Red is going all in on the Chiefs to repeat as NFL Champions. Here is the breakdown
AFC Division Champs –
Chiefs (a tough choice Red knows)
Ravens (another tough one),
Bills (as previously noted it is spineless and weak to pick the Patriots every year – but also a winning strategy)
Titans (the AFC South wins most pathetic division in NFL yet again)
AFC Wildcards –
Broncos (I think Elway has finally found a QB after a long meandering walk in the woods)
Raiders (Vegas Baby Vegas)
Patriots (why not?)
NFC Division Champs –
Eagles (already looking questionable)
Saints (not questionable)
Packers (by default)
Cardinals (every season one team rises from the dead)
NFC Wildcards –
Seahawks (unfortunately still good)
Falcons (I must be insane)
49ers (eke into the last spot because the NFC sucks)
Chiefs and Ravens – Chiefs win in a thriller
Saints and Seahawks – Saints get revenge
Last but certainly not least.
Kansas City Chiefs
Everything’s up to date in Kansas City – especially the Chiefs offense. Whiz! Bang! Boom! Defensive coordinators everywhere start thinking about that next career defusing explosives on the bomb squad as a restful alternative to playing against the Chiefs. The Chiefs seemingly don’t score more than 40 points every game only because they don’t want to. Somewhere Jack Pardee is wondering why he missed this era of professional football and couldn’t break through with his “Run and Shoot” scheme back in the day. Sorry Jack. It is almost sinful that the Chiefs secured the likely offensive rookie of the year with the 32nd pick in the draft when they wisely scooped up Clyde Edwards-Helaire. With him, Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, et al. the Chiefs offensive can score from anywhere on the field. The Chiefs’ schedule is no walk in the park, but with an improved defense they probably only need to score 28 per game to dispatch most opponents. Oh, and Red probably should mention a guy named Mahomes. Chiefs managed to stumble a few times but still finish 13-3.
Drew Lock convinced Red that he was the real enough deal when watching him dismantle the Texans in Houston late last season. It has been a long dry spell for the Broncos since P. Manning retired – culminating in the Flacco Joe debacle. Now that he may finally have his man, John Elway is going to give Lock the tools to succeed. The team took receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam in the draft for an immediate upgrade. Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay are a serviceable tandem in the backfield. Von Miller still leads an above average defense. The Broncos are going to surprise a lot of folks. Denver is 10-6 and in as a wild card.
Las Vegas Raiders
Red will have to get used to that one. The new swanky location lifts the team spirits and opposing teams will be a bit discombobulated coming into the not so high desert (elevation approx. 2030 feet which makes it the second highest franchise in the league). Red is being contrarian here but for some reason he thinks what happens in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas and the Raiders are headed for the last wild card spot at 9-7.
Los Angeles?? Chargers
This team has burned Red over and over again. Not this year baby. LA goes 4-12.
Bills have a legitimate shot at 4-0 start before facing Titans and Chiefs in weeks 4 and 5. If they do that and split the next two, they have a legitimate shot at keeping the Patriots from a 12th straight division title. The Bills may have the best secondary in the AFC with All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White and excellent safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The front seven are good too. The defensive line is deep and the Bills do not have to drop into nickel and dime packages near as often as other defenses because Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano can cover tight ends, running backs and wide outs as needed. Some are touting QB Josh Allen as a potential MVP candidate playing behind a good but not great O line and tossing it around to Stefon Diggs and John Brown. The running game may be questionable as will be some decisions by Allen, but if the Bills get out of the box hot, watch out. This team should have beat the Texans and moved on to the second round of the playoffs last season but they came out about as flat as any team could. Red is going all in on the Bills to win the AFC East at 12-4.
New England Patriots
Every year Red writes that it is spineless and weak to pick the Patriots to win the AFC East and then goes on to pick the Patriots to win the AFC East. That has been a winning if cynical strategy. Red will regret this. There is a reason that the Pats have won the AFC every year but two since the realignment after the 2001 season. That reason is the best head coach in all of football if not all of professional sport. Yes, Tom Brady was the steady rock upon which BB anchored his ketch (does that make sense?). Now TB has gone on to warmer pastures before being put out to pasture. They are both desperate to disengage their legacies from each other. BB is going to win this one. If TB had moved on 4 or 5 years ago he would have had a shot, but not at age 43. BB can continue to coach forever as he is too mean to die. If anyone can get the most out of Cam Newton and cast of mediocre offensive weapons it is BB. Cam cannot run 15 times a game. But 5 may be enough to keep defenses honest. And the Pats defense is always and has always been about 60% of the reason for the Patriots dynasty. That unit is still largely intact. Patriots are good but not quite good enough to win the East. A wild card spot awaits at 11-5.
