Tag Archives: Texas Football

The Passing of a Legend – Y.A. Tittle

NFL Hall of Famer and former 49er’s and Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle passed away on Sunday.  Tittle was born and raised in Marshall. Tittle idolized his neighbor Sammy Baugh and practiced relentlessly to become a quarterback.  He starred for Marshall High leading them to an undefeated season his senior year.   He chose LSU over Texas for his college where he set career records that were not broken until the 1970’s.  As a junior in 1946, Tittle led his team to the Cotton Bowl.  The notorious game against Arkansas was played in freezing conditions on an icy field and became known as the Ice Bowl after ending in a 0-0 tie.

Tittle began his pro career for the Baltimore Colts in the All-American Football Conference in 1948.  When that club folded, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers where he was named All-Pro and played in four Pro Bowl games.

In 1961, the 34-year old Tittle was traded to the New York Giants whom he led to three consecutive NFL Championship games.  The Giants lost all three, but by then Tittle was a folk hero to Giants fans.

In 17 seasons, YAT completed 2,427 out of 4,395 passes for 33,070 yards and 242 touchdowns and another 39 rushing TDs.  The only blemish on his statistical record are his 248 career interceptions.

Photo of Y.A. Tittle the first professional football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  November 22, 1954

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Red’s NFL Picks – Week 6

Image result for chicago 73 washington 0

Last week Red was 3-3 again.  For the season Red is 18-12.  On the money line, it wasn’t so great a week:

Packers covered the spread and Red made good on the over – $ paid

Bengals covered the spread (barely) – $ paid

Buccaneers failed to cover the spread (barely) and missed wildly on the over – Bust

Giants/Chargers blew through the over – Bust

Answer to Last Weeks Trivia:  The final score was Bears 73 OTNAs 0 in the 1940 NFL championship game which set multiple records including largest margin of victory.  No other NFL team has hit the 70’s.

This Week’s Trivia:  Which player scored the most points in an NFL game?  Hint: You have to go back a long ways to find this one.

Your Chicago Connection Pick of the Week –  Bears over Ravens. Well, after more or less stating that he would never pick the Bears (as they keep finding new and imaginative ways to lose), Red is stretching this week to find an upset.  Ravens are favored by 7.  The 1-4 Bears need a win badly.  The 3-2 Ravens are surprising a lot of analysts (Red including) by not sucking.  Red will likely regret this one, but at least he won’t lead you down the wrong path by recommending any bets here.  Chicago 17 Baltimore 16.

Your Second Chicago Connection Pick of the WeekBuccaneers over Cardinals.  Jameis Winston seems to show up for work every other week.  Meanwhile, Carson Palmer seems to have gone into early retirement.  Well, early retirement would have been 3 years ago, but CP seems ready for the rest home now.  Bucs’ offense struggled against a weak Pats defense last week.  Look for a break out game against the ragged remnants of what used to be a top tier NFL defense.  Amazingly, the Cards are favored by a whole point!  Red thinks the Bucs cover that rather easily.  Tampa Bay 28 Arizona 17.   

Your Throw Down a 40 Pick of the Week – Saints over Lions.  See below re: Lions.  Saints have to win a few games this season.  Why not this one?  Saints are getting 4 points at home.  Take that and the under at 51.  New Orleans 20 Detroit 17. 

Your Extra Point Pick of the Week – Texans over Browns.  It was a sad Sunday night for Texans fans.  The majority of the mourning was for the loss of JJ Watt for the second season in a row.   Watt’s first 5 seasons in the league are the stuff of legends, but losing most of a second season in a row is putting what seemed to be a certain Hall of Fame career in doubt.  As longtime sports radio host Charlie Palillo says, “Attendance is part of the grade.”  Red was in the vast minority by being more upset about the loss of Whitney Mercilus.  WM is actually the more versatile player if not as disruptive as JJW.  Watt can be “replaced” with a defensive lineman.  Mercilus is a tougher proposition as he lines up in multiple positions.  Well, the tonic for tragedy is the Browns.  Texans are a heavy favorite, but Red is skeptical of giving up 12 points ever.  He is also skeptical of ever betting on the Browns to cover.  However, the over at 44 looks tempting given the number of points the Texans are putting up since Deshaun Watson took over – Dude is a scoring machine and he will have to be if the Texans are to win games with the loss of their top two defenders.   Houston 39 Cleveland 21.

Your Stanford Connection Pick of the Week – Titans over Colts.  Red is so far rather highly disappointed with the Titans who he picked to go 13-3.  Well that obviously aint happening.  And who gives up 57 points to the Texans anyway?  The defense righted the ship allowing only 16 points last week.  But the offense without Mariota is a rudderless wreck.  There is no line yet because of that unknown factor.  If Mariota is back, the Titans should roll.  If not, all bets are off.  Tennessee 21 Indianapolis 14.

