Tag Archives: Red’s NFL Picks

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.

Advertisements

Red’s NFL Picks – AFC East

Ah, the NFC East – also known as the “uncontested lay-up” division for all pundits.

Patriots. As long time readers know (and Red hopes they are both awake and not hungover this morning), this is where Red always writes that it is “cowardly and spineless to pick the Patriots year after year” and then confirms his cowardice and utter lack of vertebral support by picking the Patriots anyway. In fairness to Red, look at the rest of this division – details to follow below.   Red has finally come to terms with the fact that Brady and Bellicheat long ago made a pact with the Dark Lord and while their souls may be damned for all eternity at least they will both end up in the Hall of Fame. Realistically, Red thinks this may be the season where Tom Brady finally looks tired and old and Bellicheat gets his playbook stolen by Russian hackers.  That coupled with a brutal stretch after the Week 9 bye; from November 12 to December 17 the Pats play 5 of 6 games on the road against real competition (Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins and Stealers).  Oh, for crying out loud. Quit kidding yourself Red, you know you have no balls when it comes to this division.  Save your foolishness for the NFC West. Who on the schedule can beat the Pats even on a bad day?  Maybe the Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, Falcons and Stealers? Certainly not the Texans as long as Tom Brady is in the house.   New England breezes to another divisional crown with a 12-4 record.  Red really hates himself today.

Bills.  The Bills have not made the playoffs in 17 years – the longest active post-season drought in the NFL (yes – worse than Cleveland even).  Red sees no reason that streak ends anytime soon.  Yes, the inevitably flawed “Rex Ryan as a head coach” experiment ended up with broken glass on the floor and poisonous gasses filling the laboratory/locker room.  Trump supporter Ryan failed in his promise to make Bills’ fans “tired of winning.”  New coach Sean McDermott will at least not be flaunting absurd predictions  of success.  Rather, the Bills seem to be building an offense suited to the limited repertoire of QB Tyrod Taylor.  Coordinator Rick Dennison is implementing a version of the vaunted “West Coast Offense” with short routes mixed with long bombs and quick decisions.   If Sammy Watkins can stay on the field, he leads a corps of competent wideouts.  And then there is the redoubtable LeSean McCoy.  Red isn’t about to guess what to make of his 2017 season.  On the defensive side, out is the Ryan family’s complicated 3-4 scheme and back in with a traditional 4-3.  The Bills seem headed in the right direction after years of aimless wandering, but that probably only translates to a less than awful season.  Orchard Park is reasonably happy with an 8-8 campaign.

Dolphins.  The Dolphins at least went 10-6 and made the playoffs last year. But against the Pats, they were behind 31-3 in week 3 before rallying to lose by only 7 and then were blown out 35-14 in week 17.  In the playoffs the Stealers pushed them aside like a Latvian President and that was it for the aquatic mammals.  The Dolphins cupboard is not bare with up and coming talent like Jay Ajayi and others.  But when your season depends on Jay Cutler . . .  [insert bad thing happening here].  Miami regresses to 7-9.

Jets. The Jets have been a reality TV show for the last several seasons – and a really bad reality TV show at that.  Of course, when the White House is pretty much a reality TV show, maybe Red is on the wrong side of this issue.  Probably not, but Red is an open-minded sort of guy.  But the Jets! What is going on with this franchise? When Red went to the Jets  official website – they did not have a depth chart posted!  Maybe when your choices for starting quarterback include the appropriately named Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty it’s just as well to keep everyone in the dark.  What is going on is a massive roster dump to get the first draft pick next season – thought to be USC quarterback Sam Darnold. Every season Red’s fondest wish is for a 6-10 team to make the playoffs.  His runner-up wish is for a team to go winless.  The Jets love Red this season –  0-16 Baby!

Red’s NFL Picks – NFC East

Some call this the highest profile division in the entire NFL. It’s hard to argue with geography and tradition. When you have teams from the big cities in the Amtrak corridor (Giants, Eagles and OTNAs), and the hated and loved (but seldom indifferent to) Cowboys, not to mention three teams that have won multiple NFL Championships – then yes a lot of people are watching what happens here.  And maybe more than any other division, the NFC East in recent years has been up for grabs like a Matt Schaub floater in the slot.  No team has repeated as division champion since the Eagles in 2004.  And since 2011, every team has won at least one division title with the Cowboys and OTNAs each grabbing a pair. Unlike the AFC East, this is a tough call

Eagles have done more than any other team to boost their offense at the skill position with Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, Donnel Pumphrey, and LaGarrette Blount (aka the Fat Pig). The Fat Pig will function as the anti-Darren Sproles. Trading Jordan Matthews is a serious and unexpected blow, but the defense needed help. Most analysts think the Eagles are a year away.  Red thinks that the Carson Wentz workshop will be cranking out a bunch of touchdowns with his new tools and a solid O line.  Eagles score early and often.  The addition of Derek Barnett may give the Eagles the best pass rush in the NFL.  Red predicts Bosa, Barnett, Graham and Cox may combine to break the NFL team sack record in 2017.  And just so you don’t have to look it up that would be the Bears 72 sacks in 1984.  A relatively easy early schedule (at least compared to the division rivals) has the Eagles at 6-2 at halftime and with some breathing room.  It gets tougher and the season-ending matchup at home against the Cowboys will be loser goes home.  Eagles don’t lose.  Philadelphia wins division with a hard fought 10-6 record.

Cowboys.  Smart money is on the Cowboys with 2016 ROY Dak Prescott and suspended girl-beater Ezekiel Elliott returning from unbelievable stellar rookie seasons. If all that JerryWorld had to worry about was a sophomore slump from those two, then the Cowboys would be an easy pick.  But hold on Hoss.  Forty percent of the best O-line in football is gone with the unexpected retirement of excellent RT Doug Free and coveted LG Ronald Leary heading to the Broncos. They are not easy to replace and a unit that played together for several seasons is not readily replicated.  Add to that, the near complete fruit basket turnover in the Cowboys secondary with CBs Claiborne and Carr and Safeties Chuch and Wilcox being shown the door.  That leaves Byron Jones as the only remaining starter.  Unless the pass rush is much better than anticipated, expect to see the secondary getting burned early and often by the excellent wide receivers in this division.  And don’t forget the tougher champions schedule.  The only potential nothing-burgers on the schedule are the Rams and 49ers.  Every other team can beat the Cowboys.  Red sees Arlington making it to  9-7 at best.

Giants will have the best defense in the NFL this season. The line has been solid and the secondary took a big step forward with addition of Janoris Jenkins.  The big question for the Giants is the offense.  Young Manning is now 36 and coming off his worst season in years.  Maybe adding Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram helps, but unless the Giants can run the ball, look out for trouble.  As with the Boys, the Giants have a tough schedule.  The Week 2 matchup with the Cowboys could be critical since they will likely be coming off a loss to the Patriots in Week 1.  Realistically, New Jersey comes in as 8-8 material, but they could grab second with the Elliott suspension looming.

OTNAs (that’s Offensive Term for Native Americans for the new readers) will blow.  Disarray carries the day.  Landover, Md. will be lucky to see 6-10.