(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…

(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.”)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bye: Atlanta, Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco

………… 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time …………
Detroit @ GREEN BAY (-14) 47.5

…. Before they went to London two weeks ago, we speculated that the Lions were afraid they might just win the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. That must have been why Head Coach Jim Caldwell fired OC Joe Lombardi & offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn & Terry Heffernan just hours before the team got on the plane to head to merry olde England. He insisted he made the decision by himself without any input from ownership and now was the very best time to make it so the Lions could win the upcoming game & not wait for the long break coming up with the Bye week.

…… Hmmmm, right, …. and we noticed that he only mentioned “ownership” and not the general manager in his consultation process.

….. The disruption & lack of prep time pretty well ensured that Detroit would take it on the chin, … and did they …. Kansas City ran them down like a Minnesota dentist, whooping their sorry hide 45-10.

…. Then during the Bye week the latest Ford family oligarch to own the team, Martha Ford announced that Team President Tom Lewand & General Manager Martin Mayhew were being fired. It was only the second time the woman had spoken publicly since she took over ownership after the death of her husband about a year and a half ago.

…… So, after the whole schmozzle is done, …. the only man of significance left standing is Jim Caldwell. Why?

… …. We suspect a similar situation to the one involving Jack “Del Know It All” Rio when he coached seemingly forever in Jacksonville for owner Wayne Weaver, recognized now by many as the worst NFL Owner ever in the NFL. Del Rio’s Jaguars constantly lost, but he was never fired and just shuffled coordinators & other coaches year after year.

….. We suspected that Jack had evidence that could destroy Wayne Weaver’s reputation in the 1% community and bring shame upon the reputation of the NFL and the self serving economic capitalism model they all worship. Possibly he was involved in illicit relationships with Democrats, multiple handicapped parking violations or covert membership in “Occupy Wall Street.” ….

……. Most viable would be a situation where Jack Del Rio possessed photographic evidence that many of the crap shoes Weaver sold in his Shoe Carnival stores were not in fact legally made by malnourished 12 year olds in condemned sweatshops in Cambodia, The Philippines & Bangladesh.

…… In fact they might have been made illegally by 10 year olds chained to floor anchors in work camps in North Korea. Even though the NFL has total contempt for Labour in any form; organized or unorganized, they realize stretching the public’s tolerance to this degree could be a problem.

…… We believe that Jim Caldwell must have pictures of the Ford family owners in some sort of similar compromising position. This could involve sexual infidelities but more likely involves one of them driving a Hyundai to a routine drop box deposit at a Gross Pointe bank.

…. The Packers lost again last week in Carolina, but they are improving. At least their defense only gave up 427 total yards of offence to the Panthers. This prevented them from being the first team in NFL history to give up 500 yards or more in three consecutive games.

….. So things are looking up for the Packers. It is very unlikely that new 31 year old Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter of the Lions will get Detroit anywhere near that total. Packers have been working all week on getting their receivers to attain separation from the secondary so Aaron Rodgers finally has open receivers to target. Packers desperately need this game to get back in the race with Minnesota for the NFC Central.

….. Detroit has not won a game on the Northwestern shores of Lake Michigan in Title-town USA in over 14 starting quarterbacks. That being said, the Bye Week and that many points against a Green Bay team that has been shaky for over a month is too many, even when playing the Lame Leos from the Motor City.

Pick: Lions (+14)
Bob: GB -14

Dallas @ TAMPA BAY (-1)

….. The seedy saga of “America’s Team” continues. …… If you wondered why we laughed uproariously last year when Jerry Jones had his daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson appointed to that NFL “Committee” that would oversee the issue of domestic violence in the league, …. you can certainly see why now.

……. In the aftermath of the Ray Rice elevator assault on his girlfriend and the fiasco that ensued in 2014, the league pulled one of its patented PR moves that was reminiscent of the behaviour of the dictatorship in the old Soviet Union. In those days propaganda used to spew out incessantly from the Central Planning Committee in Moscow. If there was a budget shortfall, economic targets were missed, crime was rising or sports teams weren’t winning enough medals they had a solution. They would create hundreds of ineffectual committees to solve any new real or perceived problems just to counter bad publicity & assure the most gullible members of the public that something was being done.

