(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.”)


MR. BRUTAL  10-6

BOB  8-8

Sunday, October 4, 2015

9:30 am Eastern
New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (-1) 41.5

London, England

….. Last year after four weeks, the first Trans Atlantic Ambassadorship Goodwill Exhibition of American Culture of 2014 resulted in Oakland Raiders’ Coach Dennis Allen being fired. The Raiders were humiliated by the Miami Dolphins 38-14 at Wembley Stadium. With the Raiders heading into the “Bye” week, Mr. Allen was dumped during cocktail serving on the long flight home.

…. The Dolphins’ Joe Philbin can’t like the omens. Miami has their “Bye” next week, and worse than the Raiders of last year, he doesn’t have the excuse of a rookie quarterback with an under talented team.

….. The Dolphins signed a lot of high profile free agents, and QB Ryan Tannehill has not lived up to expectations.

….. During World War II, the United Kingdom’s highest profile military figure was Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.

…… His supporters pointed out that he never lost a major engagement. He absolutely improved British troops’ esprit de corps and military discipline. He was cautious and waited for massive personnel & hardware superiority before taking on an opponent thus not wasting Britain’s precious limited resources. His actions thus resulted in solid victories & a positive morale boost amongst a besieged populace that needed another heroic figure besides Winston Churchill to feel good about.

…… His detractors pointed out he was overly cautious and reluctant to engage until conditions were perfect. They point out his delays & reluctance to fully coordinate actions with his allies cost the needless lives of those troops who had to pick up the bulk of the heavy lifting fighting the Germans. His prudent circumspection also allowed the Wehrmacht to tactically withdraw and establish better entrenched defensive positions as they backed up from Cicily into Mainland Italy & Western Europe into Germany.

….. They also point out his one bold strategic operation “Operation Market Garden” was overly complicated, poorly researched and delusional. When it failed miserably, he refused to take responsibility and blamed everyone else.

…… Montgomery was conservative by nature, but was still open to military innovation. His supporters & some Historians would claim that his balanced approach was the right one for the right army at the right time.

….. Dolphins’ head man Joe Philbin is considered conservative. Despite being an offensive coach who coordinated the Green Bay Packers attack for five years, Miami’s offense has looked nothing like that. Granted, Ryan Tannehill isn’t Aaron Rodgers, but Miami has added lots of free agent weapons like RB Knowshon Moreno & WR Greg Jennings to prime that pump. Results are expected.

…… Joe Philbin can no longer be conservative & assume the approach and role of Field Marshall Montgomery [ Even if he is coaching on his home turf ].

….. Playing in London, England already presents plenty of challenges:

……. Jet lag, topless women on the back-pages of newspapers, conversations dripping with ironic understatement, vehicles on the wrong side of the road, chatty prostitutes and cooked to cremation English food are all indeed mostly negative distractions for both teams. There are even Anthropologist led “Walking Tours” of White Chapel searching for evidence confirming if any of Ray Lewis’ ancestors were once residents.

……. However, the team with “Dead Coach Walking” is likely to be more easily distracted in this game and come out the loser.

Pick: Jets (+1)
Bob: Jets +1
1:00 pm, Eastern

Jacksonville @ INDIANAPOLIS (-10.5) 47.5

…. The Colts pulled out a miracle last week, ……. trailing by 13 points late, Andrew Luck managed to claim the victory over a still metamorphosing Titans’ side. Owner Jim Irsay thus temporarily took his hand off the lever to the trap door beneath coach Pagano’s feet and above the crowded shark tank beneath them.

….. Jacksonville got the Buffalo Bills treatment last week in Fraudboro Massachusetts, but we think that they will bounce back just like the Bills from a New England shellacking.

…. Oh, they won’t bounce back to wipe the Colts out, ……. but 10 and a half points is too much for a Colts’ side that defines the word “flawed.”

Pick: Jaguars (+10.5)
Bob: Jax +10.5

New York Football Giants @ BUFFALO (-5.5) 46.5

…. Nobody bounces back like the Buffalo Bills! …. On paper, Buffalo will be missing their top two offensive weapons. In reality the loss of WR Sammy Watkins & RB LeSean McCoy will probably not matter, as they have contributed little to the success of the Bills in their two wins. In fact, Rex Ryan should tell both to take long extended breaks to recuperate. They will likely be needed later.

…… The emergence of QB Tyrod Taylor scrambling like Steve Young & spreading the ball around with deep passes to different receivers has made the necessity for an alpha sprinter like Watkins less of a necessity. RB Karlos Williams is running at least as well as McCoy ever did in his career, and reminds one a bit of a faster & slightly smaller Eddie George who is a Safety’s arm tackle away from busting another long run to the end zone.

…. Giants come to the Ralph, Giants get hurt in the Ralph, Giants lose badly in the Ralph, Tom Coughlin narrowly averts aneurysm at the Ralph.

