Tag Archives: NFL Playoffs

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.   

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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 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.

Red’s NFL Picks – AFC West

The Wild Wild West.  A dangerous place for the pundit.

Raiders. Raiders would have almost certainly been playing in the second round of the playoffs if not for losing first and second string quarterbacks and suffering a season-ending loss to the Broncos that cost them a division title and home field advantage.  The only team in recent memory to win a playoff game with a third stringer under center was the Texans in 2011 with T.J. Yeates.  But they beat the Bengals so it almost doesn’t count.  And nothing against Connor Cook, but when your QB is 18 of 45 with 3 INTs and rating of 30.0, it’s going to be a long plane flight back to California.  With even an average Derek Carr day, the Raiders had a decent shot at beating a Texans team with Brock Osweiler at the helm.  So Carr (brother of David – who, by the way, still sucks) and most of the offensive weaponry is still intact.  And they now have “The Beast”. With that addition, Latavius Murray might become the league’s best third down back and catch about 60 passes when it really counts. The Raiders defense is the weak link here – which is a surprise on a Jack Del Rio coached team. The Raiders end their championship drought when they clinch the title in the last game  against the Chargers.  The emaciated ghost of Al Davis croaks “Just win Baby” as the champagne pours.  But sadly, Walking Dead Al continues to roam the soon-to-be abandoned corridors of Oakland Coliseum hoping for an Uber ride to Vegas for all eternity.  Oakland takes home the silver and black cake with an 11-5 record.

Chiefs. It’s hard to bet against the Chiefs.  Red thinks they got the steal of the draft in Patrick Mahomes.  He looks like the real thing and may be starting by November.  Of course he will have to find someone other than Travis Kelce to throw to.  And C.J. Spiller and the running back committee will have to take charge at times.  A lot rides on the Thursday night opener in Foxboro.  If they knock off the champions, then the Chiefs may swoop in on their war ponies and beat enough of the weaklings and mediocrities on the schedule to grab a wildcard spot.  A humiliating loss could send the team into a tail spin.  Red likes the Chiefs chances.  Kansas City grabs the last AFC Wildcard spot with 9-7 record.

Broncos. New head coach Vance Joseph is going to be a winner.  But sorry Vance, probably not this season.  Yes the Broncos defense will keep them in a lot of games.  But this may be a year that Red’s Rule (score 13 points and beat the Cowboys) takes a road trip to Colorado.  Neither Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is going to drag this offense over the goal line anywhere near enough times for the Broncos to have a shot at playing in January.  Having the injury prone Jamaal Charles and C.J. Anderson as your best options in the backfield is not encouraging.  Denver stumbles out of the gate and are lucky to finish 8-8.

Chargers. Red has always like this franchise.  Everyone in Southern California seemed so happy at the games sitting half-naked in the warm sunshine of Jack Murphy Stadium. The fans were in fact beautiful and so was the way the Chargers played the game. The offense was exhilirating and the high scoring games were entertaining.  Having Red’s favorite LT for a decade helped cement his love for this franchise.  But that love has been a one-way street.  Red has repeatedly picked the Chargers and they have rewarded him with disdain.  So the best thing Red could do for the Charges is shit all over their prospects for this season.  That he will gladly do.  Charges are woeful in their new home.  Just how stupid do you have to be leave San Diego?  You’ll go  4-12 and like it.

 

NFL Overtime Rules Written by Morons

The Patriots may have deserved to win the Superb Owl yesterday, but we will never know because of the NFL’s bizarre and absurd overtime rules.  No other major sport has a true sudden death overtime.  The NBA plays 5 minute OT periods until someone wins.  Baseball plays full innings until someone wins.  The NHL does have sudden death but the game changes from offense to defense very quickly and possession is won in a face off.  It would be a very unusual circumstance for each team to not have possession of the puck in OT.  Soccer plays two 15 minute overtime periods followed by a shootout if needed.   It is absurd that after a full NFL season and the playoffs, that the championship can be so influenced by a coin toss.  Yes, the team winning the toss has to score a touchdown, but it is a ridiculous system that does not allow each team a shot on offense.  The college system has its flaws but at least has some elements of fairness.

Today in Texas History – January 18

From the Annals of the NFL –  The Pittsburgh Stealers beat the Irving Cowboys 21-17 in Superb Owl X at the Orange Bowl in Miami.  The Stealers scored 21 the hard way with 2 TD’s, 1 PAT, 1 Safety and 2 Field Goals.  The margin of victory might have been greater if not for Stealers’ kicker Roy Gerela being injured tackling Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson when the Cowboys ran a trick play reverse on the opening kickoff.  Gerela suffered bruised ribs and missed two short field goals and an extra point. Stealers quarterback Terry Bradshaw (who had been much maligned during the regular season) was an efficient 9-19 for 209 yards and 2 TDs, but it was the Stealers defense that won the day.   Cowboys’ quarterback Roger Staubach had one of his worst games throwing up 3 interceptions and getting sacked 7 times.   Still, down 21-10 in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys mounted a comeback driving 80 yards in 5 plays topped off with a 34 yard touchdown pass to tight end Percy Howard.  Remarkably, it was the only reception of Howard’s NFL career.  After failing to recover the onside kick, the Cowboys defense held and the offense came on with 1:22 needing a touchdown to win.  It was not to be as Staubach threw up his third interception in the end zone as time ran out.