(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.”)



BOB  11-5

This week, one of the truly greats of sports & common man philosophy passed away, …… Yogi Berra.

….. Yogi was the real deal, and nothing about him was contrived or hype. Everyone knows his dozens of infamous sayings, but this seldom told story proves Yogi was the real deal. What you saw was what you got.

…. When a rookie Nolan Ryan was pitching for the Miracle Mets in the mid sixties, the recently retired Yogi was their first base coach. Nolan said he was in awe of the Hall of Famer, so was shy about approaching him.

…. He said one day he was sitting in the locker room talking to two other pitchers about New York night life. Yogi was walking by the trio as Nolan mentioned that his wife had gone to see Dr. Zhivago the night before ( at the time, it was the biggest hit movie in the world and had been out for months ).

….. without missing a beat, Yogi spun around, approached the group, put his hand on Ryan’s shoulder and said:

“I’m really sorry to hear that son, I hope she’s going to be okay.”

…. Then he turned and walked away. The players were confused, thought he might be putting them on, but then realized he wasn’t. They all started laughing. Thirty seconds later, Yogi returned, saw Nolan laughing, put his hand on his shoulder again and spoke:

….. “Gee kid, I heard you were tough, and they were right, if that happened to my Carmen I’d be a mess.”

….. Nolan said Yogi was the sweetest man you could ever meet. He just genuinely didn’t know too much about anything outside of baseball.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
1:00 pm Eastern
Atlanta (-1) @ DALLAS

….. Battle of the Undefeateds

….. QB Brandon Weeden will start for the Cowboys. He has the longest active losing streak in the NFL for a starting QB, 8 games. This doesn’t worry travelling medicine show pitchman, owner, president & general manager Jerry Jones. He appeared on television drooling over Weeden’s arm strength and declaring that he is the second coming of Roger Staubach.

….. He is so confident in fact, that he just traded draft picks with the Buffalo Bills to acquire third string security blanket Matt “Suitcase” Cassel.

….. Weeden should still benefit from the best offensive line in the NFL, and certainly can execute a conservative game plan. Atlanta will be without rookie RB Tevin Coleman so Matt Ryan will be testing that shaky Dallas secondary with WR’s Julio Jones & Roddy White.

…… Toughest call of the day, but one could argue that the Blue Stars have won their two games thanks more to poor play by the Giants and Eagles than Cowboy dominance. There will be enough scalped tickets bought by the usually bad travelling Falcon Nation to lend just enough verbal encouragement inside the Taj Mahal against a really banged up Dallas team.

….. Falcons are used to indoor games, and jump out 3-0 to start the year with their second road win in a row in a close one.

Pick: Falcons (-1)
Bob: Atlanta -1
Indianapolis (-3) @ TENNESSEE

…….. If Dallas has the best Offensive Line in the NFL, the Colts have the worst.

….. Colt’s Head Coach Chuck Pagano, master motivator, cancer survivor and all around nice guy was once the darling of the NFL, …… but he isn’t long for this job. It’s even money that he is still coaching the Colts if they lose this one on Sunday.

…….. After the convincing loss to the Jets, Chuck went on a mild rant against QB Andrew Luck’s decision making process and a markedly more pronounced sideswiping of General Manager Ryan Grigson. Grigson’s poor drafting decisions & spotty free agent signings have left the Colts wanting on the Offensive Line and throughout the three tiers of the defense.

…… Pagano has no contract for next year, and has been sending out his resume at post game press conferences through subtle and not so subtle inferences. He has decided to go out of his way to verbally counter the propaganda campaign the Colts’ front office has been generously feeding to the local media since the preseason decrying the major problem with the Colts is the Head Coach himself.

…. A lot of the blame goes to flaky billionaire owner Jim Irsay, who seems to have been convinced by his GM that Pagano is some sort of General George McClellan figure; ……. a recalcitrant ornament, reluctant to assert himself with the superior talent that has been generously provided him. Pagano is portrayed as a leader who has lost his nerve and in the process grievously mishandled the piloting of Irsay’s precious franchise.

