(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 22, 2015
……. 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time ……….
Oakland (-1) @ TENNESSEE 44

…..The Oakland defence has become a liability. Early in the season they made up for their shortcomings by getting turnovers, pick sixes and big sacks. Now they are being exposed for their lack of fundamentals.

…. Marcus Mariota is playing much better under interim Head Coach Mike Mularkey than he did under the Ken Whisenhunt regime and his hands-off coaching methods.
….. Another cross country trip for the Raiders cannot be good for Oakland. They are sliding. They might beat this Titans team, but Tennessee has had the extra three days rest after losing last Thursday in Jacksonville.

….. and the coin says heads, …….
Pick: TITANS (+1)
Bob: TN +1
Buffalo @ KANSAS CITY (-7) 41.5

…… The Chiefs’ defence is warming up as the winter gets colder.

….. We can’t trust the Bills here to win with a banged up Tyrod Taylor or a totally healthy E.J. Manuel off the short week.

…. But we can trust them to give a decent effort and cover against a team that seldom puts up a lot of points.

Pick: Bills (+7)
Bob: Bills +7
Tampa Bay @ INDIANAPOLIS (-3.5) 46.5
…. Throwing 5 TD’s last week was a big boost for Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston, only done twice before in NFL history by a rookie.

….. The Colts won last week behind the 40 year old arm of Matt Hasselbeck for the third time this year.

….. This cushions the blow of Robert Irsay’s failed off the grid foray to Southeast Asia last week seeking possible donor kidneys for injured QB Andrew Luck.

….. If Hasselbeck continues to win, maybe the Colts’ Drugstore Cowboy owner will no longer find it necessary to grab his briefcase of money, his other briefcase of prescription drugs, put on his 1980 Urban Cowboy shirt and head off into the dark world of the Third World organ trade.

Pick: Tampa Bay (+3.5)
Bob: TB +3.5
New York Giants @ WASHINGTON (Even) 46.5

……. Washington looked good last week when CB Chris Culliver hit Panther’s TE Greg Olsen, picked up the ball and ran it back for a Pick Six putting the Beltway Boys ahead.

……. Then it was called back when the refs ruled the following:

1.) The collision that caused the fumble was a scary life threatening blow to the head and ……..

2.) Greg Olsen was really hurt by the glancing forearm across the collar bone and did not embellish the effect of the collision to emulate being hit by cement truck and ……..

3.) Culliver failed to verbally worn Olsen of the impending collision with the unwritten courtesy three steamboats delay before contact.

…… From that point on the team fell totally apart, something they often do when hit with adversity. The final score was 44-16 for Carolina, and that score flattered Washington.

….. After the game, Washington DE Jason Hatcher blamed the team name. He said that the refs in the league never gave them any calls and he didn’t know if it was because of their team name or what, but it was wrong.

…. He is right. We loathe the historical ignorance that leads people to think this is a innocuous “feelgood” nickname of an innocent nature. However nobody should be making bad calls against them during the games because of it.

….. Well some time after, later in the week, Hatcher developed amnesia and told reporters he actually doesn’t remember saying anything about the controversial team name being the cause of referee bias.

…… Right, and owner Little Danny Snyder also didn’t issue an internal memo equivalent to a Fatwa forbidding any more talk about the team’s name to all the players, coaches & parking lot attendants on his payroll.

….. The Giants have their own issues. They played the Patriots tough two weeks ago, like they normally do, but they still don’t look right.

… However, they do come in off the Bye week.

Pick: Giants (Even)
Bob: Giants Even
New Orleans @ HOUSTON (-3) 47.5

…… The battle between two states of recently failed Republican Presidential Candidates.

…… A disastrous stretch for people of the Crescent City last week on two separate fronts.

1.) ……. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal put his stealth campaign to be President of the United States on indefinite hiatus. He becomes the third Republican candidate to withdrawal.

……. Texas Governor Rick Perry quit first early in the campaign. Perry is as bright as a small appliance bulb but compensates by being totally agreeable with big campaign contributors’ wishes. This is how he formerly won the Republican nomination & Governorship of Texas. However, playing in the big leagues with a dozen other big donor supported stooges who have more personality and double the intelligence quotient proved troublesome. The brilliant tactic of suddenly donning thick rimmed non prescription glasses to appear professorial fooled nobody.

