Tag Archives: NFL Playoffs

In an amazing (but not altogether unpredictable) turn-around, the Houston Texans lost to the Kansas City Chiefs by 20 points after being up 24-0 in the second quarter of Sunday’s playoff game.  The 44 point swing may be the largest post-season change in NFL history.  Red is going to bother looking that one up, because it doesn’t matter if the Texans C-H-O-K-E is historic – the humiliation and disappointment is enough.

The Texans were effectively gifted 14 points on a blocked punt (give the special teams credit) and a muffed punt by KC speedster Tyreek Hill (curiously attempting a punt return for only the second time this season).   But still a 24-0 lead should guarantee a competitive game down the stretch.  Not so for the hapless Texans.  Red does not fault Head Coach Bill O’ the Clown O’Brien for taking a field goal when faced with 4th and 1 in the “red zone”.   But after the Chiefs marched effortlessly down the field following a brilliant kick-off return, BO botched the next series with a foolish fake punt that even Red could see coming.  That gave the Chiefs another short field and after another quick score to make it 24-14 –  a new lease on their playoff football life.

The Chiefs proceeded to ultimately score touchdowns on seven straight possessions while the Texans offense returned to the BO tank in which in normally lives.  Being outscored 51-7 in any stretch of any game is agony enough.  But when you had the game in hand it is a franchise altering result – or at least it should be.

If this debacle is not enough to get Bill O’ the Clown fired, then it is hard to imagine what would.  He and defensive coordinator Romeo “I’m not on the take from our opponents even though it sure looks like it” Cremel need to exit NRG this week.  If not, the talent on this team (and there is talent) will be wasted for at least one more season.

Really, the Texans need a clean sweep from top to bottom.  It starts with hiring an actual general manager who may be able to find someone, somewhere willing to take over this reclamation project.

Quote for the Day

“If he plays into his forties, he may throw for a 100,000 yards.”

Archie Manning on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes of Tyler, Texas.

Red just hopes he doesn’t throw for 500 of them on Sunday.  However, he is still picking the Chiefs to beat the Texans, if not handily, by more than one score.

Red’s NFL Picks Wild Card Weekend

But first – a recap of Red’s playoff picks from the beginning of the season.

In the AFC – Red had Titans, Chiefs, Ravens and Patriots as division champs with the Chargers and Browns getting wild card spots.  So 4 out of 6 actually made the playoffs and the Titans had a shot at division crown until week 16.   Not bad, but the picks of the Chargers and Browns look comical now.  Red should have known better with the Chargers as they always disappoint him and play 16 road games.  The Browns – fool Red twice, shame on Red.

In the NFC – Red had the Cardinals, Bears, Eagles and Saints as division winners with the Packers and Seahawks as wild cards.  Again 4 out of 6 make the playoffs, but Red’s division winner picks were more than a little lame.  Red really believed in Kliff Kingsbury and the Kardinals (sounds like a 60’s British invasion group) but should have known better and Da Bears’ season went down the tubes in week one with an awful loss to Green Bay in an awful start to NFL’s 100th season.

Wild Card Weekend Picks

Texans over Bills –  Having a defensive end  playing at quarterback presents challenges for any defense.   Josh Allen will prevail on almost any [insert down here] and short situation.  His running ability allows the Bills to set up in multiple, interesting formations (like the Wing-T and somewhere Billy Kilmer is smiling). And he can be an effective passer at times. The Texans need to worry less about pass rush and concentrate on tight coverage to force Allen to make tough throws into coverage.  This will be a challenge since Romeo Cremel’s defensive scheme seems oddly designed to allow a variety of receivers to run openly and freely through the Texans’ secondary.  Which means this game probably comes down to the Texans’ offense putting enough points on the board to make up for what has become a Shit Bowl quality defense.  If Fulller V is healthy it probably all works out.  If not, . . .   Houston 31  Orchard Park 27.

