(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, January 3, 2016 …..
1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
New York J-e-t-s, Jets1 Jets! Jets! (-1) @ BUFFALO 43
….. The best Christmas Song & Video to capture the spirit of some of the typical Buffalo Bills’ tailgating activities, especially for this Sunday during the Holiday season.
……. Jets have a playoff spot in their sights and this number is just about right. Tough call, but Fitz beats his old team after failing to do so earlier in the year.
Pick: Jets (-1)
Bob: Jets -1
New England Patriots (-11.5) @ MIAMI DOLPHINS 47
……. Recently, a Florida police officer was honoured by the MADD organization for making 100 DUI arrests. At the ceremony to accept the award, the recently promoted to detective officer showed up “staggeringly drunk.” He was found wandering the halls in his underwear at the Hotel where the ceremony was held.
…… When other police prevented him from entering the ballroom in this state and tried to take him to his room, he claimed he had only had a couple of drinks. Later it also became evident that he had driven himself across the state to the banquet in this inebriated state. He also skipped out on the taxpayer funded DUI training that was part of the weekend conference to go get drunk yet again, …… and he had been belligerent with dozens of other police and hotel guests throughout his stay.
….. He officially stated that the DUI training was skipped because it was irrelevant in his new job as a detective investigating child crime. He said that his promotion from street officer also made his heavy drinking a non issue since he would no longer be pulling people over on traffic stops, so he wasn’t being a hypocrite when he decided to get wasted.
…… The only punishment new Detective Michael Szeliga received was a one day suspension without pay.
….. Ahhh Florida, the only state where weird is an inadequate adjective to apply to its state of being, …… according to native humourist Dave Barry.
….. The Dolphins’ season also defies adequate adjectives, but one thing is likely, ……. at the end of the season, Head Coach “Caveman” Dan Campbell will be off the job for more than one day without pay.
…. Last hurrah for yet another disappointing Dolphin football season. The injured Patriots looked hurt & slower than normal last week in their loss to the Jets. Even with the AFC number one seed on the line for New England, we don’t see them covering this many points.
Pick: DOLPHINS (+11.5)
Bob: Pats -11.5
New Orleans @ ATLANTA (-7) 53
…. Atlanta won their Super Bowl last week with that hard hitting stopping of the Carolina Juggernaut. We can’t see them having much left for this game against a completely different type of offense.
….. Drew Brees looks like he is slated to play, so watch for him to stretch that weak Falcons’ secondary and Atlanta & Matty Iceberg to revert to mid-season form.
Pick: Saints (+7)
Bob: NO +7
Detroit (-1) @ CHICAGO 45.5
…. Ninety year old Detroit Lions’ owner Martha “The Guillotine” Ford was thrilled with their victory two weeks ago Monday Night in New Orleans. She even smiled when the depleted Lions beat the 49r’s last week. HC Jim Caldwell is off the hot seat till the end of the season and Martha has temporarily shelved her “Senior Moment” brainstorm of bringing back Wayne Fontes to captain the good ship Leo.
…… Bears cost us a lot of money last week by winning in Tampa, but they are risky to take two weeks in a row. Jay Cutler is known to have tee times booked solid all week in Florida, so his mind may be elsewhere.
… On the other hand, the temperatures should be in the 20’s and Drew Stafford and the indoor Lions don’t acclimatize well.
Pick: BEARS (+1)
Bob: Bears +1
Philadelphia @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-4) 51.5
….. Very interesting week for people of the City of Brotherly Love.
1.) The Philadelphia 76r’s won their second game of the year in Sacramento. This is really bad news for head coach George Karl. This proves that even the best men can’t win when they give you not one, but two coach killers in the form of Derek Cousins and Rajon Rondo.
2.) Beloved native son of the Philly Metropolis, Bill Cosby finally got arrested this week. The famous comedian is finally facing the music for his lifelong battle against the concept of conscious consensual coitus.
3.) The mad alchemist of NFL coaches, Chip Kelly has been fired from the Philadelphia Eagles. This leaves the team with a lot of different gears from different transmissions spread out on the garage floor with less draft picks than needed to acquire replacements.
…… HC Tom “Comedy Time” Coughlin and the Giants win one with Odell Beckham playing big to try to make up with the fans for last week’s stupid suspension as they await Coughlin’s own fate in the coming days.
Pick: GIANTS (-4)
Bob: Gmen -4
Washington @ DALLAS (-3.5) 39.5
…….. With nothing on the line for the Washington football team, we really like the Boys. Ex Boise State QB Kellen Moore should bring a very muscularly limited smile to the face of Jerry Jones this week.
