Well old Uncle Red was out of pocket last week and had to skip Week 12 of the NFL season. For Week 11, Red was 2-4 bringing his season total to an underwhelming 26-31. Mama told me there would be seasons like these. Week 13 for sure.
Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Vikings over Patriots. In the 13th ever game between these two franchises from the 1960s, the Vikings can post their first win since September of 2000. And while Red has shoes older than that (two pairs of Cowboy boots actually), many of the citizens of our fair land have never seen the Purple Hoard beat down the New Millennial Franchise of Excellence. Yes, Red has been down this road of picking against the Pats before and is usually the sorrier for it. But he called the Titans win a few weeks back and just has a feeling about this one. It’s that stingy 93 rushing yards per game that the Vikings defense has been giving up. And face it, while most credit Brady and the passing game for the offensive success of the Pats, it has been Bellicheat’s ability to create running room for a rotating cast of otherwise mediocre running backs that makes his offense go. If the Vikes shut down the run, they have a chance to get another leg up on the first NFC Wildcard spot. Maybe a small chance. Minnesota 23 New England 21.
Your National TV Game of the Week – Saints over Cowboys. If the Cowboys can beat the Saints, Red will eat his Stetson Cattleman which he bought on impulse and has rarely worn – so at least it will be fresh. The Saints are the best team in the NFL right now. It would be a huge upset for the Boys to win this one even with dashing phenom Amari Cooper. Look for the Saints to manhandle Cooper with double teams and dare the Cowboys to beat them with Dak and Zeke and the rest of the gang. The Saints are averaging 16 points more per game than the Cowboys. Red just doesn’t see the Boys being able to keep up with the Black and Gold through four quarters. New Orleans 39 Arlington 21.
Your Texas Game of the Week – Texans over Browns. Well if ever a team was primed for a letdown against a mediocre opponent, it would be the Texans coming in on an 8 game win streak and a victory over a Titans team that seemed to be righting the ship. But then again these are the Browns – and even the recently resurgent Browns are unlikely to pull off an upset on the road against a team playing reasonably well. The Texans real weakness has been in scoring with a measly 4 rushing touchdowns this season. They cannot keep up with any high scoring offenses and fortunately have not played any of those (except perhaps the Patriots in Week 1). The Browns should have about a 6-4 record but for repeated “screwings” at the hands of the refs. So they are not to be taken lightly. This one will be close and perhaps ugly. Texans’ fans will take ugly any day since they have been fed a steady diet of same for going on 17 years now. Houston 19 Cleveland 13.
Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Eagles over Redskins. If Red is right about the Cowboys, this will make for a giant scramble in the NFC East down the stretch with three teams at 6-6 with four games to play (Note: Pete Rozelle is laughing from high above). So while that would not be a disappointing result for purely comic reasons – this is your DGOTW because everything about the NFC East is disappointing this season. Mediocrity reigns supreme. Philadelphia 32 Landover, MD 25.
Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – Chargers over Stealers. Whoever wins this one closes in on a playoff spot. So – big game for both teams who have been playing well – although Red wonders how the Stealers managed to lose to the Broncos last week (oh yeah, four turnovers including a fumble out the back of the end zone on what should have been a scoring play will do it). Chargers are able to overcome the triple time zone hex coming in off the bye week – unless the temperature is below freezing with blowing snow. Right now the prognosticators are calling for temperatures in the 40’s with light rain. Lovely but not enough to slow down a powerhouse Charger team that has played all of its games on the road (more or less) this season. Los Angeles 42 Pittsburgh 29.
This Week’s Shit Bowl – Packers over Cardinals. One might speculate that the Packers will eventually win another game. One might also have bought GE Stock earlier this year. Their middle of the Pack (okay – pun intended) ratings on offense and defense should have them positioned for at least a decent shot at a playoff berth with 5 games to play. But having managed to lose some winnable games – now they are chasing the 6-5 OTNAs, Cowboys, Panthers and Seahawks and the technically in first for a NFC Wildcard spot Vikings at 6-4-1. In sports lingo that is known as a “veritable shitload of teams” to go through. Meanwhile in the desert southwest, the Cardinals are going through a nightmare of a season having basically been run out of the stadium by most of their opponents – topped off with a loss to the Raiders – the NFL equivalent of having your alcoholic uncle turn down your present of a bottle of hootch. The 15 combined losses of these two venerable franchises lands them squarely in this week’s SB. As far as Red can remember, this will be A. Rodgers first ever SB appearance. That alone might make it palatable enough so that you need not put away all the rat poison lest ye be tempted to add a heaping tablespoon to your Margarita mix while watching this terrible turd tussle. Green Bay 21 Arizona 13.