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 blankon for a successful Chargers season. Rivers needs to empty the backfield on third down and throw cleardown 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 uninhabitof 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.
May Red just say, “He hates this division.” Red is not entirely sure why, but he has always disliked having to pick winners and LOSERS from this one. Which is curious because the NFC-North contains three of the most venerable franchises in the league. The Lions started as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1929 moving to Detroit in 1934 and played in the first official playoff game – the 1932 Championship against the Bears (played because the teams ended the season tied for first place). The Packers joined the league in 1921, the second official NFL season. And the Bears can lay claim being one of the two original NFL franchises (as the Decatur Staleys) still in existence. The Arizona Cardinals (nee Chicago Cardinals) are the other. The Vikings are the upstart newcomer having joined the league in 1961 to increase the NFL to a whopping 14 teams.
Minnesota Vikings – New quarterback – new offensive coordinator – new challenge with first place schedule – all could add up to a tough season. Many commentators are looking at a difficult schedule and predicting a big fall off for the Nordic warriors. Red doesn’t see the NFC -West as all that tough as the Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams and 49ers are all overrated. The NFC – East component should be even easier unless the Bills and Dolphins step up – and Red thinks the more likely scenario has those teams stepping in it. Red is not high on Kirk Cousins but he made a really pathetic OTNAs team look decent at times. The big question is what to do about the running game with the loss of Jerrick McKinnon and no real answer for a solid replacement. So why the Vikings? Like he said, Red has to pick someone. Minnesota sleds to a tough 10-6 record.
Chicago Bears – Every season one formerly pathetic excuse for a professional football somehow picks itself up off the garbage pile and starts winning games. Red’s pick for worst to (almost) first this season is the Bears. Red’s just going with his ever growing gut on this one. And Red will be putting an “I Like Mitch Trubisky” bumper sticker on his car – just so people will wonder – “Who the hell is Mitch Trubisky?” To which Red could answer, “He’s the poor man’s Kirk Cousins.” Chicago also goes 10-6 but only gets Wild Card spot – Maybe – stay tuned.
Green Bay Packers – Red admires the 200 some thousand Green Bay Packers, Inc. shareholders and the way this team has been run for almost its entire existence as a community project. All professional sports teams should be owned and controlled in this fashion – not by some billionaire blowhard (Jerry Jones comes to mind for some reason) who could give a shit about the average fan once he or she has paid for the season tickets. The owner who won’t make sure the fans aren’t gouged at the concession stands and don’t have to sit in three hours of traffic to get home. The owner who plays commercials at 120 decibels at every possible opportunity. The “welfare queen” owner who sucks on the public tit and expects the taxpayers to make him richer just because he has deemed to grace their city with a professional football team – at least until there is greener turf somewhere else. So while Red always wishes good things for the Packers, he also has to be honest with his readers and tell them – not this season. A-Rodg carried them on his capable shoulders until going down last season. Is he back? If so, then maybe there is hope. Or maybe not. Green Bay is 8-8.
Detroit Lions – The last good thing Red remembers about the Lions is reading Bobby Layne’s autobiography – Always on Sunday – in elementary school. Red is not sure why his parents let him read about Bobby’s alcoholic womanizing, drunk driving, and non-stop partying but it sure opened Red’s eyes to the possibilities of life – or a certain kind of life anyway. Unfortunately, Red’s athletic career and exposure to the side benefits of sports celebrity was cut short by a crippling lack of talent and a desire to keep his teeth. Maybe Red was allowed to read this fascinating tome because Layne had been the hero at UT when Red’s parents were in school. And maybe the curse of Bobby Layne is still hanging over this franchise. Although possibly apocryphal, after he was traded to the Stealers in 1958, Layne supposedly responded to the trade by saying that “the Lions would not win for 50 years.” Bobby apparently called for an extension at some point. So while short on analysis here, Red has hopefully provided you some insight into the stupidity of this whole exercise. Detroit stinks – 4-12.