Your Unparalleled Excellence Pick of the Week – Eagles over Panthers.  After encountering the high-powered Eagles offense last week, the once-vaunted Cardinals defense was carried off the field in a basket.  Meanwhile the Panthers were efficient in dispatching a Lions team unlikely to beat any team with a winning record at season end.  Expect the Panthers to put up a better fight than the hapless Cards, but the Eagles offense has Carson Wentz in full control and is averaging almost 400 yards per game.  Somehow the Eagles are getting 3 points.  This may be the betting opportunity of the season.  Double up on the Eagles and the over at 45.  Philadelphia 35 Carolina 24. 

Red’s NFL Picks – Week 5

Red was 3-3 last week remaining a respectable 15-9 for the season.    The money line wasn’t too bad either:

Rams covered – paid $

Texans/Titans over – paid $ – Note that the Texans had covered the Over by themselves early in the 3rd quarter.

Niners covered – paid $

Falcons lost – Bust

Titans lost – Bust (an alternate pick)

Packers/Bears went over – Bust

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia:  The Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) are the only two original NFL franchises in the league since its formation in 1920.  The Packers joined the next season and it is the franchise that has been in the same city with the same mascot the longest.

This Week’s Trivia:  In honor of the Texans’ 57 point whipping of the Titans – Which team scored the most points in an NFL game?  Bonus for naming the opponent and year. Double bonus for correctly calling the number of points scored.

Your High Point Game of the Week – Bengals over Bills.  Bills are the biggest surprise of the season so far leading the AFC-East at 3-1.   Unfortunately for Bills fans, the first place crown rests uneasily on the franchise from Western New York.   After a horrendous start to the season, the Bengals drank the Brown tonic – which cures all ills.  The Bengals are too good to suck as much as they did for the first three weeks.  They aren’t good enough to make the playoffs but  . . .  Someone thinks the Bengals are for real as they are giving up 3.5 this week.  Red likes the over at 39. Cincinnati 37 Orchard Park, NY 33

Your Low Point Game of the Week –  Vikings  over Bears.  Vikings can’t catch a break with Dalvin Cook out for several games most likely.    Red thought for a moment about  picking the Bears.  But then he wrote that down – “Red is picking the Bears.”  Oh, hell no. There is no line on this game right now and that is as it should be.  Minnesota 17 Chicago 13.

Your Middling Point Game of the Week – Buccaneers over Patriots.  Jameis Winston v. Tom Brady would seem to be a no-brainer.  And last Sunday it seemed the script was going according to plan.  The suddenly lame-ass Patriots defense had the team in another hole and Brady led the comeback to tie the game.  But then, the writers gave it a happy ending with the Panthers winning.  Here’s the stat that tells it all.  The Panthers punted once.  They did have two turnovers.  But when your defense has 3 stops all day, it’s not going well.  Red just isn’t sure the Pats offense is going to be able to score enough points to keep up with the up and coming Bucs. Tampa Bay gets 4 points and doesn’t even need it.  A pretty hefty over at 54 but Red is going with that too.  Tampa Bay 35 New England 27.

Your Offensive Game of the Week – Packers over Cowboys.   The Cowboys’ loss to the Rams exposed some serious weaknesses in the Dallas defense.  The Cowboys’s middle is soft – Sean Lee notwithstanding.  Everyone knew the Cowboys secondary was weak, but the run defense was fairly good last season and the pass rush was effective in spots.  But this season, the Cowboys’ defense has been rolled and smoked by the Broncos and the Rams.  That doesn’t bode well for the Packers game this week.   A-Rodg is expert at exploiting the weakest link.  His only problem this week will be choosing among the weak, weaker and weakest links.  Somewhere someone is giving the Packers 2.5.  Take it and run.  The Pack might cover the 53 point O/U by their lonesome (see, e.g. the Texans last week), but don’t bet on it.  Green Bay 44 Arlington 30.  

Your Who Cares Game of the Week – Giants over Chargers.  The only problem with this week’s Shit Bowl is that it is not being played in the Shit Bowl Stadium in Carson, CA where the Chargers play their “home” games.  In case you haven’t been paying attention.  The Chargers fans are not exactly flocking to the 27,000 seat stadium that is their temporary home.  In fact, opposing fans – always on the make for a bargain – are swarming into the tiny venue and making things very uncomfortable for the hapless Chargers.  The Chargers may be glad to play a game on the road in an environment that is supposed to be hostile.  And hostile it will be this week as fans of the winless Giants (who supposedly had Superb Owl aspirations, says Red chortling) are likely to boo every player on the field, all the coaches, the cheerleaders and the ball boy.  Unload the .45 before settling in to watch this Doleful Doo-Doo Display lest ye empty the chamber into your 70 incher at the 2 minute warning. Take the under at 44.5.  New Jersey 17 Somewhere in California 13. 