…… The most important purpose for a lot of these committees was to provide favours to loyal supporters. Financial & resume benefits were a lucrative byproduct that became an addiction. By the breakup of the Soviet Union there were over 10,000 official committees with millions of members. Some powerful Communist Party members & apparatchiks sat on dozens of committees collecting dozens of fruitful honourariums & padded expense account deductions.

…. Kommissar Goodell & his Park Avenue Politburo of lawyers, yes men & public relations flunkies came up with their own version to the Ray Rice crisis by forming a brand new “Conduct Committee.” Its express purpose was to deal with the “evolving” issue of domestic abuse in the league.

….. The committee is made up of 9 total members: 5 owners, 2 ex players, and two women. Who are the women? Well of course one is the aforementioned Charlotte Jones Anderson: daughter of Jerry, Executive Vice President & Chief “Brand” Officer of the Dallas Cowboys. She is also a noted life long suffragette for women’s rights & third world poverty. This is only when she has the time for those pursuits since she is often very busy chairing some bloated, ego expanding, publicity seeking philanthropy or self serving charity in the greater Dallas Fort Worth area for a cause of much greater priority.

….. Like raising money for elite private school students who can’t afford limousine service to attend their first debutante cotillion balls.

…. The other female on the “Conduct Committee” is Dee Haslam. That’s right! ….. the wife of Cleveland Owner Jimmy “The Truck-stop Don” Haslam got appointed.

…… Jimmy Haslem & his “Pilot Flying J” truck stop & travel mall empire have been involved in a protracted, complicated criminal investigation that has included Grand Jury hearings, major fines, huge lawsuit settlements & our favourite excuses by men at the top for white collar crime: CEO amnesia, incompetence, ignorance, betrayal & victim-hood.

…… This all centred around fraud involving Haslam’s company not paying millions of dollars to trucking companies in diesel fuel rebates. Dozens of his employees have pled guilty. Pilot Flying J has paid 92 million dollars to the government in fines, 85 million to various trucking companies in a legal settlement.

….. CEO Haslam admits no guilt and offers the defence that he couldn’t possibly know what was going on as all the guilty parties that he employed were working out dozens of their own separate defrauding schemes against the numerous plaintiffs.

….. That mess still hasn’t been totally resolved, but once again in America we see that if you have enough money you can successfully avoid jail time & ride out the legal process by combining the Sergeant Schultz “I Know & See Nothing” defense with the Alfred E. Neuman “What Me Worry” demeanour of resolve that comes from stretching out lawsuits till they fizzle out.

What a joke.

….. So far the NFL’s “Conduct Committee” has delivered a volume of paperwork that would make a Soviet bureaucrat proud. Has it changed anything? …… Well back in the spring of 2015 when the mighty moral Dallas Cowboys signed DE Greg Hardy to a big free agent contract, the Cowboys and Mrs. Charlotte Jones Anderson had little to say.

…… When the details of Hardy’s harrowing assault on his girlfriend and the subsequent investigation details were released & given more publicity, even football crazy Texans were critical. The Mayor of Dallas even questioned the signing and said at some point people have to stop buying Cowboy merchandise or going to the games.

…… Stung by the criticism, Committee member Jones Anderson took offence. “I’m a mother, I have daughters and sons. If I didn’t think it was the right thing to do, I wouldn’t support it. Everybody deserves a second chance.” …. Huh? …….. since that convoluted statement in the spring, we haven’t heard hardly a peep from this powerful woman. Daddy has been handling the press
…. Well RB Ray Rice isn’t near the peak of his past athletic abilities, but he is almost assuredly a better running back than 90% of the half backs who have been given mid-season tryouts this year due to injuries. He hasn’t received a sniff. He actually did apologize for his actions, seems sincere but nobody in the League will touch his toxic ass with a ten foot pole.

….. We could care a less about Ray Rice, it may seem unfair that he hasn’t been given a second chance like Hardy, but he brought it upon himself for being a cowardly thug. What does bother us is that if anything, ….. Greg Hardy is far worse. He is more violent, has never apologized ( till sort of this week when the heat was just a little too hot even for Jerry Jones ) and only avoided conviction providing a “settlement” with the victim who refused to continue cooperating with the police. She initially told the police she was “terrified” of Hardy & would not testify, which is eventually what happened exactly.

….. playing bedroom games with a man who morphs into Pablo Escobar and re-enacts scenes from Netflix’s “Narco” series can do that to you.

