Tag Archives: NFL Predictions

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 NFL Picks 2018 – Week 17

It’s wrong to have to be picking for 17 weeks (Yes, Red knows he missed a couple of weeks – so sue him!).  But it gives Red one last chance to pull a winning record out of his deflated Champ.  Red was 2-4 last week – meaning that he is 38-44 for the year and if he hits on all 6 this week – perfect mediocrity – which has kind of been Red’s life plan all along.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Titans over Colts.  Not much doubt about the TGOTWGOTW this week.  Titans and Colts face off in the first playoff game of the season.  Winner gets the last Wildcard spot and loser goes home.  When all the chips are on the table, Red looks to defense and running game and home field.  Here the Titans are 3-0.  Yes, the Colts have a much better overall offense, but the Titans defense is just enough better and their running game is for real.  Throw in a raucous crowd getting ready for New Year’s in Music City and Red is going with the Titans – but in a squeaker.   Tennessee 19 Indianapolis 16.

Your National TV Game of the Week – Bears over Vikings.  As noted, the Bears really don’t have to score many points to win right now.  And with two top rated defenses and a playoff berth possibly on the line for the Vikings, expect a tight low-scoring contest decided by an extra point, safety or field goal.  And these two just might get to do it over again next week in Chicago if the Eagles falter.  Chicago 17 Minnesota 14.

Your Texas Game of the Week – Texans over Jaguars.  Texans need a win for a chance at a critical first round bye and home game in the divisional round – two things they have never achieved.  Of course, they need help from the Patriots – and good luck there.  The Jaguars have a decent shot at the 2018 Dead Man of the Year Award as a collective.  They entered the season with high apple pie in the sky hopes and instead got a shaving cream pie in the face from the get go.  Texans resurrected their season but fell apart late against the Eagles to most likely dash hopes of first round bye last week.  The cracks in the Texans offense are evident.  Watson holds the ball too long, he has one reliable receiver and the running game comes and goes.  The Jags are playing for pride and could be dangerous despite their pathetic excuse for an offense. If the Texans can’t score enough points to beat the Jags, then expect a quick exit from the playoffs.  Only the whole season is riding on this one.  Houston 28 Jacksonville 16.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week –  Bengals over Stealers.  Bengals put an end to season of disappointment and misery for both teams.  Both of these teams were legitimate playoff contenders if things broke right.  Needless to say they didn’t.  Cincinnati 17 Pittsburgh 14.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – Chiefs over Raiders.  There are always slim pickings in this category with Week 17 matchups featuring exclusively divisional rivalries.  Hardly any teams are out of their time zone.  Raiders have shown signs of life lately and conversely, the Chiefs are not the juggernaut of September and October.   Still the Chiefs have a lot on the line with a home field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line.  Mahomes has been the man all season and he closes out his MVP year with a spectacular performance this week.  Red calls for 5 TDs, one sack and a possible rushing touchdown.  All the crew joins in – except for the defense which as usual sucks.  Kansas City 48 Oakland 35.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – Falcons over Buccaneers.  Nineteen collective losses earns these two NFC chumps a spot in the final Shit Bowl.  Red had the Falcons playing for a championship and cannot figure out what exactly went wrong except that the Falcons have trouble putting together a decent season more than once about every five years.  The Buccaneers were a disaster waiting to happen that kept the masses entertained for a while with Fitzpatrick’s miraculous month.  Red cautions the foolish few who might actually watch this one to put away that brand new Walther PPK you got for Christmas from weird Uncle Al lest ye be tempted to attempt some target practice on that big 64 incher that Mrs. _______ put in your mancave as a surprise during the third quarter of this turgid turd tussle.  Atlanta 27 Tampa Bay 13.

Your Bonus If Red Can go 7-0 and Post a Winning Record He’ll Be Really Happy Pick of the Week –  Browns over Ravens.  The Browns deserve a winning season and the Ravens deserve to go home.  Enough said.  Cleveland 28 Baltimore 3.

