Tag Archives: NFL Playoffs

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.

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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.

Red’s NFL Picks – Conference Championships

NFL Picks 2016 – Conference Championships

The dream of an all-Texas Superb Owl to be played in Texas died a harsh death last weekend. It wasn’t much of a dream anyway and it keeps alive the curious streak of the home team never hosting the big game.

The Texans never had a chance against the Patriots – although they did keep it close for a whole half as Red predicted. Red almost believed for an instant after Brady’s second interception.

Meanwhile in Arlington, the Cowboys must be sitting around muttering “I could have been somebody, I could have been a contender.” The problem is that Aaron Rodgers is somebody and is always a contender. But now Jerry’s Boys will be spending the off-season wondering what could have been and not making any real changes to a lineup that had a magical year – a year that is not likely to be repeated any time soon.  The Cowboys defense has real problems and the rookie phenoms – may just be rookie phenoms.  As Red has said, he is perfectly okay with the Cowboys winning one playoff game every decade. So, sorry Jerry, the win for the 10’s is already in the books.  Talk to me in 2021.

For Round 2, Red was a spectacular 4-0 and made good on both Sure Bets with the Stealers covering and the under paying off.   Good things come to those who wait and wait and wait and . . .

Prime Time Pick of the Week – Stealers smack Patriots.    About the only good thing to come out of the Texans’ defeat on Saturday was that the defense beat the everloving crap out of Tom Brady.  Even Mrs. Red was getting excited when Chris Covington body slammed TB and Whitney Mercilus dragged him to the ground.  Brady took more hard shots in that game than he usually does in a month.  The Pats running game was also exposed.  Brady won the game with repeated strikes downfield against  Texans defensive backs who always seemed to be clueless as to where the ball was going.  That won’t happen against the Stealers.  Brady will face even more pressure (the Stealers had 30 sacks in the last 8 games). And the Pats are not likely to run against the Stealers any better than they did against the Texans.  But the real question is for the Stealers.  Can they score against the Pats league-leading defense?  The mid-season matchup tells us – well, not much.  The Stealers didn’t have Ben and Pats still had Gronk. Landry Jones had to chuck it up 47 times that day in a losing effort for the Stealers – which is something Ben almost never does. LaGarrette “Fat Pig” Blount rushed for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Pats to victory.  That does not happen Sunday.  The Pats also will not be bailed out by Dion Lewis – who had more touchdowns on Sunday than in the rest of his career going back to 2011.  Red doesn’t know how the Stealers are going to win, but he knows they are going to win and thus, cover the spread whatever it is.  The Stealers are getting 5.5 just in case you are interested.  The O/U is at 51.  Which strikes Red as way too high. Take the under here.   Pittsburgh 21 New England 20.

Sure Bet Pick of the Week – Packers pelt Falcons.  Aaron Rodgers – great family man that he is – will always have a place in Red’s heart.  Driving a stake through the heart of the Cowboys’ season will do that for you.  And the Packs’ reward is to be a 4.5 point dog on the road against the Falcons.  The Falcons looked like a well-oiled machine on Saturday – with the big exception of letting Devin Hester run wild on kick and punt returns.  Without Hester, the game was not even close.  With him, the game wasn’t that close.  The Pack has no one like Hester.  Although Ty Montgomery’s brilliant play during the Lions-Packers game showed that he is the thinking man’s kick returner.  One of the Lions’ kickoff was dying at about the Green Bay 3 yard line.  But since it was near the sideline.  TM stepped out of bounds and fell on the ball (still in bounds).  Under the very complicated NFL kicking rules, that made the ball out of bounds and put the Packers at the 40 yard line.  It pays to know the very complicated NFL kicking rules.  Red has been duly impressed by the Falcons this season.  He has picked them repeatedly in the past – only to be disappointed.  The long-suffering Falcons fans are not disappointed – well not yet anyway.  It’s a little too good to be true and reality is coming home.  The first meeting of these teams at mid-season was a complete shootout with Rodgers and Ryan combining for 7 TD passes, 534 yards and no INTs. Expect about the same on Sunday.  The oddsmakers sure do.  The O/U on this one is a whopping 61.5.  Red sees them getting there.  The Packers defense is suspect merely by virtue of having Dom Capers in charge.  The Falcons defenses has toughened up considerably over the last month of the season, but these are the Packers after all.  This one could last 4:15 and conceivably goes to OT.  Okay, Red calls OT.  Take the Pack and the points and the over. Green Bay 35 Atlanta 29.

And of course, that gives us a Packers-Stealers Superb Owl.  Who doesn’t want to see that?

Red’s NFL Picks – Playoffs Round 2

Red has now seen every Texans playoff victory in person as he had the good sense to be in New Mexico for last year’s 30-0 buttwhipping at the hand of the Chiefs. He would dearly love to be in Arlington on Sunday afternoon but will have to settle for hearing about the Cowboys game after playing golf (or possibly at the turn).

For Wildcard Week Red was 2-2. Only Red would pick a team that hasn’t won a playoff game on the road since 1957.  That would be the Lions if you weren’t paying attention.  Picking the Giants turned out to be a less than smart move.  Red will not dis A-Rodg again.  Onward and sideways.

