Veon took up right where he left off. He’s keeps churning yardage, over and over and over. You might as well just call him ‘The Chronic.’ I can think of only two people that can stop Le’Veon, and that’s Mary Jane and LeGarrett Blount.
“We welcome the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick. And when I say ‘welcome,’ I mean with open arms, because that’s likely where Fitzpatrick will be throwing interceptions.”
Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions as the Jets lost to the Seahawks 27-17 at MetLife Stadium. In his last two games, Fitzpatrick has tossed 9 picks.
“Just as a precaution,” Todd Bowles said, “we gave Ryan a physical and we discovered that not only is he perfectly healthy, he’s actually a marvel of modern anatomical science. Why? Because we discovered he has two non-throwing shoulders.
“One thing is for sure. Ryan will never be given an unnecessary roughness penalty for ‘targeting.’ And we surely don’t plan on benching Ryan. If Ryan’s going to sit anywhere, it’s going to be on a $12 million pedestal.”
Pittsburgh wins, 25-20.
Atlanta @ Denver (-6)
The Broncos took down the Buccaneers in Tampa 27-7 last week to remain undefeated. Denver sacked Jameis Winston 7 times and intercepted him twice.
“It’s too bad we didn’t have a player named ‘Oath,'” Von Miller. “It would have been really cool if he’d sacked Winston, then we could have said Winston ‘lied under Oath.’
“But that would have been too perfect. And perfect is what we are at 4-0. We even have two quarterbacks who can get the job done. When’s the last time we were able to say that?”
The Falcons obliterated the Panthers 48-33 to improve to 3-1 in the NFC South. Matt Ryan passed for 503 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Julio Jones had 300 yards receiving and a score.
“Julio single-handedly ‘routed’ the Panthers,” Matt Ryan said, “because he ran any pattern he wanted.
“We know Wade Phillips and the Broncos defense will be tough for me to solve. I expect them to give me more ‘looks’ than Von Miller’s wardrobe. The question is, will Wade dare to cover Julio one-on-one? I doubt it. Can you imagine if Wade told Aqib Talib to cover Julio one-on-one and it backfired? Wade would be guilty of shooting himself in the foot. That alone would qualify him to play cornerback for the Broncos.”
Broncos win, 26-22.
Cincinnati @ Dallas (+1)
The Bengals ended a two-game losing streak with a 22-7 win over the Dolphins last Thursday. A.J. Green torched the Dolphins with 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown.
“A.J. is like a pimp for players in the defensive backfield,” Marvin Lewis said, “because he makes cornerbacks his ‘bitches.'”
The Cowboys beat the 49ers 24-17, led by rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown as Dallas won its third straight.
“Maybe the 49ers underestimated Ezekiel,” Jason Garrett said. “If they did, he made them pay for it. And you know what? Ezekiel was out shopping the other day at Dillard’s, where he found some underwear and cologne, andthey made him pay for it. And that’s how it should be.
“Now, if Ezekiel didn’t have to pay, that would be special treatment. And we all know running backs in Dallas don’t get special treatment, wide receiversdo. On that note, we won without the help of Dez Bryant, who missed the game with a hairline fracture in his knee. Dez also missed some team meetings, and he had a pretty flimsy reason for his absences. It seems Dez simply ‘X-cused’ himself.”
Prior to kickoff, special guest coin-tosser and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saunters to midfield, where he presents the head referee a coin bearing Dak Prescott‘s head on one side, and Tony Romo‘s on the other.
“Let’s try this out now,” Jones says. “It might come in handy in a few weeks.”
Dallas wins the toss, and Elliott rushes for 2 scores to offset two scores from A.J. Green. Dan Bailey kicks a late field goal to give the Cowboys the win.
Dallas wins, 26-24.
Buffalo @ Los Angeles (-3)
The Bills beat the Patriots 16-0, handing New England its first home shutout in a decade. The Bills are 2-2, one game behind the 3-1 Patriots in the AFC East.
“We realized the Patriots were undermanned,” Rex Ryan said, “so we’re not placing too much emphasis on the win. In other words, my brother Rob and I don’t want to ‘over weight’ it.
“Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve, with ‘reserve’ being the key word, because you might as well ‘reserve’ a place there for him. If there was an ‘Injured Reserve Hall of Fame,’ there would be a cast of Sammy’s foot in it.”
The Rams shocked the Cardinals 17-13, pinning another home loss on Arizona and sending Bruce Arians’ squad to the bottom of the NFC West. Case Keenum passed for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Los Angeles, who is atop the division with the Seahawks.
“We feel right at home in Los Angeles,” Jeff Fisher said. “We run into celebrities all the time out here. I think it’s cool, but the league doesn’t. They’ve put my entire team in the NFL’s concussion protocol, because the players are all ‘seeing stars.'”
Rams win, 21-14.
San Diego @ Oakland (-4)
The Chargers blew a 34-21 lead to the Saints, losing 2 fumbles in the fourth quarter to allow Drew Brees and New Orleans back in it. San Diego fell to 1-3, three games behind the 4-0 Broncos in the AFC West.
“Unfortunately,” Phillip Rivers said, “fans have become way too accustomed to giveaways here in San Diego. Quallcomm Stadium is even selling raffletickets at the gate.”
Derek Carr hooked up with Michael Crabtree for 3 scores to lead the Raiders to a 29-28 road win over the Ravens.
“Crabtree is having a great year,” Carr said. “Even his nemesis Richard Sherman agrees. Sherman said Crabtree is in the same league with Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Jr., and A.J. Green. Sherman added that it’s the ‘National Football League.'”
Raiders win, 31-29.
New York Giants @ Green Bay (-7)
The Packers are coming off a Week 4 bye, and their 2-1 record has them in second place in the NFC North, behind the 4-0 Vikings.
“I’m not a trained psychiatrist,” Aaron Rodgers said, “but I think I’m qualified to say to Odell Bckham, Jr.: ‘You’ve got to R-E-L-A-X.'”
The Giants lost their second in a row, losing 24-10 to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. New York’s offense was largely contained, and Odell Beckham, Jr. was limited to only three catches for 23 yards.
“Odell’s emotions are like my passes,” Eli manning said. “He can’t get a hold of them.
“But I’ll continue to target OBJ. He’s so physically gifted, and may arguably be the most athletic wide receiver since Randy Moss. However, whereas Moss had ‘Madd Skillz,’ Odell is just ‘Madd.’ At whom, I don’t know.”
Packers win, 27-23.
Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-7)
The Panthers pass defense struggled in a 48-33 loss to Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan passed for 503 yards and Julio Jones had 300 yards receiving. Carolina is now 1-3, two games behind the Falcons in the NFC South.
“I’m not very up to date on today’s hip speak,” Ron Rivera said, “but if I said our rookie cornerback James Bradbury was ‘lit,’ is that a good or bad thing?
“I look at the standings, and I look at my defensive backfield, and I say the same thing: ‘We’re in ‘deep’ trouble.”
Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers faced the rugged Denver defense and failed the test, losing 27-7. After an opening day win, Tampa has lost three in a row.
“As a quarterback,” Winston said, “I’ve never faced a defense quite like that. In my many experiences, a formidable defense has always been on my side.
“Hopefully, Cam will be able to play. I’ve always tried to model my game after his. If I could be half as good as Cam on Monday night, we should be all right, especially if the Panthers defense is only half as bad as it was against the Falcons.”
Carolina wins, 31-21.