….. No, we don’t know if Jim Irsay is following his court mandated rehabilitation regimen, ……. but he has started releasing 3:00 am Tweets again, …….. semi-literate morsels of unrelated, incoherent ramblings exhibiting paranoia, megalomania & Putinesque delusions of grandeur.

……. The only thing missing from his Captain Queeg like rantings about the sorry state of his Colts is the solution to the mystery of the missing strawberries from his penthouse refrigerator.

…… Titan’s QB Marcus Mariotta looked as nervous in the pocket & reluctant to throw against the Browns last week as he looked calm and accurate in his debut against the Buccaneers.

…. That is what you expect from a rookie quarterback, …. up & down, learn on the job. A lesson lost on the Cleveland Browns. A win here would be huge for Tennessee. Beating the hated Colts would put the traditional order of the AFC South upside down. Mariotta has looked great in practice this week and we expect the Titans to relentlessly blitz the moth eaten Colts Offensive Line like the Bills & Jets did. Expect a big day from linebackers Derrick Morgan and Zach Brown pressuring Andrew Luck.

….. A close game, but the Colts with their struggling running game are coming off the short week after the Monday night embarrassment with the Jets. A sold out crowd & getting 3 points, we’ll take the Titans.

Pick: TITANS (+3)
Bob: Colts -3
Oakland @ CLEVELAND (-4)

….. We had a problem picking this game. That was until QB Josh McCown was announced as the starter for the Browns over Johnny “Money” Manziel. McCown was knocked out of the first game of the year with a simultaneous concussion/fumble as he tried to cross the goal line as a helicoptering drone in the season opener against the New York Jets.

….. Enter Johnny Rehab in a decent relief effort and in game two leading the Brown’s in a convincing win over Mariotta and the Titans. Mr. Manziel looked like a combination Tasmanian Devil/Doug Flutie with flashes of Fran Tarkenton in throwing two long touchdowns off mad scrambles in the victory.

…. However, Johnny Football still showed some weaknesses in arm strength, decision making and reading defenses.

…… That is why HC Mike Pettine, OC John DeFilippo & Quarterbacks Coach Kevin O’Connell collectively decided in the game-plan to emphasize the run & limit Johnny M. to 15 Pass Attempts. It worked out, because the Titans couldn’t stop anything on the ground.

…… However, it was progress and Manziel did show potential, even during the actual game you could see his confidence growing. After the game the fans were excited, the Browns’ players were upbeat, obviously starting to warm up to the idea of having the unconventional Manziel as starter.

……… One has to wonder how going with the aging statue of “Stopgap” McCown is an improvement or does anything for the future of the team.

……. Jerking Kelly Leak Manziel in and out of the lineup does nothing but damage his confidence and divide the team. McCown has lost seven straight starts, he was a total disaster last year in Tampa Bay ( that might be why they let him go ).

….. Sharp as a spoon Tampa HC Lovie Smith wanted Josh so much, the Buc’s overpaid him hugely, based on Lovie’s hazy nostalgia of McCown’s brilliant Bears’ career of sitting on the bench watching the Jay Cutler roller coaster. McCown did have a half dozen or so good to great games filling in for an injured Cutler, but he had great weapons, a decent offensive coach in Marc Trestman & opponents didn’t take him seriously.

…… That is no longer the case. There is lots of film on McCown, and it doesn’t require much study from DC’s to devise a simple game-plan to neutralize the poster boy of journeymen.

…… The Browns might win this game against the jittery Raiders, but they are sacrificing their future. We see the Raiders keeping it close with QB Derek Carr continuing his ascent to dangerous down field passer with the aid of Al Davis approved turbo speed wide receivers Michael Crabtree & rookie Amari Cooper.