Pick: COWBOYS (+3.5)
Bob: Washington +3.5
Tennessee @ INDIANAPOLIS (-6) 41.5
…. Last week Indianapolis third string QB “Clipboard Jesus” Charlie Whitehurst got into the game when Matt Hasselbeck’s decrepit body betrayed him. “Clipboard” played okay but got hurt. Hasselbeck says he is recovered from his 14 separate injuries and he’ll play. They’ll probably need his contributions again this week, but he is being kept together with baling wire, various support braces & Geritol.
…… Nobody knows who the fourth string quarterback is, but he may have to reveal himself after the first series when Hasselbeck is carted off the field in pieces. The Colts have a Powerball Lottery chance to still make the playoffs so they’ll try everything and anything to win this game.
…… Tennessee looked absolutely amateur last week in their blowout loss to Houston. They will likely start Zach Mettenburger again, a former high draft pick & starter with potential, but who unfortunately throws like a drunken knife thrower when the pressure mounts.
…… Mike Mularkey and the Titans are playing out the string, waiting for Messiah Chip Kelly to arrive and resurrect the franchise.
Pick: COLTS (-6)
Bob: TN +6
Baltimore Ravens @ CINCINNATI (-9.5) 41.5
…… Bengals’ QB AJ McCarron broke the curse two weeks ago by being the first Alabama QB in 27 years to start and win an NFL game. However, that was against the Forty Niners. Then last week in Denver, he played well for a half and the Bengals led at halftime. McCarron wasn’t given much of a chance in the second half due to Rick Santorum level conservative play calling as the Bengals fell to the Broncos on Monday night.
….. McCarron got hurt on the last play of the game, but now news breaks that he should start.
…… The only concern watching AJ play quarterback is that he has a propensity to bail too early when he feels pressure from the pass rush. The method he uses is reminiscent of Los Angeles Rams’ era Joe Namath. When Joe felt the pressure, he quickly dove to the ground to rendezvous with the earthworms.
….. The difference is that Joe was old and possessed zero knee cartilage while AJ McCarron is a second year player who appears to think that if he doesn’t receive the same pass protection he received in Tuscaloosa that he is entitled to go Bert Lahr and hit the dirt mattress.
….. He better watch out, if this continues, he will forever be known as the Cowardly Bengal Tiger.
….. Bengals gave it away last week in the second half in Denver thanks to that patented conservative play calling, not due to lack of ability. This game against Baltimore still matters to the Bengals playoff position.
….. The Ravens are still celebrating their shocking full 60 minute effort victory against the Steelers that may have knocked them out of the playoffs. With Ryan Mallet starting again, but on the road this time, we don’t see a repeat, even if the Bengals are reduced to playing WR Mohammad Sanu at QB due to McCarron burning his thighs from too many preventative slides on the cold turf.
Pick: BENGALS (-9.5)
Bob: Ravens +9.5
Pittsburgh (-11) @ CLEVELAND 47
…. Johnny Heisman Manziel gave it a good shot two weeks ago in Seattle, but the Cleveland Defense capitulated to the surging Seahawks like the Hessian forces did to George Washington and the Revolutionaries at the Battle of Trenton.
….. Last week in Kansas City he took the Browns to the red zone, but ran out of downs and receivers who could catch the football and they lost 17-13.
…… Now more photos of Johnny Bongwater have surfaced showing him partying like Fatty Arbuckle and his status to start an NFL game is in doubt yet again.
…. To smokescreen this stuck record public relations nightmare, the Browns announced that Manziel has entered the “Concussion Protocol” from a hit he took last week that nobody remembers.
…. so Austin Davis might start again or Johnny “Nine Lives” Manziel may get the start to at least excite the Dog Pound in the home finale.
…. This week the Steelers must win to even have a chance to go to the playoffs and so they should win. However, once again that spread is awfully big.
…… Austin Davis could get the job done here, but if Manziel starts we like the little bar hopping ruffian to find a way to cover yet again.
Pick: BROWNS (+11.5)
Bob: Browns +11.5
Jacksonville @ HOUSTON (-7) 45.5
…… Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans with the help of local citizens, militia and privateer Jean Lafitte. The only blemish on the victory was that the Battle took place weeks after the War of 1812 had actually been settled by the Treaty of Ghent.