New Jersey Jets
The smart money is on the Jets sucking in 2020. Red has only dumb money. The Jets went on a 6-2 tear to close out 2019 with Darn old Sam Darnold looking like a reasonably competent NFL quarterback even while running for his life. This season will be different as the Jets have committed to talent up front. They selected a potential franchise left tackle in Mekhi Becton with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, picked up another offensive lineman Cameron Clark in the fourth round and signed center Connor McGovern and guard Greg Van Roten as free agents. Darnold should have time to throw if he can find an open receiver. If not there is the tired old combination of LeVeon Bell and Frank Gore in the backfield. And for their trouble, the Jets were rewarded with a tough schedule playing the Patriots and BIlls twice of course along with Seahawks, Chiefs, Cardinals and 49ers. If they aren’t stick a fork in them done yet – back to back trips in weeks 14 and 15 to Seattle and LA should finish the Jets off. Wait til next year. Jets are a respectable 7-9 or possibly 8-8 given the tough hand dealt them.
Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick walk into a bar. The bartender asks for an ID. Brady says, I’m Tom Brady, the GOAT, screw you. Brees says, nobody in New Orleans ever asks me for an ID, I’m Drew Brees. Fitzpatrick pulls out six different driver’s licenses. The bartender says “That’s an impressive collection, what’s the matter can’t you hold down a job?” Okay, there’s a better joke in there somewhere. The big joke this season will be the Dolphins. Hopefully, the powers that be in S. Florida recognize this and don’t rush Tua Tagovailoa into action. Miami is 4-12. .
Remind Red who is actually in this division?
It’s a mystery why the Ravens are in the AFC North and the Bills are in the AFC East, but then again several divisions make little sense in that regard. As an initial matter Red asks, if not the Ravens – who would you pick to win this division? The Bengals? LOL funny. The Browns? Cue Jim Nabors singing the Impossible Dream from Man of LaMancha. The Stealers? Here we are at least in the area of remote possibility. The Ravens are the Nabobs of the North. Led by MVP Lamar Jackson who has 3-4 capable RBs at his disposal, and excellent TE and a corps of serviceable WRs, the Ravens offense will simply overwhelm much of the competition by averaging 35 points per game. Jackson does need to run less than his 190 some carries last season. There are other guys. In fact the Ravens run offense gained more yards than all but five pass offenses in 2019. Combine that powerhouse with what may be the easiest schedule in the league for any returning division champion in facing the pathetic excuses for a professional football division that are the AFC South and NFC East, the Birds look capable of a spectacular season. Red has the marked for potential losses only against the Chiefs, Patriots, Titans and Stealers on the road. If they go 2-2 there, then a 14-2 season is not out of the question. Can you say AFC North Champs.
The Stealers are good, but they are not in the same class with the Chiefs and Ravens, and probably are not as good as the Bills and Titans. Of course, the Stealers play an even easier schedule than the Ravens in not having to play the Chiefs or Patriots and that will help – just not enough. Hey, the Stealers defense is good as always and T.J. Watt may have a shot at Defensive MVP. The offense line is still anchored by Pouncey but the offensive weapons just do not seem to be there. The Stealers will win a bunch of games by scoring 17 points but not enough games. Pittsburgh goes 8-8 and out the door.
Always a sexy underdog, downtrodden, homeless alcoholic guy kind of pick, but Red is not getting fooled this year. It was fool me twice last season and Red is not going down for the third time with the Browns schooner. This team just should not suck as much as it does. But alas, there we are. Now that the OTNAs are history, maybe good folks in Cleveland can give up the legacy of the late great Paul Brown and get a name that does not evoke the grosser bodily functions. Bring on the Cleveland Presidents. Red will give the Browns a break and have them also at 8-8.
Long-suffering Bengals fans are hopeful that Joe Burrow can turn this thing around. Red sees that as a distinct possibility but not this year. Cinncinatti goes 2-14.
Okay, from here on out this is cheating a bit because Week 1 is almost in the books, but here goes anyway.
