Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-10)
The Bengals won a defensive struggle at Heinz Field, topping the Steelers 16-10. Andy Dalton struggled, but tossed the go-ahead touchdown pass to A.J. Green with 2:57 left in the fourth quarter.
“That route to Green was a quick in,” Dalton said. “In the playoffs, it would have been a quick ‘out.’
“I’m not perfect, but our record is. We’ve got a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Steelers in the AFC North. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but we’re setting our sights not only on the division title, but the top seed in the AFC. Marvin Lewis and myself have been searching for years for that playoff ‘first.’ That may be the only way we can get it.”
The Browns fell to 2-6, losing 34-20 to the visiting Cardinals. Cleveland jumped to a 20–7 second quarter lead, but couldn’t stop the formidable Arizona offense.
“Carson Palmer burned us for 374 yards through the air and four touchdowns,” Mike Pettine said. “Apparently, Joe Haden wasn’t the only member of the defensive backfield who didn’t know where he was.
“If Josh McCown is healthy, he will start. If not, Johnny Manziel is on standby. Johnny may only be in his second year as a professional, but the NFL views him as a tenured player, because he’s been ‘vet-ted’ by the league.”
Dalton throws for three scores, and the Bengals win 29-14.
After the game, funk and R&B legends the Ohio Players reunite in the Bengals locker room. While the media interviews players, the OP’s perform an impromptu concert, while the nudity in the background provides a perfect backdrop for an Ohio Players album cover.
Green Bay @ Carolina (+2)
The Packers were shut down at Sports Authority Field, losing 29-10 to the Broncos, who piled up 500 yards of total offense. Green Bay lost for the first time, and saw their lead in the NFC North cut to one game over the Vikings.
“The Broncos had the perfect game plan to contain me,” Rodgers said. “I do some of my best work outside the pocket, so the Denver defense schemed to keep me in the pocket. And they did it well. I had to scramble to scramble.
“Our running game wasn’t much better. Hopefully, we can get Eddie Lacy more involved in the offense. If we don’t, he’s apt to come down with a case of ‘Lombardi Atrophy.’”
The Panthers remained undefeated after taking down the visiting Colts 29-26 in overtime on Monday night. Cam Newton was 16 of 35 for 248 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“There was sloppy play by both teams,” Cam Newton said. “It was so bad, fans were literally hanging themselves.
“I hear my name mentioned alongside Rodgers and Andy Dalton in the discussion of the Most Valuable Player. I hear my name mentioned alongside Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford in the discussion of touchdown-to-interception ratios.”
If the Packers lose at Bank Of America Stadium on Sunday, they can kiss home-field advantage for the playoffs goodbye. Rodgers gives his team an inspiring pre-game speech, then gets angry, after he’s pelted by yogurt on his way out of the tunnel.
Rodgers passes for two scores and runs for another, then straps it on after the game (his championship belt, that is).
Green Bay wins 30-26.
Washington @ New England (-13 1/2 )
Tom Brady passed for four touchdowns as the Patriots cruised to a 36-7 win over the Dolphins last Thursday night. New England remained undefeated, improving to 7-0.
“We’re 3-0 against the AFC East,” Brady said. “And soon to be 2-0 versus the NFC East. You could say we’re in ‘East Mode.’
“I can assure the Redskins, there are no bugs in their locker room. If there were, we’d hear them, because that place is crawling with hidden listening devices.
“But really, who wants to hear what Jay Gruden has to say? Does it really matter to him if he’s being secretly recorded? Some of the worst things he’s said as a coach have been uttered in public. I have a lot of empathy for Robert Griffin III. He’s been treated like a second-class citizen, and a third-string quarterback, by the Redskins organization. If he ever wants to join the Patriots organization, I’ve got a job for him. Kurt Cousins isn’t qualified to do it, but RG3 can carry my jock strap.”
The Redskins entered their week 8 bye with a 31-30 comeback win over the Buccaneers. Washington is 3-4, tied for second in the NFC East.