……. and the Browns under 6.5 wins for this year prop gets back on track.
Pick: Raiders (+4)
Bob: BROWNS -4

Cincinnati @ BALTIMORE (-3)

…… Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh has invited Broken Clock Broadcaster Ray Lewis to give one of his patented inspirational pregame speeches on Sunday. The typical Lewis rant is inspired from Peter Finch/Network dialogue, Miami Hurricane Gangster code and the Sergeant Schultz doctrine of “Just say No to witnessing Homicides.”

…… This might just lift the Ravens out of the winless column. …. or it might cause them to lock the door and have his All Access pass to M&T Stadium revoked for good as nobody takes him seriously anymore. If “Analyst” Ray Lewis gives you a headache on ESPN, just imagine what it is like to have that saliva flying, decibel defying mouth breaking your ear drums at close range.

….. Last week, Baltimore used a Belichick trick play that they complained to the League about last year. A player declares he is ineligible playing tackle, splits wide and the eligible receiver OT on the short side of the line runs unimpeded for a TD pass.

……. and they still couldn’t compete with the Raiders and lost!

…. a couple of years ago, the Bengals went 6-0, sweeping the AFC Central. They always play well against HC Marvin Lewis’ former team, win or lose. This Ravens’ team has looked totally out of sync. The cornered 0-2 Ravens are dangerous here at home, but we don’t think their secondary can contain the six or seven legitimate receiving threats the Bengals’ pose.

…. Of course that hinges on OC Hue Jackson receiving the blessing of HC Marvin Lewis to actually throw the ball down field more often and less predictably, as well as working at a faster pace.

…. and of course it hinges on QB Andrew Dalton being focused enough to not absentmindedly fumble or throw inexplicable interceptions at the most inopportune times.

……. However, this is the regular season, and the Bengals are clearly better, and we get three points. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh has already called the Bengals the most talented team in the NFL. Of course he is just blowing smoke, but also quietly hoping the Bengals won’t run up the score in the second half & give them the same break the Raiders got in week one.

…. We’ll stay with our “Team of Destiny” for a third week.

Pick: Bengals (+3)
Bob: Ravens -3
Jacksonville @ NEW ENGLAND (-14.5)

…… Hard to imagine Belichick running up the mileage on Brady’s arm with 60 pass attempts against the lower tier Jags like he did against the Bills. A more balanced attack is called for here, and a lower scoring game. This means the improving Jaguars cover the double major & hook.

……. [ Note to NFL Head Office: Please check PED results and order retesting for Patriots’ WR Julian Edelman, …… you know, just a hunch, but his upper arms are starting to rival referee Ed Hochuli’s. ]
Pick: Jaguars (+14.5)
Bob: JAGS +14.5

New Orleans @ CAROLINA (-3.5)

…… There is a movement in New Orleans to have Pope Francis make a quick detour to the Crescent City during his American tour. The citizens would like him to hold a special prayer session, re-beatify the blessed, and confirm the sanctity of the heavily Roman Catholic city.

…… This is because all their current Saints appear to have been ex-communicated and are officially missing.

…… P.S. …. and to help Quarterback Drew Brees; ….. deliver a special prayer to the Saint responsible for bruised rotator cuffs.
Pick: Saints (+3.5)
Bob: Saints +3.5
Philadelphia @ NEW YORK J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS! (-3)

….. Another must win for the Eagles & the mad interchangeable body parts cobbled together by Dr. FrankenKelly.

…… Call your agent Sam Bradford, if you pull off your first win this week, see if the Eagles are still interested in that extension.

….. short week hurts the Jets more than people think. They had quite a few players limping through practice this week. Close game, take the points & pray the Eagles can’t play any worse.

Pick: Eagles (+3)
Bob: EAGLES +3


Tampa Bay @ HOUSTON (-6.5)

1.) Sun Tzu: “The Art of War” …… The often quoted & universally acknowledged first Bible of Military Planning. The book is 2500 years old but still proves relevant in military, personal & business planning. In Pop culture it is often quoted by athletes, celebrities, politicians and even helped Tony Soprano consolidate his hold on North Jersey.

