(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, December 6, 2015
…………… 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time …………….
New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! @ NY FOOTBALL GIANTS (Even)
….. Battle of Gotham. The Joker Jets against the Riddler Giants. Both could make the playoffs, and both have been inconsistent.

….. The great Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson & Heath Ledger versus Frank Gorshin and Jim Carrey.

…. The edge will be the Jet’s better defense.

Pick: Jets (Even)
Bob: Giants Even

Arizona (-5.5) @ SAINT LOUIS

…. Jeff Fisher lost his temper last week under the guise of sticking up for his team at a post game press conference when a reporter mildly asked if effort was a problem. Fisher went into a controlled, premeditated rant with loads of cliches about: “How not one guy on the team wasn’t trying his hardest, …… How dare you say that, I’d go to the wall for these guys!” then he mildly stormed off.

….. It wasn’t very convincing. The Rams had just been spanked by the Bengals 31-7. The offence was abysmal. The Bengals shut down the predictable runs by Todd Gurley and the Rams as usual were doomed. Other than running WR Tavon Austin on reverses, they did nothing that produced results. QB Nick Foles looked like he didn’t want his starting job back after replacing the concussed Case Keenum.

…. In fact most of the players looked like they had given up on Jeff Fisher, the offensive schemes & the belief that they could win because they played with almost zero enthusiasm.

… and it is no wonder.

…. Jeff Fisher has not won a playoff game since 2003. He has not had a team make the playoffs since 2008 when he ran the Titans. Since he came to the Rams, they have gone 7-8-1, 7-9, 6-10 & 4-7 so far this year with no sniff of the playoffs. He has dined out on that 1999 Super Bowl appearance for a long time.

….. Still, if this spread goes over seven points as we expect it might as the week goes on, we might back them since being a touchdown dog at home against a division rival is almost always a green light to take Saint Louis.

…. The Cards played down a bit last week to the Niners. We like them to bounce back here against a team they accused of dirty play earlier in the year when they lost 24-22.

….. The Cardinals have some injury problems. They have lost RB Chris Johnson & RB Andre Ellington. Power runner David Johnson, who is an excellent receiver will get the start. They also have moved a backup WR to help in the secondary due to injuries.

…. The Cardinals’ management confirmed this week that they are not interested in signing one time great running back & mixed gender elevator boxing enthusiast Ray Rice. He will likely remain in purgatory indefinitely unless the Dallas Cowboys need a ball carrier.

Pick: Cardinals (-5.5)
Bob: Cards -5.5

Atlanta @ TAMPA BAY (Even)

….. Tampa self destructed in the red zone last week, committing turnovers and settling for field goals, otherwise they played the Indianapolis Colts pretty even for the first 3/4 of last week’s 25-12 loss.

…. It is impossible to believe in the Falcons who have reverted to last year’s behaviour and lost 5 of their last 6. At this point, their franchise valuation is held up only by the sentimental value attributed by Saudi Sheikhs who are willing to overpay for any paraphernalia, namesake, or sports team vaguely connected to the illegal trade in rare raptors and falconry.
Bob: TB Even
Seattle @ MINNESOTA (Even)

…. Seattle played the most entertaining game of the week last Sunday in dispatching the Steelers. This should be the best game of the day featuring two interesting teams. At this point we’ll take the more consistent Vikings who have won 5/6. The only concern is that conservative HC Mike Zimmer, a very defense oriented guy has not allowed OC Norv Turner to expand the playbook.

Time to loosen the reins on QB Teddy Bridgewater so Minnesota can win games more easily, especially against erratic squads like Seattle.

Pick: VIKINGS Even
Bob: Vikes Even

Houston @ BUFFALO (-3)

….. Camera shy DE J.J. Watt, flash in the pan Tarheel QB T.J. Yates and the Texans come to Buffalo to be ambushed, trampled, stampeded and humiliated by the Bills who have to win.

…… The North American Bison is a far hardier beast than the deceased bovine that graces the helmet of the Houston Lone Stars. It is befitting that they sport a mascot who is pushing up daisies since the chances of Bill O’Brien out-coaching Rex Ryan in this contest are also dead in the water.

….. Or to put it in terms that the average Texan could understand:

…. “The Texans are all Hat and no Cattle.”

…. The only thing that concerns us is that the weather is slated to be hospitable.

Pick: BILLS (-3)
Bob: Bills -3
Baltimore @ MIAMI (-4)

Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler will soon be available in German bookstores after a 70 year ban. Unfortunately, Dan Campbell’s “Paleolithic Guide to Winning at Football and in Life” still lacks a world wide distributor.

