(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 7-7-1
Sunday, October 11, 2015
1:00 pm, Eastern
Chicago @ Kansas City (-11) 45.5
…. The 1989 movie, Back to the Future II had a fictional newspaper predicting that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015. Now many people are taking it as a “sign” that the Cubs are destined to win this year after their wildcard win over the Pirates. This is not surprising since according to recent polls:
1.) 14 % of all Americans seriously believe President Obama is himself the Antichrist or some form of direct servant of the Prince of Darkness.
2.) 20% of all Americans believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, …. Barack Obama is a Muslim, …. Alien abductions involving anal probes occur regularly, ….. Lotteries are the best way to invest for retirement, …. Witches are a growing problem in the United States and bad ones should be jailed, subjected to Puritanical punishments or killed, …. George W. Bush was one of the top three Presidents of all time, ….. and the Apocalypse will occur very soon, certainly within their own lifetime.
3.) 35% of Evangelical Christians believe that the recent horrible flooding disaster in South Carolina is not a result of the “hoax” of climate change but God reacting angrily to the Palmetto State’s recent removal of the Confederate Flag from the Columbia legislature. Simultaneously, 0% of them see the disaster as the result of the Mighty Favog retaliating over the racially motivated massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
2.) 40% of Americans believe Astrology is based on Science, and is a good barometer in helping to plan your short and long term behaviour.
3.) 55% of adults over 50 years of age believe there is a very good possibility that Elvis Presley is still alive and possibly working for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
4.) Almost 96% of Republican Primary Voters believe in the wake of the latest mass school shooting in Oregon that all the GOP candidates are sincere when they say their primary focus is now solving the issue of mental health in the United States.
…. We are actually cheering for the Cubs who haven’t won since 1908.
…. However the fictional headline in the movie also stated that the Cubs would sweep the World Series in five games. It also said they would beat a mysterious American League team called “Miami.”
…. Unless Texas, Toronto, Houston or Kansas City suddenly move their franchise to South Beach in the next two weeks and Jake Arrieta can pitch four out of the five games in the final, ….. the prediction is officially problematic.
…. However, inspired by this revelation, we will predict that the Chicago Bears will be back in the Super Bowl in 2045.
…. By this time they will have:
A.) …. Officially abandoned their quest to clone George Halas’ 1963 NFL Championship team.
B.) ….. Learned to use some high draft picks on offense and hire a coach who believes in the concept of trying to actually outscore an opponent rather than out-stare them.
C.) ….. Jay Cutler’s contract will have finally run out and no longer be an excessive burden on the Bears’ salary cap.
…. Now, can the Bears win two in a row behind the fourth quarter heroics of the great, inspirational, nicotine fueled Jay Cutler?
…. Will the Chiefs complete a touchdown pass to a true “wide” receiver this week and not a “slot” receiver, thus ending the almost two year old streak?
…. Will Chiefs’ field goal kicker Cairo Santos’ leg fall off after kicking 7 field goals for 21 points in the loss last week in Cincinnati?
…. If Santos is sidelined, will Head Coach Andy Reid sign himself to the roster and relive the glory he felt as a 13 year old when he dominated the Punt, Pass & Kick contest on Monday Night Football?
…. One thing is for sure and hasn’t changed in 40 years. Andy will still outweigh all the punters & kickers on the field by a margin of more than two to one.
….. What a horrible dilemma. ……. The Chiefs to cover 11 points when they can’t score a major, …..
….. or the Fire Sale Bears cruising behind diminished expectations after hitting their quota of one victory a month. …..
…. After the gift the Raiders handed them last week in Soldier Field, is it is too much to believe Da Bears can rally once again behind the unique indifferent leadership style practiced by emphysema hobbled Jay Cutler? …… and expect them to cruise to a road victory after the gift the Raiders handed them last week in Soldier Field?
….. We’ll take the Chiefs and hope Andy Reid isn’t called into service or the dreaded backdoor cover rears its ugly head.
… Gary Glitter all afternoon in Arrowhead.
Pick: CHIEFS (-11)
Bob: Bears +11
Seattle @ CINCINNATI (-3) 43.5
…… The Seahawks won last Monday with another Replacement Refs type circumstance that underscores once again the fact that the NFL has IRS tax coded the rules of the game into the realm of infinite bureaucracy.