Pick: BILLS (-5.5)
Bob: Bills -5.5
Carolina (-3.5) @ TAMPA BAY 40

…… Irony, subtlety & sarcasm as they pertain to humour are often lost on today’s generation. This is mostly due to the nature of the “lost in transmission” communication phenomena acquired from traversing the internet.

….. A lot of the Millennials inhabiting our planet today spend almost every waking moment ostensibly interacting with other humanoids on the world wide web. They pursue a never-ending quest to be noticed, loved & quantitatively appreciated in the electronic netherworld.

….. Immersed in the dubious concept of nebulous evaluations borne of “like,” “friend,” “re-tweet,” & “total views” seems a sad way to evaluate one’s self worth.

…….. All of this electronic communication results in a seeming paradox that spills over to real world in face to face conversation.

……. The accepted social grace of instantaneous judgement coupled with the “Chipmunks dependent on MDMA” attention span has neutered the new generation’s ability to pause for a second, process the offering, and thus detect the possible presence of humour.

…….. Such appears to be the situation with Carolina Panthers’ Quarterback Cam Newton.

……. In last Sunday’s game, Cam led the Panthers to a 27-22 victory over the Saints with their patented game plan of tough defense, ball control, long drives and exhaust the opposition into crucial mistakes or till they collapse from boredom.

….. During an out of bounds run & throwaway off a scramble, Cam questioned referee Ed Hochuli about not getting a late hit penalty called against the Saints. According to Cam, Hochuli replied “You’re not old enough to get that call!”

….. Cam immediately stopped walking back to the huddle, gesticulated the universal double open palmed gesture of confusion & grimaced the face of a curious extraterrestrial witnessing his first Tea Party town hall meeting.

….. At the post game press conference, the Auburn alumni immediately recalled the incident, questioned the fairness of it all and generally whined more like your typical recalcitrant Duke University trust fund baby. For his part, Ed Hochuli denied saying anything of the kind. He explained that all he said was it was a running play, he was out of the pocket, so the rule didn’t apply.

….. Regardless if he said it or not, anyone of a different generation of athlete would have merely chuckled if they heard that remark.

…. Sheesh! …. it is known as humour, playful levity between adults establishing rapport between an authority figure & a participant in a typical athletic sport.

…… Cam proved one thing, …… the prophecy whether real or imagined was true. Cam Newton isn’t old enough to get that call because he isn’t mature enough to take a joke.
…. Who knew that Superman was not only mortally vulnerable to Kryptonite but also friendly banter, wit & satire.

….. A small spread and enticing invitation to take the Panthers.

…..However, with LB Luke Kuechly out due to concussion, the desperate Bucs are due to move the ball a little better against their division rivals at home.

….. Red Lobster Jameis & Tampa build on their close loss in Texas and keep it close.

Pick: BUCCANEERS (+3.5)
Bob: TB +3.5

Philadelphia (-3) @ WASHINGTON 47

….. The best news for both these directionless teams might be that Hurricane Joaquin should postpone this game to Monday night.

( Although it would be interesting watching Sam Bradford try to run that Eagle/Duck misdirection in a Monsoon )

Pick: Eagles (-3)
Bob: Washington +3
Oakland (-3) @ CHICAGO 44.5

…. First time the Raiders have been favoured in years, and even longer for a road game.

… What an honour Chicago!

….. The bailout has begun in Chicago with the trading of DE Jared Allen & LB Jon Bostic, …… after just three games!

….. On a purely metaphoric aesthetic note;

….. “If Helen of Troy’s face could launch a 1,000 ships, ……. then Raiders’ owner Mark Davis’ haircut could cause the suicide of 10,000 barbers.”

Pick: Raiders (-3)
Bob: Chicago +3
Houston @ ATLANTA (-7) 47

…… We could say it is a trap game for the Falcons because the totally awesome powerhouse Washington Bloody Corpses are coming to Atlanta next week and the Falcons’ players are all looking ahead to the excitement of that clash and have had it circled since the off season.

…. But we couldn’t even sell that to a Donald Trump supporter if we told him it was a betting recommendation from the lips of the Tangerine Typhoon himself.

…. The Texans won a low scoring, sloppy 19-9 game last week over Tampa Bay. Yippee! …… another couple wins this year and they should fall in the draft order just enough to preserve brain addled Bill O’Brien his head coaching job and not pick up a top QB in the draft.

….. On the other hand, there aren’t that many great quarterbacks available in the draft anyway and the Texans are more likely to draft another overrated Defensive End to pair with #1 overall progress report bust Jadeveon Clowney. This will be possible because next year they will execute their grand plan. All Universe DE/TE/Actor/Cartoon Character J.J. Watt will be starting at Quarterback for the Texans in 2016.

….. Falcons don’t let up in this treacherous trap game.