…… Good sign for the Dolphins. DT Ndamukong Suh who will be worth more than a Republican Super PAC when his contract with the Dolphins is fulfilled, …… finally showed some leadership. According to a Miami beat writer, after last week’s noncompetitive loss to the Jets in New York, he apparently told the locker room matter of factually:

“At least 3/4 of you on defense aren’t good enough to play in this league anyway so it doesn’t really matter how hard you hustle. As for the offense, I’m no expert, but you guys are even worse so the ratio is probably higher.”
….. Coming from a guy like Suh, who hustles like a Tijuana hooker on every single down and has the demeanor, likability & natural leadership charisma of Idi Amin, this should really light a fire under those lollygaggers.

…. Betting this game with anything other than Monopoly Money is not recommended. Let’s just say that the excellent Baltimore special teams will not likely get another chance to perform a “Blocksix” at the end of the game like last week in Cleveland and win a game they have no right to.

…… Matt Schaub’s high mileage Volvo arm will probably weaken a bit after last week’s first start, so let’s say Miami wins but doesn’t cover the crooked number.

Pick: Ravens (+4)
Bob: Ravens +4

Cincinnati (-10 ) @ CLEVELAND

…… Apparently there is friction in Camelot on the Cuyahoga. Head Coach Mike Pettine of the Cleveland Browns is starting quarterback Austin Davis for this game and not Johnny Football Manziel who will continue to do time on the pine. According to inside reports, owner Jimmy “The Truckstop Don” Haslem still wants to give Manziel another shot.

…… When Josh McCown predictably went down for the season last week in the Monday night debacle loss to the Ravens from multiple hits to multiple compromised body parts, many hoped that the sophomoric behaving NFL sophomore Manziel would be put into the game.

…. But no, …… Pettine held to his word that Johnny Champagne would be third string and Davis was brought in. Austin Davis looked okay last week going 7/10 for 77 yards with a 42 yard touchdown. He is obviously in the Browns’ plans for the future because he spent the entire year on the scout team & last week after being announced as second string starter had exactly two snaps with the first stringers in preparation for the Thursday night game with Baltimore.
…… Davis had a few starts with the Rams before this year, but we can’t hold the results of those against him. Before that he broke every one of Brett Favre’s records at Southern Mississippi. He has technical & arm strength issues, but we wouldn’t close the book on him just yet in the NFL.

….. Despite this, nobody believes he gives the Browns their best chance to win this rematch with their in-state rivals or that he is in the team’s plans for 2016.

….. Just a month ago, the Bengals beat the Browns in Cincinnati 31-10. Johnny “.08” Manziel actually played pretty well and was announced as the starter for the rest of the season. That was until two weeks ago when he decided to go Hot Tub Time Machine back to those care-free Bacchanalian days of yore he relished at College Station.

….. The Browns should play the little idiot or cut him loose. The Cleveland season is lost (again!), seeing if he will continue to improve as a starter and/or showcasing him for trade is smarter than the present scenario.

…. The template for the future does not look bright. If they cut Johnny Cocktail, the worst drafting team in the NFL will have to start all over (yet again!). Next year they will have to draft yet another quarterback, stick him with poor skill players and the same bad current coaching staff or a brand new scheme with new coaches. …… They could also do the opposite and go into the year with Josh McCown, Johnny Ass Clown & Austin Davis competing for the job with these same bozos running the show or new coaches.

…… Jerry Jones has apparently made inquiries as to Johnny Football’s availability to come to Dallas and join the Ship of Fools as Tony Romo’s understudy. If that happens, …… well those headlines will write themselves.

…… We can’t lose in this game. Our “Team of Destiny for 2015,” the Cincinnati Bengals get an easy win over the last place team in the NFL & our prop bet of Browns under 6.5 wins for the season. Both propositions advance closer to maturity.

….. Nobody knows what the hell Browns’ coach Mike Pettine is thinking.

…… QB Austin Davis will have the last place running game in the league on his side on Sunday, meaning he will be forced to throw against the first place pass rush in the league.

Pick: Bengals (-10)
Bob: Browns +10
Jacksonville @ TENNESSEE (-2.5)
…. President Andrew Jackson came from Tennessee and his accomplishments were so great in the field of aboriginal eradication that the good citizens of north Florida named a city after him. The man behind military victories like the “Battle of New Orleans” in the War of 1812, was also responsible for the deaths, murder and relocation of tens of thousands of Native Americans. He was a big hero to many, especially settlers in the south.