Your Red Knows Some Trivia Game of the Week – Rams over Seahawks.  The Rams are looking very for real after rather handily dispatching the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.  3-1 is very for real in the NFL over the course of any 4 weeks of the season. The Seahawks offensive line is simply atrocious. It seems Russell Wilson is running for his life on almost every play.  He is good at that but it does wear on a body.  Red looks for the Rams to return to Earth later this season, but not this Sunday.   This one’s a Pick’em.  Red picks the Rams. Los Angeles 35 Seattle 24.  

 

Red’s NFL Picks – Week 4

Last week Red was 4-2 on the straight up picks.  Red is now 12-6 for the season.  The money act ion was a different story last week and Red extends apologies to anyone foolish enough to follow his advice.  Out of five money bets, Red only scored on the Jags to cover 4.5 points.  The main problem was excessive scoring as Red like the under on the Pats/Texans and Titans/Seahawks and those teams scored 69 and 60 respectively.  You don’t see O/U’s in the 60s much in this league.  The Raiders collapse was unexpected and the Eagles failed to cover by .5.  Oh well.

Answer to last week’s trivia question:  Tony Dorsett had a 99 yard run from scrimmage in the Cowboys game against the Vikings in the last game of the 1982 season.  The Cowboys lost the game but had already secured a playoff spot.  The victory put the Vikings in the playoffs.  After the game, it was revealed that the run came on a broken play where the Cowboys had only 10 men on the field.  The handoff was supposed to go to RB Ron Springs, but Springs misunderstood the play call and ran off the field.  Dorsett alertly took the handoff and set a record that can never be broken.

This week’s trivia question:  Only two original teams from the founding of the NFL (then called the American Professional Football Association)  in 1920 are still in existence.   Can you name them.

Hint:  Both teams are no longer in their city of original and one has changed its mascot.  More obvious but not necessarily true hint:  Both teams are in the NFC.

Your Illinois Pick of the Week – Packers over Bears.  The only real surprise here is that the Bears could be sitting atop the NFC Central at the end of this game.  And the Bears typically play the Packers tougher than expected.  But a Thursday night game in northern Wisconsin is a tough challenge for any team.  At least it’s short flight for the Bears.  But sadly, it will be a long flight home.  Neither one of these offenses is generating much right now.  Take the under at 45.5.    Green Bay 24 Chicago 14

Your Stale Pick of the Week  – Titans over Texans.  If you are a Texans fan and at any point last Sunday thought the Texans actually were going to beat the Patriots (or if you thought that Donald Trump as president would be anything short of great but amusing national embarrassment), there is a word for you.  Fool!  There are no moral victories in the NFL.  Had the Texans won that game, they might have had some momentum against a Titans team that Red is still picking to finish 13-3.   After stumbling out of the gate against the Raiders, the Titans offense is moving fast at the quarter-pole.  Expect Mariota to use the mass of talent around him to average about 30 points per game the rest of the way.  Meanwhile, the vaunted Texans defense is giving up 25 points per game.  Texans simply cannot keep up with Titans this week.  Take the over at 44 or the Titans giving up 1.5.  Tennessee 35 Houston 27

Your Avian Pick of the Week – Falcons over Bills.  Bills may be the biggest surprise of the season so far as they could easily be 3-0 but for inability to cross goal line against Panthers in Week 2.  Falcons are playing to form and are 3-0 thanks to replay which negated the Lions last second touchdown last week.  That call confirmed that the Falcons are on a mission from God to make up for the second half of SBLI.  The Bills have a good defense but  are merely in the way this week. Take the Falcons giving up a hefty 8 at home.    Atlanta 31 Orchard Park 17.

Your WTF Pick of the Week – Rams over Cowboys.  A man can dream can’t he?  The Red rule comes into play this week.  That is “score 14 points and beat the Cowboys.”  Take the Rams and 7.5.  Los Angeles 14 Arlington 13. 

Your 1920 Pick of the Week – Cardinals over 49ers.  Two troubled franchises right now.  The Cards’ offense is troubled without David Johnson and even though Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have defied Father Time for a couple of weeks that simply can’t last.  Niners showed signs of life last week in close loss to the Rams – but those were the Rams after all.  This would be a good call for this week’s Shit Bowl – but see below.  Red hesitates, but takes the Niners to cover 7 against a leaky Cards defense.   Arizona 23 Santa Clara 18.

Your Shit Bowl Pick of the Week – Browns over Bengals.  It’s just too easy to put the Browns in the Shit Bowl week after week.  Please Browns win a game so Red can move on to something more interesting – like picking the Giants to stink it up.  Browns could not handle the pressure of being a road favorite against the lowly Colts last week.  It might get to them again this week except they are predicted to lose by 3 at home to a pathetic Bengals team..  If you feel even slightly inclined to bet on this game, Red has some advice.  Take that money and donate it to one of the many relief funds set up to help folks in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico.  They need it more than your bookie.  And lastly, clear the Man Cave of all belts, sheets, ropes or other items that could be used to string yourself up in front of the 70 incher before tuning in to watch this turgid turd tussle.  Cleveland 15 Cincinnati 8.

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.

 

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.