Pick: FALCONS (-7)
Bob: Houston +7

Kansas City @ CINCINNATI (-3.5) 44.5

….. Short week for the Chiefs, heading into the “Jungle.”

….. This is still the regular season, so Bengals should cruise again over a Chiefs’ side that wobbled out of Green Bay on Monday night.

….. The Chiefs did break their almost two year old record of not throwing a touchdown to a wide receiver as they connected on one to WR Jeremy Maclin down at the goal line.

{ Technically, the last touchdown in 2013 was to Dexter McClusker, who really isn’t a pure wide receiver and used more as a hybrid RB/WR/Slot Receiver/H-Back. Maclin lined up in the slot last week for his monumental catch, …. so, …. depending how you look at it, …. the streak of actually throwing a TD to a true wide receiver lined up in the traditional wide out position dates back further than officially established and lives on still into the future.}

Pick: BENGALS: (-3.5)
Bob: Cincy -3.5

4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern
Cleveland @ SAN DIEGO (-9) 45

….. Ohio Truck-Stop Godfather & Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam heads west with his team this weekend like many other “alleged” organized criminals of the past like Bugsy Siegel, and fellow Cleveland residents Jimmy the Weasel Fratianno & Lew Wasserman.

1.) ….. Bugsy came to Hollywood to infiltrate trade unions connected with the Motion Picture Industry, but ended up trying to establish Las Vegas as a destination gambling destination. He also had an unhealthy addiction to a manipulative girlfriend. Things didn’t end well for Siegel. Mysteriously shot dead by an unknown sniper in his Hollywood living room in 1947.

…………… This was probably for not heeding warnings and cutting himself loose from the femme fatale who was stealing and letting exorbitant cost over-runs cripple the building of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. His participation in this activity & reluctance to take decisive action displeased his lenders.

2.) …. Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno came to Los Angeles in 1947 & tried to establish rackets for Midwestern crime families in California, but ultimately ended up joining the mafia sanctioned Dragna family in the “City of Angels.” Over the years, Fratianno found himself in a lot of different rolls and became Godfather in 1975. He spent time in jail, became an undercover informant, murdered people, sanctioned hits, all the while looking over his shoulder balancing his gangster, businessman & informant roles. When the mob suspected him of double dealing, they put a contract out on him, he found out, testified in Federal Court against his former friends and entered the witness protection programme.

….. He later wrote two best selling books & became a popular guest on talk shows. He was kicked out of the Witness Protection Progamme for constantly breaking their rules. He said he enjoyed his life, but the possibility of being killed meant he never slept a full night’s sleep again.

3.) …… Lew Wasserman was involved with the mob his entire adult life. From his earliest days as a booking agent for musicians in the Midwest to his move to Los Angeles booking actors and controlling various unions. He went on to become president of MCA-Universal, building it into a media giant through visionary acquisitions, shrewd management & personal style. He hobnobbed with Billionaires, Kings & Presidents, soliciting them for favours through his charm, influence & political fundraising.

…… Although hugely successful, …… after selling the company to Matsushita-Panasonic he died a sad, broken figure.

….. He would retain a figurehead position in Los Angeles headquarters, reporting to his office each day. He had nothing to do and nobody sought his council. He sat for extended periods in the company commissary hoping someone would sit down, talk to him & solicit his advice or just chat about the weather.

…… It happened very infrequently. Most employees had no idea who the frail old man was sitting there all alone for hours each day.

…… Who knows what fate awaits Capo di tutti capi Haslem & the Browns after their visit to San Diego?

…… Who knows why the Browns’ brain-trust would think that the same game plan that worked with Manziel would work with McCown? …..

…… Now we all know that Manziel is a flawed prototype, and he may not be the long term answer. However, the fans, players, press and objective observers all were behind him after the win over Tennessee two weeks ago. The Titans were clearly thrown off balance by his scrambling and elusiveness. He had two deep touchdowns to WR Travis Benjamin in that game. { By contrast, McCown overthrew or missed Benjamin three times on deep routes last Sunday to a chorus of boos from the fans}

….. Instead of sticking with Manziel, Haslem, HC Mike Pettine, “suspended” GM Ray Farmer & the staff decided to start McCown against the Raiders and install the same basic game plan.

….. Why did it fail?

… Note to said braintrust: It was because teams in the NFL have tape nowadays and QB Josh McCown is not perceived as a threat to run like Johnny Manziel.

….. Nobody fears McCown and by extension the Cleveland Browns.

….. Although San Diego has a really bruised Offensive Line after their two losses back east in Cincinnati and Minnesota, they should be able to rebound at home. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers should romp here.

… [ unless Johnny Hedonism comes off the bench for the Browns early and pulls off a Miracle like his days at College Station.]

…. Chargers win and the Browns waste another year treading quicksand and our Future Prop of Cleveland under 6.5 wins for the year stays on track.