Overriding Philosophy: “Know your Enemy and Know Yourself.”
2.) Karl von Clausewitz: “On War” ………. The 19th Century Prussian General fought in dozens of battles, including against Napoleon’s forces at Waterloo. His Masterpiece “On War” was about 90% finished when he died in 1831. His writings are still studied at Military Academies around the world. He is first credited with citing, explaining and quoting “The Fog of War” phenomenon. His writings have also been influential in the fields of diplomatic study & sports strategy.

Overriding Philosophy: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

3.) George Godsey: “Untitled” …… The first year Offensive Coordinator for the Houston Texans was justifiably promoted from Quarterbacks Coach last year. ( Because that has been such a highlight of strength for the Texans since Matt Schaub’s arm seized up in 2012. )

…… We are told by long time friend, mentor, employer and current Head Coach Bill O’Brien that Godsey is a brilliant strategist who should write a book on Offense.

…. We wait with bated breath.

Overriding Philosophy: “Unknown”
Pick: Buccaneers (+6.5)
Bob: HOUSTON -6.5
San Diego @ MINNESOTA (-2.5)

……. Sad news this week, as Minnesota mascot “Ragnar the Viking” was being let go after 20 years on the job.

…….. Apparently, Rapper “Master P” become his sports agent in the off season.

…… “No Limit Sports Management” was/is one of the Gordian Knot of companies owned by Percy Robert Miller, the Hip Hop Entrepreneur. Mr. Miller once represented RB Ricky Williams of the New Orleans Saints.

…. The deal he negotiated was judged the worst contract for an athlete in the modern history of professional sports by ESPN and many other publications. It contained a ridiculously low salary for a #1 Draft Pick and tonnes of incentives, that even if reached did not amount to normal compensation for a player performing that well.

….. One has to wonder if the New Orleans born and based “Master P” was working for the hometown team and not his client.

….. Ragnar { Joe Juranitch } demanded an increase from his $1,500.00 per game rate to $20,000.00 per Vikings’ home game. He also demanded loads of fringe benefits including free personal use of the purple & gold ATV he rode around the field after touchdowns.

…. Ragnar figured the Vikings’ move to a new stadium was commensurate with a 1,300% increase in salary.

… He was wrong.

….. We figured the only explanation could be that “No Limit Sports Management” had reared its ugly head again, this time dishing out bad financial deals to sports mascots. However, maybe there is a simpler explanation.

….. Ragnar the Viking, ….. just went Berserk.

…… Vikes win one for the Beard.
Pick: VIKINGS (-2.5)
Bob: Vikes -2.5


Pittsburgh (-3) @ SAINT LOUIS

…… The turf in Saint Louis is supposed to be the fastest in football. Officially it is called:

….. “Astro Turf Magic Carpet II Conversion System featuring a GameDay 3D Synthetic Turf system.”

…. Hard to pronounce, and even harder to believe that the Rams don’t use WR Tavon Austin on deep routes to exploit it more often.

….. The Steelers will try to exploit it with WR Antonio Brown’s speed, but we will back the home Rams & the points. Just when you think the Jeff Fishers should lose after blowing an easy road game, they bounce back at home.

Pick: RAMS (+3)
Bob: Pitt -3
4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern
San Francisco @ ARIZONA (-7)

…… San Francisco came back down to earth last week in Pittsburgh after beating a Crepe Suzette flat Vikings team in their opener. The Cardinals are rolling, Carson Palmer has yet to be sacked this year and we see them blowing the Niners out in the desert.

Pick: CARDINALS: (-7)
Bob: Arizona -7


Buffalo @ MIAMI (-3)

…… A few of the things that really surprised us this week:
1.) The Sky God of Abraham must have been busy texting this week and failed to intervene yet again in a horrible tragedy involving one of the three major world religions derived from the Old Testament. At least 800 people are dead and at least that many injured because of a human stampede in Mecca.

