(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.”)

LAST WEEK: 9-6-1

Sunday, September 20, 2015
1:00 pm
Houston ………………. CAROLINA (-3.5) 40.5

….. One thing is obvious from watching HBO’s “Hardknocks” this year. Texans’ Head Coach Bill O’Brien is at times a blathering, scatterbrained fool. “Chicken Little” is prone to outbursts of nonsensical panic. He does not appear to be a calming influence on a team that desperately needs stability and direction, simply because he does not appear to believe either of those words apply to coaching an NFL team.

…. That being said, maybe starting Ryan Mallett in this game at QB is the right move. Ex Brown Brian Hoyer was ineffective last week against the Chiefs, so maybe ending his starting quarterback career with the Texans after a whopping three quarters of one game is the right move.

….. If only O’Brien had a plan or the players believed he did, things in Texas might settle. The withdrawal this week of former Texas Governor Rick Perry from the Republican race to be President has hit the state hard and put many into a mood of apoplexy & increased vulnerability.

….. As a result, in tense times like these, and only as a precautionary measure, the educational authorities have widened their net and expanded their security policies. They have started arresting any junior high students with Islamic names who are wearing Apple Watches.

….. Cam Newton & the Panthers have perfected the 12 minute drive that leads to a field goal. That means they will win this game, ….. but only by three points. So we are forced to take the Texans, Mallet & the Emperor Coach with no Clothes.

Pick: Texans (+3.5)
Bob: CAROLINA -3.5
San Francisco ………. PITTSBURGH (-6) 45

This week Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger concluded that he really didn’t trust the New England Patriots after the headphones incident last week in Foxboro. Really Ben? …..Okay, but it might have been better if that epiphany had lodged itself in your gray matter and produced a little passion during the actual game last week against the hated Patriots.

….. Well nobody ever accused Ben of being the sharpest cleaver in the butcher shop.

…… San Francisco ran former OSU Buckeye Carlos Hyde down the Vikings’ throat as well as around their very slow Defensive Ends last Monday.

….. The Steelers need the win, and the three days extra rest, playing on Ketchup Field should put them back on track.

…. and the Forty Niners won’t be wearing their lucky & very slimming all black Jack LaLanne uniforms.

Pick: STEELERS (-6)
Bob: PITT -6

Tampa Bay ……………. NEW ORLEANS (-10) 47.5
…… Number One overall draft pick, quarterback Jameis Winston got pulverized last week by the Tennessee Titans and his short & long term health are in question.

…. Buc’s Offensive Line coach George Warhop said this week that his men needed to show more discipline, develop trust in their training, show confidence in their teammates and coalesce around a leader.

…. Well anyone who has witnessed the antics of Jameis “Deadliest Catch” Winston during his stay at Florida State { including his inspirational break room speeches } realizes those traits along with emotional maturity will be slow in coming from the Heisman winner.

…. Warhop already seems to have abdicated a lot of the responsiblity, Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter said the situation made him angry and Head Coach “Clueless” ( especially when it comes to offence ) Lovie Smith appears on the verge of senility and doesn’t even prevent his coaches from talking to the press to make things worse.

…. But help may be on the way.
……. Recently, the United Kingdom’s oldest Dominatrix announced her retirement. Mistress Susan Dawson is closing the door on her “Bed, Breakfast & Bondage” cottage/dungeon by the sea in Greater Yarmouth. She says that she won’t miss her clients too much, because she can always watch them on TV in the House of Commons.

….. She did say however, that she is still open to new challenges. That makes her perfect for the position of “Motivational Trainer” with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

1.) Experience! ….. She has dealt with extremely wealthy individuals & is used to taming monstrously inflated egos.

2.) Confidentiality! ….. She has proven trustworthy and has never revealed personal information about her clients despite being offered huge sums of money by Fleet Street tabloids.

3.) Versatility! ….. Mistress Dawson utilizes individual and team building exercises with varying degrees of emotional and physical intensity. These range from mild “Fishwife Haranguing” to the advanced “Marquis de Sade Enhanced Interrogation.”.

4.) Results! …….. Susan guarantees results and has never had to honor her iron maiden clad, money-back warranty. She claims that she had a huge repeat client business, and dozens have begged her with huge financial incentives to not retire.

….. A can’t miss hire for Tampa

….. { Mild senility and minor dementia often parallel advancing age. However, there is no apparent truth to the rumour that Mistress Dawson’s retirement has partly come about due to her frequent forgetfulness involving her client’s “Safe Words.” }
.. … Even the Saints can’t blow this one against the Crab Burglar Quarterback, the worst offensive line in the NFL and a sad sack collection of over-the-hill veterans & immature youngsters head coached by Lovie Smith, ….. probably the worst coach in the NFL over the last decade.

