(Editor’s note: Mixed into a rambling narrative about the current state of affairs in the NFL loaded with historical and pop culture references, Mr. Brutal makes some football picks. Why…

warof1812(Editor’s note: Mixed into a rambling narrative about the current state of affairs in the NFL loaded with historical and pop culture references, Mr. Brutal makes some football picks. Why does he call it the “War of 1812 Football Prognostication”? He likes history, he’s Canadian, Bob Gaughan is American and includes his picks as well.)


MR. BRUTAL 20-29
BOB 15-18


BOB 8-8


BOB 0-1


Sunday, September 28, 2014

1:00 pm

Green Bay @ CHICAGO (PK)

The Bears are home after two tough road wins, and are hoping for an easier game against the hated Packers. Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers’ offensive line is injury riddled and porous, and he doesn’t have the range of quality wide receivers to throw to that he had in the past. At this point, he may as well invite his advertising buddies Hans and Franz into emergency service as guards.

There are more problems for Aaron Rodgers. His leadership ability is being questioned by teammates, management and fans for his indifferent reaction to genuine concerns and his dominant personality trait of never taking personal responsibility ever for anything that goes wrong. There are whispers in Cheddarville that part of the problem is that California Cool Aaron is far too content with his huge contract, previous Super Bowl win and increasingly laissez faire approach to his free time. But mostly, midwest values are disturbed with his seemingly obsessive and totally understandable distraction involving his new girlfriend Olivia Yoko Ono Munn.


OLIVIA MUNN IS NOT A DISTRACTION. What were we talking about again?

Now, none of these things are all that serious if the Pack starts winning again. However, when Mr. Rodgers dismissively told Cheesehead Nation to “relax” this week on a radio show by slowly spelling out the letters “R……E…..L…..A…..X” as if half the audience was only marginally literate… well, ears started to steam, nostrils flared, the gilded halo around Aaron’s head started to tarnish and you could smell the Mascarpone & Limburger curdling from Kenosha to Superior.

Mr. Brutal: BEARS (Pk)

Buffalo @ HOUSTON (-3) 41

Well the Bison in the room finally reared its ugly head. The Buffalo Bills have a skittish, molly-coddled sophomore signal caller who appears to have little confidence, second guesses himself on simple plays and either doesn’t want to run or has been instructed not to unless absolutely necessary… that and the fact that he often tries to complete passes with the throwing motion of someone who has a yellow jacket orbiting around his head and he is trying to stab it with a lawn dart.

The coaching staff seems to have even less confidence in the abilities of E.J. Manuel than he does himself, and has yet to graduate him from the “Thanksgiving children’s table in the living room football playbook” of very basic plays.

Notice to Texans running back and vegetarian Arian Foster: The Buffalo Bills defense has taken out running backs in their last two games (Knowshon Moreno of the Dolphins & Danny Woodhead of the Chargers.) Please take preventative measures this week to avoid injury by avoiding straight on hits. Increased intake of Quinoa, Amaranth, Mycoprotein, Seitan, Chia and Spirulina is recommended to increase your rate of anaerobic metabolism thus enabling fine tuning of your fast twitch muscle fibers.

Mr. Brutal: Bills +3
Bob: Bills (EJ CAN NOT let Fitz outplay him.)

Tennessee @ INDIANAPOLIS (-7) 45.5

Owner Jim Irsay continues his successful exile from the Colts. Always one to flirt with technicalities, he is skirting the terms of his suspension. He is receiving quasi-acceptable personal progress reports on the team by flying drones over, inside and around the Colts’ practice facility that beam video and audio content directly back to his Bob Guccione-decorated penthouse atop Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis.

The Ken Whisenhunt Offense can be tricky to learn. Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers were quick studies,but even accounting for IQ differential, Titans’ QB Jake Locker may take longer than the Derek Jeter farewell tour to have the basic structural nomenclature memorized off the Table of Contents page.

Mr. Brutal: Titans +7
Bob: INDY -7

Carolina @ BALTIMORE (-3) 39

What is to become of all the Ray Rice jerseys that were traded in to the Ravens and the NFL last week? Bet we’ll probably see them show up on impoverished/needy children in Burundi along with “McCain-Palin 2012”, “Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl XXXVIII Champions!” and “Y2K is coming!” shirts and hats.

Mr. Brutal: Panthers +3
Bob: Panthers +3

Detroit (-1) @ NEW YORK J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!

Geno and the Jets are coming off another of their archetypical losses on Monday Night Football– a decent defense trying to keep the New Yorkers in a big game where once again the offense is totally inadequate. The Jets’ terrible draft record of offensive players, impatient fans and the suffocating Gotham media’s tendency to destroy young signal callers like Geno Smith is a recipe for disaster that has often been repeated in New York.