Titans over Patriots –  A guy can dream can’t he.  The Pats looked disorganized and sad in the final game loss to the Dolphins (led by the redoubtable R. Fitzpatpick).  The Titans have looked very respectable since ditching Red’s one time favorite M. Mariota for one of the most amazing quarterbacks in NFL history – Ryan Tannehill.   Here is a guy who couldn’t solidify a spot as quarterback at Texas A&M until his senior season.  He had a decent season – but not good enough to keep the respected Mike Sherman from getting axed.  Then he more or less stumbled around in Miami for 6 seasons having a winning record in games started one time (8-5 in 2016) before catching something in a bottle this season to lead the Titans to a 7-3 record over the last 10 games of the season.  Is this a guy who has finally found the formula (i.e. play with the NFL’s leading rusher in Derrick Henry) or is this a one season wonder?  Who knows, Red sure doesn’t.  The aforementioned Mr. Henry presents a huge problem for any defense and then combined with possibly emerging superstar A.J. Brown making huge play after huge play at WR, the Titans offense can play with anybody – except maybe the Pats truly outstanding defense.  Meanwhile in the huddle, the Pats offense continues to unimpress.  TB 12 has looked tired and old much of the season and has been bailed out by Pats defense repeatedly this season. When facing the weak sisters, the Pats offense has looked completely respectable in dispatching the lame and infirm.  Against playoff teams, the Pats offense has put up 16, 20, 17, 22, 16 and 24.  Of course, that has been enough to go 3-3 beating the Bills twice and the then floundering Eagles.  By Red’s reckoning that means the Titans are at least a 50/50 shot to win.  The naysayers will remind Red that the Titans (then Oilers) have not won in Foxboro since 2003.  Red says BFD.  Tennessee 20  New England 19 

Seahawks over Eagles  –  This is the toughest call of the week.  At reasonably full strength, Red could see this game going either way and might lean towards the Eagles at home.  But the Eagles are so beat up right now, that it tips slightly towards Pete the Cheat’s crew.  Red would like to see Carson Wentz actually win a playoff game for his team, but when down to the wire, he would bet on R. Wilson.  Seattle 24 Philadelphia 20 

Saints over Vikings  –  Saints are out for revenge and it doesn’t matter who is in their way.  This week it is the unfortunate Vikings – the team that Red believes is most undeserving of the playoffs.  The Vikings beat one playoff team all season (the then floundering Eagles – is there a pattern here?).  Other than that, they did not beat a team with a winning record all season.  Yes, they were close in games against the Packers,  Chiefs and Seahawks (losing all by one score or less), but those are the proving ground games and the Vikings are unproven to date.  The Saints meanwhile have had trouble in games that they are supposed to win (remember the loss to the 7-9 division winning Seahawks in 2010).  Curiously, the Vikings have been the Saints most frequent playoff opponent with 4 matchups beginning with the Saints first ever playoff appearance in 1987.   And the Saints are 1-3 versus the Vikings having beaten them only in the 2009 Superb Owl winning season in the NFC championship game.  The Saints are loaded on offense but depend entirely too much on M. Thomas (an amazing 149 receptions for 1725 yards!!!!).  They need Cook and Ginn to take some of the load and Kamara to have a decent game.  The Vikings have Diggs and Cooks and some other guys including the overrated Kirk Cousins.  Red will take Drew Brees in his closing window of opportunity for at least one more week.  New Orleans 35 Minnesota 20. 

Red’s NFL Picks 2018(sort of) – Division Championships

After going 0-4 on Wildcard Weekend, Uncle Red decided to skip the poorly named Divisional Round but would probably have gone 3-1 (picking the Chargers foolishly) if he had bothered.  But he didn’t – so no countee!  But today is a bit slow and Red is a bit down in the mouth and what better time could there be to make some more foolish choices and almost cap off a season of sub-mediocrity in the prognostication game.

AFC Championship –  Chiefs over Patriots.  How can the Pats have possibly played in 8 consecutive AFC Championship games?  The odds of that happening in the modern NFL are pretty low – given “parity”, injuries, the odd bounce of the ball and bad calls.  But they have done it – so a tip of the ancient sombrero to Bellicheat and gang who call it up year after year after year after year . . . shampoo, rinse, repeat.  But notably, the Pats have only won 2 NFL Championships during that run and both of those were very close calls in which the opposition essentially self-destructed (Pete the Cheat’s absurd call on the goal line that kept the Seahawks from winning in the 2014 playoffs and the Falcons total meltdown to lose in OT after 2017 season.   Is there any real reason to pick against the Pats here?  Probably not.  The offense was absurdly efficient in destroying the Chargers last week.  Here is the one glitch in Perfect Pats Playoff Performance.  They haven’t won a road playoff game since 2007 and the only time they have won the AFC title game on the road in the B&B era is when they played at Pittsburgh in 2001 and 2004 playoffs.  First, no wonder Stealer fans have a special place in Hell reserved for the Pats.  And second that is, of course, ancient history in the NFL scheme of things.  However, more recent history does not look that great for the Pats.  They were 3-5 on the road this season and all 5 road losses were to non-playoff teams.   Bad weather will probably mean nothing to the Pats and will more likely impact the Chiefs wild offensive scheme.  The latest forecast seems to have the precipitation moved out by Sunday – but with brutally cold (below 10F) temperatures.

