Tag Archives: Football

Red’s 2018 NFL Picks – Week 2

Red missed the opening week of the season due to unavoidable commitments and trouble with his Ipad.  Be advised, however, that he would not have picked the Texans to win on the road in New England, but would have taken the Saints over the Buccaneers, the Chiefs over the Chargers, the Bears over the Packers, the Panthers over Cowboys, Jaguars over Giants.  That would be a hypothetical 4-2, but it doesn’t count unless you tell someone about it.   Red also doesn’t give any betting advice this week because it is too early in the season for accurate throwing away of hard-earned cash.

Your National TV Game of the Week – Giants over Cowboys.  The Red Rule is back – and for you new readers out there, the rule is very simple –  SCORE 13 POINTS AND BEAT THE COWBOYS.  It only took 9 last week, but Red won’t quibble.  The Cowboys’ offense looks truly terrible even with E. Elliott at full speed.  Red has a funny feeling that Zeke may make him forget all about Steve Slayton (who as long-time readers will remember – Licks the sweat off a dead man’s balls!).  It’s way too early to make that call, but here’s hoping.  Other than Zeke and Cole Beasley, the Boys are devoid of weapons and unless Sean Lee is playing lights out – the defense aint much to write home about either.  On the other hand, there are the Giants – led by tired old Eli Manning and relying on probable Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley.  The future ROY gets it done this week.  New Jersey 14 Arlington 6.

Your Texas Game of the Week  –  Texans over Titans.  Red likes Marcus M. but the dude cannot stay on the field and that may be a good thing this week as he would be relying on the shambles of an offensive line the Titans will trot out at home on Sunday.  The Titans may be missing both starting tackles and all-world TE Delanie Walker is gone for the season – a real shame for lovers of excellent TE play like Red.  If Mercilus, Watt and Clowney cannot tee off on this bunch – the vaunted Texans defense probably isn’t all that.  Texans need a competent offensive performance – something that even Bill O’ the Clown should be able to whip up after getting gob-smacked in week one.  This is probably a snoozefest for most of the game with a flurry of activity at the end.   Houston 28 Tennessee 17. 

Your Must Watch Game of the Week – Chiefs at Stealers.  The Patrick Mahomes Show featuring Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt debuted last week to rave reviews.  Episode 2 can be disappointing for a new series.  However, with head writer Andy Reid in charge, Red expects new and exciting scripts with lots of drama for most of the season.  This week’s episode has an interesting subplot with Travis Kelce playing a big role in solving the mystery of the Steel Curtain.  This one has hit series written all over it.  Stay tuned for more.  Kansas City 44 Pittsburgh 28. 

Your Overrated Game of the Week – Patriots over Jaguars.   Normally, you might think that a matchup between the defending AFC Champs and a team that reversed about a decade of franchise futility last season would be an interesting watch.  Not so this week.  While the Patriots have the mirrors finely polished and the smoke machines pumping out thick dense dark smoke, it just doesn’t make for very exciting games right now.  That they have two master magicians on the team doesn’t hurt but it doesn’t matter this week.  Jags are overmatched and get another lesson in how it is done this week.   New England 27 Jacksonville 17.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week  Chargers over Bills.  As you know, Red is big believer in the time zone hex and the reverse triple time zone, longitudinal inverse hex is very powerful.  However, no hex can stand up to the mighty negative power of the Bills.   Chargers are lucky to get one hex out of the way early while Bills are still floundering for a solution to the eternal problem – Why are we still living and playing games in Buffalo?  Los Angeles 45 Bills 13.

And – This Week’s Shit Bowl – OTNAs over Colts.  The Colts have to win a few games this year based on having A. Luck at quarterback alone.  Don’t get Red wrong, he would not want the Luckster on his team, but he is a competent quarterback capable of beating the lesser teams. And while the OTNAs are a lesser team, they bitch-slapped the Cardinals last week on the road.  So while it is a bit unfair to put them in this week’s Shit Bowl, Red is pretty sure that it will hold up by the end of the season.   With apologies to Alex Smith, Red has them winning this turgid turd tussle.  Landover, Md. 24 Indianapolis 17.

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Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – Playoffs

Red has picked all the divisions (see below) and now it is time to chart out the playoffs.

Red has it as follows:

NFC Division Champs:  Eagles, Falcons, Vikings and Rams.