The rumblings that backup Michael Vick should be the starter are getting louder. Michael, however, appears to have no desire to take over the reins. It has been obvious since he arrived that Michael is totally comfortable with easing into pampered retirement while collecting a Jets’ paycheck. The man who once played with the tenacity of a Presa Canario now prefers to stroll the sidelines with all the vigor of the Anosmia-suffering bloodhound who glued its self to the porch on Hee Haw.

Look for a big game from the Detroit Lions this week after their shut down of the Packers last week and getting back on track as our “Team of Destiny” to win this year’s Super Bowl.

Mr. Brutal: Lions -1
Bob: JETS +1 (Lions have to prove they can win on road.)

Tampa Bay @ PITTSBURGH (-7.5) 43.5

Lovie Smith and the Pious Pirates have ten days’ rest after their excellent showing in Atlanta last Thursday to prepare for the Steelers’ short six and a half day’s rest after their wasting of the Panthers Sunday night.

That’s three and a half days extra rest. So, utilizing the ERL ( equal rest for both teams line ), this game should have been 11 points.

11 points – {10 days rest minus 6.5 days rest equals 3.5 points} = 7.5 points, the actual Vegas line.

But the only numbers that should matter to Lovie Smith are the 0-3 start to the season, 56 points against in a single game, and five years financial security on Lovie’s long-term still wet-inked contract.

Possibly, marijuana is a performance enhancing drug after all. Steelers’ running back duo of Cheech and Chong each hit over the hundred yards rushing mark against the Panthers last Sunday night. However, Roger “Where’s Waldo” Goodell will be handing down some sort of excessive punishment on RB’s Blount and Bell as soon as the legal courts are done with them and Roger resurfaces after some period of time in repose after his poorly reviewed Broadway press conference last week.

That is, barring any unforeseen video arising showing Bell and Blount partying with Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley and Bill Maher. After a couple of days, the NFL will assess whether the public is sufficiently outraged, then act by publicly expressing shock and dismay. Then moral arbiter Goodell will place the running backs on the not so well-known Commissioner’s Double Secret Probation Reserve List.

This protocol varies only slightly from the NFL Exempt Commissioner’s Permission List that fellow running back Adrian Peterson was placed on, in that it deals with misdemeanors rather than potential felonies.

It is similar however, in that Mr. Goodell can opportunistically use his influence at any time to expedite control over volatile media events that smear the NFL’s manufactured and closely-manipulated wholesome image.

He can do this at the drop of a hat by simultaneously pulling either document out of his ass.

Mr. Brutal: STEELERS (-7.5)

Miami (-5) @ OAKLAND 41

The Dolphins and Raiders square off at 10:00 am local time? What the hell is going on? This could be a big advantage for the Dolphins.

Silver and Black Nation are strict creatures of habit. The vast majority of Raiders’ fans who have a fixed address have not even returned to their designated residence by 9:00 am Sunday morning after a typical Saturday night of depraved debauchery and criminal shenanigans. Partying like Caligula and engaging in robberies of liquor stores and medical marijuana exchanges keeps many out until “Meet the Press” airs.

One hour is not enough time to have your groom dress you in your Raider paraphernalia, locate the tickets and hitchhike to the Coliseum, so expect to see a huge number of empty seats till at least the start of the third quarter.

What? The game is in London? England?

Well then for sure there won’t be many Raider fans attending this one:

1. Most Oakland fans either/and don’t have passports, can’t afford them, have multiple litigation/bureaucratic obstacles preventing them from obtaining them, or don’t know what passports actually are.

2. Many silver and black fanatics are on the “not safe to fly” list, and convincing a reluctant FAA to review their status is a lengthy process.

3. Great Britain lies outside the acceptable travel zone for residents of the Bay Area with electronic monitoring bracelets.

The Dolphins have their own issues. Head Coach Joe Philbin caused a stir this week when he was non-committal regarding Ryan Tannehill’s status as the Water Mammals’ starter… just what the Dolphins need to add to their sputtering play and other distractions as they head to the United Kingdom.

Five completely new offensive linemen, the long plane ride, time change, bad English food, the likelihood of bad weather, the questionable turf at Wembley Stadium and the well-meaning but ignorant British PETA protesters who are picketing the contest protesting the Dolphins’ bad treatment and poor security involving their mascot based only on the fact that they believe Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a documentary rather than a fictional comedy.

All that and the fact that the Raiders are not just nominally the home team. A huge marketing campaign has sold a load of discount Raiders’ gear to a large contingent of action hungry soccer hooligans who have been banned for life from attending Premiership Football games, but due to a glitch in English parole laws will be allowed to attend American football games. So on Sunday they will be present to cheer on the American sports franchise that is most compatible with their violent recidivist psyches.