As for the Chiefs, they were Red’s preseason pick to win it all and he certainly is not going back on that call.  Mahomes is almost certain to win the MVP in his second season.  He is playing with confidence.  Even after the wild 43-40 loss to the Patriots in the regular season, it seemed to Red that the Chiefs were walking off the field thinking “Yeah, we can play with these guys” while the Pats looked like “What the hell just happened and how did we win that one?”  The Chiefs simply have to score early and often before the Pats defense makes the inevitable in-game adjustments.   And maybe just maybe the Chiefs defense is playing with some confidence after ass-whomping the Colts last week.  All in all it adds up to Red picking Kansas City 31 New England 24.

NFC Championship Game – Saints over Rams.  No weather worries here.  Saints have huge homefield advantage in the Superdome with a rabid Saints crowd.  If you haven’t been to a Saints game, you just really cannot appreciate how crazy that scene is for a big game. Yes, the Saints have looked vulnerable at times this season – losing to the Cowboys doesn’t seem quite as bad as it did at the time and the opening game loss to the Buccaneers seems darn near inexplicable now (the season-ending loss to the Panthers was meaningless).  But other than a few such glitches the Saints have been about the most consistent team in the league.

Meanwhile, the Rams only lost to the Saints, Bears and Eagles (all playoff teams) and they won the wild shoot-out with the Chiefs in week 11.  They clearly can play with anyone.  This just might be the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.  And of course you ask – what was the highest scoring playoff game in NFL history.  Well, actually it’s a tie between the Chargers 41-38 win over the Bengals in 1981 and the Bills 41-38 win over the Oilers in 1992 (the game  which made Red never really care about the outcome of another game after that).  Both were overtime games won by a field goal obviously.  Red is not predicting OT here, just massive amounts of yardage gained and goal lines crossed.  Brees and Goff both have so many weapons at their disposal.  On defense, the Rams gave up 30 or more points seven times and more than 40 points twice.  Meanwhile, the Saints gave up more than 30 only four times and those included  the inexplicable (Bucs) and the meaningless (Panthers) losses of the season.  Given all of this, Red is calling for a “Don’t miss a minute of this one because you might miss out on 3 scores” doozy of a game.  New Orleans 45 Los Angeles 38.   

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 NFL Picks – Conference Championships

Red was 2-2 in the Semis last week.  He would have been 3-1 if he had the courage of his convictions and stuck with the Eagles.  As we head to the final 3 games of the NFL season, Red reflects back a bit on what looked like a promising season for several teams.

First, the Texans – who had a brief flash of brilliance and the highest single game point total of the year with Deshaun Watson under center and then after he went down – well Red will fall back on one of his favorite quotes from Homer Simpson – “I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”  And yet Texans fans are still stuck with the Bill O’ the Clown show.

Next, the Cowboys – Red had a feeling deep down inside that Dak Prescott would suffer from sophmoritis and a steadily declining offensive line.  The Cowboys had a 6 week stretch early on in the season where they actually remembered that you have to score points in reasonable numbers to win an NFL game.  From Weeks 3-9, the Boys actually averaged almost 32 points per game – going 4-2 with losses to the hot hands of the Packers and Rams.  Then they remembered they were the Cowboys and managed score a total of 22 points in a 3 game losing streak that put the shoulder pads up against the wall.  And then they rallied against the lowlifes of the league until the Seahawks put them out of their misery with a 21-12 drubbing in Arlington.  It seems every move that Genius Jerry made this season was rather bone-headed.  Other than Ryan Switzer being established as a credible return man – nothing much seemed to work out for Jerry.

And the Packers – who once again proved that A-Rodg is year in and year out one of the MVPs of the league.

Finally, the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders who might have been the biggest disappointment in the league and also proved that Jack Del Rio is an excellent defensive coordinator and in over his head as head coach.  Also, it seems the Beast is done for barring an amazing revival.  They had Red believing – but turned out to be a novelty act of the worst kind.

Your AFC Championship Pick of the Week –  Jaguars over Patriots.  Red has a little bit of that stuff he was smoking last week left over from picking the Titans to knock off the Superb Owl champs.  It must be powerful because he is riding it uphill again this week in taking the Jags to upset the Pats on the road.  The only possible reason for this pick is that Tom Coughlin seems to somehow have the Pats number having whipped them twice for the NFL Championship – with Eli Manning to boot.  The Jags have a helluva defense – no doubt and a credible offense despite the specter of Blake Bortles hanging about.  To win this one, the Jags must get to Brady early and often.  Anything less than 4 sacks, 8 quarterback hits and multiple pressures just won’t cut it.  Either that or a concussion protocol – not that Red is rooting for that to happen.  Meanwhile, the Pats defense has carried the team.  After a shaky first 4 weeks, the Pats gave up more than 20 points just twice the rest of the way – losing to the Dolphins and eking out a Zebra assisted win against the Stealers.  But it’s not like the Pats offense are a bunch of slouches either.  If Jags can keep it close and low-scoring , they just might win this thing.  Jacksonville 27 New England 20.  