….. The League suspended him for four games anyway, but nobody said all that much till the pictures of last year’s assault were put on the internet. Then the public reacted like they did to the Ray Rice video last year:

….. “Gee we didn’t know that much about this, we don’t really read articles longer than a Facebook comment or use our imaginations much to reasonably visualize the consequences of actions, …. but now that we get to see these concise visuals of the assault that happened last year, we’re kind of bummed out.”

….. Jerry Jones is determined to whether the storm, …… he has doubled down by saying he would like to sign Hardy to an extension. If he wants to triple down & deliver the ultimate World Record “Fuck You” to his legions of critics he will do the following. He will buy insurance for the inevitable injury coming soon to fragile RB Darren McFadden and sign Ray Rice to the Cowboys.

…… WR Mike Evans of the Buccaneers may have set some sort of World Record of his own last week when he dropped 6 passes. Despite this, Jameis Winston & Tampa fought the Giants toe to toe to the end. A meaningless pick six at the end made the 32-18 score seem worse than it was. Bucs are at home & the Cowboys are about half as good as the Giants.

Bob: Dallas +1
Carolina (-6) @ TENNESSEE 42.5

….. Interim coach Mike Mularkey is 1-0 with the Titans after rejuvenating rookie QB Marcus Mariotta who played great in defeating the Saints 34-28 in overtime last week. We may be the only ones left who aren’t totally convinced by the Panthers this year. This just might be the meaningless game that derails their undefeated season run ( or at least they cannot cover ).

…. Panthers are missing a couple of secondary players and they never seem to play as well as a favourite.

Pick: TITANS (+6)
Bob: Titans +6
Chicago @ SAINT LOUIS (-7.5) 42.5

…… Rams’ CB Lamarcus Joiner was fined the maximum under the collective bargaining agreement this week for his cheap shot on Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater that led to a neck injury. Now maybe it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to injure, …… just a bang-bang football play.

….. The problem is that when your head coach is Jeff “Finish them off” Fisher and your Defensive Coordinator is Greg “The Bounty Hunter” Williams, you aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt very often.

….. The Rams lost 21-18 in OT in that game to the Vikings, and need a win here to stay in the playoff hunt. Still, more than a TD is a lot to ask for a team that clings to the static “Steady State Theory” rather than the dynamic “Big Bang Theory” when it comes to winning football games.

….. Chicago is coming off the short week upset win in San Diego that made a lot of people good money in football pools. Despite losing a day of rest, Jay Cutler’s best outing of the year can’t be completely ignored.

Pick: Bears (+7.5)
Bob: Bears +7.5
New Orleans @ WASHINGTON (Even) 50.5

…..In the Nation’s Capital, Little Danny Snyder and his crack team of high priced lawyers have launched a new offensive in their efforts to keep the offensive team name. The team lost their right to trademark the team name in early 2014. If they continue to lose all the appeals in the process, they will nave no protection from other entities using their trademark or producing merchandise with the team logo free of charge.
….. Their brilliant strategy involves citing other trademarked names that might seem offensive to certain groups. These include “Dumb Blonde Hair Products,” “Redneck Army Apparel” and “Midget Man Condoms & Inflatable Sex Dolls.”

….. they named dozens more, mostly Porn related websites like: “MILF – Weed,” “Slutscreen,” “Klitpocalypse,” & “Soccer Moms – Cougar Predators.”

…… In fact fully 3/4 of the sights named involve sex, sex aids or porn. The legal basis for the original Trademark withdrawal centres on a significant number of an identifiable group being offended by a specific name.

….. So while Snyder’s lawyers might try to assemble groups of flaxen haired bimbos, little people & Jeff Foxworthy fans to show up in court and feign astronomical outrage & offense to the names of companies and products that here-to-with they had never previously heard of, …….

…… acquiring testimonials from large individual groups of attractive matriarchs who smoke cannabis, …. or easily offended PC whores, ….. or over-sized rampaging clitorises, ……. or mothers who support children’s sports by day and cruise the internet at night to hook up with young, dumb & full of fun males, ….

……… is unlikely.

….. If they can, those lawyers are worth every penny Little Napoleon Snyder pays them.

…. Giant New Orleans’ legend Allen Touissaint passed away this week at the age of 77 in Spain after performing in a concert. The singer, songwriter & pianist had a lengthy career that started in the late 1950’s.