Red’s NFL Picks 2018 – Week 16

Red was 4-3 last week and made a mistake in picking an extra game.  F#(%ing Cowboys! That puts Red at 36-40 for the season with only two weeks to pull some smelly scabrous mascot out of the hat.  As noted, Red has not been picking against the line this season and maybe that was a mistake as his work might have had some redeeming value.  As it stands, not so much.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Stealers over Saints.  The Stealers found new life in survival against the Patriots last week.  That sort of hard fought win can propel a team into a desperately needed season-closing win streak or just be a dead cat bounce.  The Stealers offensive line is capable of taking over a game on a good week.  They do it on the Bayou this week and enjoy playing in the controlled environment for a change.  Make no mistake, the Saints may be the best team in the NFL right now – but even the best can be beat.  Pittsburgh 29 New Orleans 28.

Your National TV Game of the Week – Chiefs over Seahawks.  Yes, Red has prominently featured the Chiefs all season, but no team has played in more interesting games than the boys from the great plains.  This week is no exception.  The Seahawks need a win to keep pace in a jumbled NFC wild card race.  The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot but need a win to keep pace with the hard-charging Chargers (sorry but it’s true).  Both teams need wins, both teams can win, both teams can lose.  Red is really on a triteness roll this morning.  Enough!  Watch this game.  Kansas City 41 Seattle 37.

Your Texas Game of the Week –  Eagles over Texans.  The Texans are just not playing very well right now.  It took a ridiculous number of field goals for them to dispatch the Jets – who don’t completely suck thanks to Mr. Darnold.  While watching the game, Mrs. Red exclaimed, “Is his name really Darn Old?”  Yep, he’s that darn old quarterback.  This week they face the resurgent Eagles with “big ass chip on his shoulder still” Nick Foles at the helm.  Nick has big money to play for.  He makes big time plays this week.  Philadelphia 25 Houston 21.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Bears over 49ers.  It seems that no team can stop  the mighty Bears right now – certainly not the smoking ruins of the 49ers once glorious franchise.  The only issue might be a slight hangover after having rolled and smoked the hated rival Packers last week.  It’s not enough but might make this one a bit closer than otherwise expected.  Chicago 20 Santa Clara 16.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – Chargers over Ravens.  The time zone hex has been a particularly poor indicator this season.  Red is left to wonder if the best days of the hex have been eviscerated by better front office planning and easier in-week workouts.   The Chargers do not need the hex factor to dispatch a mediocre Ravens team travelling on one of the 4-5 longest road trips possible in the NFL (Red believes Seattle-Miami takes the top spot but Boston- LA may not be far behind).  Chargers cost Red a shot at a much needed fantasy football championship last week by going for the win instead of taking the game to OT.  But he cannot fault balls.  No balls really needed this week – other than the oblate spheroid.   Los Angeles 45 Baltimore 22.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – Broncos over Raiders.  My how the mighty have fallen.  These are two teams that could have been somebody in recent seasons, instead of a bum which is what they are (with apologies to Marlon Brando).  But with a combined 19 losses between them they are both deserving of placement in the penultimate Shit Bowl.  Red kind of likes Case Keenum despite his having played at POS UH.  And after last season, it looked like a big mistake for the Texans to have let this guy get away.  Now, not so much.  15 TDs against 12 INTs and 32 sacks is not a prescription for success.  Throw in his 8 fumbles (of which miraculously only one has been lost) and you have about 4 semi-disastrous plays per game without much to offset it.  The overall lack of talent is clearly not his fault, but great QBs make those around them play better and that has not happened here.  As for the Raiders, the less said the better as they skulk their way out of Oakland for the second time in franchise history leaving the emaciated ghost of Dead Al Davis to wander for all eternity croaking “Just win baby” in a voice that can only be heard when the wind blows in from Mantica.  Denver 17 Oakland 3.

