Red’s NFL Predictions – Conference Championship Games

Red was so-so last week having gone 2-2.  He was wrong about the Vikings as they are in fact pretenders and the 49ers had little trouble in dispatching the northern warrriors.

Red was not entirely shocked by the Ravens loss. In fairness to Red, he did indicate that if any team could beat the Ravens it was probably the Titans.  Red was shocked that the Ravens vaunted offense completely failed to show up.

Less surprising was the Texans historic collapse against the Chiefs.  The only surprise was that the Texans were up 24-0 in the second quarter.  They remedied that by getting  outscored 51-7 down the stretch.  If there has ever been another 44 point swing in the NFL playoffs Red is unaware of same.  And to top it off for long-suffering Texans’ fans, apparently Head Coach Bill O’ the Clown is keeping his job.  Red will be turning in his season tickets.

The Packers and Seahawks predictably played a close game with Red picking the winner.  Neither team is capable of a Chiefs style wipeout of an opponent.

Packers over 49ers –  Red doesn’t really think either of these teams belongs in the Superb Owl, but the point of this exercise is to pick a winner.   Why pick a team that lost to the Niners 38-7 in the regular season?  Why the hell not?  The regular season meetings really don’t seem to mean much in the playoffs.   If all world TE Kittle has an off-day (and boy is he overdue for one), and D. Adams, Geronimo A. and J. Graham have good days (50-75 yards each), then the Pack should be competitive – unlike last meeting.   Those are big “ifs” but not ridiculously so. But Red really thinks this game turns on QB pressure. Whichever team pressures, knocks-down and/or sacks the QB most effectively is going to win.  Right now maybe nobody does it better than the Packers.  Jimmy G. limps off the field more than once.  A-Rodg gets one last shot at history.   Green Bay 24 Santa Clara 21.

Chiefs over Titans – Again, Red believes that if any team can beat the Chiefs it is the Titans who seem capable of winning any game with their offense straight out of the 1950s and a stingy defense.  While Derrick Henry has been nothing short of amazing, he alone cannot win this game.    Red expects Titans coach Mike Vrabel to pullout some of the stops in order to keep up with the Chiefs.  Look for Marcus Mariota to be on the field for more than a couple of plays, to keep the Chiefs defense wondering.  In case anyone has forgotten, MM is capable with the ball in his hands.   And then there is Mr. Brown – the budding superstar of the Titans offense.  Red thinks the stage may be a little too big on Sunday – but the Chiefs have to put a clamp on Brown and force Tannehill to look elsewhere on the rare occasions when the Titans might actually consider using that innovation called the “forward pass.”   On the other side, the Chiefs are relatively healthy, loaded with weapons and have the best offensive-minded coach left standing in Andy Reid.  Patrick Mahomes must drop back in the pocket and ask himself, “Who should I make look like a hall-of-famer today? Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, some guy in the stands?”  Add PM’s magic touch to an innovative running game and you have an offense that can score anytime anywhere.  Red just doesn’t think the Titans can keep up with Chiefs unless Henry breaks 180 yards again.  Red calls it – Henry finishes with under 120 and the Chiefs win in a modified shoot-out with the Titans making it close at the finish.  Kansas City 42 Tennessee 34.

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