“If you would have told me before the season that we’d only be a half-game out of the lead in the East,” Kirk Cousins said, “I’d have immediately confiscated your peyote.
“Brady has thrown 20 touchdowns and only one interception. That’s incredible. I think I know the answer, but I’ll ask this question of Patriots fans anyway: ‘You like that?!’
“Of course, I’m no Tom Brady. But I think we have similarities. You may be surprised to hear this, but I’ve seen my share of Brazilian supermodels in my lifetime. Just not in person.”
Brady passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns, and LeGarrette Blount punches in two short TD runs.
New England wins 35-13.
Tennessee @ New Orleans (-8)
Drew Brees blitzed the Giants defense for 511 yards passing and seven touchdowns in the Saints 52-49 win last Sunday.
“What a shootout!” Brees said. “The offenses pulled out all the stops. The defenses didn’t have any.
“The Giants defense is porous. When I think of our defense, I say ‘Poor us.’ Hopefully, Rob Ryan has a plan to contain the Titans offense. Of course, Ryan’s defensive plans and much like his diet plans—-failures.
The Titans’ offense struggled again in a 20-6 loss to the Texans. Zach Mettenberger was sacked seven times and threw one interception. Tennessee fell to 1-6 and has the worst record in the AFC, and the team fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt on Tuesday. Tight ends coach Mike Mularkey was named interim head coach.
“Up in the Northeast,” Mularkey said, “they say, ‘Nobody beats the Wiz.’ Down here in the AFC South, they say, ‘Everybody beats the Whis.’’
“Seeing Mettenberger play, you can’t help but say ‘Wow,’ because he’s the ‘Worst Of (the) Worst.’ I hear he likes to take selfies and post them on social media. So, if you don’t know what a terrible quarterback looks like, follow that scrub on Twitter or Facebook.”
Saints win 27-24.
Miami @ Buffalo (-3)
Miami’s two-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in Foxboro last Thursday. The Dolphins were whipped 36-7 by the Patriots, as the Dolphins were held to only 15 yards rushing.
“Obviously,” Dan Campbell, “playing in England is much different than playing in New England. I asked some of my team’s malt liquor aficionados where they would rather play, and their answer was unanimous—‘Olde English.’”
The 3-4 Bills are hoping their bye week can direct their season in the right direction. Buffalo suffered a 34-31 loss to the Jaguars in London in week 7.
“It’s not easy for me being in England,” Rex Ryan said. “They use the metric system there, and you know I can’t live without the ‘feet.’
“Despite the loss, the trip was a good bonding experience for my players. Not for me, though. I may have some freaky sexual tendencies, but I’m not in to ‘bondage.’”
Miami wins 30-25.
St. Louis @ Minnesota (-3)
Todd Gurley rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown as the Rams whipped the 49ers 27-6. The Rams improved to 4-3 and 3-1 at home.
“Todd reminds me of a young Adrian Peterson,” Jeff Fisher said. “Gurley is a monster. Mind you, I use the term ‘monster’ figuratively.
“Gurley does the impossible; that means making Nick Foles a good quarterback. We just want Nick to play smart and not make mistakes. We don’t want him to be the next Aaron Rodger; we want him to be the next Trent Dilfer. In other words, a crappy quarterback who rode a strong running game and dominating defense to a Super Bowl title. If things go to plan, we’ll win Super Bowl 50, and 15 years from now, Nick will be spouting cliché after cliché on ESPN.”
The Vikings overcame a 20-10 fourth quarter deficit to the Bears at Soldier Field, but stormed back to take a 23-20 win. Minnesota is 5-2, one game behind the Packers in the NFC North.
“Once again,” Mike Zimmer said, “Stefon Diggs made an impact. But our defense was the big story. It looks like the ‘Purple People Eaters’ are back. I like to think I’m responsible for that. I’ve stressed defense from the start, and our defense has made this team what it is. They call me the ‘anti Jim Marshall,’ because I have our defense headed in the right direction.”