Pick: CHARGERS (-9)
Bob: SD -9

Green Bay (-10) @ SAN FRANCISCO 47.5

…… Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers returns to his home region and his California Golden Bears are 4-0, …. and finally ranked! …. Number 24 in the top 25.

…… What a tribute to the Jim Crow framework that the NCAA operates fairly and flawlessly.

….. We’re sure Aaron will be watching his Bears on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. Cheering them on as an 18 point favourite over Mad Mike Leach & his 70 pass a game Washington State Cougar offense. The Over/Under is 71, and that might be a bargain because this one will probably beat the century mark.

….. Aaron Rodgers preseance raises the Cal profile and hopefully levitates them in the polls due to the exposure [ if they win].

….. Across the Bay Bridge, the Packers & Niners won’t be engaging in those kind of numbers here, …… but call it pride, hunch, disinterest or general Packer letdown, we don’t see them covering the large spread on the road.

Pick: FORTY NINERS (+10)
Bob: GB -10

Saint Louis @ ARIZONA (-7.5) 42.5

…Saint Louis fans are fuming at Jeff Fisher and the Rams. Especially after their tragic missed opportunity last week. After knocking Ben Roethlisberger out of the game, they still managed to fall 12-6 to the Steelers at home. The online universe & eastern Missouri sports talk shows were livid with Jeff Fisher’s game plan, play calling & overall team sloppiness.

…… Google and several other companies have developed working “Driver-less Cars.” Now word is that Apple will have their own version ready in a few years.

….. With the talent they possess, the Rams could benefit from someone like Elon Musk quickly designing a short pudgy robot with a Clark Gable mustache stealthily substituting for Mr. Fisher the rest of this season and making Saint Louis the first “Coachless” NFL team.

…. Division rivals means this will be a closer game than people think. The Rams do have a pass rush & should be able to hit the statue that is Cardinals’ QB Carson Palmer for the first time this year.

….. It also means we are backing the Rams for the fourth week in a row despite detesting the presence of their criminally overrated head coach.

…. By definition, we are flirting with the definition of insanity.
Pick: Rams (+7.5)
Bob: Arizona -7.5

Minnesota @ DENVER (-7) 42.5

….. Give Gary Kubiak credit, even though Denver was 2-0, he was open to change. When his beloved trademark offensive system sputtered, the Bronco head coach decided last week to allow QB Peyton Manning to take the majority of his snaps from the shotgun and abandon the old man under centre approach. It worked, Manning didn’t have to do as much footwork dropping back into the pocket and his passes had more zip, unity of flight-path & accuracy. …. and the Broncos beat the Chiefs.

….. In related news, a scientist in Russia has injected himself with 3 million year old bacteria in a quest to halt the aging process and make himself immortal.

…. Peyton Manning closely monitors his progress.

…. Vikings are much improved and should be able to run Peterson on the Broncos and shorten the game and cover this spread.

Pick: Vikings (+7)
Bob: Vikes +7
8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time


….. There is no line on this game due to the uncertain status of Drew Brees’ rotator cuff. Josh McCown looked pretty good for most of last week against Carolina, better than an injured Brees has most of this year.

….. So let’s say with or without Drew Brees, whatever the line is, we’ll take the desperate, winless Saints over the short, short, passing game of the Cowboys.
…….. DC Rob Ryan gets some revenge against the Cowboys.

Bob: Saints

Monday, October 5, 2015
8:25 pm Eastern Standard Time
Detroit @ SEATTLE (-10) 43

….. Last week, Lions’ WR Golden Tate complained that the Broncos defenders were accurately yelling out the correct Detroit Lions’ plays before the snap on a regular basis. He also cited that the same thing had happened in games against San Diego and Minnesota. Coincidentally, the Detroit Lions are 0-3.

….. Several years ago the same rumours surfaced regarding the Colts after their playoff elimination after an outstanding regular season.

….. Jim Caldwell was the head coach in Indianapolis.

….. Caldwell called the charges baseless.

….. Many critics have pointed this out over the years going back to Caldwell’s Wake Forest days. The Lions run a very simple offence with predictable plays resulting from the same simple formations. This is fine if you have an ace QB like Peyton Manning in his prime. You are successful & think nobody can stop you and don’t make any changes or take precautions.

….. Then you meet a really good team in the playoffs and it doesn’t work, because that kind of advantage is too great to overcome without making adjustments.

…. and the Lions and Drew Stafford are not the Colts with Manning or the Patriots and Tom Brady.

….. Jim Caldwell may just be determined, confident and stubborn. But it is more likely he is just dense, clueless and way in over his head.

….. Seahawks improve on last week’s partial blowout of Chicago with a full blown one of the Lions.

Pick: SEAHAWKS (-10)
Bob: Seattle -10


Leave a Reply