 

Red’s NFL 2018 Picks – Week 14

Red just can’t seem to get much traction – which he knows is not a big selling point as an introduction to a column that is supposed to be about picking winners.  Anyhow, Red was 3-3 again last week bringing the season total to an underwhelming 29-34.  At least your old buddy Red is honest about his powers of prognostication.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week –  Bears over Rams.  Well Timmy, it’s time to go out on the limb and call another longshot.  It works about 10% of the time, but you gotta have some fun in this game or go crazy.  The Bears defense is more than capable of slowing down the Ramrod attack.  Can the offense score just enough.  Red calls it.   Chicago 25 Los Angeles 23.

Your National TV Game of the Week – Seahawks over Vikings.  Vikings were waxed by the Patriots when they had a chance to prove that they could have been somebody, a contender instead of bums which is what they are.  Seahawks are stumbling to a playoff spot in the crowded NFC wildcard race.  This is one more staggering step to a wildcard berth and a first round exit.  Seattle 24 Minnesota 17.

Your Texas Game of the Week  – Texans over Colts.  Texans likely wrap up another AFC South Crown with a win this week.  In September. the idea of this team winning 10 in a row was farcical.  Has Bill O the Clown become Bill the Genius?  Only the playoffs will tell.  Meanwhile, Colts are coming off getting skunked by the hapless Jags.  The will score points but not enough points.  This one might actually be entertaining.  Houston 34 Indianapolis 31.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week  – Chargers over Bengals.  Chargers win on the road.  Chargers win at home – also on the road.  Chargers win.  Bengals are lost without Red Rifle and cannot overcome double time zone/reverse climate shift hex this week.  Los Angeles 45 Cincinnati 7.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Eagles over Cowboys.  Cowboys have surprised the Hell out of Red in holding the mighty Saints to 10 points last week.  That likely was the high point for a Dallas defense that relies way too heavily on having linebackers make incredible plays.  Meanwhile in Philadelphia it looked for a while like Nick Foles might get another chance.  But Mr. Wentz has taken charge – more or less – and a win on Sunday puts them in the driver’s seat in the sad sack NFC East.  Unfortunately that bus looks like it is headed over a cliff.  At the beginning of the season, the winner of this division looked primed to make a playoff run.  Not so much anymore.  Philadelphia 21 Arlington, TX 13.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – Bills over Jets.  This week’s stinkathon features two teams that have combined for 17 losses.  Note:  the Lions and Cardinals have also combined for 17 L’s but Red is tired of beating up on the Cards who actually beat up on the Packers last week and messed up Red’s chances at a winning week.  This smellarama will be a titanic clash of two of the worst offenses currently known to man.  The Bills have been especially atrocious in averaging under 15 points per game.  But the Cards have a more balanced awfulness to them as both their offense and defense reek while the Bills’ defense is actually playing reasonably well.  If attending in person, please wear your approved gas mask lest ye choke on the acrid fumes emanating from this exemplar of an an awful anal attraction.  Orchard Park, NY 10 New Jersey 3.

Red’s NFL Picks 2018 – Week 13

Well old Uncle Red was out of pocket last week and had to skip Week 12 of the NFL season.  For Week 11, Red was 2-4 bringing his season total to an underwhelming 26-31.  Mama told me there would be seasons like these. Week 13 for sure.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Vikings over Patriots.  In the 13th ever game between these two franchises from the 1960s, the Vikings can post their first win since September of 2000.  And while Red has shoes older than that (two pairs of Cowboy boots actually), many of the citizens of our fair land have never seen the Purple Hoard beat down the New Millennial Franchise of Excellence.  Yes, Red has been down this road of picking against the Pats before and is usually the sorrier for it.  But he called the Titans win a few weeks back and just has a feeling about this one.  It’s that stingy 93 rushing yards per game that the Vikings defense has been giving up.  And face it, while most credit Brady and the passing game for the offensive success of the Pats, it has been Bellicheat’s ability to create running room for a rotating cast of otherwise mediocre running backs that makes his offense go.  If the Vikes shut down the run, they have a chance to get another leg up on the first NFC Wildcard spot.  Maybe a small chance.  Minnesota 23 New England 21. 