….. The NFL Rule Book actually has more printed words than the New Testament. It is so convoluted, arcane and open to contradictory interpretation that almost nobody fully understands or claims to grasp the total significance, breadth or implications of its existence.
….. An all star panel of Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Heidegger and John Paul Sartre would have trouble deciphering whether its contradictory inanimateness exceeds its essence & would therefore dictate that it only exists in an existential state of suspension.
…. Certainly none of the players, coaches, announcers or referees knew the correct interpretation of the “Batting the Ball through the End Zone” rule. As always, it took the “Retired Ray Donovan Referee on Retainer” that every Television Network employs, to chime in at the end of the game to tell us mortals what right and wrong truly is when it comes to “Getting the Call Right.”
Seahawk LB K.J. Wright batted the ball out of bounds thinking it was the prudent, legal thing to do. He could just of easily grabbed it, taken a knee and the game was essentially over. No Lion on the field had a shot at recovering it and many weren’t hustling. It was if they thought the play was already essentially over. In fact, the next day after the game, an informal survey of NFL players indicated 80% of the offensive players & 75% of the defensive players thought batting the ball out of bounds in that circumstance was the proper, legal play.
….. But by the letter of the law, according to the NFL sages, once again Detroit Lion WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson ( who fumbled the ball ) is at the centre of an NFL Rule Screw-up that ends up denying Detroit a victory. …. and recent holdout, S Kam Chancellor of the Seahawks ( who knocked the ball away ), makes a strong case for a new renegotiated contract.
….. The other major development to emerge from the Monday Night Fiasco is affirmation that Russell Wilson is the best player on that offence by a mile. Sure he has huge drawbacks, but no other quarterback in the NFL could survive behind that offensive line. Wilson seems to thrive in chaos. No matter how many bad short throws he flubs, tough hits he endures, phantom blocks TE Jimmy Graham matadors into sacks or strong safeties he reads incorrectly, he finds a way to drag that leaky barge down the field when it matters.
…. If this was a playoff game, the Seahawks would be a solid favourite.
….. but this is still the regular season and the Bengals are our 2015 “Team of Destiny.” They are much stronger than Seattle right now and the Seahawks are coming off a physical & mentally draining Monday clash with the short week.. The Queen City Tabbies will have to modify their deep passing game against the tough Seahawk secondary, but they have so many weapons that even a caveman like Marvin Lewis must realize that they cannot just run RB Jeremy Hill between the tackles all day.
Pick: BENGALS (-3)
Bob: Cincy -3
Washington @ ATLANTA (-9.5) 47.5
….. The Ed Gein lampshade bounties of Washington DC roll into the deep south after beating the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
….. Big spread, but the undefeated Falcons are on a roll and nobody believes QB Kirk Cousins can string two solid games together in a row. It will take a lot more than just a solid game to beat the Falcon juggernaut.
….. It’s Falcon Legacy Day in Atlanta, ……..so, …..Falcons roll, winning one for Steve Bartkowski, Tommy Nobis, William Andrews & Jerry Glanville. They will also reserve two tickets at the box office’s “Out of Town pickup window” for Elvis Presley.
Pick: FALCONS (-9.5)
Bob: Atl -9.5
Jacksonville @ TAMPA BAY (-3) 42.5
….. Recent discoveries within the Cosmos:
….. 1.) Water has been discovered on Mars
2.) Frozen water & blue skies have been discovered on Junior Varsity Planet Pluto.
3.) The energy being produced in the Universe is now roughly half of what it was 2 billion years ago. Eventually there will be no new stars created & our greater realm will become a far more dangerous place to live within.
4.) Anyone who thought that the fumble prone, interception throwing, bad defense reading & immature Jameis Winston of last year in Tallahassee was just a slump year coming off his outstanding Heisman winning campaign the year before at Florida State,
………… is sadly mistaken.
Pick: Jacksonville (+3)
Bob: Jax +3
New Orleans @ PHILADELPHIA (-4.5) 49.5
….. Drew Brees is back & Nick Foles finally had a decent performance albeit a loss to Washington. ……. so who to take?