……. The city of his namesake rolls into Texas knowing that their second year QB has progressed, their player friendly HC Gus Bradley will back next year and that their defense is disintegrating as the year comes to a close. Like Jackson at New Orleans, the Jags gave it a good effort this year, but it was too late to win the war.
….. Houston still needs a win to cement everything for their unlikely playoff run. They have used four different quarterbacks this year, and wiped out Tennessee 34-6 last week in Nashville with Brandon Weeden running the show. Weeden looked surprisingly calm and threw some beautiful passes.
…… This week we are told Brian Hoyer has come out of his walking coma, cleared the concussion protocols and will start. If he gets knocked out again ( very likely, more and more he looks and plays like former NFL QB Chris Chandler who had to retire from all those head shots), they know they can count on Weeden.
Remember, according to Cowboys’ Owner, General Manager, Talent Scout, Shadow Coach & Football Dalai Lama, Jerry Jones:
“Weeden throws the best ball since Johnny Unitas.”
….. For once the plastic faced bathroom selfie troll wasn’t totally wrong.
Pick: TEXANS (-7)
Bob: Jax +7
4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time
Oakland @ KANSAS CITY (-7.5) 43.5
….. Still hated rivals, even if the game doesn’t mean too much. Had to like the Raiders “Farewell to Oakland” victory over San Diego 10 days ago and we like them here against that big number.
Pick: Raiders (+7.5)
Bob: Oakland +7
San Diego @ DENVER (-11) 41
….. Brock Bunyan is now the official starter at QB for the Broncos, who finally showed some offence two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, well at least in the first half anyway. They ended up getting beaten 34-27, but at least the clamor for Peyton Android to return calmed down.
….. Then last week, Brock put a good second half together to beat the “Kitty Bar the Door” Bengals who decided to sit on a precarious lead like it was a landslide.
….. The Broncos should win, but we’ll take the Chargers and Phillip Rivers to cover that big number in the likely last game for the franchise known as the San Diego Chargers.
Pick: Chargers (+11)
Bob: SD +11
Tampa Bay @ CAROLINA (-12) 47
…. They only had two games left to win and the Carolina Panthers would achieve perfection after their wild melee with the New York Giants two weeks ago.
… The media sure went after Giants’ WR Odell Beckham Jr. after that personal donnybrook he had in that non-stop dust-up with CB Josh Norman of the Panthers.
…… They seemed oblivious to the issue of Carolina’s taunting in the pre-game warm-ups with their stupid Buford Pusser baseball bat toting intimidation act. This was coupled with the alleged homophobic slurs directed towards Beckham that in this case, helped to poison the waters heading into the contest.
…… Beckham was pretty much solely singled out for responsibility in the ongoing sparring and cheap shots that took place in this game, mostly between himself and Norman.
….. Both were fined, but Beckham also got suspended (deservedly so) for one game because he committed the worst acts of violence during the game and is a repeat offender.
…. Far be it from us to defend another emotionally unstable prima donna wideout like Odell Beckham for his reckless actions, but there is a need for perspective.
….. There is also the matter of Cam Newton’s numerous & endless dance routines. The man celebrates on the field after touchdowns, first downs, great catches, great runs or spotting clouds in the sky that resemble dollar signs. Now that he is in the serious running for League MVP, he puts on a display for the cameras, the fans & the awards voters that is nauseating in its entirety.
…. The poseur routine where he retrieves every ball after a Panther touchdown ( not just his own ), and delivers it to a young fan reeks of contrivance & self serving expediency.
……. Unfortunately, the media is now in a period of guilt where they feel they had to jump on the Panthers’ bandwagon of the potential undefeated season triumph & Newton’s accomplishments to make up for ignoring them most of the year.
…… So at this point they are loathe to criticize anything about them or their annoying quarterback.
…… However, when Cam “Superman” Newton started to irritate some Giants with his non-stop prancing about the field during the game, criticism was not forthcoming. At least not from the “Ace” number one Fox broadcast crew of Joe “HBO Talk Show” Buck and Troy “Theoretical Physicist” Aikman.
….. They stated that the Giants were all just being bad losers when they took exception to Newton’s antics:
“He’s just having a good time, nothing he is doing while celebrating is out of line, he’s not taunting anybody.”
…. Wow! Really? …..What a couple of gutless shills trying to compensate for coming to the party a little late as usual.
….. The Giants rallied in that game and could have beat the Panthers. We felt that Carolina would experience as emotional letdown after that 38-35 win over New York the very next week in Atlanta.
….. As we predicted, they ran into trouble with the Falcons last week and the undefeated season was over as they lost 20-13.
