Tag Archives: Arizona Cardinals

Red’s NFL Predictions – NFC West

Many are calling this the “easiest division in the NFL” which was certainly a fair characterization  last season. Red sees some teams up, one team down and a tougher level of competition that in recent seasons.

Cardinals. After a disappointing 2016 campaign, the Cards are looking to rebound with a quick start to 2017. The Cards started last season 1-3 and unlike the Stealers never found Recovery Road.  Red is leading with his heart rather than his head on this one.  He went all in for David Johnson in a couple of fantasy leagues and also got stuck with tired old Carson Palmer at QB.  The Cards defense remains solid.  The question is whether the team can win a bunch of ugly 17-13 or the like games.  They can and they do. Arizona sashays to 11-5 record and a sweet playoff berth.

Seahawks.  A popular pick to win the west, many think the Seahawks will dominate the NFL’s “easiest division.”  But other than playing the weaklings (see below) in their division, the Hawks have fairly tough sledding ahead with road games against the Packers, Titans and Cowboys and home games against the Texans, Colts, Eagles and Falcons.  The Hawks could lose all of those games despite the double and triple time zone hex.  Pete the Cheat has had his share of good fortune up to now; maybe this season the worm turns. Seattle struggles to 9-7 and takes a seat for the playoffs.

Rams. Playing in the oldest stadium in the NFL but with the youngest head coach in NFL history in Sean McVay, the Rams will maintain the Jeff Fischer tradition of abject mediocrity.  Actually that’s somewhat of an insult to mediocrity as Fischer was unable to ever post a winning record in his 5 years with the Rams.  Second year QB Jared Goff was the major disappointment of 2016 going 0-7 in his starts and making journeyman Case Keenum look scintillating by comparison.  But in fairness to Goff he was playing behind a makeshift offensive line and with little help from any wideout other than Kenny Britt.  2017 looks better all around.  Tavon Austin looks like the third down back every team wishes it had and Todd Gurley is at least competent and will likely average more than the pathetic 3.2 yards per rush he managed last year. Expect more than 23 total touchdowns this season and for the Rams to not be the worst offense in the league.  Maybe only the third-worst. Los Angeles (for now) improves slightly to 6-10.

49ers.  The Chip Kelly as a professional football coach experiment seems to have come to an end.  The excitement CK was able to bring to Oregon never translated to the pros and Chip if you’re reading – it looks like UNLV might be in the market for some new leadership after losing to lowly Howard in “the biggest upset in college football history.”  A tip of the helmet to the Niners for giving Kyle Shanahan his first opportunity as a head coach. Unfortunately, KS could not bring Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman with him.  Instead he will have to make do with tired old Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garcon.  That’s like going from a Corvette to a Ford Escort, but Shanahan and the Niners will surprise a few folks.  This storied franchise has seen more hard times than good and with the exception of the Harbaugh era has been unable to find a steady hand for 15 years.  Remember Jim Tomsula or Mike Nolan?  Anyone, anyone? Hell, Red thought Mike Singletary was the answer.  Don’t expect miracles in season one, but the Niners are coming back – they’re just coming from way back. Santa Clara goes 6-10.

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Red’s NFL Picks – Conference Championships

“The stash of games is getting low.”

Said many years ago by an old stoner friend of Red’s (who loved football almost as much as he liked the weed). Indeed, it is. Indeed, it is.

Red Rates Himself – For Round 2 of the Playoffs Red was 2-2. For the season Red is now 58-46. Omaha, Omaha.

Your Rocky Mountain High Pick of the Week: Broncos over Patriots. Red is breaking tradition and all the rules by picking the Broncos – even though the Patriots were his preseason AFC Champ. If this game were in Foxboro, Red would call it the other way. If you didn’t notice, every home team won last week and every game was a “one score” game in that one score by the losing team would have won or tied the game. Red expects the same this weekend. There will be no blowouts of the last teams standing but the home field advantage in this type of game is enormous. The Patriots strategy last week was to pretend like the solid front 7 of the Chiefs defense simply did not exist and throw, throw some more and keep throwing the entire game. There was a mere pretense of a running game – not surprising since the Pats were down to retired retread Steven Jackson as their main option in the backfield. No knock on Jackson who had a solid career but expecting him to come out of retirement a couple of weeks before the playoffs and rush for 100 yards is a little much even for the Pats. That strategy will not work against the best defense in the league. Miller, Ware, Jackson and Wolfe will be turned loose on Brady. Pressure will be the key. So what will Belicheat pull out of the hat this week in the face of the team who gets after the QB better than anyone else? If Red knew that he wouldn’t be working for a living.   Red expects the Broncos’ sputtering offense will need to score 24 to win and they can do that with smart game management and a decent game from the disappointing C.J. Anderson. The Broncos need at least 130 yards on the ground and the clock chewing that entails, if they are going to win. And PMS needs to not suck – a tall order right now. Red likes the Broncos plus 3, but the O/U at 44.5 scares him. Denver 24 New England 23.

Your Wildwood Weed Pick of the Week: Panthers over Cardinals. Cardinals surprised Red last week. He thought that the Packers wild finish would finish off a team that had to be wondering “What the Hell just happened?” But Larry Fitzgerald put an end to Red’s dream of correctly picking both Superb Owl teams – so now he hates them. On the other side, the Panthers have simply been the best team in the league all season. Notwithstanding the Seahawks furious comeback in the second half, what the Panthers did to the Hawks in the first half ought to be illegal. Red expects a similarly fast start to this one – again followed by a spirited rally that falls short. And although, Red would desperately like to see the first ever all Mountain Time Zone Superb Owl (with the only two teams that could possibly make that happen), he can’t go against a Carolina team that has bested all comers but one – and looked pretty snappy doing so. Red likes the Panthers giving up 3 and the over at 44.5.   Carolina 35 Arizona 29.