Tennesee’s surprising run to the AFC Championship game last season was remarkable. After back-dooring into the playoffs with a win in Houston against a Texans team that was resting a bunch of starters and having lost the previous two games, the Titans went on a tear. With Derrick Henry being all but unstoppable and Rookie A J Brown looking like a future hall-of-famer and Ryan Tannehill all of the sudden looking like a professional football quarterback, the Titans dispatched the Patriots (first win in Foxboro since 1993) and the Ravens (again on the road) before going out with a respectable (they were up by 10 at one point) effort against the Chiefs. Some expect AJB to have a sophomore slump and Henry to show signs of overuse. Not Red. Henry is an amazing athlete and Brown will be a top 10 receiver. The defense is more than solid and will finish as a top-5 run defense in 2020. The only big question mark is whether Tannehill will continue to perform at the next level. It will be a step down, but the Titans have the goods to win it all in this most pathetic excuse for a professional football division. Tennessee at 11-5.
This is really cheating. Jacksonville’s young talent was showcased yesterday. They will not be great at anything, but mere competence will make you competitive in this division. It is hard to remember that this team was in the AFC Championship Game a mere three years ago, but is now in a complete rebuild. Maybe this is a good season for that. Questions abound. Is Gardner Minshew actually a franchise quarterback or just good enough to not lose games for you? Does Doug Marrone know what he is doing? Will DJ Chark be a top WR? Who is going to run the ball? Red doesn’t have the answers. But he thinks that enough pieces fall into place for a 7-9 campaign.
What have the Texans done right lately? Dumping DeAndre Hopkins (arguably the second best receiver in the game) for oft-injured one season wonder David Johnson. Paying absurd amounts to good players. Refusing to upgrade talent in the depleted secondary. Running outdated defensive schemes. Thinking they can win on the arm and legs of DeShaun Watson alone. Facing down a brutal opening stretch that could ruin the season. The reports on S. Main are not good. The Texans are routinely looked at as a laughing-stock of the league. Red is chuckling. Texans go 6-10 and finally show Bill O’ the Clown the door.
Tired old Phillip Rivers shows that he is tired and old. He will beat the Texans twice simply because T Y Hilton refuses to lose to that team. They bring up the rear at 5-11 to grab the worst division in the NFL crown.
No Red is not referring to Louisiana. Yesterday we had Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, WNBA, NCAA Football, Pro Tennis and Pro Golf all playing on the same day.
This probably happens multiple times (maybe with the exception of the WNBA) every year as MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA Football, Golf and Tennis schedules overlap in the Fall. But after a long sports drought, desperate sports junkies can finally sink into the LazyBoy with their nachos and beverage of choice and forget about some of the troubles of the day.
This one got a whole lot more interesting with the Tom Brady show moving to Tampa Bay. Red guesses he couldn’t resist the TB12 in TB idea.
New Orleans Saints
Much like the Patriots for the past 20 or so seasons, it just makes sense to keep on picking the Saints. They were arguably the best team in the NFC last season before collapsing against the Vikings in the playoffs. Collapse may be harsh, but the Saints had to score 10 in the 4th quarter including a last second FG to get to OT where they promptly failed to stop the Vikings march down the field for the win. Not much has changed in the Crescent City. Well, Drew Brees is a year older but has shown little signs of being tired and old yet. He has perhaps the No. 1 receiver in the game in Michael Thomas (149 catches) and a hopefully healthy Alvin Kamara in the backfield who has a legitimate shot at a 1000/1000 season in Payton’s offense. The offensive line is one of the best in the business. The defense was shored up. What’s not to like? If Brees stays healthy not much. Without him there is the exciting but unproven Tayson Hill and the human interception machine Jameis Winston. New Orleans wins division at 12-4.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Now that Native Americans can finally breathe easier, how much longer before we stop glorifying sea-faring criminals? Oh and Tampa Bay managed to make a few strategic pick-ups in the off-season including tired old Tom Brady and his go to guy Gronk. But lest ye forget, this is a franchise whose most recent playoff appearance was during the W. Bush years and has not won a playoff game since Superb Owl 37 (Red is done with Roman Numerals). Brady claims that he is going to run Bruce Arian’s offense – which would be a good idea if he could still throw the ball more than 40 yards. That system is a far cry from the dink and dunk that Brady has relied on for the last decade and requires time in the pocket – something that the Bucs’ offensive line did not provide Jameis Winston last season. It’s easier to throw the ball up for grabs than to stand there and get killed. That said throwing the ball up for grabs to Mike Evans is usually a winning proposition. You might remember Evans as the guy who won a Heisman Trophy for Johnny Football. Red only sort of believes. TB gets the benefit of a weaker NFC and 3 wild card spots but still cannot eke its way into the playoffs. Tampa Bay at 8-8.
