(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, and it probably has something to do with those two facts. That’s all we’ve got. We used to spend a long time editing these things. This year, you’re getting them raw… so enjoy the Canadian “flavour.”)
1:00 pm Green Bay (-7) @ CHICAGO 49.5
…… We have only one message for Head Coach John Fox, Quarterback Jay “Coach Killer” Cutler & Bears’ fans this season:
Pick: Packers (-7)
Kansas City @ HOUSTON (-1.5)
………… The Texans are starting the year with Brian Hoyer at QB. He may have a monstrous chip on his shoulder after his treatment in Cleveland, … but he won’t have much to work with in Houston.
…. Kansas City boss Andy Reid is sick and tired of hearing about the incredible streak of not having a wide receiver catch a ball for a touchdown in over a calendar year. First time the Chiefs are in the Red Zone, look for QB Alex Smith to stretch his limits & try four consecutive passes over seven yards into the end zone to four different wide receivers who he is hardly acquainted with.
Pick: Chiefs (+1.5)
Cleveland @ NEW YORK J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS! (-3)
…… With the Manziel party bus sequestered in the long term parking at the Betty Ford Clinic & Tampa Bay castoff Josh McCown starting for the Browns, Cleveland appears set at quarterback with a fresh & scrubbed backup and a noble starter with one great NFL half season to his CV in over a dozen years in professional football.
…….. Set that is, ….. if you bet the Browns going under 6.5 wins this season.
……… But with hands on, truck-stop gangster owner Jimmy Haslem guiding things, at least we can say the moral compass of the Browns has been reset on Midwestern Family Values.
…. Except for the issue regarding the suspension of their Offensive Line Coach after being investigated for sexual assault.
…… Nobody has much faith or hope that the Jets will amount to much this season. However, things are looking up. QB Geno Smith went Duane Bobick in the locker room and had his jaw broken courtesy of LB IK Enemkpali playing the role of Kallie Knoetze.
….. This means journeyman Ivy League Poster Boy Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will start. He will hall his $200,000.00* Harvard brain and beard onto the field & direct a systematic, logical offense that will just be enough to beat the Browns by three.
Prediction: Low scoring drudge-fest with the authoritarian Jets’ defensive line knocking the creaky McCown out of the game & possibly chasing the Manziel weasel off the field to rodent rehab.
* [ Conservative estimate based on average four year degree, total cost of tuition, lodgings & supplies.]
Pick: JETS (-3)
Indianapolis (-3) @ BUFFALO
……. We were worried about the Bills in this game. That was until they resigned QB Matt Cassel this week after cutting him last week and in the process, saving quite a bit of money. Rex Ryan will be happy that he has the third string security blanket that he traditionally craves & is strategically dedicated to via the Y chromosome bundle he was born with courtesy of Big Daddy Buddy. A security blanket that can go 9/10 for 35 yards, field goal coming up.
….. A Happy Rex is usually a successful Rex.
Pick: Bills (+3)
Miami (-4) @ WASHINGTON
…. You really can’t write a soap opera that would eclipse the drama of the Washington Crimson Bounties. Owner Little Danny Snyder, “The Napoleon of the Potomac” ……. is ready to pull the trigger yet again on firing the Head Coach if things don’t improve soon. Diminutive Danny goes through coaches like Larry King & Geraldo Rivera go through wives.
…. It shouldn’t take long, Head Coach Jay Gruden with the intransigent obstinance of his snippy older brother John, ….. has declared that Kirk Cousins will start at pivot over the owner’s pet Robert Griffin III.
….. After the Native American bloody appendages fall badly in this game, … or the next, …… expect Snyder to formerly assume the roles of General Manger, Head Coach & Spiritual Adviser. Seeing him on the sidelines each week when the bullets start flying should prove as inspirational as Mike Dukakis donning a Snoopy helmet & peering out from a tank turret.
Pick: Dolphins (-4)
Carolina (-3.5) @ JACKSONVILLE
…… Optimus Prime Cam Newton leads the Panthers into Jacksonville minus the weapon that was supposed to make all the difference this year. First Round Giant, ….. 6’6″ inch WR Kelvin Benjamin is gone for the year. However, the Carolina brain-trust has a solution, …. 5’8″ 260 pound bowling ball Fullback/H-back/Tight End Mike Tolbert will frequently lineup at wide receiver this year.
