Red tried for perfect mediocrity last week – and failed going 3-2-1 – thanks to the Seahawks/Cardinals field goal fest that ended in a tie on Sunday night. So old Uncle Red is 19-22-1 nearing the half pole. It’s enough to make a man vote for a Libertarian. Well, almost enough.
Sure Bet Pick of the Week – Bengals bonk OTNAs. Red thinks that the London games should be reserved for exciting teams like the Jaguars, Titans and Browns. The majority of the English fans don’t know any better – in fact, most of them have become Jaguars fans by virtue of simple familiarity and lack of taste. Real games between teams that might just have a chance at making the playoffs should be played in a hard cold driving rain in the heartland with only the hard-core faithful hanging in there until the two-minute warning and missing work on Monday with a nasty head cold. But the NFL in its wisdom, has chosen to put a game of some actual importance in the English capital this week. (Does England even have a capital?) Red thinks the Bengals are a steal giving up 2.5 and would still take them at -3. The over/under at 47 to 48 is more problematic. Both of these teams need a win here. The OTNAs can keep pace in the NFC East with a win and an Eagles victory over the hated Cowboys (see below). The Bengals keep playoff hopes alive with a win as the Stealers and Ravens are taking on water. Cincinnati 24 Landover, Md. 23.
Underdog Pick of the Week – Bills beat up Patriots. Long-time reader Timmy asks, Red, how can you pick against the Pats? Doesn’t that violate the laws of physics and risk ripping apart the space-time continuum as we know it? Well Billy, Red is what is known in these parts as a self-proclaimed, part-time, semi-professional prognosticator and ordinary mortals like yourself, Danny shouldn’t question those of us who are bold enough to make foolish predictions for all to see on a weekly basis. You got that, Larry? In other words, shut your pie hole, Willy. Let Red do his thing and at the end of the season when you have lost all your lunch money for the spring, then you can come crying to Red. Seems like Red is forgetting something. Oh yeah. Orchard Park 30 New England 17.
Rivalry Game Pick of the Week – Vikings victimize Bears. Despite the end of perfection at the hands of the Eagles last week, the Purple Power still are at the top of the NFL heap after 7 weeks. They will slide down the pile a bit as the season progresses, but not this week. That’s because they face the Bears who are bemoaning the loss of Brian Hoyer. The sign reads “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” when you are down to mourning the loss of Brian Hoyer. These teams have faced each other every year since 1961 when the Vikings stunned the Bears 37-13 in the first game in franchise history at Bloomington. The Vikings lead the series 57-51-2 and the teams have met but once in the playoffs – a 35-18 Bears victory in 1995. Minnesota 31 Chicago 3.
Texas Franchise Pick of the Week – Texans take out Lions. Last week Red wrote, “The Texans don’t need to win this game [against Broncos], but they do need to look like an actual NFL team – something that has eluded them in road games this season.” Three field goals and less than 200 yards passing does not resemble a “an actual NFL team.” So why pick the Texans now? Well, for one, Red will be in attendance at NRG on Sunday and he hates to pick against the Texans when it might just ruin an otherwise pleasant Sunday afternoon watching modern-day gladiation in person. For two, the Texans will have to beat a real professional football team at some point this season (Red’s so-called “Quality Win”) – almost every team does that. Well, they beat the Chiefs you say. Fair point. Maybe the Texans have already had their Quality Win for the season if the Chiefs don’t fall apart down the stretch. And it all begs the question of just how good the Lions really are? Red thinks not that good. Matt Stafford is having an MVP runner up kind of season so far. But that usually means disaster is about to strike in Motown. While all the focus is on the failure of Ock Brosweiler and the huge gamble the front office took on him, Red thinks that the key this week is to take pressure off the pathetic offense with an aggressive defensive scheme that gets after MS – a tough but doable proposition even without JJ in the lineup. Whitney Mercilus needs to take over and make this “his defense” and make MS his personal bitch this week. Houston 24 Detroit 1.
Prime Time Pick of the Week – Eagles edge Cowboys. A true Cowboy hater can dream, can’t he? Red needs something to make this nightmare of a successful Cowboys campaign come to a halt. Amazingly, the Eagles can take the lead in the NFC East with a win on Sunday night. This is what the experts call a “pivotal game.” This is what Red calls a “stupid pick” as witnessed by the fact that Red has so much faith in this pick, he is playing Blake “the Bumbler” Bortles over Carson “Is a Rookie, Plays Like Rookie” Wentz in his big money fantasy league this week. Philadelphia 23 Arlington 20.
Shit Bowl Pick of the Week – Jets jump all over Browns. Among the many teams that have made Red’s list this season, the Jets are near the top. Red really can stand anything about the entire Jets organization, and yet he called for them to make the playoffs this season. And how have the Jets paid old Cousin Red back? By stinking up northern Jersey – and Red can tell you from personal experience that something has to really reek before it you can get a whiff of it over the ambient level of stench in that part of our fair country. It seems just a matter of time before Bryce Petty is pulled off the end of the bench to finish off this worst of all possible seasons for the Jets. Meanwhile back in the heartland, that the Browns are living down to expectations is hardly news. It seems just a matter of time before the Browns are calling up Johnny F. Football and saying, “Please come back, all is forgiven. We still love you.” Loyal readers know that nothing please Papa Rad more than to have a true Shit Bowl to complain about. Well, Uncle Red is happy this week. Please make sure your seat belts are fastened and your tray tables are in their full upright position lest ye attempt to leap from a moving plane while attempting to watch this colossal crap contest. New Jersey 33 Cleveland 15.