Your National TV Game of the Week – Saints over Cowboys.  If the Cowboys can beat the Saints, Red will eat his Stetson Cattleman which he bought on impulse and has rarely worn – so at least it will be fresh.  The Saints are the best team in the NFL right now.  It would be a huge upset for the Boys to win this one even with dashing phenom Amari Cooper.  Look for the Saints to manhandle Cooper with double teams and dare the Cowboys to beat them with Dak and Zeke and the rest of the gang.  The Saints are averaging 16 points more per game than the Cowboys.  Red just doesn’t see the Boys being able to keep up with the Black and Gold through four quarters.   New Orleans 39 Arlington 21. 

Your Texas Game of the Week – Texans over Browns.  Well if ever a team was primed for a letdown against a mediocre opponent, it would be the Texans coming in on an 8 game win streak and a victory over a Titans team that seemed to be righting the ship.  But then again these are the Browns – and even the recently resurgent Browns are unlikely to pull off an upset on the road against a team playing reasonably well.  The Texans real weakness has been in scoring with a measly 4 rushing touchdowns this season.  They cannot keep up with any high scoring offenses and fortunately have not played any of those (except perhaps the Patriots in Week 1).  The Browns should have about a 6-4 record but for repeated “screwings” at the hands of the refs.  So they are not to be taken lightly.  This one will be close and perhaps ugly.  Texans’ fans will take ugly any day since they have been fed a steady diet of same for going on 17 years now.  Houston 19 Cleveland 13.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Eagles over Redskins.  If Red is right about the Cowboys, this will make for a giant scramble in the NFC East down the stretch with three teams at 6-6 with four games to play (Note: Pete Rozelle is laughing from high above).  So while that would not be a disappointing result for purely comic reasons – this is your DGOTW because everything about the NFC East is disappointing this season.  Mediocrity reigns supreme.  Philadelphia 32 Landover, MD 25.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – Chargers over Stealers.  Whoever wins this one closes in on a playoff spot.  So – big game for both teams who have been playing well – although Red wonders how the Stealers managed to lose to the Broncos last week (oh yeah, four turnovers including a fumble out the back of the end zone on what should have been a scoring play will do it).  Chargers are able to overcome the triple time zone hex coming in off the bye week – unless the temperature is below freezing with blowing snow.  Right now the prognosticators are calling for temperatures in the 40’s with light rain.  Lovely but not enough to slow down a powerhouse Charger team that has played all of its games on the road (more or less) this season.  Los Angeles 42 Pittsburgh 29.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – Packers over Cardinals.  One might speculate that the Packers will eventually win another game.  One might also have bought GE Stock earlier this year.  Their middle of the Pack (okay – pun intended) ratings on offense and defense should have them positioned for at least a decent shot at a playoff berth with 5 games to play.  But having managed to lose some winnable games – now they are chasing the 6-5 OTNAs, Cowboys, Panthers and Seahawks and the technically in first for a NFC Wildcard spot Vikings at 6-4-1.   In sports lingo that is known as a “veritable shitload of teams” to go through.  Meanwhile in the desert southwest, the Cardinals are going through a nightmare of a season having basically been run out of the stadium by most of their opponents – topped off with a loss to the Raiders – the NFL equivalent of having your alcoholic uncle turn down your present of a bottle of hootch.  The 15 combined losses of these two venerable franchises lands them squarely in this week’s SB.  As far as Red can remember, this will be A. Rodgers first ever SB appearance.  That alone might make it palatable enough so that you need not put away all the rat poison lest ye be tempted to add a heaping tablespoon to your Margarita mix while watching this terrible turd tussle.  Green Bay 21 Arizona 13.