….. That ought to really shakeup the NFC South Defensive Coordinators who will have trouble sleeping each night to counter that strategy
….. Gonna take sophomore QB Blake Bortles, the solid Jax Defence & the three with a hook.
Pick: JAGUARS (+3.5)
Seattle (-4.5) @ SAINT LOUIS
….. The Seahawks stars are mostly signed to fat contracts, which means a likely third straight trip to the Super Bowl. As long as RB Marshawn Lynch controls the skittles intake, CB Richard Sherman doesn’t start a cultural revolution & QB Russell Wilson doesn’t get confused and continue his ridiculous celibacy vow post marriage.
….. Jeff Fisher may be the worst Head Coach in the NFL. He has been dining out on that last play loss to the Rams for over a decade. He now has Nick Foles running things, but will likely under-utilize him. Within the strange organizational structure of the Rams, Offensive Coordinator Frank Cignetti, Assistant Head Coach/Offense Frank Boras & Head Coach Fisher will collaborate on all aspects of the Offense, including in-game play-by-play calling.
….. Three heads are only better than one if you are the monster Ghidorah about to duel with Godzilla or if you are Cerberus, the three headed Hell Hound, guarding the Gates of Hades.
Pick: Seahawks (-4.5)
4:00 pm New Orleans @ ARIZONA (-2.5)
…… The Saints look awful. Too many bad trades, salary dumps & bad draft picks have this team starting in the ditch with an aging Drew Brees trying to win with diminished weapons.
… the Cardinals are swinging up, …… if, and it is a big If, ….. Carson Palmer can avoid the ambulance cart.
Pick: CARDINALS (-2.5)
Detroit @ SAN DIEGO (-3)
….. Recently, an ancient relative of modern man was discovered in South Africa that could be three million years old. Homo Naledi was about five feet tall, had a brain about the size of an orange, an IQ about half that of a slightly mentally handicapped adult & had many human traits in appearance & likely in behaviour. Scientists are searching for DNA to trace to our human origins as we have recently done with Neanderthals. We have identified the Neanderthal markers that make up between 1-8% of modern humans of European & Asian origin.
….. Scientists speculate that one day like Neanderthal, Homo Naledi could be cloned. If that day ever comes, we are betting that with a little practice, a specimen could be trained to the point that he could out coach Detroit Head Coach Jim Caldwell.
( and beat a Donald Trump supporter in a game of Tic Tac Toe )
Pick: CHARGERS (-3)
4:15 pm Tennessee @ TAMPA BAY (-3)
…… The battle of the top two quarterback draft picks in the League, Marcus Mariota & Jameis Winston. Titans’ Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt may believe the hype that he is an offensive genius, but he admits he doesn’t have a clue how things will go with Marcus because he has never dealt with a mobile roadrunner before.
…. Buccaneer Head Coach Lovie Smith is just clueless.
…… Lovie Smith has been a dismal Head Coach his whole career when it comes to over seeing offence. Like Marvin Lewis, Jeff Fisher & Rex Ryan, he doesn’t trust his offensive underlings to win games. We have to give the edge to Mariota & the Titans because their offensive line is much stronger. We foresee Famous Jameis splattered like seafood sauce before the season ends.
….. and the Titans don’t have Lovie Smith calling the shots.
Pick: Titans (+3)
Cincinnati (-3) @ OAKLAND
………. Well one thing is for sure with this game: The Intellectual match-up between Marvin Lewis of the Bengals and Jack Del “Know It All” Rio of the Raiders won’t remind anyone of Boris Spassky & Bobby Fischer.
…. The Bengals are stacked in talent, depth & are healthy this year. Unfortunately they are still coached by Marvin Lewis and lead by Archie Andrews Dalton at quarterback. Still, they should be able to cover three points on the World War One crater laden battlefield in the Oakland Coliseum.
…… also, the Bengals are our “Team of Destiny” this year, and when has that designation ever proved fallible.