Pick: SAINTS (-10)
Bob: TB +10

Detroit ………………….. MINNESOTA (-2.5) 47.5

….. Big first half for the Leos last week in San Diego, then a typical Jim Caldwell inspired second half collapse against the Chargers.

…. The media loves Caldwell and thinks he is a big improvement over Jim Schwartz. We’re not so sure. Vikes couldn’t have played more poorly than they did last week against the Niners. Adrian Peterson will run all day against the Ndamukong Suhless Detroit middle.

Pick: VIKINGS (-2.5)
Bob: Vikes -2.5

Arizona (-2) ………………… CHICAGO 44.5

…… Ahhh, the Bears, …… had a shot last week against the Packers, but the inevitable uninspired late game drive led by Jay Cutler results in an typical obsequious roll-over of supine surrender.

…. A very long year indeed. Unless an early blizzard hits Soldier field or Cards’ QB Carson Palmer gets injured early. Arizona should cruise against “Coach Killer” Cutler & Da Bears.

Pick: Cardinals (-2.5)
Bob: Cards -2.5
New England (-3) ………… BUFFALO 45

….. We just can’t wait for this game! ….. Rex Ryan has a decent track record against the Patsies, even with the clearly inferior Jets’ teams he coached. He always had the recipe for neutralizing a lot of what makes the Patriots so superior to most other teams. Aggression!

…… He may be quieter than Donald Trump, but make no mistake, Bill Belichick is a bully, just a more sophisticated one. To neutralize Machiavellichick effectively, you follow the same recipe that you would to defeat the bellowing orange haired sphincter head.

….. You get in their face, never relent, call them out, don’t let them change the agenda and be dismissive of them publicly. If you lose, you lose, but you’ve given them something to remember for next time.

….. And even after just one week, most would agree that this Bills’ team is better talent-wise than any of Rex’s New York squads.
….. Speaking of Trump, Golden Boy Brady announced his endorsement of the High End Real Estate Bankruptcy expert this week. Some Bills’ fans will be displaying giant Photoshopped signs depicting Tom Brady wearing a USFL New Jersey Generals’ jersey while a cantaloupe coloured prune faced baboon bounces underinflated footballs off his head.

…… The Guinness Book of World Records will be there to record the attempt at a crowd noise world record. The Ralph will be rocking, Brady won’t be able to communicate with his O-line, the headphones will be useless and semaphore will have to be utilized for messages between the booth, the sideline and the field.

…… The Bills should be able to run up and down the field like DeAngelo Williams & the Steelers did last week, only with more results in the Red Zone. Hopefully they should be able to contain the Gronk with a little bit of extracurricular imbibing.

…… We have it on good authority that tailgating in Orchard Park started on Thursday night and will build and carryover to kickoff on Sunday. The dozens of Gronkowskis and extended family members in the Western New York area should make an appearance. Then it’s 50/50 that Gronk can’t avoid partying a little too hard with family in his hometown at some point before the game.

Pick: Bills (+3)
Bob: BFLO +3
San Diego …………….. CINCINNATI (-3) 45.5

……. Revenge game for the Bengals after getting spanked by the Chargers two years ago in the playoffs.

…… The Chargers beat those overwhelming odds that say 1:00 EST start times are deadly for West Coast teams.

…… Well that was the playoffs and this is the regular season where the Dr. Emmet Brown authored, flux capacitor driven protocol still applies. The paradigm for Pacific Time Zone based football teams losing in the East is a safe bet.

….. and the Bengals are 2015’s “Team of Destiny.”
Pick: BENGALS (-3)
Bob: CINCY -3
Tennessee (-2) …………….. CLEVELAND 41.5

…… Marcus Mariota looked great last week in vanquishing Tampa and his quarterback draft rival Jameis Winston. This week he will show Johnny Manziel & the Haslem Crime Family on the Cuyahoga what a mobile signal caller should look like.

… It is risky taking these guys as a favourite on the road, but the Titans with a rookie quarterback cover the small spread and go 2-0.

{ and our Browns under 6.5 wins for the year remains on track.}

Pick: Titans (-2)
Bob: BROWNS +2

Atlanta ………… NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-2.5) 51

…… The New York Post sold a lot of papers last week with that Norman Rockwell-like depiction of Eli Manning wearing a dunce hat on the back page. Now the National Football League reveals that they missed a key Dallas defensive holding call in the End Zone that would have given the Giants the victory.