Red’s NFL Picks 2018 – Week 11

Well Red was 3-3 for the week and running in place at 24-27 for the week.  Red will not bet against the Saints again.  He did call the Titans upset over the Patriots – so take that.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Chiefs over Rams.  Well sometimes it just speaks for itself.  This one needs no hype.  Two 9-1 teams (with both losses having come against stiff competition) roll into Estadio Azteca on del noche del proximo Lunes for this mid-season AFC/NFC marquee showdown.  The winner gets bragging rights and an inside track to a top playoff seed (the Rams need some help in that regard).  Red isn’t sure when there last was an AFC/NFC matchup of this caliber this late in the season.  These are the two top scoring offenses in the league and unless the turf in Mexico City is just awful, the Mexican faithful can expect a fireworks show extraordinaire.  Yes, Red knows that sometimes this turns into a tight defensive struggle, but he just can’t see it here with all the weapons that Mahomes and Goff have at their disposal guiding by two coaches who do not believe in holding their fire.  This could last a while so load up on the guacamole and nachos and enjoy the fiesta.  Red sticks with his Superb Owl favorite in this one.  Kansas City 48 Los Angeles 40.  Update:  Game moved to LA – Red sticks with his original call.

Your National TV Game of the Week –  Bears over Vikings.  Sunday night is overshadowed by the explosive Monday night game between the Chiefs and Rams.  Still this is a good matchup between two teams fighting for the NFC North lead going into the home stretch.  Although Red doesn’t see either of these teams factoring two much into the playoffs, this is still a big game that could decide this division.  Definitely worth watching and please God – let there be snow on Sunday night in the Windy City.  Red is ready for an old fashioned blizzard game.  Alas, there is a chance for light snow on Saturday.  Chicago 17 Minnesota 14.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Packers over Seahawks.  The 4-5 Seahawks seem to be appearing in a lot of Your DGOTW’s this season – and rightfully so.  The only question Red has is – why no one seems to talk about a “hot seat” for Pete the Cheat.  Maybe if he loses this one, the old rocking chair will be at least tepid.  Meanwhile, the Packers at 4-4-1 are the very picture of disappointment.  Ennui reigns this week as the winner keeps slim playoff hopes alive while the loser looks into the abyss of six more meaningless weeks of pain.  Green Bay 24 Seattle 17.

Your Texas Game of the Week – Texans over OTNAs.  Even if Red believed in Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the OTNA crew, he could never pick them to win this game or almost any game that wasn’t against the Cowboys.  Yes the OTNAs are one of the biggest surprises of the year coming into this game at 6-3 leading the NFC East.  But keep in mind that the OTNAs have scored exactly 176 points this season (that’s less than half of what the Chiefs have totaled) and given up 175.  Talk about your smoke and mirrors!   And what is truly amazing is that the OTNAs have scored fewer points than any team in the pathetic excuse for a professional football division (“PEFPFD”) that is the NFC East.  Yes the Giants have scored more points (well one more point) than the OTNA’s.  On the other hand, the Texans have to be the biggest in-season resurrection surprise so far.  From 0-3 to 6-3 is no easy feat even against mediocre competition.  Red thinks the Texans resurgent defense keeps this one close enough for the Texans to eke out a win on the road.  Braves take the wrong warpath and end up in Delaware.  Houston 24 Landover, MD 19.

Your Time Zone Hex Game of the Week – on Hiatus – Your Kick Ass Game of the Week – Falcons over Cowboys.  This is the game most likely to turn into the dreaded field goal fest of yore.  Atlanta 18 Arlington 9.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – Cardinals over Raiders.  Well folks, it doesn’t get any smellier than this one.  In fact, the fumes from this one are already driving Red to distraction and away from the old keyboard.  Red thinks you will be entirely justified in unloading two shells from your Browning Superposed 20 gauge into the old 54 incher before halftime of this beastly BM battle.  Even the emaciated and staggering ghost of Dead Al Davis can no longer complain at this point.  The Gruden Raiders are a joke.  Just make sure the wife and kids are off at the movies.  Arizona 10 Oakland 0.

Red’s NFL Picks 2018 – Week 10

The Red train may have finally left the station in Week 9.  Uncle Red was 5-1 for the week bringing the season tally to an almost respectable 21-23 – “almost” being the operative word there.  But for foolishly believing that the Raiders might win another game, Red would have been 6-0.

Your Game of the Week Game of the Week – Bengals over Saints.  Red called the Saints big win over the Rams last week.  There is absolutely no reason to believe that the Bengals can beat the Saints.  Red is playing the coming off the bye week team vs. the team with incredibly exciting emotional victory card this week.  Bengals have the offense firepower to hang with the Saints (on a good day).  The real question is can the Bengals hold the Saints to less than 30 points.  Red is stretching here – but you gotta call a few upsets to have any fun at this game.  Cincinnati 29 New Orleans 28.