… He helped bring the state of Florida into the United States, prying it away from the Spanish. He fought in the Seminole Wars, clearing the way for white settlers to populate the peninsula. He owned hundreds of slaves and as President brought in legislation to deal with the “Indian Problem.”

…. The “Indian Removal Act” helped relocate thousands of American Indians in 1838-39 from the southeast to the southwest culminating in the infamous “Trail of Tears.” Many died and never made it.

……. In 1971, Paul Revere and the Raiders had a hit record with a song that chronicled the plight of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole relocation to Oklahoma.

…… “Indian Reservation ( The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian )” hit number one in the Billboard charts. Up to that point in time, most Americans had no familiarity with the tragedy since it wasn’t taught in schools and wasn’t the kind of subject western and historical epic genre movies covered.

…… The song more than any other single event at the time stirred conversation and political debate over aboriginal issues.

…. Keyboard player and founder Paul Revere ( his real name) passed away last year. He picked the song for his band to record because the issue stirred him. He had grown up in Idaho and seen some of the conditions local Native Americans lived under. He was no hypocrite. During the Vietnam War he registered as a conscientious objector.

….. The band survived for years, but had trouble getting new material recorded and released. They longed to be taken seriously as an “Album/FM” touring band like Columbia/CBS label-mates Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith and Mott the Hoople. Unfortunately they were typecast as a top 40/AM/singles band by the record company and were tied by a long term contract.

….. The song is rather dated, but still has a deceiving impact through its frankness and easy delivery. Despite igniting controversy and being banned on some stations it managed to hit number one. Quite an accomplishment at a time when top 40 radio eschewed bad publicity that might shine the light on an institution that still thrived off payola and bribes.

…. So who would the late President Jackson cheer for in this game, his adopted home state or the city named for him in Florida? Old Hickory died in Nashville, so like the Titans the city would probably still give him some bad vibes. The Tennessee Oilers have not won a game at home all year.

…… Jacksonville is still in the fight for the AFC South, but needs a win here before quarterback Methuselah Hasselbeck, Drugstore Cowboy owner Jim Irsay and the rest of the Colts extend their lead and take this pathetic division yet again.
Pick: Jaguars (+2.5)
Bob: TN -2.5

San Francisco @ CHICAGO BEARS (-7)

…. Giving seven points and betting on Jay Cutler and the Bears is like buying a new Volkswagen and expecting to receive a “Friend of the Environment” award from Earthwatch.

….. However, these are the Forty Niners, due for a bad loss on the road in the very un Bay Area weather of Chicago.

Pick: BEARS (-7)
Bob: Bears -7
……………….. 4:05 pm – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ………
Denver (-4) @ SAN DIEGO

…… Could Brock Bunyan and the Androidless Broncos have a letdown after the big win over Big Baby Brady & the Belichikian Bilkers of Foxboro last Sunday night?

… You bet, ……. last week the Chargers won on the east coast in Jacksonville with Phillip Rivers having one of his best days all year. The big reason is his offensive line, finally getting healthier and jelling as a unit they gave him a lot of protection and time to throw.

…. An old AFC West rivalry will be close and Osweiler realizes it won’t all be a cakewalk as a starter. There is an NFL learning curve.

Pick: CHARGERS (+4)
Bob: Denver -4

Kansas City (-3) @ OAKLAND

….. The Raider Nation is sad. With the City of Oakland tabling no comprehensive plan to keep the team in container-port city before Commissioner Roger Goodell’s false crisis deadline at Christmas, … it looks like the silver and black are headed back to Los Angeles where they can renew their top role as the Fashion Sherpas of Southland drug gangs.

….. The chances of them staying in Oaktown are about as great as the chances of us watching the Super Bowl half-time show.

……. This week it was announced that Coldplay would be semi-lipsynching their semi-plagiarized, semi-autotuned, bleached pablum asexual tonal detritus between the second and third quarter at Super Bowl 50.

….. We can only assume that Kenny G, John Tesh, Yanni & Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute were passed over because they were unavailable or judged too controversial.