…. Well, not only did Drew Brees look good last week after a week of recuperation, but the Saints’ defense looked a whole lot healthier. Getting 4.5 points against Chip Kelly’s contaminated lab experiment is a gift.
Pick: Saints (+4.5)
Cleveland @ BALTIMORE (-7) 43.5
….. The old Browns vs. the new Browns. A renewal of their twice yearly rivalry.
….. Ravens were beyond lucky last Thursday in Pittsburgh, and despite the extra days’ rest are missing key players.
….. Steve Smith Sr. ( we warned last week that the aged one was vulnerable in the Thursday Night game after overextending himself four days before against the Bengals) also RB Lorenzo Taliaferro is out, the next best pass catcher on the team.
….. which means despite flirting with losing our Cleveland “Under 6.5 wins” prop bet this year, we’ll hold our breath and pick Josh McCown to have two decent weeks in a row, the Cleveland coaching staff to find ways to pressure Joe “The Human Abacus” Flacco and cover that touchdown without hopefully winning.
Pick: Browns (+7)
Saint Louis @ GREEN BAY (-11) 46
…. The one template Ram’s coach Jeff Fisher understands, is the one that got him and the Titans to within a foot of winning a Super Bowl against the Rams.
….. Play tough defence with a big defensive line that can pressure the quarterback without others having to blitz too often & abandon pass coverage. Get a big workhorse running back like Eddie George and run him into early retirement. Rely on a big, mobile quarterback who can run when needed, execute simple, short passing plays and throw deep on the run out of the pocket, but again, not too often.
….. the result is a lot of hard hitting, close, relatively low scoring games.
….. This is why he lobbied so hard for the Rams to draft Georgia RB Todd Gurley. On Sunday, Gurley had his first big NFL game, running for 187 yards in beating the Cards. Coach Fisher could be seen drooling every time Gurley had a big gain. Visions of Ohio State & number 27 danced in his head.
…. but QB Nick Foles is not Air McNair, and Austin & Bailey are faster, deeper threats than anything he had in Tennessee. So adjustments are needed to the Fisher template if the Rams plan on consistently winning, week to week.
…… A forward thinking coach would realize the Jeff Fisher Tennessee Titans’ approach results in defences that are too banged up to win close, low scoring games every single week and are not designed to come from behind. In the 2015 version of the NFL, offenses have to occasionally win games when the defense has a sub-par day. Rams’ QB Nick Foles is not a major running threat and is better suited to throwing a variety of different pass routes, testing defences with the Rams’ deep speed.
…… but Jeff Fisher is as flexible as a brick, so expect the Packers to exploit a tired Rams’ team coming off a hard hitting game, playing their second road game in a row.
….. but 11 points, as actor Gerrit Graham from the cult movie “Used Cars” would concur:
…. “That’s too Fucking High!”
Pick: Rams (+11)
Bob: Rams +11
Buffalo (-2.5) @ TENNESSEE 42.5
….. Buffalo bounced back off a home beating in Week One by the Patriots by heading south and humiliating the water mammals of South Beach in Miami. After this last flag infested schmozzle against the Giants in the Ralph we expect the similar pattern to repeat.
….. The Bills head south again, this time to Nashville, and easily slap the Titans around and make them simultaneously pay for:
1.) …. The Bills’ vile loss last week to Eli, Coughlin, “Sucker Punch” Beckham & Big Apple arrogance,
2.) …. The “Music City Miracle.”
3.) …. and the middle finger semaphore disrespect that late Titans’ owner Bud Adams once perpetrated via luxury box to luxury box on the late Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson.
……. Tennessee has had a two week timeout to deal with their collapsing fourth quarter loss to Indianapolis. They blew a 13 point advantage and gave up 21 points to a gritty, limping Andrew Luck and his Colts.
….. Yes, the Titans have had a nice bye week, but a young rookie QB like Mariota will have major problems with the sophisticated looks, coverages & blitzes that Rex Ryan & DC Dennis Thurman will unleash against him.
… We also expect to see Bills’ QB Tyrod Taylor run more often and in the process get more comfortable, react to his instincts and not think so long while being stationary in the pocket.