…… Then the second man down, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who started the campaign with the most money, the most big donors and the highest ranking in the polls at 28%, …. had to quit. His support slipped a bit to 0% in just a little over a month, so his puppeteers cut his financial strings. They were disappointed, since the Union Buster Governor was a big supporter of adding a Constitutional Amendment entrenching the rights of Scab Labour.
…. Jindal didn’t have one thing those two had, …. Big Money backers. He loved telling everyone his story of being the son of immigrants from India, getting an Ivy league Education & eventually becoming Governor of the great state of Louisiana. He was also the only candidate in the election who participated in church sanctioned exorcisms as a young man. He was different than the other nominees, as while not just professing the mandatory electability trait of a healthy fear of God, he also cited deep seated beliefs about various demons. He claimed he had experience dealing with various insidious examples of these throughout his life.

…… People would be sad to see this guy withdrawal from the race, except almost nobody knew he was in it.
2.) …… Then the Saints deep sixed Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan after the total implosion they had in Washington, losing 47-14 and breaking all sorts of cherished team records for ineptitude.

….. Rob is the identical non-conformist twin brother of Bills’ coach Rex and he won’t be out of a job for very long. Rob like Rex is a defensive specialist from the school of their father, the legendary Buddy Ryan.

….. Somewhere a team will need a coordinator who blitzes on every down, damn the personnel!
……. In Houston, the City Zoo was recently forced to take down a sign that prohibited customers from bringing firearms onto the premises. Some Magnum head backed by the NRA sued them over it and won.

…… We can only assume this law will soon apply at the Texans’ home in NRG Stadium. Currently firearms, either open carry or concealed are prohibited. This is not only grossly unfair to shit-for-brains shit kickers who need to multi task during football games by practicing their firing techniques but also to the Constitutional right of all good Texans to be able to accessorize the appropriate gun-bling when they dress to emulate their many firearms’ heroes like Sam (hic!) Houston, Walker Texas Ranger, and Lee Harvey Oswald.

….. This new setup would bring added incentive for Texans’ coaches to stay sharp and at least consider the deep felt convictions of the fans when they decide to punt or go for the long field goal on fourth down.

… Houston WR Deandre Hopkins had the game winning TD catch for the Texans two Monday Nights ago against the Bengals and last week lit up the Jets. So far the clock has not struck midnight for replacement QB T.J. Yates.

….. New DC Dennis Allen won’t have the Saints gamble as much as Ryan & blitz on every down, but that just might mean longer drives by the Texans and less big plays. The Texans’ defense has really improved, is getting sacks & turnovers and this might be another blowout.

…. The only thing that concerns us is Drew Brees having the Bye week to prepare for a familiar indoor game against a team that isn’t out of the woods yet.

Pick: New Orleans (+3)
Bob: NO +3
Minnesota @ ATLANTA (-1) 46

…. QB Matt Ryan should think about becoming a pastry chef in North Korea because he is excellent at making turnovers in the Red Zone.

….. The Falcons started the year 5-0, and since then have devolved like a progressive rock band turning into a proto-punk abomination.

Vikings bounce back after a tough loss to the Packers.

Pick: Vikings (+1)
Bob: Atlanta -1

Saint Louis @ CINCINNATI (-9)

….. The Rams conservative play calling simply defies reality. Missed field goals & terrible protection schemes sealed a mediocre performance for QB Case Keenum and the offense last week in Baltimore.

…… Keenum got a clear concussion as a result of a pivotal play late, but was somehow was kept in just long enough on the next play to be sacked and seal the Rams’ fate.

…. This game between the Rams and Bengals also meshes these teams together with some shared tragedy.

….. News from Ram camp this week with the shooting of former West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey. He is in critical but stable condition. He is unlikely to play against the Bengals. This is almost irrelevant anyway, as Jeff Fisher doesn’t really believe in using his speedy wide receivers very much, whether Nick Foles plays or Keenum clears concussion protocol.