This team is a mystery. They still have not recovered from the humiliation at the hands of the Patriots 4 seasons ago. This should be a better team than they are. But there were signs of life last season. After a 1–7 start, they rallied to a 7-9 finish saving the bacon of HC Dan Quinn. The defense fueled that remarkable turnaround moving towards elite status in giving up only 18.6 PPG in the second half. The question remains whether Matty Ice can use the high pedigree talent (all 11 starters on offense are former first round picks) to score points. Adding Todd Gurley may help. Red may be crazy but he sees the Falcons finally shaking off the ghosts of seasons past and making another foray into the playoffs. Atlanta in at 9-7 for the final Wild Card spot.
They will probably suck even with best all around back in the league and a new starter at QB in Teddy B. Red could be drastically wrong about this team. Carolina at 6-10.
Red has had trouble with this division in the past. For example, last season he had the Cardinals winning the division and the 49ers finishing last. Hard to be more wrong than that. So with a good shot of his morning Covfefe, Red plunges into this dangerous territory.
Every season one team rises from the dung heap of failure and grabs the facemask of destiny. Last year Red thought it would be the Cards under Wunderkind Coach Kliff Kingsbury. Alas, not much went right. The Cardinals started with a tie against the lowly Lions and then proceeded to go 3-9 in the next 12 games. There was a 3 game win stretch in there where it looked like the sails were finally pointing in the right direction – but again, Alas! But after Week, the Cards were only blown out one time by the Rams in a 34-7 humiliation. They closed strong with wins over the Browns and Seahawks and a close loss to the Rams to finish 5-10-1. This year KK has a slightly seasoned QB in Kyler Murray who can run and throw and now has two legitimate WRs with the addition of All-World DeAndre Hopkins and the maturing Christian Kirk. And then there is tired old Larry Fitzgerald ready to get you a first down when the chips are down. Ditching oft-injured David Johnson for D-Hop was widely viewed as the steal of the off-season. RB Kenyon Drake (acquired mid-way through the 2019 campaign) looks like a good fit for KK’s wide open offense. The Cards will win by scoring, scoring and more scoring. Don’t be surprised if they lead the NFC in total points. They won’t come close to the Chiefs or the Ravens, but playing the losers schedule helps and it will be good enough to WIN THIS DIVISION at 12-4.
Unfortunately for Red there is not a lot to not like about the Seahawks this year -except maybe the schedule. Seattle is somewhat of a notoriously slow-starting team. No preseason hurts – especially looking at the September schedule when the Seahawks face off against the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. No other NFC team likely faces a tougher opening stretch. Led by the force that is Russell Wilson, the offense will ramble on. In case you weren’t paying attention, Wilson has thrown for 30-plus touchdowns in 4 of the last 5 years. Mahomes and Jackson may hit that mark someday, but Wilson has the experience and maybe a long-deserved shot at MVP in his third season with offensive mastermind Brian Schottenheimer. Yes there are questions with 3 new O-Line starters and whether WR DK Metcalf is really the real deal (after the greatest playoff game for any rookie WR ever). The defense is always tough and once again probably sports the best secondary in the NFC if not the NFL with Diggs and Adams striking fear into the hearts of opposing QBs. Red likes the Seahawks to go 12-4 as well and get in as top Wildcard.
San Francisco 49ers
Red did not believe last season. He was wrong. He believes a little more this year and probably won’t be as wrong (impossible to be more wrong actually). But the following season record of Superb Owl losers is not great. Other than the Patriots, only one team has come back to win their division after losing the big game. Here, the biggest problem for the Niners was the NFL scheduler. They open against the chip on their shoulder Cardinals, followed by back-to-back games in New York. Triple reverse time-zone hex totally in play. They also travel to New England, New Orleans and Dallas – all games which Red could see them losing. The Niners are good. The schedule is bad. That all adds up to 9-7 and maybe a shot at a Wildcard and maybe not.
Los Angeles Rams
My how the mighty have fallen. Someone has to be the doormat in the toughest division in the NFL. This year it is the Rams. LA is 7-9.
At the rate Red is going here, the NFL season will be well into its first week before he finishes his predictions. That’s cheating just a little bit – but not too much.
Red has traditionally hated picking the NFC North. This year is no exception. It seems every team in this division is worse than last year.
Green Bay Packers
Led by tired old Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will likely stumble to another division title despite adding a grand total of almost zero new receiving targets (with apologies to Devin Funchess) for the venerable QB. The Packers will not (repeat will not) get close to the near miraculous 13-3 record of last year. There were a few key pickups – LB Christian Kirksey to replace Blake Martinez and OT Ricky Wagner to replace Bryan. But it still looks like running back by committee with second-round pick A.J. Dillion added to a run-first team with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Fortunately, for the Pack the competition in the NFC North is lacking if not downright weak. Packers make it to 10-6 and win this division again.