Pick: Bengals (-3)
Baltimore @ DENVER (-4.5) 48.5
…….. New coach Gary Kubiak has been brought in by Owner John Elway to emphasize the running game and preserve Peyton Android’s high mileage arm till the cold weather hits once again in the playoffs and mitigates that preventative strategic measure.
Pick: Ravens (+4.5)
8:35 pm New York Football Giants @ DALLAS (-7) 51.5
…… Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, in an effort to head off negative publicity while simultaneously enhancing the “Boys” image in the Southwest bible-belt home range, …… has made an executive decision:
….. Ashley Madison will no longer be the official dating service of America’s team and is to be replaced by Christian Mingle.
….. The Giants look like they just might be awful yet again this year. They might be competitive if DE Jason Pierre Paul can play or is allowed to by the team. In a bizarre, propaganda filled, contract dispute laden drama that seems to never end, one can only speculate when or if he will play again.
….. Paul went a little overboard at a Fourth Of July party he was hosting and rented a truck to bring in a massive cache of fireworks so he could successfully replicate a 1960’s Cape Canaveral Saturn Rocket launch. Unfortunately Pyrotechnics Engineer Jason Pierre Goddard had a few minor aborted liftoffs that resulted in his hand losing a digit(s). We’re not sure how bad the damage is because his management team of lawyers and agents haven’t allowed the Giants to see the hand. This has been done to preserve their clients’ negotiating position in contract wrangling.
….. However, nobody knows if his hand looks like Quasimodo, Joseph Merrick or an extra from the “Walking Dead.” All of this is relevant to the Giants only in how it relates to his ability to go into a three point stance on the defensive line.
….. Prediction: If Paul is ineffective once he takes the field, some engineer will design an Inspector Gadget spring loaded hand prosthesis that will allow him to play effectively, but will tax the brains of Roger Goodell & the NFL Rules Committee into permanent litigation gridlock.
Pick: COWBOYS (-7)
Monday, September 14, 2015
7:00 pm Philadelphia (-3) @ ATLANTA
….. After a productive preseason, Eagles QB Sam Bradford has decided to break off contract extension talks with the team. He plans to play out the year as leverage, hoping a big year will enhance his financial situation.
….. Bradford should call his agent immediately & see if he can accept the Eagles’ last offer. Some might call his position ballsy, brave, optimistic or exceedingly dense.
…… Since Sam Bradford left high school he has been injured over 65% of his career. At Oklahoma, he won the Heisman as a sophomore but spent the rest of his career sidelined with serious knee & shoulder injuries. His reputation and a dearth of quality QBs meant that he went number one overall to the Rams. Various new & recurring injuries were periodically interrupted by decent quarterbacking on an underachieving, under-talented & offensively under-coached ( Jeff Fisher) team.
….. When the Rams got fed up with latest injury filled year, he was traded to the Eagles, where his skills have shone brightly in Chip Kelly’s Maserati Offence in exactly one and a half preseason games.
….. However, one has to wonder about the sanity of both parties in this relationship.
….. The Eagles have to be delusional. Running that sprint-out, quick pitch, read option, double reverse rich, high paced Oregon Duck attack means that the quarterback is exposed to wide open, career ending shots. Bradford is generously listed at 6’4″ and 220 pounds but he plays and looks more like 6’2″ and 185. He’s one Ndamukong Suh personal foul away from broadcasting Oklahoma City High School football games each autumn. No man who is wrapped in more tape than the Lost Mummy of Imhotep should delude himself into thinking that he will survive this season without catastrophic, life altering rearrangements of body & mind that result in a lengthy recovery in a convalescent bed.
….. Sam, call your agent.
….. Bradford & the Eagles should survive at least one game in the crystal meth offence and beat the Falcons & their last place defense on the fast turf in the Georgia Dome.
Pick: Eagles (-3)
10:15 pm Minnesota (-3) @ SAN FRANCISCO
……. This line might surprise people, but it reflects the dysfunctional decline of the Forty Niner franchise more than the successful ascension of the Nordic Raiders.
Pick: Vikings (-3)