Vikings win 16-11.
Jacksonville @ NY Jets (-8)
The Jaguars left London in week 7 with a 34-31 win over the Bills.
“The South is the NFL’s biggest punching bag,” Blake Bortles said, “and even bigger punch line.
“The Jaguars have agreed to play a home game in London through 2030. That helps give us a worldwide fan base. Our influence is as wide-reaching as Shad Khan’s mustache. You may have even seen his image on a can of Pringle’s potato chips.
“We’re 2-5 in the AFC South, only a half-game out of the lead. Having just two wins and being that close to the division lead? That’s a ‘win-win’ situation.”
The Jets were pounded 34-20 by the Raiders in Oakland last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hand injury early, and Geno Smith left the game after a hard hit in the fourth quarter.
“We were making inquiries about quarterbacks during the game,” Todd Bowles said. “We even contacted Ryan Mallett. In the world of looking for an emergency quarterback, that’s known as a ‘Hail Mary.’
“Whatever happens at quarterback, we’ll need a better effort from our defense. Times have changed in Oakland; now, it’s the visiting coach that says, ‘I was embarrassed by what I saw in Oakland.’”
Jets win 26-17.
Oakland @ Pittsburgh (-4 1/2)
In his first game back from a knee injury, Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions as the Steelers were handed a tough 16-10 loss. The loss was compounded by the season-ending injury to Le’Veon Bell, who tore his MCL.
“I have a lengthy injury history,” Roethlisberger, “so there’s no chance of me being characterized as an ‘Iron Man.’ So, don’t say I was ‘rusty.’ Steel doesn’t rust.
“I wasn’t at my best against the Bengals. Even at my worst, I’m better than Michael Vick. After three games with Vick, Antonio Brown said any reception was an Immaculate Reception.”
The Raiders stormed past the visiting Jets 34-20 last week as Derek Carr torched the New York defense for four touchdown passes.
“It looks like age has finally caught up to 31-year-old Antonio Cromartie,” Carr said. “I would say we should call him ‘Father Time,’ but doesn’t he have enough people calling him ‘Father?’
“Sunday’s game at Heinz Field will be the host of an interesting phenomenom—Roethlisberger and Sebastian Janikowski will be in the same stadium. Ladies, whatever you do, don’t go into the bathroom with a drink.”
Pittsburgh wins 27-26.
NY Giants @ Tampa Bay (+2 1/2)
Eli Manning passed for six touchdowns against the Saints last week, but was done one better by Drew Brees, who passed for seven, as the G-Men fell 52-49. New York fell to 4-4 on the season.
“I think Lawrence Taylor would be appalled by our defensive effort,” Manning said. “However, he might get a little excited if you mention anything about a ‘crack’ in our defense.
“I passed Joe Montana on the all-time list of touchdown passes. That’s something I’m very proud of. I have some pep in my step, and it’s surely not because I’m wearing Skechers. Later in the game, I passed Vinny Testeverde on that same list. That kind of took the luster off of passing Montana, because I was highly disappointed I was behind Testeverde on any list.
“Jason Pierre-Paul finally revealed his hand. It is not a full house, and is, in fact, three of a kind. JPP looks to be in good shape and is participating in practice. Out of respect, we’ve eschewed the tip drill.”
The Bucs stunned NFC South rival Atlanta 23-20 in overtime last week. Tampa’s defense surrendered nearly 500 yards of total offense, but forced four Falcons turnovers.
“That was a case of bending but not breaking,” Jameis Winston said, “which also describes my opinion of the law.”
Giants win 27-24.
Atlanta @ San Francisco (+7)
The 49ers lost to the Rams 27-6 last week, falling to 2-6, last in the NFC West. Colin Kaepernick struggled, going 20 for 41 for 162 yards, while suffering three sacks. Mike Tomsula decided it was time for a change, and Blaine Gabbert will start against the Falcons.