…… So all the subsequent Mack Sennett “Keystone Kops” antics of the New York red zone offence never would have happened, the Giants would have won, the New York tabloids would have had to go back to running pictures & captions mocking/berating the Yankees being choked out of the American League East Division race, ….

………. and we would have been spared a week of the eternally annoying, “Legacy Obsessed” Phil Simms droning on endlessly in his determined campaign to demote Eli Manning’s quarterback status and subsequently elevating his own as the greatest Giants’ signal caller of all time.

……. Very dangerous to take the Falcons here as a slight road favourite. However, despite the NFL screw-ups last week, the Giants looked mostly awful, ……. they had exactly zero pressure on Cowgirls’ QB Tony Romo. Unless Defensive End Jason Pierre Paul returns from Lourdes with all his digits restored and a copacetic contract situation, we see them encircling the drain.

….. Matty Ice has all day to throw, …… and rookie RB Tevin Coleman of Indiana tears deep into the Giants exhausted secondary & the Falcons manage to win as a slight road favourite.

Pick: Falcons (-2.5)
Bob: Falcons -2.5

Saint Louis (-3) ………. WASHINGTON 41.5

……. Observing and assessing the confusing jumble that is the Washington football team is akin to critiquing Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.”

…. Just when you think you have accounted for all contingencies and have a handle on the overall state of affairs, ….. another grotesque ghoul surfaces plunging observer and the subject participant into a chasm of yet another endless string of chaotic nightmares.

….. This is a typical game in which Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher excels at disappointing Rams’ bettors. His team coming off a big home win as a road favourite on a slower grass surface.

….. But the Vermilion Membranes of the Beltway are an even worse proposition.

….. Fisher, Foles & the Rams buck the trend, forget about the big victory over the Seahawks, avoid injury on exposed sprinkler-heads and finally establish some consistency.

Pick: Rams (-3)
Bob: Rams -3

4:05 pm – 4:20 pm
Miami (-6) ………………. JACKSONVILLE 41.5

…… Recently, in an interview, Republican Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio tried to counter his own weak cyber-metrics regarding “machoness” by recalling his college football career.

……. The Florida Senator didn’t say much about it except that he received a football scholarship and loved the ritual of putting on the pads. Going out and clashing heads really got his blood up, taught him lessons of teamwork, preparation wisdom, fond memories, blah, blah, blah, cliche, cliche…… and he earnestly stated that he really enjoyed it.

…… No more details were forthcoming, … which College? … what was the team’s record? … what position did he play? …..and there were no funny anecdotes, no downplaying of his abilities or self deprecation in any form.

….. This made us suspicious, ….

…… and curious, …… Rubio pursued a law degree at the University of Florida & Miami, but we were pretty sure this guy wasn’t on any of those football teams.

…. a little research revealed that Rubio did receive a football scholarship in 1989, and attended tiny Tarkio College in Tarkio Missouri. The football team apparently did not win a game that year, ….. the University folded the programme after that season & the entire school went defunct the following year.

….. Quite a football legacy Mr. Rubio.

…… Marco Rubio is a really, really progressive turned regressive Republican who dances with dreams of being endorsed by the Tea Party, so he constantly tries to demonstrate how Medieval he can roll. He is against all forms of Marijuana reform & in the past has promised to roll back all legalization legislation as well as decriminalization & wait for it: …… “Medical Marijuana.”

…… When asked if he ever smoked it, he refuses to answer. The logic to that political waffle is that if he says no, nobody will believe him, … and if he says yes, he will be giving the green light to youngsters to head off down the road to heroin addiction.

…. Right, ….. because thousands of American youth will alter their recreational mood altering habits based solely on the adolescent choices made by Saint Marco.

….. besides, we already know he has likely tried the Devil Weed. Tarkio College had a well established Cheech & Chong counter-culture.

…… Stoner folk duo “Brewer & Shipley” called their best selling album 1970 album “Tarkio” after the small college town. Apparently they had numerous THC love-ins with the town residents & students from the local college when gigging there. They described it as a little bit of “Haight Ashbury” in the “Show Me” state.

….. the big hit on the “Tarkio” record was “One Toke Over the Line” ….. a song that was banned from many radio stations due to blatant drug references.

….. However, this didn’t prevent the ultra conservative Lawrence Welk Show from having it performed as a Christian folk spiritual. ……

…… One of the most ironic & amusing minor musical happenings ever,

……… borne from the Karma of naivety, resulting in the humour of unintended consequences.

……… In the same interview, the quixotic Mr. Rubio also revealed that his Fantasy Football team was called the “Marco Polos.” When asked what teams he thought were strong this year and who could end up in the Super Bowl, he smirked that he picks the hometown Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl every year and to win on every Sunday.

