It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since Red last checked in. Multiple games had to be rescheduled because of COVID-19 infections. Dak Prescott is out for the season. Bill O’Brien has been cast aside. The Patriots are reeling and the Bears are rising. Red has more:
Red’s NFL Top Ten
- Pittsburgh Stealers. Red is a bit surprised, but not shocked that the Stealers have moved to the top of the heap in the AFC. Red pretty much had the Chiefs permanently parked in this spot. Everything is clicking for the Stealers. But can they hang on to No.1 after a tough road game coming up in Nashville?
- Seattle Seahawks. Playing in the toughest division in the NFL and dominating the weaker sisters so far. Aha, you say – they have yet to begin division play. That is correct and the Seabirds will face their first true test against the Cardinals who are looking very real.
- Kansas City Chiefs. They dispatched what Red thought would be their No. 1 rival in the AFC in beating the Bills handily on Monday afternoon (Yes. Monday afternoon). The loss the the Raiders notwithstanding, Red still thinks at the end of the season, the Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC. The game with Tampa Bay after Thanksgiving is looming as a stretch drive show down.
- Tennessee Titans. The Titans will displace the Stealers from the heap top with a win this week. Derrick Henry is unstoppable, A.J. Brown is shaking off early season sophomore slump and Ryan Tannehill is proving to be more than serviceable. The defense is questionable. Red is calling it now Titans take control with win over Stealers.
- Baltimore Ravens. That makes 4 of the top 5 AFC franchises. They hit the bye week at a good time having feasted on weaklings and getting waxed by the Chiefs. The next 5 weeks after that will tell if the Ravens are for real. They play Stealers twice, the Titans, the unpredictable Colts and the still dangerous Patriots. 3-2 might be good against that lineup.
- Chicago Bears. Who’d have thunk it? But don’t get too excited. The Bears have only one quality win over the Buccaneers. See below.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s not so much the Tom Brady show as the fearsome Tampa defense that has the Buccaneers this high in Red’s rankings. A weak schedule favors their chances.
- Buffalo Bills. Bills are hanging in there despite dispiriting back-to-back losses to the Titans and Chiefs. They have an off week against the Jets and then will trounce the Patriots before the make or break point of the season with games against the Seahawks and Cardinals.
- Arizona Cardinals. Red is still a believer. Teams are doubling up D. Hopkins and paying the price. Kyler M. is rounding to form and the defense aint half bad either. Do they have a chance against the Seahawks. Hell yes.
- Indianapolis Colts. Showing signs of life, the Colts eke out the Saints, Rams and Browns for No. 10 on Red’s list.
The Bottom Feeders
- New Jersey Jets. Sad in every possible way.
- Houston Texans. Sad but showing signs of life under new management. They should have beat the Titans. They should have fired Bill O the Clown a long time ago too. A friend of Red’s observed that the Texans don’t rebuild, they collapse. See 2006 and 2013 seasons. At least they are keeping on their 7 year cycle. The only interesting question is – Will they trade JJ Watt to make up for the empty draft cupboard and give him a shot at playing for a contender?
- Dallas Cowboys. Aren’t the brilliant schedulers happy that they put this team up for 12 prime time and national TV appearances? That alone could affect the NFL’s overall ratings as even die-hard Cowboys haters aren’t going to be interested in this train wreck much longer. A sad end of the line for the Red RIfle.
- Washington Football Team. What else is new?
- Cincinnati Bengals. They might want the Red Rifle back after blowing a 21-0 lead against the Colts.
Teams to Watch
Red still has his eye on the Saints, Rams and Packers in the NFC. There is still a lot of talent in New Orleans and the Packers can’t be counted out just yet. The Rams are a bit of a mystery.
In the AFC, the Browns and Raiders are potential playoff teams.