Sure Bet Pick of the Week – Stealers slap Chiefs.    What in God’s name was Ben still doing in the game on the second-to-last play of the game?  The Stealers were lucky that BR was not seriously injured (and by Rotlessburger standards that means not in a coma or on life support in the ICU).   The Stealers simply manhandled an inferior Dolphins squad as expected.  The Chiefs will be a different story, but the ending looks the same.  As one site puts it, the Stealers “look mean as hell” right now.  Look at former Stealers linebacker and current assistant coach Joey Porter who was arrested for assault when he attached a doorman at a bar and topped that off with an aggravated assault charge when he got huffy with an arresting officer. When did the Chiefs last have a coach in a bar fight much less getting arrested?  The Stealers are getting 2 in most lines.  If that goes to 3, jump in with both feet.  The O/U at 51.5 is somewhat surprising.  Red likes the under here.  Enjoy your NFL game of the week.   Pittsburgh 27 Kansas City 20.

Underdog Pick of the Week – Falcons f#©k Seahawks. Matt “No One is Going to Mistake Me for Johnny Unitas” Ryan has one thing going for him this weekend.  He knows how to beat the Seahawks in the playoffs.  That is exactly what he did in 2012. Unfortunately for Mr. Mr. that’s the only thing he knows how to do.  That’s his only postseason win ever. We do have a bit of recent history here as the Seahawks beat the Falcons (Red loves him and all-avian playoff matchup) 26-24 back in October.  But Ryan threw 3 touchdowns against a much better secondary than the Seahawks are putting on the field right now.  The Seahawks missing Earl Thomas is like Red going hog hunting with a BB gun instead of his 7mm mag.   You might remember that just last week, Red made fun of Seahawks running back Thomas “Lou” Rawls and his season total of 349 yards rushing. After torching the Lions for 4332 yards or roughly 2.5 miles, Red takes it  all back.  All Hail, Mr. Rawls – last seen still shedding Lions tacklers somewhere near Butte, Montana.  The Seahawks best hail Mr. Rawls because it’s hard to see them winning this one without a similar performance this week. , Red wants some of what Mr. Rawls is smoking or at least a contact high.  Detroit 21 Seattle 20.

 

Texas Franchise Pick of the Week – Packers pucker up Cowboys.   Speaking of teams playing “mean as hell” consider the Packers.  They lose their best non-quarterback player and big time playmaker (J. Nelson) to a cheapshot and still cruise to an easy win over the best all around defense in the league.  Nelson claims he is going to play Sunday – fractured ribs and all.  The Pack still have the best player in the game right now in Aaron Rodgers – and here Red must again eat crow.  Rodgers was phenomenal last week.  He should fare just as well against  Red once pulled an interstitial muscle in his rib cage mowing the lawn and couldn’t get out of bed for a week.  Red doesn’t belong in the NFL.  Jordy Nelson does.  Meanwhile in the Metroplex, the Cowboys have pretty much stuffed all comers not named the New York Football Giants this season with a rookie QB at the helm.  A rookie QB that was the 113th quarterback taken in the 2016 draft –  okay he was really the 15th.  And to think it could have been Johnny Football.  But Red digresses.  Rookie quarterbacks typically have a hard time in playoff games.  Dom Capers is no dumbass and he will make life difficult for Dak Prescott.  Red predicts that before the game is over – Tony Romo attempts to ride to the rescue and fails miserably. Green Bay 37 Arlington 20.

 

Prime Time Pick of the Week – Patriots punish Texans.   Okay by now you have heard that this is the biggest point spread since David v. Goliath (Red had David at 5-1 just in case you were wondering).  Only around six times in the modern NFL era has a playoff team been disfavored by such a large spread.  One of those times was in 1979 when the Oilers were huge dogs to the Chargers because they were missing Dante Pastorini, Earl Campbell and Kenny Burroughs.  Guess what, they blasted Air Coryell and advanced to the AFC Championship game.  It’s probably the second biggest upset in modern NFL Playoff history.  Unfortunately for Houston fans it seems like no such surprise is in the works Saturday night.  The Texans are 1-7 lifetime against the Patriots.  Red was at the only Texans victory in the last game of the 2009 season and the Texans barely won even though by halftime Tom Brady was sipping a Crown and Coke in a Barcalounger on the sideline and some guy named Brian Hoyer was under center for the Pats.  It still took a fumble recovery in the end zone by Bernard Pollard and three 4th quarter touchdowns for the Texans to pull off a win in what was a meaningless game for the Pats.  It’s not like the Texans haven’t been competitive against the Pats at times.  The Lost 34-31 in December of 2013 at Foxboro and in the first meeting ever on a Sunday night in 2003, Brady had to rally the Pats to tie the game with 40 seconds left before winning 23-20 in OT.  But in the NFL, all of that is ancient history.  The Pats have simply demolished the Texans the last two seasons.  Are the Texans a different team than the one that got slobberknockered in September.  Yes.  But so are the Patriots – they have that guy Tom Brady – you know the one who sells magic pajamas (see above) and has a garage full of trophies. The Texans only win with at least 17 points scored or set up by defense and special teams, one long TD drive and one 75+ yard TD.  If those things happen – and they won’t – the Texans have a chance.  All that said, Red expects the Texans defense to keep it close for a while.  But if it goes according to form, Red will be able to switch over and watch Have Gun Will Travel reruns by the middle of the third quarter.  There are worse ways to spend a Saturday night.  New England 24 Houston 11.