…… The perfect season is over, time to concentrate on beating Arizona for the NFC title and forget about last weeks’ flat tire. …….
…. It is also time to ignore those partying, cork popping seniors in Miami drinking champagne once again to celebrate the failure of yet another team to equal their 1972 record.
…… One wonders how the Panthers can concentrate on the task at hand after the difficult news that came out of the Carolinas two weeks ago.
…… That’s right, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham decided that his closeted campaign for the Presidency would be “suspended.”
( What exactly is the point of using that euphemism? Does anybody believe that Graham will resurrect his exciting crusade at the Republican Convention in time to break an impasse and become the Great Henry Clay Compromiser candidate who will heal the party and take the White House?)
……. Of course not, because Graham was just a well funded stocking horse whose backers didn’t care that he polled at 0% for months. ……
…….. Who were those backers? …. why, …. the Military Industrial Complex. The people Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about when he left office in 1960.
…. This is no conspiracy theory. Every election cycle, defence contractors & various other associated companies back a candidate in the Republican party runoff. The purpose is for this candidate to beat the war drum throughout the campaign, causing fear, tilting the floor, guiding the debate and forcing the other candidates to move to the right on the issue of increased Defense spending, foreign interventions and outright war.
…… You couldn’t have had a better shill than Graham. He has always been in the back pocket of these people. For years he has lobbied for a huge new war with Iran, backed an increased military presence in the rest of the Middle East & for increased Defence Budgets.
….. During the campaign, these issues were pretty much all he talked about. Recent terrorist events in Paris & San Bernadino combined with his constant South Carolina style Chicken Little-Foghorn Leghorn panic blathering worked. A lot of the focus of the Republican campaign has switched to war/terrorist/defence budget issues.
….. Mission Accomplished, …… time to stop spending money that is no longer necessary with a candidate who had done the job but still rounded down to 0% in party support.
…… The Military Industrial Complex ( for want of a better word ) doesn’t expect their candidate to win the actual nomination, but sometimes they luck out. Back in 2008 they backed Graham’s Senate tag team partner John McCain, and he actually won the nomination to face Barack Obama.
…… Still, …. it is a sad day in the Carolinas as a native son is forced to withdraw his name from the most sacred pursuit in the country. The greatest concern for most good Republicans is the mental health issues that might affect his supporters in the wake of this shocking announcement.
…… and how the authorities will find the health funds to help 0% of the population.
…… Maybe Jameis “Seafood” Winston may not be able to lead the Bucs to victory over the Panthers like the Falcons last week, but he and Tampa should be able to cover.
Pick: Buccaneers (+12)
Bob: TB +12
Seattle @ ARIZONA (-6.5) 47.5
…… The only question here is if Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll can corral his ego & resist the temptation to dress and play his starters deep into this meaningless game because he is still mad over last week’s terrible loss to the Rams.
….. First overall looms, so how can the Cardinals not cover less than a TD.
Pick: Cardinals (-6.5)
Bob: Arizona -6.5
Saint Louis (-3.5) @ SAN FRANCISCO 37.5
…….. We hope Jeff Fisher is fired at the end of the year as head coach of the Rams. On the other hand, since we are disgusted with the mass exodus of teams to Locust Land on the Left Coast, maybe a mediocre Los Angeles Rams Redux team led by Mr. Fisher is what that front-runner city & the league deserves.
…… As we predicted, the Rams would play well with no pressure on them last week and they did, beating the Seahawks in Seattle.
….. This week they revert to form and lose to a team they should handle easily.
Pick: FORTY NINERS (+3.5)
Bob: SF +3.5
8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time
Minnesota @ GREEN BAY (-3.5) 46
…. The Packers could lose the NFC North to the hated Vikings if they choke this away. People are worried in the Cheese Head State. Paranoia & Consternation rule the day. The fan base is nervous.
…. Recently a Brown Deer, Wisconsin woman called the police to report on naughty neighbours in her apartment building. She claimed that there were terrorists living next to her bedroom wall. She told the cops that during sex a woman would continually yell out “ISIS is Good! ISIS is Great!”
…… The investigating police dismissed the complaint after a brief interview with the woman. Now to be fair, the woman was 82 years old and her hearing was probably going. On the other hand, she was a devout Packers fan.
….. We’ve been backing the Vikings most of the year and like them here with the hook. They also have been playing outdoors for two years so are acclimatized to even colder elements than their southern neighbours in Wisconsin.
Pick: Vikings (+3.5)
Bob: Vikes +3.5