Red was unavoidably called to other duty and had to skip Week 8. Normally Red only allows himself one ‘bye’ week, but sometimes life gets in the way.
So for Week 7, Red actually picked 8 games with a bonus 3 game Shit Bowl selection. Red managed to eke out a 4-4 record after having foolishly bet against the Patriots and non so foolishly the Texans and the Colts. That makes Red 16-22 for the season. Don’t head to Vegas just yet.
Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Chargers over Seahawks. Two teams enter. One team leaves. Well, both teams leave. But only one team leaves feeling good about its prospects going into the second half of the season. In a common theme this week, the Chargers only losses are to the Rams and Chiefs which puts them in good company. Other than that they have beaten the weaklings (Browns, Raiders, Niners, Bills) and not very convincingly (with the exception of the beat down on the Browns). So is this a good team, or one looking for a place to fall? The Seahawks are more of a mixed bag with a fairly lame offense and the standard loss to the Rams. So this is your typical mid-season battle between two wannabe teams that need a win to stay competitive in their respective divisions which are headed by the two first-half powerhouses of the league. That’s what makes this one the GOTW. Enjoy the fireworks. Los Angeles 34 Seattle 28.
Your Texas Game of the Week – Texans over Broncos. The additions of Demaryius Thomas helps assuage the loss of Will Fuller V for the season but we all knew that was going to happen at some point. Unfortunately, the very talented Mr. Fuller cannot avoid the annual season-ending injury. On another note, just call Red gob-smacked that the Texans have managed to win five in a row after starting 0-3 with losses to the sad sack Giants and Titans. Meanwhile in the Mile High State, the Broncos have played a relatively tough schedule reasonably well. The losses to the Chiefs, Rams and Chiefs again are totally understandable. But other than the season opener against the Seahawks they have yet to beat a good team – and calling the Seahawks a good team is a bet of stretch right now. Calling the Texans a good team is likewise premature, but a win on the road and a 6-3 record speaks for itself. If that happens. Red won’t be surprised at the outcome either way, but slightly favors the Texans coming off a long rest week. Houston 24 Denver 20.
Your National TV Game of the Week – Patriots over Packers. Red has bet against the Patriots one too many times this season. He sees no reason to think that the Packers can stroll into Foxboro and beat a team that has a certain game plan, never panics and doesn’t make many mistakes. In fact, it is hard to fathom exactly how the Pats have lost two games – to the Jaguars and Lions no less. Meanwhile a 3-3-1 record is not going over well with the Packers patrons. And 3-4-1 will be even less palatable at the half-way point of what appears to be another lost season. Well at least you might not have Scott Walker to kick around anymore. New England 31 Green Bay 20.
Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Stealers over Ravens. There was a point in time when this was a game to look forward to. Alas, no more. Mediocrity reigns in the AFC Central and both teams exemplify mediocrity at the half pole. Watch if you must, but don’t say Red didn’t warn you. Pittsburgh 28 Baltimore 17.
Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – Saints over Rams. This really should be the GOTW GOTW but it was the only game this week featuring a team (Rams) to play at least two time zones away. Anyway, few teams make it through the season unscathed. The Rams sit at 8-0 by virtue of blowing out the weak sisters (Raiders, Niners, Cardinals) and scoring just enough to beat the better teams by no more than one score (Packers, Broncos, Seahawks, Vikings). The 3 wins against the lamest of the lame were by a total of 83 points. In contrast the 4 wins over real competition were by a total of 14 points. The only anomaly is their 12 point win over what appears to be a damn good Chargers team. That’s what really good teams do – roll and smoke the smokeable and win the close ones. The Saints have played a tougher schedule to date with only the NY Football Patsies as a weak link and sit at 6-1 having reeled off six wins after the wild 48-40 opening loss to the Buccaneers. The slight time zone inverse humidity hex combined with the friendly confines of the Superdome may make the difference here as the Saints faithful will be whipped into a frenzy by the prospect of knocking off the clear NFC favorite so far. This one goes down to the wire. New Orleans 43 Los Angeles 38.
This Week’s Shit Bowl – Raiders over 49ers. A real no-brainer this week as the Battle of the Bay is more like the Battle of the Bowl (Toilet Bowl that is). The Raiders and Niners have combined to lose 13 games, a starting quarterback, the best defensive player in the league, a stand-out wide receiver, their last shreds of dignity, respect and the interest of fans. So what a Thursday night treat! Actually this game is what Thursday night football is all about – putting up a game on National TV that hard core football junkies will watch no matter how shitty the on-field product actually is. So hats off to the NFL front office for pulling this one over on a gullible population. Remember to turn off the car engine if you happen to be listening to this beastly bowel battle on the old AM Radio when pulling into your three car garage, lest ye be tempted to sit there and put an end to your football watching misery. Oakland 3 Santa Clara 2.