Week 1 Picks 2016
Red has a new format this year for his weekly six-pack of picks. Every week Red will feature a Sure Bet of the Week, Underdog Pick of the Week, Rivalry Game Pick of the Week, Texas Franchise Pick of the Week, Prime Time Pick of the Week, and of course the Shit Bowl Pick of the Week. Red may add some additional picks as the season goes on such as the Must Win Game of the Week or perhaps the Big Ass Game of the Week. Stay tuned.
Sure Bet Pick of the Week – Panthers over Broncos. Red is not particularly fond of having the Superb Owl rematch (in the seasons where that is possible) in the first game of the season – but he certainly understands why the NFL wants to kick off the season in fine form. Unfortunately, this game doesn’t look to keep the fans in Des Moines interested for very long and only the true addict of the professional sports crack that is the NFL will be watching come the 4th quarter. The Panthers played about as bad a game as possible last February. They have to be looking forward for a small shot at redemption. They have a clean shot on Thursday and they take down the defending champions rather handily. Red thinks that Carolina minus 3 is a lock and that the over at 41.5 is even better. Carolina 35 Denver 20.
Underdog Pick of the Week – Jaguars over Packers. Jags are Red’s moving team this season. Moving from the outhouse to the playoffs in Red’s humble estimation. This is a statement game for Coach Gus Bradley. It’s his 4th season and probably getting close to the make or break point. It will be the first sellout crowd for the Jags since October of 2014. That may be a mixed blessing as the sell out may be due to Packers fans making the trip to N. Florida for a chance to see the beloved green and gold. However, it will be hot and the hotter the better for the Jaguars. It’s hard to believe, but the Packers have played in just two 90+ degree games in their 97 year history. The Pack wilts before it fades to black on Sunday. Jacksonville 20 Green Bay 17.
Rivalry Game of the Week – Giants over Cowboys. This is the kind of game the Cowboys always seem to win. A young untested quarterback takes over and leads the team to a come-from-behind victory. Remember Clint Longley, Gary Hogeboom and even a young Tony Romo himself. Last season, hwoever, it was tired old Tony Romo leading the ‘Boys to an season opening win against the soon to be hapless Giants. Not this year, as Romo is out for this one, and the next one, and the next one . . . But more than Romo being out most of last season, the true cause of the Cowboys’ ills was the return to form of the defense. After a record-setting season of utter putridness in 2013, the Cowboys defense was nothing short of outstanding in the run to the playoffs in 2014. But they regressed mightily last year causing only 11 turnovers and generally getting walked on. Now missing DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, the Big D looks to be unable to put any serious pressure on a pocket passer like Eli. Sunday afternoon he gets to stand back and pick ‘em apart. New Jersey 37 Arlington 13.
Texas Franchise Pick of the Week – Texans over Bears. Lucky for Bill-O the Clown that the Texans start off with a game against the bumbling Bears. There are a lot of questions to be answered for the Texans with a new quarterback, new tailback, new receivers and tight ends. Unfortunately for the Texans it looks like pretty much the same crappy old offensive line and that will be the deciding factor for the Texans most of the season. I don’t care how good Lamar Miller looked last season, you can’t run through non-existent gaps. Osweiler better learn to get rid of the ball quickly. The defense is real and will keep the Texans in a lot of games to the very end this season. Houston 23 Chicago 8.
Prime Time Pick of the Week – Cardinals over Patriots. The Patriots need Tom Brady like a flower needs the rain, like a dog needs a bone, like a soldier needs a rifle, like a man needs a woman (or another man as the case may be), like a preacher needs the collection plate, like an old man needs his false teeth, like a crack ho needs a rock, like Red needs to give this one a rest. Arizona 31 New England 17.
Shit Bowl Pick of the Week – Colts over Lions. Talk about two teams that underperformed last season. The Colts season effectively ended before Christmas when they lost to the Texans at home for the first time ever. Yes, they rallied to win the last two games against the hapless Dolphins and the battered Titans, but they lost control of their fate by losing the 16-10 snoozefest to the Texans in Week 15. That capped off a 3 game losing streak that took the Colts from almost certainly securing a playoff spot – to on the outside looking in for a change. The Colts are likely no better this season. Red has them going 8-8 and finishing at the bottom of the heap in the AFC South. Meanwhile, no team had a harder fall than the Lions in 2015. By Week 7 they had already lost 6 games, more than they lost in the entire 2014 season. They did rally to finish 6-2 over the second half of the season and did win in Green Bay for the first time in 25 years, but other than that 2015 was pretty much a complete write-off for Matt Stafford and friends. Things look worse this season without Megatron and with Stafford clearly established as a third tier talent. The Colts better enjoy this one, because it won’t get any easier. If you are still watching this turgid turd tussle in the second half, make sure your seat belt is fastened, your seat back and tray table are in their full upright and locked position. It’s going to be a rough landing. Indianapolis 29 Detroit 10,