NFC Wildcards:  Bears and Saints

AFC Division Champs:  Patriots, Stealers, Texans and Chiefs

AFC Wildcards:  Chargers and Browns

Red likes the Stealers and Chiefs in the AFC title game at Arrowhead with the Chiefs barely pulling it out.

Red sees the Eagles and Falcons in the NFC title match in Philly with the Falcons nabbing the banner.

Red goes all in for the Chiefs as the NFL Champions for the first time since 1969. 

Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – AFC West

If you are reading these predictions, please note that each division has been picked separately over the course of several days.  Red used to do this in one giant post, but people don’t read big giant posts anymore – except for devoted followers of Alex Jones and those folks probably aren’t among Red’s loyal fan base.

Kansas City Chiefs – Red has bet heavily on the Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill 60 yard touchdown pass combo in his big money fantasy football team.  Add to that mix, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins and there is no question that the Chiefs could have the most explosive offense in the NFL this year – if Mahomes is all he appears cracked up to be.   That’s a lot to put on a second year player, but Red thinks Mahomes is the real deal and not the latest retread of previously failed Texas Tech wunderkinds (tell Red you don’t remember the glorious pro careers of Kliff Kingsbury and Sonny Cumbee?).   In the immortal words of HC Andy Reid “I’m fired up!”  Which is the only way Red can ever use the first person in these musings.  Kansas City dominates at 14-2.

San Diego (er – Los Angeles) Chargers –  Red would like to attend a Chargers game this season – mostly because he likes peace and quiet and prefers being alone.   Here are some keys you can blank on for a successful Chargers season.  Rivers needs to empty the backfield on third down and throw clear down the unfilled.   And a hearty hollow, to undrafted rookie speedster J.J. Jones who may help on those bombs – he deserted his place on this roster.  His speed may open up devoid in the middle. When they get in the dead zone, Rivers can rely more on Melvin Gordon to bare down opposing defenses.   The offense is good, but vacant do it alone.  The defense must desert itself and get uninhabit of making some third down plays.  It may come down to the Week 15 matchup with the Chiefs, a tough game to win desolate in the season. Some help getting the missing faithful involved wouldn’t hurt – for example abandon the sidelines could pump up the fan.  Barren in the hunt for the playoffs all the way this season.  Red thinks they make it barely at 10-6.

Oakland Raiders –  The emaciated ghost of Al Davis still stalks the cavernous corridors of the Coliseum (or whatever they call they rusting decrepit heap they play in) waiting for another Raiders championship.  Dead Al continues his nightly rambles all season in vain.  The Raiders’ gamble on bringing back the perfidious Jon Gruden doesn’t pay off this season.  Walk Dead Al! Walk! Walk across the desert to the shining oasis in the sun – for there your spectral dreams will still go unfulfilled.  Oakland 8-8.

Denver Broncos – Red also likes Case Keenum but he may just have squeezed all the juice out of that lime last season in Minnesota.  This franchise seems lost in the woods right now and John Elway’s job is probably on the line if something doesn’t turn around soon.  Let Red be the first to say, “Adios Juan!”  Denver is 6-10.

Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – AFC East

New England Patriots  –  This is where every year Red writes that it is spineless and weak to continue to pick the Patriots but that he will continue to do so until proven wrong.  Red has yet to be proven wrong.  Pats are a bit down but still finish atop a weak division even with a relatively weak schedule.  Red is looking forward to week 15 matchup with Stealers.  New England sits at 11-5

Buffalo Bills  – Red kind of likes Josh Allen who seems to have a bit of Carson Wentz – QB out of nowhere feel to him and will not be surprised if he moves in to the lineup at some point.  Sorry all you AJ McCarron fans out there – both of you.  It’s just too bad there is so little else to like about this team.   There is a good secondary on defense, but lack of offensive weapons is very troublesome.  Buffalo (Orchard Park) is 8-8 material

Miami Dolphins –  Red swears there are rumor that there is still an NFL team in the greater Miami region.  Beyond that Red is clueless.  Miami at 6-10.

New York Jets –  Meet the Jets, Greet the Jets, Step right up and beat the Jets.  Red still remembers an older fraternity brother singing that one at breakfast one bright shining morning.  Funny what you remember.  Funny what is still true.    Led by tired old Josh McCown (Sam Houston State for the Texas reference), the Jets are likely to be featured in at least half a dozen Shit Bowls this year.  Jets are 3-13.

Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – NFC South

Today we move on to the NFC South – division which has produced two NFL Champions and a few runners-up.  This is the division of the nouveau teams as there is not a single member that predates the 1960’s.   But last year it was the “NFL Division of Excellence” with three teams advancing to the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons –  This team was still smarting from the 28-3 letdown against the Patriots in 2016.  Still they had a 10 win season and made it to the divisional round losing in a low-scoring slug fest to the Eagles.  Pretty good for a team that finished in third place in their division.   There are no real surprises for this season.  There will be some changes on the defensive line and some help coming for the secondary.  On offense, new guard Brian Fusco shores up an already very solid line.  Freeman and Coleman are as solid a running back duo as there is in the league.  Jones and Sanu are about the same at wide-out.  Then there is Matty Ice.  Perhaps more than any other team, the Falcons fate rests in the hands of the ball handler. If Ryan returns to 2016 form (or even a close facsimile thereof), the Falcons will be flying high.  The schedule is reasonable favorable with the possible pathetic AFC North and the mediocre NFC East coming up. Atlanta wins this division with an 11-5 record.

New Orleans Saints – First a tip of the gold and black hat to long-time Saints owner and all round bon vivant Tom Benson who died in March at the age of 90.  He tried to buck the image of the No Fun League with his antics – but likely also bears some responsibility for the targeting and injury payola scandal that cost his coach a full season.  Benson also managed to create one of the most loyal fan bases in the entire league.  Red and family were in New Orleans for the OTNA’s home game last season and just about everyone in the city was wearing black and gold in some form or fashion. And just between him and you, Red has no problems with a gold lame miniskirt on the right person.   Red was watching at a local pizza parlor and when the OTNAs went ahead by 15 with just over 3 minutes left, it seemed to be an ugly Sunday night in NO.  But Brees led an incredible comeback to tie the game and the Saints won on a 51 yard FG with about a minute left in OT.  So Red is hesitant to say this is the last hurrah for 39 year-old Drew Brees as he keeps performing at a high level.  And with Ingram and Kamara in the backfield, Brees doesn’t have to do as much.  At this point, only Brady is better at reading defenses and getting his team in the right set.  And then there is this fact which may have slipped your notice  – Michael Thomas’ 196 receptions are the most by anyone in the first two years of an NFL career. Ever.  The Saints’ defense has been retooled over the past two seasons and this season will show whether the pieces are finally fitting together.  As for the schedule, it poses some interesting possibilities. The Saints start with a two consecutive home games against the weaker sisters (Bucs and Browns) and finish with two home games (Stealers and Panthers). That means they are on the road for 8 of 12 weeks in the middle of the season.  The three game road stretch beginning on Nov. 29 may determine the Saints’ playoff fate.  Red thinks the Saints are is still a Wildcard team at 10-6.

Carolina Panthers – Red once believed, but no more.  The 2017 season was tumultuous at best with owner Jerry Richardson firing GM Dave Gettleman weeks before the start of the regular season, followed by his decision to sell the team after facing multiple workplace allegations, including sexual harassment and racial allegations.   The team seemed remarkably unfazed and had a chance to win the division before falling to the Falcons in Week 17.  Still they made the playoffs but cratered lost a high-scoring battle with the Saints and went home.  The offense is probably there, but Red just doesn’t see this defense keeping the Panthers in enough games to keep pace with the Saints or Falcons in 2018.  It comes down to the last three games against the Saints, Falcons and Saints.   Carolina can’t close the deal and goes 9-7 and goes home.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Does Red really have to comment on this team.  Jameis Winston did nothing to show that he is the mythical “franchise quarterback” every team looks for.  So maybe it is a good thing he is suspended for the first three games of the season.   Note to JW:  Hell hath no fury like a female Uber driver groped.  The Bucs pathetic excuse for a defense (last in the NFL in total defense, sacks and third-down percentage) can only be better with the addition of former Eagles tackle Beau Allen and end Vinny Curry.  Whether tired old Jason Pierre-Paul had anything left in the tank is another story.  Running back is a question mark and only Mike Evans is the only true offensive superstar on this squad.  They will improve from last year’s sad 5-11 mark – but not enough.  Tampa Bay is 7-9 material at best.

Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – NFC East

Let’s start with the division of your NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles –  Here is Red’s favorite to repeat as NFC East champion.  After all this team won the Superb Owl with a backup quarterback and a couple of trick plays over the greatest team of the 21st century led by perhaps the winningest quarterback the NFL will ever see.  That said, the track record for championship teams the next season is spotty at best (putting aside the Patriots of course).  Ask yourself, what have the Giants, Stealers, Saints, Broncos and Ravens done for you lately?  And that said, the Eagles still have the best defense in the East, a returning Superb Owl MVP as the backup quarterback, a decent corps of wide receivers (addition of Mike Wallace could be big) and question marks in the backfield (see you later Fat Pig aka LaGarrette Blount).   And that said, there is always the issue of the champions’ schedule.  That schedule is doubly brutal this year as the Eagles are playing the AFC South which looks to have two playoff teams and the NFC South with potentially tough games against the Saints, Panthers and Falcons in the season opener on September 6.  Looking up and down the Eagles’ schedule, the only games that one could count as sure wins are home games against the Giants and OTNA’s and maybe the Colts and Buccaneers.   With the difficult schedule and a few question marks Philadelphia goes 11-5.

New York (Jersey) Giants – One possible last hurrah for Manning the Younger this season.  A muted hurrah at best though.  The Giants seem to be headed in the right direction with a new GM in Dave “the Gentlemen” Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur (formerly OC for the Vikings – who would have been surprise of the 2017 season but for the aforementioned Eagles).  Shoring up the offensive line with Nate Solder (late of the Pats) and Rookie Will Hernandez may mean that EM is not running for his life on every other play.  But the big reason to have hope among the Giants’ faithful is the addition of RB Saquon Barkley.  Recent trials have shown that a fresh young running back – who can run, block and catch – lifts the entire offense.  As Cowboys’ fans about E. Elliot and Jaguars’ fans about L. Fournette.  If Barkley is the real deal, the Giants will not start 0-5 – maybe 2-3 with a brutal opening stretch of Jaguars, Cowboys, Texans, Saints and Panthers.  New Jersey is 9-7.  No soup for you.

Dallas (Arlington) Cowboys –  It was something of a miracle that the Cowboys managed to win 9 games last year with their pathetic excuse for a defense through a good part of the season (giving up more 27+ points six times) and the offense that disappeared for six games.  The only real changes are the subtractions of future HOFer Jason Whitten and future Huntsville resident Dez Bryant.  This season rests on the ability of the Boys to consistently score 25 points per game.  And that rests on the shoulders of the offensive line (still very good but no longer great) Dak P. (good) and E. Elliot (very very good).   The Red Rule is back in play however.  And for those who don’t remember that rule is – “Score 14 points and beat the Cowboys.” Here’s a stat for you – only the Cowboys, OTNAs and Lions have failed to play for an NFC Championship in the last 22 seasons.  That doesn’t change for anyone this year.  Arlington Cowboys are 8-8. 

Washington (Landover, Md.) OTNAs – For new readers that means “Offensive Term for Native Americans.”  The real offensive thing will be how badly the OTNAs stink this year.  This is a franchise that aspires to mediocrity and just missed that mark with a season-ending loss to the godawful Giants in 2017.  Alex Smith will be a boost as he is a guy who knows how to get the best out of the talent around him.  It is the talent around him that is questionable.  The offensive line is serviceable but skill positions are a lot of question marks.  Red likes Smith and thinks he deserves a shot at the big ring.  He just won’t get it with this season and not likely ever with this team.  Landover, Md. struggles to a 7-9 record again.

PS: Red will throw in his annual bitch about the Cowboys TV schedule.   The team that hasn’t sniffed a championship in going on 23 years now gets five primetime games (including the mandatory Thursday nighter) and six national TV late games (including the prime Thanksgiving spot) only one of which (Seahawks) is time zone related.   At some point, people just aren’t going to hate the Cowboys enough for this ridiculousness to make sense.

Quote for the Day

“I am watching all the other guys doing what I want to be doing and I am sitting on a couch being a loser.”

Johnny Manziel on his attempt to climb his way back to the NFL.  Manziel says he has been diagnosed as bi-polar and is now on medication and has stopped drinking.