Mr. Brutal: RAIDERS +5

4:05 pm

Jacksonville @ SAN DIEGO (-14) 44.5

QB Big Blake Bortles starts his first NFL game as his Jax Hot Tubs visit beautiful San Diego.

Everything is copacetic in “America’s Finest City.” Chargers’ QB Phillip Rivers looks good, and for once the Charger defense looks good. Team unity is strong. Even the cruel locker room practical jokes have stopped. Teammates no longer summon LB Manti Te’o from the shower telling him there is an emergency phone call from his girlfriend.

All things point to an overwhelming Charger victory.

Mr. Brutal: Jaguars +14
Bob: SAN DIEGO -14

4:25 pm

Atlanta (-3) @ MINNESOTA 46.5

The Teddy Bridgewater era is about to start in the Twin Cities. Will it reflect the Fran Tarkenton era or the Sean Salisbury era?

Falcons are coming in off ten days rest after their machine shop punch press pulverizing of Tampa. They love playing in a dome, and are up against a rookie QB who doesn’t have the Vikings’ only consistent weapon over the last half decade. Running back Adrian Peterson appears gone from the Vikes forever, presently suspended, languishing on Roger Goodell’s nefarious Exempt, Exception, No Permission Register, a document as mysterious and possibly as disturbing as “The List of Adrian Messenger.”

AP is likely headed for Dallas at sometime in the future and unlikely to ever play in Minnesota again. Future developments in his pending court case, posterity and each individual’s capacity to deal with reality will decide his legacy and whether he and his disciplinary methods will be historically portrayed more along the lines of John Louis Clark from “Stand by Me” or Mr. Bumble from “Oliver Twist.”

We like Bridgewater– his mobility and arm are an improvement on veteran Matt Cassell. He has an excellent teacher in OC Norv Turner and an emerging weapon in Cordarelle Patterson… but the Falcons are in a good spot here to cover a small spread on the road….

Mr. Brutal: Falcons -3
Bob: Falcons -3

Philadelphia @ SAN FRANCISCO (-4.5) 50.5

Eagles’ CB Cary Williams whined this week that the reason the Eagles got off to slow starts this year was the practices were too hard. Boo Hoo, Cary. Would you rather be 0-3 than 3-0?

Of course you can go down to the loading docks, the Philly Fish Market & Geno’s Cheese Steaks and tell those regular Philly blue collar guys your problems and the unbearable working conditions you toil in.

Equating your recently reduced (thanks to the miracle of collective bargaining) NFL practice schedule to the lot in life of a tethered oarsman toiling in the bowels of a Roman Trireme is a big reach.

I’m sure the always sympathetic collective mindset of the city of Brotherly Love will embrace your pain and empathize with your intolerable situation.

While it is true that the Eagles have started games slowly, they are also the best fourth quarter team in the league, so we’re not sure how that correlates or corroborates with Professor of Kinesiology Cary Williams’ raw data or his overriding hypothesis.

Mr. Brutal: Eagles +4.5
Bob: SAN FRAN -4.5 (49ers need it more.)

8:30 pm

New Orleans (-3) @ DALLAS 53

The Saints are marching, sort of, after their first win last week. Hopefully some of their loyal following of fans will make the relatively short trek from the Crescent City to Dallas to fill Jerry Jones’ Architectural Mid-Life Crisis Dome. Thousands of Cowboy fans are more than willing to sell off their ducats at break even or a small profit to any visiting fans of other teams.

The problem has become so severe that owner Jerry Jones is considering adding a “Cowboys Loyalty Pledge” clause to all new season ticket holder applications. This will be based on, and composed along the lines of the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Attention Jerry Jones: Drug testing for NFL Owners is still on the table for upcoming negotiations and will include human growth hormone. No word yet on whether botox, bovine collagen and badger urine will be included.

Mr. Brutal: Saints +3
Bob: Saints +3 (Rob Ryan is still bitter about his departure from Big D.)

Monday, September 29, 2014

8:30 pm

New England (-4) @ KANSAS CITY 45

In last week’s Polish Bowl, New England beat Oakland 16-9, and everyone who scored in the game had a last name that ended in the “ski” suffix (Gronkowski, Gostkowski & Jankowski.) Having no players of Northern Slavic descent on the team, superstitious Chiefs GM John Dorsey, seeing a possible trend and not willing to cede any perceived psychological advantage to devious Pats’ Coach Bill Belichick, took definitive action this week.

He has invited former Bills DE Walt Patulski to give an emotional speech to the Chiefs before Monday’s game. Near disaster was averted however, when a naive/confused intern with spelling/communication issues due to fatigue from over-texting was prevented at the last second from sending out a press notice mistakenly announcing that Ted Kaczynski would give the Chiefs’ motivational pre-game pep talk.

Mr. Brutal: CHIEFS +4
Bob: CHIEFS +4


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