Pick: Bills (-2.5)
Bob : Bills -2.5
4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern
Arizona (-3) @ DETROIT 44
….. Last Week, Arizona lost for the first time this year, …. a tough blood in the mouth loss to the Division rival Rams ( which we predicted ). Carson Palmer had not been sacked all year, but the Rams got him 4 times, knocked him down 10 and rushed/hurried him a hell of a lot more. Even the usually sure handed, future Canton occupant, all world WR Larry Fitzgerald coughed up the ball after a big hit. The vaunted Arizona defense gave up over 200 yards rushing and several big deep pass plays to the Rams’ wideouts resulting in the 24-22 setback.
……. Cardinals’ Head Coach Bruce Arians did not look happy at the post game press conference. He may just have been upset with his team’s performance, but maybe a deeper, more substantial problem was nagging at him ( and we don’t mean the online “Kickstarter” effort to get Arians to switch from wearing golf caps to Toulouse Lautrec style French berets).
…… The Arizona Cardinals are sponsored heavily by “The University of Phoenix.” The online “Educator” has bought the naming rights to the Cards’ stadium in Sportsman’s Park and their logo appears prominently at any team sponsored function.
…….. It also is on display all over the Cardinals’ press conference room, including the wooden lectern.
…… The symbolism was on visual display for all. After the infallibility of his team had been exposed on Sunday, Coach Arians looked like a man coming to the realization that his Cardinals may have no more credibility as a potential Super Bowl contender than the University of Phoenix does posing as a legitimate university.
….. But that won’t be a factor this week. The Detroit Lions are coming off that gut wrenching loss to Seattle Monday Night. Lions’ Coach Jim Caldwell has prepared a simple strategy to deal with the problem.
……. He told the press that he informed the Lions to just forget about it and focus on the Cardinals.
……. Thanks for the inspiration Napoleon!
…. What leadership. Haven’t seen a sure fire facile recipe for success conquering a complex problem like that since Nancy Reagan championed the “Just say No to Drugs” campaign in the 1980’s.
…. Cardinals get back on track. Their O line had a bad week against the Rams, but they are much better than the Seahawks offensive line, so the Lions won’t get the pressure on Carson Statue Palmer that they did on Russell Wilson. The short week won’t help Detroit much. The fans have turned on them and we predict they will play listlessly after falling behind early in the game.
… Despite the inspirational leadership provided by Coach Jim “Dale Carnegie” Caldwell, …… Sunday in Detroit, the winless Lions limp off the hunt and their season with a lot less fight & vigour than Cecil did in Zimbabwe.
Pick: Cardinals (-3)
Bob Detroit +3
New England (-10.5) @ DALLAS 49.5
…… Terrific Tom had a great bye week off away from the media, but that didn’t stop him from trying to distance himself from his major faux pas two weeks ago when he said he supported Donald Trump for President.
… This week he hummed, hawed, said he was just speculating out loud, didn’t know if he would actually vote for him, said he just casually knew Trump, played golf with him, didn’t really follow politics anyway and people should not take him seriously.
… It’s okay Tom, we know you are a Republican.
….. Today, when it comes to politics, most rich athletes only care about their own narrow circumstances and how much their next tax bill will be. Tom, ….. Donald Trump is really, really rich, so you rightly assume his best interests are the same as yours.
…. The days are gone where high profile athletes felt compelled to take stands on political, racial, social and environmental issues. This is because they are more concerned with marketing their own personal brand, and that means alienating nobody by appearing politically neutral.
….. and Tom Brady is definitely a commercial brand, entity and commodity. His phone must have blown up after his careless Trump endorsement. The army of Public Relations experts, advertisers, financial planners and agents were all calling/texting him within seconds.
….. Tom should lead the Patriots to an easy win here, as we all know their outstanding record after the Bye week. That and the fact that the Belichik KGB have hacked the Taj Mahal & Cowboys’ practice field security systems to obtain advance intelligence on the blinding speed of QB Brandon Weeden’s 16 step drop.
…. DE Greg Hardy debuts for Dallas after his suspension for serious domestic issues. His first locker-side chat with the media exhibited the class, grace & timing that goes with someone who is a graduate of the Ike Turner School of Charm.
