“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.” Jean-Paul Sartre
Red knows that ol’ JPS was talking about that other football, but you have to admit that his insight is fairly universal for the world of team sports. And only Red mixes French existential philosophy with a good old-fashioned slobberknocker.
Your Opposite Pick of the Week: Raiders over Ravens. Raiders looked weak and pathetic in losing to Bengals at home last week. And Ravens were not much better against Broncos. Red’s antipathy for Flacco Joe is well known. But even still, Ravens should be a clear favorite against a once proud Raiders franchise that has set marks for futility for more than a decade. Red knew the Raiders were bad, but was surprised that they have not had a winning season since losing the 2002 Superb Owl to the Buccaneers. That’s a long downhill slide. What is overlooked is that the Raiders were 3-3 in their last 6 games in 2014. And that was with the overrated Derek Carr at the helm. Ravens can’t overcome triple reverse time zone hex combined with West Coast spiritual adjustment factor. The long slow climb back to respectability for the Raiders begins this week. Oakland 24 Baltimore 21.
Your It’s Complicated Pick of the Week: Packers over Seahawks. Clearly Red’s Game of the Week in northern Wisconsin featuring the class of the NFC. This early season rematch of the NFC Championship game has all the bells and whistles. A top flight offense for the Packers, what was thought to be an excellent defense for the Seahawks, mutual dislke, a grudge match atmosphere and a national TV audience in the coveted Sunday night spot. Which makes it a tough call. The Seahawks seems addicted to making bad calls at the end of games. They do it again Sunday when PC calls for a blitz and Rodgers makes them pay with a last second TD to win a close one. Green Bay 31 Seattle 28.
Your French Philosopher Pick of the Week: Titans over Browns. The first matchup of Heisman Trophy winners this season. Will there be another – Red doesn’t have time to do everything for you. Just enjoy this one. Tennesee 24 Cleveland 13.
Your Dirty Hands Pick of the Week: Patriots over Bills. The Bills are a sexy pick right now, but keep in mind that this is a Rex Ryan coached team going up against the filthy master. In other words, don’t get too excited. Belichick went 9-4 against Jets teams coached by Ryan from 2009-2014. Brady, however, was sub-par against Ryan defenses with a 59.1 QBR against the Jets over that period. Lord knows what ol’ Hoody is cooking up for this weekend, but expect him to serve it fresh and hot to the Bills. New England 41 Orchard Park 17.
Your No Exit Pick of the Week: Eagles over Cowboys. Bradford almost passed the test of fire on Sunday night. For a couple of drives he showed what can happen when Chip Kelly’s offense is clicking. And then when it really counted he yutzed on his cleats. Meanwhile, the Cowboys escaped with their lives on Sunday night thanks to some embarrassingly awful clock management by the Giants. Don’t expect the Eagles to make those mistakes. Eagles pound out 175 rushing yards and sweep aside the Cowboys rather easily. Philadelphia 35 Arlington 17.
You’re The Flies Pick of the Week: Texans over Panthers. The Texans make what is likely to be the first of many regular appearances this season in the weekly Shit Bowl against a troubled Panthers team. Word is that Ryan Mallett will replace much-maligned Brian Hoyer as the Texans’ helm. Without an effective running game until the return of Arian Foster, the Texans have turned to a big man with a big arm and hopefully not a big propensity for throwing up a duck farm. Red admits he liked Hoyer and clearly the loss to the Chiefs was not all on him last week – but when a team only has to go 20 yards because of turnovers, well something was going to change. Panthers still have a steady leader in Newton, but the defensive front has never lived up to the hype. Fight off the urge to give yourself a swirly during the 2 minute warning if you dare to watch this malignant merd match. Houston 18 Carolina 13.