Red’s NFL Picks – Conference Championships

Last week Red was 2-2 on straight up picks and hit big on his number 1 pick of the over in the Chiefs/Bills barnburner. That was a weekend of football that will not soon be forgotten. Unfortunately for Red, he missed most of it for various reasons but did get to see the possible end of Tom Brady’s career. On to a short version of this week’s matchups.

Chiefs over Bengals. The Bengals are the best story of the year. Very few prognosticators – including Red – game them a chance of making the playoffs much less winning their division and very much less making it to the AFC title game. But all good stories must end and in playoff football all but one story ends with a loss. As tremendous as the Bills/Chiefs game was last week, this one could top it. You have two offenses running at peak efficiency with the best older young QB and the best young young QB going toe to toe in nuclear combat. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes and Burrow combine to throw for over 850 yards on Sunday. And the Dutchman – God rest his soul – will be wondering if his all time single game passing record could be in jeopardy if this one goes to OT. The Bengals have to stop Travis Kelce who has been all but unstoppable of late. He might tie Jerry Rice’s record of 8 playoff games with more than 100 yards receiving unless the Bengals hogtie him. Meanwhile the Chiefs have to find a way to hold down Jamar Chase – something almost no team has done this season. No matter what it is, take the Over in this one. Kansas City 49 Cincinnati 43.

Rams over 49ers. Red just wasn’t at all on form with the Rams this season. Or the 49ers for that matter. But then Red just looked back and realized he forgot to post his picks for the NFC West at the beginning of the season. Red will be honest here and claim that he had the Cardinals winning the division and the Rams as an outside shot at the playoffs. Reverse that and Red is a fricking genius. It is worth noting – but not of particular importance here – that the 49ers have dominated the Rams in recent years winning 6 straight games. If the Rams have a chance on Sunday it will be because of their surprisingly effective defense getting to and pummeling Matt Stafford – not the most mobile of QBs. The Rams vaunted offensive line has been battered of late, but if all-World LT Andrew Whitworth plays to form they just might survive the coming onslaught. The Rams cannot afford to get way behind as they did in both games against the 49ers this season. In Week 18 they managed to stage a comeback, but that is not something you want to do with the Superb Owl on the line. Rams have to count on Jimmy G. to throw up a couple of ducks and their defense to hold the Niners to under 21 points. Don’t look for a high scoring game. But stay away from the O/U in these most unpredictable of playoff times with two top-tier defenses. Red does think the Niners can cover a 3.5 spread but he wouldn’t bet the F-150 on it. Los Angeles 23 San Francisco 20.

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