Tag Archives: Texas Football

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. 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 the Boys at 9-7 at best.

The 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, the Giants are 8-8 material, but they could grab second with the Elliott suspension looming.

The OTNAs will blow and be lucky to hit 6-10.

The 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.  Eagles win division with a hard fought 10-6 record.

Red’s 2017 NFL Predictions – the Annual Bitch Portion Thereof

Well it’s time for Red’s Annual Bitch about the favorable TV treatment afforded the Hated Arlington Cowboys franchise.  Hang on to your Stetsons.

 If for some unfathomable reason you are a Cowboys fan, most Sundays you can sleep late, linger over brunch, get in 18 holes, have an under-the-covers nap (aka siesta tradicional) and still be back in the recliner with nachos in hand in time for kickoff. It’s even better this season than usual for all you HAC fans.  All Red can say is – at least your team made the playoffs last season  and there is some slight justification for having a reasonable share of games on National TV – but nothing justifies this:

Week 1       Giants Sunday Night Game

Week 2       At Broncos Sunday Late Game

Week 3       At Cardinals Monday Night Game

Week 5       Packers Sunday Late Game

Week 7       At 49ers Sunday Late Game

Week 8       At Redskins Sunday Late Game

Week 9       Chiefs Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Falcons Sunday Late Game

Week 11     Eagles Sunday Night Game

Week 12     Chargers Thanksgiving Late Game

Week 13     Redskins Thursday Night Game

Week 14     At Giants Sunday Late Game

Week 15     At Raiders Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Seahawks Sunday Late Game

So adding it all up, the Cowboys get:

3 Sunday Night games

8 Sunday Late Games with only 49ers and Broncos as time zone related

1 Monday Night Game

1 Thursday Night Game (mandatory)

And the traditional Thanksgiving game

For a grand total of 14 national TV appearances. That is well above the standard 11 national TV appearances that the league regularly doles out to America’s Team.

And if you are a fan of the hapless Texans (who have actually won more playoff games in the time of their miserable existence than the Cowboys have during that period) you had better plan ahead and expect that the games will totally mess up your Sunday afternoon plans.

Week 2       At Bengals Thursday Night Game

Week 5       Chiefs Sunday Night Game

Week 8       At Seahawks Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Rams Sunday Late Game

Week 12     At Ravens Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Stealers Sunday Late Game

That’s 6 national TV appearances which is better than the usual schedule but only because of 2 west coast games against the Seahawks and Rams and the mandatory Thursday night game.

Red calls Bullshit.

 

And You Thought the Texans had Quarterback Issues?

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that University of Louisville graduate transfer quarterback Kyle Bolin might be considering the University of Texas as a possible landing spot.  Bolin started 5 games in 2015 before giving way to 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in the final game of the regular season.  After Jackson threw for 4 touchdowns against Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl, Bolin became a pine-rider for the 2016 season.  As a graduate transfer, Bolin would be immediately eligible to play for the Horns.  After a lackluster season featuring respectable play from highly touted freshman QB Shane Buechele (21 TDs, 11 INTs, 2958 yards and 60.4% completion rate), new head coach Tom Herman could be looking for something more.  Would he find it in Bolin?  He was a second-stringer – albeit to the Heisman Trophy winner, but he was still not a starter in his senior year.   Look for Bolin to more likely land at Northern Illinois where he probably walks into the starter’s job.

We Still Have Brock Osweiler to Kick Around

Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler continues to be the poster boy (perhaps whipping boy would be a better description) for bad decisions at that position by NFL teams.  Sporting News disses the prospects for Tampa Bay backup quarterback and free agent Mike Glennon by claiming that he would be a worse deal for any team than even the much-maligned Osweiler.  Red for his part thinks the book is still out on the Tall Texan.  BO performed decently when the pressure was on in the last game of the season and in the playoffs.  Playing behind a makeshift line and without several of his best receivers, Osweiler’s numbers in those games were not terrible – merely low mediocre.  Even the playoff game against the Patriots was still within reach in the 4th quarter despite terrible special teams and lackluster (other than forcing 3 TO’s) defensive play.  Yes, BO threw up some INT’s during desperation time, but the Texans were not out of it until the defense gave up 10 points in the 4th quarter.  Still, SN piles on in its argument that Glennon is a toxic commodity – or at least an overpriced one.

Move over, Brock Osweiler. Mike Glennon is about to get a lot more fool’s gold in NFL free agency than you did.  File Glennon as the latest unlikely young veteran poster boy of the league’s most quarterback-needy teams. At 6-6, 225, he isn’t as big or tall as Osweiler, but he might be a bigger bust for whoever signs him, even at a little less the price.

A general recent rule is whatever the Texans do at quarterback, don’t follow. Houston got tired of going the Fitzpatrick-Hoyer route in consecutive seasons, so it panicked and tried to solve QB long-term with Osweiler. That was an extremely expensive backfire.

Red’s Texas College Football Game of the Week

This week look no further than College Station for Red’s TCFGOTW as the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners head to Kyle Field to face the quickly fading Texas Aggies.  Just a couple of weeks ago, the Aggies were in the running to make the final four having lost only to unbeatable Alabama (and even looking pretty good for about a half).  But they followed that with losses to mediocre squads.  Meanwhile, the RR’s are enjoying a decent season by their standards coming in at 6-4 and possibly getting minor bowl consideration with a win over a ranked team.  The Aggies are a mere 98.2% favorite in this one, but never underestimate the spirit of a team that has been broken, stomped on, charred a bit and heaved in the dumpster behind the Golden Corral on Hwy 6.  The Aggies should cruise to a win, but that is why they play them.  Texas A&M 42 UTSA 17.

Today in Texas History – October 10

From the Annals of College Football –   In 2011, Texas Christian University accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference beginning on July 1, 2012.  TCU’s Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin on January 1, 2011 had re-established TCU as a worthy program after having been snubbed by the nascent Big 12 following the breakup of the Southwest Conference in 1996.  The Frogs were destined to wander among the walking dead of college football for 15 years going from the Western Athletic Conference to Conference USA to the Mountain West.  Along the way, the Horned Frogs picked up 7 c0nference championships (2 WAC, 1 C-USA and 4 MWC) to go with their 9 SWC championships.  It didn’t take the Frogs long to return to their winning ways among the bigger dogs – winning the B1g-12 in 2014 and capping it off with a 41-3 thumping of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.  Since rejoining the Big 12, TCU has played in 3 bowl games only losing a 1 point squeaker to Michigan State in 2012.

Red’s Texas College Football Game of the Week

Red travels to the friendly confines of Shelton Stadium in Abilene as the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys take on the Lobos of Sul Ross State in their American Southwest Conference opener. This one of HSU’s longest if not particularly competitive rivalries. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 33-3 and won 41-13 last year in Alpine. The Lobos come into the game 1-2 on the year and HSU is 3-0 having pretty much smoked the lesser competition they have faced.  The Cowboys have earned their No. 10 ranking so far.

The Cowboys are coming off a 61-24 ass-whomping of Southwest Assemblies of God last week featuring 714 yards of total offense that could have been more if not for untimely penalties bringing back two long touchdown throws.  The rout helped HSU sweep the American Southwest Conference player of the week awards with Reese Childress winning the offensive award, Alex Bell the special teams and Cory Ward the defensive award.  The Lobos just don’t have the firepower to keep up with a team this good.  HSU 65 SRSU 21.