….. Bailey is the latest in a disturbing trend for West Virginia’s wide receivers. In 2014, WR Jacky Marcellus of West Virginia University was shot on Christmas Eve, ….. he survived. In 2009 WR Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals died when he fell from a moving truck during a domestic dispute. Later, it was found that the 5 year NFL vet & WV alum had been suffering from CTE. This accounted for much of his erratic & deteriorating behaviour during his brief pro career.

…. He is cited as the first active NFL player to have been positively diagnosed with the condition while playing in the NFL. This week Frank Gifford was confirmed suffering from CTE after his death. He is confirmed as being the oldest ex-NFL player suffering from the disease.

….. Well, I guess it was a good thing that the Rams signed WR Wes Welker to that contract last week. He doesn’t have any concussion issues to worry about.

…. In the wake of the “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” call on Bengals’ DT Domata Peko last week against Arizona for simulating the Cardinals’ snap count, ….. many accusations have been flying about. What is truly ridiculous is the punishment. Fifteen yards is ridiculous for this penalty. If a quarterback goes out and tries to deceive the defense and gets them to jump offside { A 98% wasted effort tried on thousands of fourth and shorts } it is a five yard penalty.

……. Bengals should be using DE Margus Hunt to block kicks. Instead of having DT Domata Peko lining up @ middle linebacker and (allegedly) trying to get offensive linemen to jump offside by imitating Carson Palmer’s cadence, Hunt should be rushing up the A gaps.

…. In College at SMU, 6’8″ DE Margus Hunt blocked 8 extra points and field goals. He had never played football before, since he came on a track & field scholarship from Estonia. He has world class speed, and strength. The freak of nature is dressed, sitting on the bench for very occasional defensive line play, but we have yet to see him play special teams.

… To our knowledge, no ESPN, Fox, CBS, or local Cincinnati reporter has ever asked/pressed/enquired as to why this is so.

….. The Bengals could have won last Sunday Night but for a multitude of reasons did not. The Circus surrounding the Rams this week is going to play into this, and not in a positive way unless RB Todd Gurley breaks the single game rushing record.

… Of concern are the many injuries to the Cincinnati secondary, so a good passing team might be able to exploit that weakness, ….. silly, almost forgot our NFL “Team of Destiny is playing the Rams.

Pick: BENGALS (- 9)
Bob: Rams +9

San Diego @ JACKSONVILLE (-4) 46.5

…… The Jaguars are back in the hunt for the AFC Central. Somehow they have been winning games lately. Mostly this has been through good luck, but they have had so much bad luck we guess it all is evening out. San Diego is so injured and bad that the trip to the Eastern Time Zone might actually inspire them by breaking up their routine.

…. But they still won’t win this week.

Pick: JAGUARS (-4)
Bob: SD +4

Miami @ NEW YORK JETS (-3) 42.5

…….. One of these teams will probably win this game. Unless the spectacle of the worst overtime format in all of professional & amateur sports results in a tie after the fifth quarter.

Pick: JETS (-3)
Bob: Jets -3
………… 4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ………….
Arizona (-11.5) @ SAN FRANCISCO 45
…… Nobody expects much from the Forty Niners this year, but one has to ask when the ghost of the late Charley Finley became the spiritual adviser for the San Francisco management team? Having rid the team of all their skill players with big contracts except the “on administrative leave” QB Colin Kaepernick, the team is a shadow of the Super Bowl participant from several years ago.

…. Some Niner season ticket-holders & fans are threatening lawsuits against the team and the NFL. The lack of a competitive product on the field & the reluctance of the NFL Commissioner to intervene have made both parties targets of potential litigation.

….. It is unlikely that inept league boss Roger Goodell will do anything since his recent court room defeats have made him gun shy. The only plausible solution would be the implausible. That the ghost of another late sports icon possessed Mr. Goodell and caused him to suddenly possess testicles of steel.

….. However it is unlikely that the apparition of Bowie Kuhn will soon possess Goodell’s brain and turn him into a real big league sports commissioner. One who at least attempts to give the appearance of balancing the competing interests of the owners, players and fans.

Pick: Cardinals (- 11.5)
Bob: Cards -11.5

PittsburGh @ SEATTLE (-3) 44.5
…… “You’ll never find” a substitute RB like Thomas Rawls of the Seahawks, undrafted out of Central Michigan. With the injury to Beast Mode Lynch, who just had surgery for a sports hernia the Seahawks will need Rawls to step up again against the Steelers.