In typical Viking style, Minnesota threw about half of their defensive starters overboard on the voyage to 2020. Leading WR Stefon Diggs was shuffled off to Buffalo and Dalvin Cook is holding out (still?) – Red didn’t have time to check. Not that it matters with the Kirk “Kissing” Cousins at the helm. On the bright side DE Danielle Hunter has a legitimate shot at Defensive MVP if he improves even slightly from his 2019 campaign with 14.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Red is still trying to figure out how the Vikings ousted the Saints in the first round of the 2019 playoffs on the road against what was arguably the best regular season team in the NFC in the Saints. Don’t expect such heroics this season. Vikings are 9-7 and miss out on a Wildcard slot by a tie-breaker.
Bears coach Matt Nagy must wake up every day and wonder if he wouldn’t be better off selling used cars in Evanston. He has a quarterback in Mitch Trubisky that he doesn’t trust and that is clearly holding the team back. The cure for that was to go get Nick Foles who lasted about 5 minutes as the starter for the pathetic excuse for a professional football team that was the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. Okay, Foles did return but then deservedly lost his job to the rookie Gardner Minshew. In fairness to Mitch he basically had one target in Allen Robinson II. The addition of tired old Jimmy Graham and tireder older Ted Ginn, Jr. won’t likely help much -nor will the lack of a consistent banger in the backfield. The Bears still sport a defensive unit that is solid enough to keep the team close in games against mediocre competition. The Bears are lucky to start with weak sisters Lions and Giants, but expect Foles to get a shot when the going gets tougher. Bears will be competitive but not competitive enough at 8-8.
The ghost of Bobby Layne still wanders wondering when the Lions will ever win another championship. Sorry Bobby – not this year. The Lions will not be the worst team in the NFL this year but it won’t be for lack of trying. Lions are 4-12.
No matter what insults Red hurls back at these emails from the Reality TV Show Joke of a President, they just keep coming. Here’s a recent favorite.
I need your help right now Friend (Sucker/Loser).
LIBERAL MEGA DONORS MAXED OUT contributions to Sleepy Joe and Phony Kamala Harris (When you got nothing – call ’em names) last month. They brought in $364 MILLION in August alone (HOLY SHIT!).
I’ll never be intimidated by these Radical Socialists (Soon to be Commies) and their dirty MEGA DONOR MONEY (But I can be bought off by my MEGA DONORS), but I can’t ignore that $364,000,000 in ONE MONTH is a massive amount of cash (At least 10 times my net worth).
The Liberals are funneling money (Like the Russians funneled money to my failing businesses) to their candidates at an alarming rate to try and take us down. They think they can intimidate us (Boy are they right) with their MAXED-OUT (I could put in the actual amount here but it would not be as impressive) contributions in the hope that they can buy their way into the White House (It’s only for sale by me). They couldn’t be more wrong (I’m actually scared shitless).
They may have Silicon Valley and HOLLYWOOD ELITES, but I’ve got something better. I have YOU (SUCKER/LOSER).
It’s the MOB (You know the US Mob – not the preferred Russian Mob that I deal with), THE MEDIA (Even those bastards at FOX News are leaving this sinking ship), THE HOLLYWOOD ELITES (God I wanted to be one of them so bigly), THE DEEP STATE (and the DEEPER STATE) and THE SWAMP (Anyone who disagrees with me) vs. YOU(SUCKER or LOSER – you pick this time). Let’s remind them that AMERICA IS NOT FOR SALE (Only my administration is for sale – and I’ll make you a deal on Melania if push comes to shove). This is YOUR COUNTRY NOT THEIRS (A house divided is really good for me).
With your help, I want to have our BEST ONLINE FUNDRAISING DAY EVER (Look it’s either pay me now or pay for my legal defense fund later). Your support is SO important that I’ve activated an UNPRECEDENTED 800%-MATCH on ALL contributions (the ultimate con-man come on – amazing how many fall for this) .
I’ve asked my team (Quarterbacked by Bill Barr) will send me a list of EVERY Patriot (Sucker/Loser) who steps up today (Does anybody run a grammar check on this crap?). I’ll be looking for your name, Friend (or Traitor if you don’t pay up). Will I see it (before the doors of the Gray Bar Hotel close in on me)?