….. His accomplishments were extensive & varied. His influence so vast that it is almost impossible to fully document. His songs were covered by 100’s of artists. He dealt with racism, record company dishonesty, disinterest and the obligatory music business weasels without ever letting it destroy his sense of purpose. The man carried a quiet dignity throughout his life and the inevitable career ups and downs.

….. People were generous in their praise. Many said he was an even better person than artist, which is saying a lot. During the Hurricane Katrina crisis he decided to stay in his base residence at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown New Orleans when he easily could have fled. Despite being in his late 60’s, he orchestrated several local rescue efforts to provide food, water & shelter to dozens of people that they could bring to the hotel.

…. He also deflected praise & asked others after the fact to not mention his role because he felt it was inappropriate.

….. Years ago, we briefly met Mr.Touissant backstage. It seems like much more of an honour now then it did then.

….. The New Orleans Saints should be wearing black arm bands this week.
Pick: Saints (Even)
Bob: Skins Even
Miami @ PHILADELPHIA (-6.5) 46.5

….. Last week the Eagles beat the Cowboys and held Dallas QB Matt Cassell to 299 yards passing, just one short of the 300 yard “excellent passing game” threshold.
….. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has had 14 facial surgery procedures. Just one short of 15 and the hopeless addiction threshold as defined by Kenny Rogers’ latest autobiography.
…… Dolphins’ Coach Dan Campbell is one locker room meltdown away from a three game losing streak, thus crossing the threshold for the word “interim head coach” to become indelible till the end of the season.

Pick: EAGLES (-6.5)
Bob: Eagles -6.5
Cleveland @ PITTSBURGH (-4.5) 41

…. The Steelers continue to state that Big Ben’s sprained foot is healing faster than expected and that the mighty Roethlisberger will start this week against Cleveland. Yes, that is why Landry Jones has taken every rep at QB this week.

……. Ruses like this may be necessary in certain situations:

1.) ….. Alexander the Great facing the biggest military threat of his career against his vastly outnumbered army at the Battle of the Hydaspes River. He cleverly disguised his clandestine river crossing to surprise King Porus of Paurava ( present day Punjab ) & defeat his massive army that included hundreds of elephants.

2.) …… In 1899, during the Second Boer War, Robert Baden Powell with a small force of 1500 men successfully defended the city of Mafeking in South Africa against over 8,000 Boers. His tactics included setting up fake forts around the perimeter of the territory, fake mine fields, fake barbed wire fences, and amplified noise to sound like a bigger army inside the city.

….. His best tactic was to send messengers out with instructions for the British to send their thousands of reserves to the city from several different directions. He knew that they would be captured by the Dutch. The Boers then split their forces to guard all the approaches to the city for British reserves who would never come.

…. Robert Baden Powell went on to found the Boy Scouts. …..

3.) …… Dr. Ben Carson makes a huge bet with an imaginary friend(s) that he will run for president in 2016. He tells him he has no intention of winning & that his minor goal is to sell more books. His major & most important goal is to continually make up stories that get crazier and crazier till Dictionaries & Thesauruses around the world amend or rescind the well known axiom:

“You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know ______.”
….. Cleveland is playing its own game of meaningless quarterback deception by threatening to start Josh McCown who has several injuries including those bruised ribs that kept him out last week. We predicted at the beginning of the year that this would happen to the Browns if they stuck with McCown. He is too old and exposed to escape serious injury. Besides, he represents the past for a team that isn’t going to the playoffs this year.

…. Johnny “Speed Racer” Manziel is ready to start again this week since he is not in jail and has been taking the reps in practice. Now it would help if HC Mike Pettine would instruct OC John DeFilippo to dust off the tapes of Tobin Rote, Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young, Doug Flutie & Michael Vick to tailor an offense better suited to Manziel’s abilities.

…… but that will never happen as the Brown’s ownership, management & coaching staff can’t see beyond next week’s negative headlines.

…. Still, this game is a division rivalry, …. RB DeAngelo Williams won’t have two big weeks in a row at his age & the Steelers will really miss the loss of Le’Veon Bell this week.

Pick: Browns (+4.5)
Bob: Browns +4.5

Jacksonville @ BALTIMORE (-6.5) 48.5
……. The Jaguars lose another tough one to the Jets last week and the Ravens are coming off the Bye.