….. What an imaginative politician. We’re going to go against Marco the Venetian and his insightful handicapping here.

…. Last week the Jaguars moved the ball between the twenty yard lines with authority but bogged down in the red zone with penalties, missed blocking assignments and turnovers. Cam Newton & the Panthers ate up the clock & frustrated the young Jags.

…. this week, we believe Blake Bortles and the Jaguars will show some improvement and keep it close against the Dolphins who barely beat the Washington Dysfunctionals last week. Two road victories in a row aren’t out of the question for the Dolphins, but the Hot Tubs only have to keep it close.

Pick JAGUARS: (+6)
Bob: JAX +6

Baltimore (-7) ………………. OAKLAND 43

…… The Ravens go on the road for the second week in a row, after that slop fest loss in Denver. The nature of the team’s performance has had ex Raven & ESPN expert analyst Ray Lewis angry all week. He could be heard gnashing his surgically installed stainless steel incisors when ever he appeared on camera.

…… The Raiders were flattered by the 33-13 loss to the Bengals last week. Cruising to a 33-0 lead, the Bengals chose to run the ball on almost every down in the third and fourth quarter and not achieve a first down. More importantly, Bengals’ Head Coach Marvin Lewis is a very close friend of latest Raider Head Coach Jack Del Rio, and he went out of his way not to run up the score. So the Raiders were handed good field position and two backdoor majors to make the final look responsible.

…… Number One QB Derek Carr went down with an injury, and he is probable Sunday to start for the Raiders. The mood in Oakland is grim, even grimmer than living in that hardscrabble port town normally dictates.

…… Bay Area talk shows are flooded with callers decrying the state of affairs after just one week. The looming move of the franchise to Los Angeles yet again, the wildfires encroaching on the city, undesirable yuppies being gentrified out of the skyrocketing San Francisco housing market and taking up resident in Oak-town are all causing panic in Raider Nation.

…… Head Coach Jack Del Rio’s abilities are being questioned, especially considering he is supposedly a defensive specialist & the Raider secondary has clearly regressed from last year. The loss of Safety Charles Woodson for the year won’t help.

….. The Ravens have no Terrell Suggs, but they should be able to beat the Raiders, ….. but maybe not cover that many points as the Raiders come in the backdoor.

Pick: RAIDERS (+7)
Bob: Oak +7
Dallas ……………………. PHILADELPHIA (-5) 55.5

….. Chip Kelly, Sam “The China-Doll” Bradford & the Eagles simply cannot afford to lose this game to the Cowboys.

…… Trampoline faced Jerry Jones was thrilled with Dallas’ comeback last Sunday Night over the Giants, but his face temporarily locked into Jack Nicholson Joker smile mode, so he had difficulty talking after the game and spit out “Hooowww boot dem Coboyzzz!” several times in front of the television cameras after the game.

…… lost in the hoopla was how bad the Dallas running game was without RB DeMarco Murray who is with the Eagles. He has been begging Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly for more carries this week. He is champing at the bit to run it down the Boys throat and make up for last week’s Ray Millandesque “Lost Weekend.”

…. Chip Kelly won’t miss the chance to take advantage of that type of motivation.

Pick: EAGLES (-5)
Bob: Philly -5
8:30 pm
Seattle ……………………. GREEN BAY (-5) 49

….. Probably the game of the week for most people outside Western New York. The holdout of Safety Cam Chancellor is really showing its effect on the Seahawks. They gave up more big pass plays last week against the Rams in one game then they did in half a season in 2014.

….. The public in Seattle has sided with the team, and sees Chancellor as a traitor to the twelfth man. If they lose this game and go 0-2 on the road, we’ll see how long the principles hold up.

….. Seahawks probably lose, but it will be exciting, …. and we like them to sneak in a cover.

Pick: Seahawks: (+5)
Bob: GB -5
Monday, September 21, 2015
8:30 pm
New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! …… INDIANAPOLIS (-7.5) 47
…… Colts owner Jim Irsay has the knife out for his coach Chuck Pagano. Things are apparently so on edge, that a loss to the Jets on Monday Night could result in the popular coach walking the plank. We are assuming that Mr. Irsay is following his rehabilitation regimen and is clearheaded in his thinking.

…… The Drugstore Cowboy may be thinking down the road a little, with an eye to the future.

……. and the day when Peyton Manning can return to Indianapolis like MacArthur to the Philippines, ……. back from exile to take over coaching the franchise that made him a football legend and very rich Ed McMahon caliber pitchman for any piece of crap coming down the pike.

…. Fitzpatrick & the Jets cover.

Pick: J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! (+7.5)
Bob: INDY -7.5

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