…. The Seahawks offence looked better last week, but it was against the Forty Niners. Pittsburgh had the week off & this should be a tough game.

… Twelfth Man should be the difference.

Pick: SEAHAWKS (-3)
Bob: Pittsburgh +3
……….. 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Times …………………..
The 103rd Grey Cup, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Ottawa @ EDMONTON (-8.5) 53
{13-6} {15-4}

…… Here it is, the Canadian Super Bowl. We picked the two home favourites correctly last week and they both covered.
…. Edmonton won the West with a convincing 45-31 win over their arch rivals, the Calgary Stampeders. The Eskimo running game wasn’t the best, but QB Mike Reilly spread the ball around, the defense played well & the Stampeders had to play catch up all day.

…. Ottawa was a bit lucky winning 35-28 last week. It took an incredible 93 yard pass from 40 year old QB Henry Burris to WR Greg Ellingson with 1:11 to go to win this game.

……. With the game tied 28-28, Ottawa faced the bad situation of having to punt from their end zone against a very strong wind on third down if they didn’t convert. Then Hamilton would have fantastic field position and a 95% chance of winning on a wind aided field goal or a single. So on a 2nd and long (3rd and long in American Football), Henry Burris decided to risk it all by not going for the first down, but for the game. He took his prodigious arm, cocked it and unloaded a bomb that was held up by the severe wind, but still went about 50 yards. Ellingson came back to the ball, eluded a tackler and ran half the field to the winning score.

….. We said the Ottawa Redblacks are the CFL “Team of Destiny” this year. The expansion team won the East with a 12-6 record after their dismal inaugural year of 2-16.

….. If you would have bet on them at the beginning of the year to win the Grey Cup you would have gotten odds of 25-1. We didn’t make that bet, but we’re going to stay with them here.

…. The weather can always be a factor in these games when they are played outdoors. This game is being played in Winnipeg, or Winterpeg which is about 455 miles north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is one of the windiest major cities in the world. With the wind chill factor in the winter it can hit subterranean Arctic temperatures.

….. Years ago Randy Bachman wrote a song called Prairie Town, a song about growing up in Winnipeg that he recorded with fellow Winnipeg native Neil Young. The song contained the line “Portage and Main, 50 below!”

….. When asked in an interview if the reference to the minus 50 degree temperature referred to at the main intersection of town was meant to be interpreted as Fahrenheit or Centigrade he observantly responded:

“Does it really matter?”
…. Indeed, ……. – 50 Celsius converts to -58 Fahrenheit. ……. -50 Fahrenheit corresponds with – 46 Celsius. The two scales are exactly the same only at -40 where they cross paths. All irrelevant to the issue at hand. Those types of temperatures and wind chills would freeze just about anything in seconds, but in a football game would especially affect older quarterbacks, so the weather forecast is crucial.

….. Current Weather Forecast for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sunday November 29, 2015 : Temperatures in the 20’s Fahrenheit, wind under 10mph, little chance of snow & a win for the Team of Destiny with the old smiling quarterback in these balmy conditions. [ or at least a cover ]
Pick: Ottawa (+8.5)
…………. 8:35 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………
New England (-3.5) @ DENVER 44

…. Saint Brady & the Patented Cheaters head to the Mile High City off a tough game with the Bills and a short week. The officials certainly helped the Patriots last week with their ineptitude. Psychological praise continued from a predictable source. Announcer Mike Tirico whose servile slurping at the Patriot trough seems to grow with every game he covers with them in it.

…. He went out of his way to express excessive laudation for all things New England & “The Patriot Way.” It wasn’t just his usual obvious bias either, it was his desire to steer the narrative, dismissing any potential blemishes that might predispose the veracity of another victory by his idols.

….. When the Bills’ appeared to be having headphone communication problems during a crucial drive late in the game, he weirdly went out of his way to put this on Buffalo. “There seems to be a problem with Tyrod Taylor’s wireless communications with the booth. This has happened a lot with the Bills over the last few games, … not just tonight.”

….. Be that as it may or may not be, …… he then repeated this two more times to reinforce the idea that you can’t blame the Patriots, …… let us have none of that complaining like the Steelers did in the first game of the year in Foxboro, …. and the many other teams in the past who have said Foxboro is the only place where this seems to happen regularly.