….. Yet we cannot “count” on Joe “Burroughs” Flacco to cover anything over a field goal, especially with WR Steve “Psycho” Smith SR gone for the year which means 1% Joe must rally and lead the peasant 99% teammates to victory.

….. Head Coach John Harbaugh also isn’t putting all his time into the Ravens preparations. He continues to be distracted, waiting to hear from his agent after he instructed him to probe the financial windfall possibilities that might result from absconding to the collegiate ranks via Southern Cal. { ala Nick Saban & Bobby Petrino }.

Pick: Jaguars (+6.5)
Bob: Jags +6.5

………….. 4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ………………….

Minnesota @ OAKLAND (-3) 44.5

…… The biggest game between these two teams since 1977 in Super Bowl XI and we fear the result will be the same. Raiders won 32-14 behind QB Kenny “The Snake” Stabler & Super Bowl MVP Fred “Stikum” Biletnikoff.

….. QB Teddy Bridgewater should start after the neck injury he endured last week, but he’s not at 100%. Raiders are angry after blowing that 38-35 overtime game in Pittsburgh even after knocking Big Ben out of the game.
….. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum may not be the 1970’s Rose Bowl, but it is still in California.

…… Three hundred and sixty miles north of Pasadena lives this Black Hole of Calcutta. This rotting, decrepit, moaning stadium filled with a silver and black swarm of William S. Burroughs nightmares vomiting vitriol and derision upon the visiting team’s very souls.

Pick: RAIDERS (-3)
Bob: Minnesota +3
New England (-8) @ NEW YORK GIANTS 54.5

….. With the return of Jason Pierre Paul to the defensive line of the New York Giants the team continues to take measures to prevent even the faintest chance that Mr. Paul might have a terrifying shell shock moment that could trigger PTSD. Although never played in MetLife Stadium to our knowledge previously, the song “Fireworks” by Blue Oyster Cult has been officially banned during Giants’ games.

Pick: GIANTS +8
Bob: GIANTS +8
Kansas City @ DENVER (-7.5)
….. Denver CB Aqib Talib will miss this game via suspension after poking Indianapolis Colt TE Dwayne Allen in the eye last week.

……. Talib must have thought he was George the Animal Steele with his incredibly stupid & obvious eye jab that gave the Broncos a key penalty late in the game that cost Denver the contest & a shot at an undefeated season.

…. With a straight face Talib said it was an accident, that he just wanted to get Allen’s attention by tapping on his face mask. No evidence on the video whether he took the wrestler impersonation to the next level by dying his tongue green and attempting to penetrate Allen’s external acoustic meatus through the ear hole in his helmet.

…… The Broncos will miss Talib, but it shouldn’t affect their defense too much. Of more concern is the offense led by Peyton Manning and his downhill landslide package of quarterbacking skills. Last week, the team needed the offence to finally win them a game and Peyton the Pitchman came up short. Is this a trend for the rest of the season?
……. Chiefs come off the Bye week relatively healthy with a desire to neutralize their long-time AFC West rival. Unless the Broncos score at least 3 touchdowns off pick sixes & special teams, ….Chiefs cover.

Pick: Chiefs (+7.5)
Bob: Denver -7.5
………………… 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ………………….

Arizona @ SEATTLE (-3) 45

…. Big game, Both come off the Bye, Big Noise.

….. We tend to remember that QB Carson Palmer struggles just a little bit more than most with exceptionally large, loud crowds.

….. Seahawks need this just a little bit more and are their healthiest all year.

Pick: SEAHAWKS (-3)
Bob: Seattle -3
………………. Monday, November 16, 2015 …………………..

………………… 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………….
Houston @ CINCINNATI (-11.5) 47.5
…… The Bengals have incentive in this game. Twice in the last three years they lost playoff games to the Texans in humiliating fashion. that is the narrative that Marvin Lewis is drilling into his team ahead of this prime time game.
….. Houston is in off the Bye, but Cincinnati has 10 days off after the Thursday spanking of the Browns. The Texans’ best weapon, WR DeAndre Hopkins will be harassed all day by CB Adam Jones & Safety help over the top.

….. The Bengals offence should go Cold War “Nuclear” against the soft missile defense of the depleted Texans’ pass defense.
….. The “Team of Destiny” ducks, rolls & covers.

Pick: BENGALS (-11.5)
Bob: Cincy -11.5


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