(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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

8:25 pm
Baltimore (-3) @ PITTSBURGH

…… “Down goes Roethlisberger! Down goes Roethlisberger!” …… So what is the best news for the yellow & black nation to come out of Sunday’s injury to Steelers’ starting QB Big Ben?

1.) The bone bruise will heal & the ligament sprain is only an MCL, meaning the Clydesdale will be back lining up behind Centre in four to six weeks.

2.) In the AFC Central, the Steelers are 2-1, The Ravens are 0-3, and the 1-2 Browns are determined to follow the Millard Fillmore road to lower middle class mediocrity through starter Josh McCown. That means only the 3-0 Bengals are a threat, but they are always negotiating a tenuous Nik Wallenda high wire act that could lead to late regular season collapse & invariably playoff disaster.

3.) The Pittsburgh City Council, in an emergency meeting Monday Night, has passed an ordinance preventing the PETA people from coming within 300 feet of Heinz Field for the rest of the season.

…… This so backup quarterback & failed “Dog Whisperer” Michael Vick can approach his job without distraction. Many people have forgiven/forgotten Michael Vick’s dalliance with dog-fighting & inhumane-canine euthanasia.

…… After all, he did his time and they have moved on to other more serious, if less well known issues. Many animal rights activists are currently fighting new laws that make it illegal to film or report any violations inside slaughter houses or factory farms.

…… But football is paramount in the Iron City, so why take any chances that a couple of straggler tree hugger, Furby fanatics might show up and want to exercise their First Amendment Rights.

….. The Baltimore Ravens should have been wiped out by the Bengals in the first half Sunday. The Tabbies should have been up 28-0 at the break, but had to settle for 14-0.

….. What Happened?

1.) Yet another bizarre version of the Calvin Johnson-Dez Bryant “When is a catch not a catch or a touchdown? ” rule being applied to Bengal TE Tyler Eifert, and giving the Ravens a turnover.

2.) Andy Dalton throwing Bob Gaughan’s favourite pass in football into the end zone. Deep in the Red Zone, the Bengal QB threw a terrible, low altitude lob to A.J. Green that was easily picked off by Raven CB Jimmy Smith.

3.) A heroic effort by Ravens’ WR Steve Smith Sr. who required IV’s throughout the game to counter excessive fluid loss while tallying 13 receptions, 186 yards and 2 TD’s.
…… And yes, QB Joe Flacco did throw some nice accurate, medium to deep passes to almost pull this game off, but in the end, the Bengals prevailed 28-24. Flacco was booed all afternoon for the many inaccurate throws, bad decisions, bailouts and overall sloppy effort. Then there was the very unimpressive, confused last possession that could have won them the game.
…… So who to take in this game?

….. The Steelers escaped Saint Louis with a circa 1958, bruising, smash-mouth 12-6 win, ……. minus their starting QB & the knowledge that they would have lost if almost any other Head Coach in the NFL had been coaching the Rams instead of Jeff Fisher. Indeed, this game set football back to Mike Huckabee’s fantasy version of Eisenhower’s America, but Pittsburgh found a way to win.

….. They come limping home hoping Michael Vick can occasionally throw the ball deep to Antonio Brown, just to keep the Ravens’ secondary honest.

……. They also hope Vick’s competitive attitude has improved from a couple of years ago where he stated in an interview that he was totally content being Geno Smith’s backup with the Jets. He said the thrill of not starting in the NFL would be replaced by collecting his generous cheque, lying on his couch sourcing good Groupon buys & keeping up with those fascinating Kardashians.

….. The Ravens are also banged up, and they are demoralized. They won’t be able to run against the Steelers and can’t rely on aging Steve Smith Sr. to have another Randy Moss day on three days’ rest. They are desperate, but the human adding machine, Joe “Burroughs” Flacco will fail yet again when he weighs the prospect of giving superhuman effort & risking bodily health against preserving a gilded retirement snuggling late on weekday mornings with his massive, inflated 120 million dollar contract.

….. The Steelers can run and will run more than normal with both Bell & Williams getting a heavy workload { there no longer is a huge human roadblock named Haloti Ngata playing Defensive Tackle for Baltimore }.
They will utilize Vick’s diminished scrambling skills & shaky arm just enough to advance OC Todd Haley’s “Run & Short Passing Game.” The Ravens also committed a record 13 penalties for 116 yards last week, the hallmark of desperation, sloppiness and weak coaching.

…… Two bruised, tired division rivals clash with little rest, …. and the 0-3 Ravens are a 3 point favourite?

…… We have little faith in Michael Vick, but Joe Flacco is prone to fold yet again when the pressure gets too big.

…… and there should be little media distraction regarding the past hobbies of the Steelers’ starting quarterback, ……… unless it has been discovered that Michael Vick has been befriending Minnesota dentists on Facebook.

Pick: STEELERS (+3)
Bob: Ravens -3


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