….. It was as transparent as Donald Trump’s dog-whistle neofascist musings, …. likewise serving as an attempt to plant a seed, establish a scenario and invite a predictable subconscious response in the herds of listeners who easily adopt the role of quadrupedal ruminants.

…… “Hmmm, the Bills must be sloppy in the maintenance of their equipment or just incompetent. The Patriots do get accused falsely a lot I guess, these other teams must just be sore losers. They should really just bow their heads & concede to the greatness of the New England Divinity.”
…. Patriots didn’t cover last week, and they won’t this week. We don’t even care how well 6’8″ Brock Bunyan plays as Peyton Androids’ permanent replacement. Bronco’s HC Gary Kubiak will keep the game plan conservative for the reverse Wally Pip, giving him a clear path for success.

…. The Broncos will be relying on their tough defense to win this game at the high altitude. The Bills hit Brady a lot last week and the Denver Broncos have an even better or at least more consistent defensive roster than Buffalo at this point in the season. Tom “PSI” Brady is only 2-5 for the career in Denver, and that was against a lot of defenses nowhere near as good as this current one.

…… The Patriot injuries, the short week, and the rejuvenation of the Broncos with their new pivot mean Denver will not only cover but win.

…. This will serve the duel purpose of ending the undefeated season of the Patriots and temporarily Mike Tirico’s favourite fetishistic source for auto-manual satisfaction.

Pick: BRONCOS (+3.5)
Bob: Denver +3.5
…………… Monday November 30, 2015 …………..
……………. 8:35 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………….

Baltimore @ CLEVELAND (-1) 41

…… Our twice yearly favourite match-up of the year. The New Improved Browns against the Benedict Arnold Browns.
…… Predictably, new official Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback Johnny “Champagne” Manziel was reported partying hard in Austin, Texas during the Bye Week. He was filmed screaming wildly while holding bottles of Dom Perignon Private Reserve champagne in a couple of different bars last Thursday & Friday Night.

…… If he was a normal playboy athlete we could care less. But letting the Tasmanian Devil of Substance Abuse loose to explore the VIP sections of all-night bars in his home state with his frat boys is a recipe for disaster.

….. And that disaster may end up being the final nail in the coffin of the career of Johnny Dumb Ass. The Browns announced that Manziel will be replaced as the starting quarterback by the aged Josh McCown. This is just a week after the team had committed to Johnny Fingers as the starting QB for the rest of the year. You would think somebody who has lived his whole football career in the public spotlight & is a product of the social media age would have had more sense.

…… Before commencing the partying, he should have directed his half dozen hired thugs/hooligans/bodyguards to confiscate every cell phone in the bar before the Bubbly, the Jagermeister & the MDMA started flowing.

…. Of course, Manziel has never been one to plan ahead before, so why would we think it would be any different now.

…. Apparently, his defence as relayed to the Browns’ management was a unique one. He claimed that he had been out partying so many times in the past that it was unclear to him if this film footage was current or dated back before he entered rehab this year at the Browns’ expense.

….. The Browns then said: “Fine, maybe you are right, since nobody is posing with a current newspaper, maybe this video is from long ago, forget about the film, ….. but were you partying like this last weekend in Texas?”

……. when Johnny “Tongue-tied” could only hum and haw, …. the Browns had their answer.

…. McCown may be slowed by injuries, but he has a good arm going up against the bottom of the well Baltimore secondary. The Ravens are good against the run. They shut down Gurley last week, which means they shut down the Rams since coach Fisher is immune to the merits of passing the ball.

….. Fortunately for the Browns, the Ravens have lost their starting quarterback Joe “The Contract” Flacco and starting running back Justin Forsett for the year, which means wily veteran Matt Schaub will start. The last time he started an NFL game it was with the Texans in 2013. At that point in time, his arm was even weaker than Peyton Android’s was two weeks ago. Although Schaub must have shown something in practice to stay on the roster this long, we’ll go with McCown and the Cleveland Browns at home against the late Art Modell’s carpetbagger Baltimore Browns.
Pick: BROWNS (-1)
Bob: Browns -1


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