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.