…… Performing one of the sacred tenets of Islam, undertaking the Haj through Saudi Arabia, you can forgive some of the poor, naive and decent true believers for thinking HE might have had their back.

2.) Volkswagen has admitted to designing software to perform massive cheating on its emissions tests. The company faces major fines & the executive carnage has just begun. Now comes word that BMW may also have been cheating.

…. This is disturbing since never before throughout history have we ever been given cause to believe that Germans and their Institutions could be devious or dishonest.

3.) Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders defied the NFL and refused to paint the 50 yard numerals gold in Oakland Alameda County Stadium. It was fitting that the son of the original rebel Al Davis, refused to join the other 31 teams in complying with this lame idea. [ Ostensibly this was to celebrate the “Golden Anniversary” fiftieth Super Bowl this year in yet another NFL over commercialized corporatespeak promotion of zero sincerity ].

……. Then in an orchestrated public relations Hoo Haw, Mark Davis announced he intended no disrespect, that he just didn’t want to disrupt the baseball diamond and that the Raiders would comply just as soon as the Oakland A’s finish their baseball season.

…… What a gutless back-down not worthy of the family name. Papa Davis must be twirling the chains on his glasses in his grave. Now he has something else to be ashamed of regarding his son other than that Pete Rose meets Friar Tuck haircut.
4.) ….. The Miami Dolphins held up a Brinks Truck to pay free agent DT Ndamukong Suh this off season. Now there are reports he is ignoring defensive signal calls from the coaches and freelancing his way through games. You have to feel for the Dolphins.

….. There was nothing in Suh’s background while playing with the Detroit Lions or the Nebraska Cornhuskers indicating past behaviour that would lend its self to these disturbing developments.

…… a really dangerous game for the Bills, second division rival in consecutive weeks, emotional letdown after the Patriots loss, but let’s say it will be close and we get the points.
Pick: Bills (+3)
Bob: Miami -3


Chicago @ SEATTLE (-14)

….. Bears’ QB Jay Cutler is out. He hurt himself trying to tackle a Cardinal who had picked him off for a pick six last week { Hey, at least he showed some effort in a blowout trying to right a wrong for once }.

….. That means former Notre Dame pivot and sometime NFL bench-warmer Jimmy Clausen will be at the controls of the S.S. Beartantic. There are a thousand icebergs awaiting him in Seattle. The biggest might be the “Twelfth Man” or the return of super safety Kam Chancellor after an ill timed holdout.

……. Clausen by most accounts was the fourth best quarterback in training camp and the preseason, but that didn’t stop him from getting the coveted Jay Cutler understudy job. Apparently HC John Fox wanted him because he best fit the Bears’ new offence ( despite sucking at running it in the preseason ). The Bears’ management wanted him because they felt that with the huge number of Notre Dame fans in Chicago & Northern Indiana, it would be a morale & publicity boost for the franchise.

….. Brilliant!

….. which all means we will be backing the Seahawks in a Home-opener blowout, even with the two touchdown margin.
Pick: SEAHAWKS (-14)
Bob: Seattle -14


8:30 pm Eastern
Denver (-3) @ DETROIT

….. Detroit Head coach Jim Caldwell should have his job on the line here, but he won’t. Matthew Stafford is banged up, so they’ll need a big day out of rookie RB Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska.

….. Some of the Lions’ secondary have seriously considered asking Peyton Manning to autograph any interceptions they pick off during the game. Cornerback Darius Slay said it would be an honour to have the future Hall of Fame quarterback put his John Hancock on the ball on National TV.

….. Well, Peyton is a competitor, and if you try that Mr. Slay he might just haul back and belt you one, …….. if he had the arm strength.

…. but if it happens, it would surely eclipse the Terrell Owens/sharpie or Terrell Owens/dancing on the Cowboys’ logo controversy.