Your NFC Championship Pick of the Week – Vikings over Eagles.  Well sports fans, that was the most incredible finish to an NFL game since either the Music City Miracle or the Immaculate Reception depending on your point of view.  The Vikings probably deserved to win that game anyway, but really?  So can the Vikings come back down to earth in time to beat the Eagles Sunday night?  Well, Timmy (Red’s been waiting all year for this), that there Case Keenum fellow seems to have put the black magic fuckery in a Gatorade bottle and has the ability to break it out when needed.  But Uncle Red, “don’t the Eagles have a chance,” Danny asks.  Of course they do, Billy.  But you see there was this tall guy named Carson Wentz who old Papa Red picked out as the best in class a couple of years ago and well he got slobber-knockered a few weeks back and well, Jimmy, that was probably it for the Eagles.  Still, Willy, they have a slim chance if CK somehow decides he can still keep throwing up balls for grabs and not be punished like a repeat felon.  It’s called “ball control” and if the Vikings can hold on to the rock for say – 35 minutes Sammy, they can win this thing and be the first team ever to play on home turf in the Superb Owl era.  The odds were it had to happen some day Ricky, and Sunday is the day.  Minnesota 28 Philadelphia 24.

Red’s NFL Picks – Conference Semi-Finals

Red was unable to make it happen last week, but he would have picked the Titans, Vikings, Jaguars and Panthers to win.  So that would have been 3-1, but hey, it goes in the Shithole if you don’t do it in advance.  Things have been hectic in Red World, so it will be short and sweet this week.  And Red never bets on the NFL playoffs – that’s for the amateurs.

Vikings over Saints –  Red is still wondering how the Texans let Case Keenum get away.  He came in practically overnight at the end of 2014 season, won two games for a sad sack team and then was never even given the opportunity to compete for a back up spot.   All so that Tom Savage could prove his worthlessness?   Red completely discounts CK’s 16 games with the Rams over 2015-16 because he was being coached by Jeff Fischer – he of the giant stick up his Shithole – and a complete offensive moron of a head coach.  Fischer has had one successful quarterback in his entire career – Steve McNair – who was talented enough to overcome the crippling effect of Fischer’s offensive ineptitude.   So this will be sweet justice for Keenum – a quarterback that Red did not believe in either – but one he thought at least deserved a chance in Houston after the 2014 season.  On the other side is the aged wonder Drew Brees – another Texas quarterback – who turned back the hands of time this year.  Brees was certainly helped by a nice rushing attack and good defense.  Brees didn’t have to carry his team this season. But what wins this game is the Vikings defense.  There really isn’t a weak link there and they keep it close enough to win.   Minnesota 20 New Orleans 17.

Titans over Patriots –  Red is smoking the good stuff this morning fresh in from his favorite Shithole country. How else could he pick the Titans to knock off the reigning champs on a cold Massachusetts day with GOAT TB 12 at the helm?  This is coming from the gut and like most things coming from that direction should probably end up in the Shithole.  The Titans running attack will be effective enough to keep Brady and Co. off the field.  Titans win this one if they control the ball for 37:30 and punt well.  The Titans showed that they don’t crumble when down.  Yeah, those were the Andy Reid Chiefs and this is a different class, but Red’s team of destiny makes it happen.  Tennessee 24 New England 22.

Jaguars over Stealers –  Another gamble for Red and possibly more money down the Shithole (are you sensing a trend here?) for anyone taking the Jags.   Ben Rotlessburger has at times been very average in the face of excellent defenses and the Jags have just that.  Don’t be surprised if Ben doesn’t make it through this entire game.  The last time these teams met, BR should have been pulled.  This time they may carry him off in a basket. The rest of the league took notice when the Jags kicked ass and took names in dismantling the Stealers 30-9 in Week 5 at Heinz Field.   That win gave them the “Sacksonville” moniker as the Jags pressured BR into five interceptions and two sacks.  Can they do it again, with a trip to the AFC Championship game on the line – a game that could be played in Florida?  Red says Hell yes.   Jacksonville 28 Pittsburgh 13.

Falcons over Eagles –  As much as Red would love to pick the Eagles here, he just doesn’t feel the Foles magic.  The Falcons are still on a Mission from God to make up for the utter humiliation of last season’s Superb Owl loss to the hated Pats.  And the Eagles season started to circle the Shithole immediately after losing Carson Wentz – who still should win MVP because he was the most valuable player to any team this season. With Wentz under center the Eagles dispatch the Falcons with ease, but that will have to wait for another year.  So it is with great reluctance that Red says –  Atlanta 29 Philadelphia 12.