…. He said he hoped Tom Brady’s wife showed up because she was hot and hopefully her sister too. He said the Cowboys would come out with “All guns blazing.” He showed that remarkable lack of self awareness & empathy that is usually reserved for Sociopaths, Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers and Australian Billionaires.
…. People were upset because they thought Hardy would show some restraint in his comments. By all accounts he is lucky not to be doing long term time in a Federal Penitentiary. The nature of his domestic violence escapades involved a woman being forcefully confined, abused, threatened and menaced to the brink. It specifically involved her being tossed onto a bed, on top of a vast arsenal of guns that would have made a Jihadist drool.
…. After slithering through his legal problems, court appearances & lost wages, the NFL hoped that Hardy would have the temerity to play it down low.
….. What were they thinking? ….. Chairman Goodell sure isn’t going to intervene with a fine or public statement. He’s terrified of making any ruling or voice a tough opinion after his string of embarrassing losses regarding appeals of his suspension edicts. In fact, for the better part of the month, Roger the Dodger has gone Amelia Earhart and has been harder to locate than D.B. Cooper.
….. Greg Hardy is a piece of crap. Which makes him perfect for Jerry Jones and his Cowboys who now only halfheartedly conjure up the usual barely feasible bullshit reasons for media consumption as to why this guy truly deserves a second chance, ….. it is the American way to forgive, …… we’re helping with his rehabilitation, …. we’re making donations to women’s shelters all over the state of Texas, …. the whole Cowboy organization is a family, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
….. Strangely, we like the Girls to cover this spread in a game that might be better than anticipated. And if not, a possible backdoor cover with Boise State’s Kellen Moore coming off the bench to relieve the ambiguous Brandon Weeden.
Pick: COWBOYS (+10.5)
Bob: NE -10.5
Denver (-3.5) @ OAKLAND 43.5
…. Raiders went way too conservative last week in Chicago in the second half and blew the lead and the game to Cutler and the Bears. It was back to the Jack del “Know It All” Rio approach to snapping defeat from the jaws of victory that guided the Jacksonville Jaguars to total mediocrity over the last half of his lengthy tenure there.
….. Peyton Android is happier in the shotgun, and it helped Denver to a close victory over the visiting Vikings last week. However, the Denver defense was most responsible for that win and we doubt their average secondary can stop the Raiders’ deep threats.
…. Del Rio will leave tight ends, fullbacks & h-backs in to block that excellent Bronco pass rush and allow for Derek Carr to constantly test the Denver pass defense.
….. Big game in Oaktown, sold out against a hated rival. Raiders take another step.
Pick: RAIDERS (+3.5)
Bob: Denver -3.5
8:30 pm Eastern
San Francisco @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-8) 43
…. Colin Kaepernick, you are not Russell Wilson! …. that is according to Packers’ Roid Warrior Clay Matthews who screamed at you after watching you try to scramble and throw last week.
….. You are also not Montana, Young, Brodie, Garcia, DeBerg, Y.A. Tittle or even Alex Smith. Those Forty Niner Quarterbacks knew how to win. …. If they simplify the playbook for you anymore, you will be able to abandon the wrist band because even you can remember 10 different plays.
…. Always dangerous to back the Giants as big chalk, because they tend to play down to teams they should beat and up to the opponents that are big favourites.
…. Despite the Niners playing decent defense at home against the Packers last week, we have zero faith in their offense, quarterback, coaching & karma. Especially coming East to the swamps of Jersey to play in prime-time.
Pick: GIANTS (-8)
Bob: Giants -8
Monday, October 12, 2015
8:25 pm Eastern
Pittsburgh @ SAN DIEGO (-3) 45.5
….. Chargers are the healthiest they have been all year, ….. except for their battered offensive line. The return of TE Antonio Gates from his 4 game suspension for flirting with Ponce de Leon therapy will be a big boost for Phillip Rivers.
….. The Steelers and Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley choked away a Thursday night game against the Ravens, but do get 11 days rest.
….. Tough call, but the Steelers also have the difference maker in QB Michael Vick starting again for injured Big Ben. Vick will make all the difference here, that is why we will be taking………
Pick: CHARGERS (-3)
Bob: SD -3