….. An old AFC West rivalry filled with hatred, late hits in the dirt and mud thrown up from the Oakland Athletics’ infield since the forecast calls for rain. { and/or “The Forecast calls for Pain” as sung by Bay area based Blues artist Robert Cray.}

Pick: RAIDERS (+3)
Bob: Raider +3

Carolina (-7.5) @ NEW ORLEANS

….. It’s not that we don’t believe in the undefeated Panthers and celebration dance marathon aficionado Cam Newton, ……. it’s just that sooner or later HC Sean Payton & QB Drew Brees of the Saints will have to show some sign that they are worth their designated massive financial compensation and win a game this year of consequence.

… or at least keep it close.

Pick: SAINTS (+7.5)
Bob: Saints +7.5

Philadelphia @ NEW ENGLAND (-12)
…..Waahhh! Waaahhh! Waaahhhh! …….. What a tiresome spectacle watching the predictable whining by Tom Brady & Patriots after their first loss last week. Yes Tom, You’re the only team that has been screwed by bad calls in the NFL. What a crybaby.
….. Now Golden Boy also wants special rules for the tackling of wide receivers & tight ends. Of course many say that this is only because his number one target & safety blanket Gronk went down last week and narrowly escaped serious injury. This is incorrect.

….. Brady almost never has his own self interest at heart and those who accuse him of knee-jerk reactions are just jealous losers. When Tom Terrific decided to change his previous behaviour & destroy his cell phone for the first time in his life shortly after “Deflategate” last year, many thought he was eradicating evidence.

….. But Tom had just recently read an article about the world wide shortage of specialty metals that are needed to manufacture computers & cell phones. He felt it was his global citizen responsiblity to simultaneously reduce, recycle, reuse and start the greening of his personal brand.
…… With so many injuries on both sides of the Patriot line of scrimmage we are going to go out on a limb and take the Eagles to cover the big number. The Pats haven’t covered in a month. The Eagles have had 10 days rest to prepare after their Thanksgiving massacre in Detroit. We’ll gamble that Mad Scientist Chip Kelly can get them to believe that they still have a shot at the NFC East which is as unstable an inorganic compound as Nitrogen triiodide.

Pick: Eagles (+12)
Bob: NE -12

…………….. 8:25 pm Eastern Standard Time …………………
Indianapolis @ PITTSBURGH (-8) 49

….. George Blanda has gone 4-0 taking over from Daryle Lamonica at quarterback for the Colts. This will be his biggest test on Sunday in prime time against the Steelers. That is if Lamonica who has started throwing again in practice, is intelligently kept out longer to recuperate from his multiple injuries including his lacerated kidney.

…. Ben Roethlisberger self reported his concussion symptoms last week and was relieved in the game by the seemingly useless Landry Jones. The Steelers could have won in Seattle as the Seahawk defense is still prone to long stretches of dysfunctionality. Unfortunately, they also are prone to seizing turnovers and turning those into great field position or touchdowns.

…. It looks to us like Big Ben is gripping a little from all the hits. It also looks like the Steeler defence for the first time this year is missing the cool, adaptive hand of former DC Dick LeBeau.
Pick: Colts (+8)
Bob: Colts +8

……………… Monday, December 7, 2015 ………………
……………. 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………………

Dallas @ Washington (-4)

…. Dallas owner/general manager/head talent scout/pigskin visionary & Cowboy team mental health therapist Jerry Jones got testy this week. Appearing on a Dallas radio talk-show, he announced the grand future plan for his precious football team. This involved building the team around perpetual outpatient and 36 year old quarterback Tony Romo.

….. When questioned if this was wise considering Romo’s age and durability he got snippy with the interviewer and belittled his knowledge of football. Later on he got “His nose further out of joint” when the talk show host appeared to question Jones’ suitability as a talent evaluator due to the ineptness of back-up quarterbacks Brandon Weeden & Matt Cassell filling in for Romo.

….. Jones replied with a couple of terse statements of frustration and walked out. We assume he was upset, but nobody at the scene could really tell since Jerry Jones face surrendered no hint of expression. This is because it is stretched tighter than a snare drum in a drum & bugle corp.

….. Little Danny Snyder and the “Bloodskins” can smell actual blood. The NFC East is theirs for the taking. The pathetic Cowgirls limp into town with a below average quarterback, an above average wussy diva playing wide receiver and a psychotic misogynistic defensive end.

…. Their owner clearly is in mental decline and possesses no shame and an impenetrable frontal lobe membrane that resists the concept of embarrassment or accountability like a Yugoslavian War Criminal on trial in the Hague..
…. It is a rare occasion indeed when the Washington football team is not only favoured by the odds-makers but also by Amnesty International.

Pick: Stereotyped Dream Catchers (-4)
Bob: Skins -4


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