Your Texas Game of the Week – Eagles over Cowboys.  When the Cowboys score 20 or more points they win.  Unfortunately for the Cowboy faithful, that just doesn’t happen very much and not against decent teams (the Jaguars were thought to be decent at the time but shit happens).   If the Eagles cannot score at least 28 points they do not deserve to win, but scoring 20 probably wins this one anyway.  The arrival of Amari Cooper cannot possibly hurt and the Dakster must be relieved to have an actual wide receiver on the team.  But even the talented Cooper cannot invigorate the anemic an inept passing scheme of soon to be Ex-Head Coach Jason Garrett (you heard it first here – and everywhere else anyone comments about the NFL).   A loss this week, may force JJ to act now before the season slips further away.  Adios Jason.  Philadelphia 42 Arlington 17.

Your National TV Game of the Week –   Stealers over Panthers.  Wow! A Thursday night game that doesn’t suck – will wonders never cease.   This is a matchup between two teams with legitimate playoff aspirations who are both 4-1 over the last five games.  How did that happen? The scheduling geniuses at NFL headquarters can’t always get it right. So after spending a late night on Tuesday wondering if the wave is going to be red, blue or purple – prepare for another late night of actual entertaining professional football.  Stealers have to shut down Panthers’ powerhouse running game to win this one and exploit a mediocre pass defense to win this one.  They do just enough of that on Thursday to eke out win.  Pittsburgh 27 Carolina 25.

Your Disappointing Game of the Week – Rams over Seahawks.  Red admits that it’s a bit hard to call this one disappointing – unless you are a Seahawks’ fan and then your disappointment cup runneth over.  Last season the Rams were up and coming and in the second game of the division rivals the Seahawks still had a chance at the playoffs but were effectively eliminated with a 42-7 ass-whomping that still hurts.  This season the first matchup was a close Rams victory signaling that the Rams have arrived to take their place among the league’s elite  – while the Seahawks are stuck in neutral and looking for a Wildcard shot at best to eke into the playoffs.  So what once looked like a decent rivalry has quickly changed into Rams dominance in a division that the Seahawks more or less owned for the best part of the Teens.  The Rams do need to shake off the tough loss in New Orleans on Sunday and get back to business of winning a first round bye.  Los Angeles 37 Seattle 17.

This Week’s Shit Bowl – 49ers over Giants.  This game pulls double duty as an especially stinky Shit Bowl and this week’s Time Zone Hex Game of the Week.  Giants travel three time zones west to drop a giant turd on the West Coast.  Other than the now seemingly inexplicable win over the Texans, the Giants have found a way to lose blow outs and close games with aplomb and seem likely headed for 1-15 record unless they can beat the Cowboys in the season finale.  Red predicts that if the Cowboys need that game to make the playoffs (which seems unlikely at best right now), the Giants will find a way to win.  Meanwhile, the Niners ship seems to have at least stopped taking on water and may have found a credible replacement QB in Nick Mullins after C.J. Beathard got beat hard.  Yes, there are the two unseemly losses to the Cardinals, but have lost to the Chiefs, Chargers, Packers and Rams is not completely embarrassing.  The Niners may be the turnaround team of the second half (like the Chargers last season).  So you may not need to secure all of the various weapons in the house before sitting down to this excruciating excrement exhibition because the Niners may be worth watching for the next 8 weeks.  Santa Clara 35 New Jersey 10.

Your Bonus – Upset Game of the Week – Titans over Patriots.  A guy can dream can’t he?  Actually, every season one team with absolutely no business winning a game somehow manages to more or less stomp their betters into the ground.  Now this almost never happens to the Pats, but look at it this way – they are overdue.  The Titans completely pathetic offensive attack catches the Pats by surprise this week. Red can already feel the wave of shame and regret that comes with this pick.   Tennessee 34 New England 21.