….. Lions limp to a win or cover, even if ex Connecticut Huskie Dan Orlovsky ends up throwing passes before the game ends.
Pick: LIONS (+3)
Bob: LIONS +3


Monday, September 28, 2015
8:30 pm Eastern
Kansas City @ GREEN BAY (-7)

…… Tough week for Wisconsinites. Sitting Governor, Union-Buster & Koch Brothers anointed son Scott Walker has suspended his Republican Presidential run, joining former Texas Governor & the recently nearsighted Rick Perry as early casualties.

…… The shocking news came about after a visit to church last Sunday where his pastor gave a sermon about “Knowing when to get out of the way so God can execute his will.” { We are not joking }

….. Well, there’s that, …… and a meeting with his mega donors where they announced no more cash for his embarrassing, screaming Stuka dive bomber of a campaign that started from the lofty heights of front-runner and ended in the dust of a million pieces of airplane debris spread across a crash site from Iowa to New Hampshire.

….. Eight weeks ago, Scotty Walker was leading the Republican polls. Several Mega Donors, through the generous largess of the Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling, directed somewhere between 40 & 50 million dollars into his campaign coffers.

….. The Big Boys loved the way he ran Wisconsin, ….. First he massively cut taxes of all sorts on the super wealthy, then he gutted union rules to make the Dairy State more like a southern “Right to work” state. He then claimed there wasn’t enough money from the smaller revenue pie, so social programmes had to be gutted. Of course this resulted in massive debt and a still stagnant economy despite the fact Wisconsin is a fairly economically diverse state.

…… When the outraged citizens forced a recall election, Walker’s friends showed up. Massive outside the state financial ammunition gave Walker and the Republicans a 5-1 edge in funds over the Democrats making it the most expensive state election of any sort in American history. The massive propaganda & advertising campaign worked, … barely! ….

….. Walker won, had survived a litmus test for his Corporate Masters & they launched his presidential campaign two months ago. He lead in the polls in Iowa & New Hampshire but his lack of charisma, personality & basic intelligence inspired nobody. He droned on and on, utilizing tried and true Fox News and Tea Party talking points. He is so vain that he explained his bald spot was the result of hitting his head on the plumbing while fixing his kitchen sink. Huh?

….. Then the arrival of the orange Trump tornado wiped him off the map, but not before he made one last pathetic attempt to out Trump the master of bombast. He speculated, that after talking to a couple of New Hampshire State Troopers, that maybe America also needed to build a wall along the entire 5,000 + mile Canadian border.

….. Despite spending the most money, Walker’s poll numbers fell from 27% to 0.5%. Based on most mathematical polling models, that means his support actually gets rounded off down to ZERO!

….. an incredible feat in just under two months.

….. so the Rickett’s Family, Koch Brothers, Hedge Fund Managers of America et al, will just have to find another Manchurian Candidate in the crowded field to carry out their selfish corporate agenda.

….. His personal defeat & temporarily shelved uber-capitalist agenda will cause little embarrassment in Wisconsin. Ironically this is because the most successful Socialist major league sports franchise in the world is on a winning streak.

….. The Green Bay Packers are winning!

….. One would think that Green Bay should quickly dispatch the Chiefs here. Last week a scrambling Russell Wilson almost did enough to get the Seahawks a win on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Packers really won’t have to worry about that threat with Alex Smith.

….. However, the Packers have some key injuries, including RB Eddie Lacy who is questionable and the Green Bay wide receivers have been inconsistent.

…. Kansas City has had 11 days to prepare, …. Andy Reid is happy with the look of his team in practice & the usually sure-handed RB Jamal Charles is eager to atone for his untimely fumbles that lead to the bitter loss to Denver last Thursday.

…. Closer game than people think, we’ll take the Chiefs and the points.

Pick: Chiefs (+7.5)
Bob: KC +7.5


Leave a Reply