“Kaepernick will have the opportunity to earn his job back,” Mike Tomsula said. “He’s been accused of being a loner on this team. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to put him in a position to be like ‘one of the guys.’ Therefore, I’m forcing him to stand on the sidelines and watch a sorry quarterback in action.
“I expect Colin to come back and play better eventually. He may have been ‘written on,’ but I won’t allow him to be ‘written off.’”
“We traded Vernon Davis to the Broncos on Monday. We get Denver’s sixth-round picks in 2016 and 2017, while we’re giving them a seventh-round pick in 2016. In addition, we’re throwing in a towel.”
The Falcons turned the ball over four times and lost 23-20 in overtime to the Buccaneers. After a 5-0 start, Atlanta has lost two of its last three.
“The 49ers may be thinking upset,” Ryan said, “but I’m not. I’m guaranteeing a victory. If we lose to the 49ers and Blaine Gabbert, then we don’t deserve to even be considered a good team. We would be exposed as a fluke. But we’re not heading to the Bay Area to be outed or ousted.”
Atlanta wins 27-10.
Denver @ Indianapolis (+5)
Peyton Manning makes his return to Indianapolis as the undefeated Broncos face the AFC South-leading Colts and Andrew Luck. The Broncos manhandled the visiting Packers 29-10 last Sunday, led by a defense that held Aaron Rodgers to only 77 yards passing and no touchdowns.
“Our defense was dominant,” Manning said, “and we were able to do what we wanted on offense. We watched a lot of film of the Packers’ defense and noticed weakness in the Packers secondary. And we were able to take advantage of that. That tape was labeled a ‘defensive backs-ploitation’ film.’
“You can best believe, when I leave Indianapolis after the game, I’ll be sprinting. Trust me, I know what it means to be ‘run out of town.’”
The Colts dropped to 3-5 after losing to the Panthers 29-26 in overtime in Charlotte last Monday night. Andrew Luck threw for two touchdowns, but also tossed three interceptions.
“In addition to my shoulder injury,” Luck said, “I’ve been playing with fractured ribs since week 3. My terrible play seems to be one of the ‘side’ effects of that injury. I am dealing with a lot of pain. But I consider myself lucky to have an owner who advocates liberal use of painkillers, and is himself willing to deliver.
“Even at 3-5, we’re still leading the AFC South. We’re on pace to finish 6-10. That’s sounds to me like the equivalent of kissing your sister. I’m not sure I could even get a kiss from my sister, especially if I’m on her fantasy team.”
Denver wins 24-22.
Philadelphia @ Dallas (+2 1/2)
The Cowboys sputtered in a 13-12 loss to the Seahawks last week at AT&T Stadium. Matt Cassel passed for only 97 yards and Dez Bryant was largely ineffective in his return from injury.
“We’re 2-5,” Bryant said, “yet the big news in Dallas is me and my pet monkey, ‘Dallas Bryant.’ Come on, everybody knows the real primate on this team is Greg Hardy. And we all know Jerry Jones isn’t a primate, because he’s spineless.
“Sunday night’s game is a must-win for us. ‘Must-win’ is better than ‘no-win,’ which is the situation when Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden start at quarterback.”
The Eagles emerge from their bye week at 3-4, tied for second in the NFC East.
“Sure our players have underachieved,” Chip Kelly said. “But they’re even more guilty of being under-coached.
“Jerry Jones has no shame when it comes to signing players with questionable backgrounds. Jerry laughs in the face of good taste. When he does, it sounds like this: ‘Har Har Hardy Har Har.’”
Philadelphia wins 23-16.
Chicago @ San Diego (-4)
The Chargers host the Bears in a matchup of teams with a combined 4-11 record. The Bears lost to the Vikings 23-20 last week, while the Chargers stumbled in Baltimore, losing 29-26.
“I’m still throwing at a record pace,” Philip Rivers said. “And we’re running at a record pace, out of the playoff picture.”
San Diego wins 30-27.