(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…

warof1812(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.) Sunday, December 28, 2014

1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Carolina @ ATLANTA (-3.5)

…. The fair-weather fans of Georgia will be out in force for this NFC South title game. Can Superman Cam & the Panthers pull this one out on the road?

…… No! ….. too much Falcon offense & an improving defense in the very loud Georgia Dome will prove too much for “Nine Lives Lucky” Panther Cam Newton.

Pick: FALCONS (-3.5)
Bob: Carolina +3.5

Cleveland @ BALTIMORE (-8.5) 42.5

……. Last week in another Browns’ loss in Carolina, Johnny Hamstring went down from a routine NFL hit in the first half, … out for the game, season and possibly career. Too bad, because his 3/8 for 32 yards start was taking him on a pace to eclipse his career best performance from the previous week.

….. Baltimore laid the biggest egg of the weekend behind the steady leadership of Joe “The Contract” Flacco. They lost 25-13 to Houston whose quarterback Case Keenum had been signed exactly five days before & had time only to give the Texans’ playbook a cursory look-over.

{ A cursory look-over similar to the financial assessment given by the large, female, cleaver wielding former linebacker pawnbroker examining Junior Frenger’s stolen silver dollar collection in “Miami Blues” just prior to amputating three of his fingers and falling victim herself to his sociopathic induced mayhem. }

….. Earlier in the week, President Obama, speaking about the hoopla around the Sony hacking scandal & the release delay of “The Interview” misidentified James Franco as “Flacco.”

…. In may have been a slip, but it may also have been a portent of similar bad fortune to come for the real Flacco & his Ravens in Houston. Flacco played like a man going through a non contact spring drill with weights sewn into his uniform, …… either that or he once again forgot to leave his wallet, billfold & money clip in the locker room and decided for security reasons to carry their cumulative 10 pound weight around all afternoon inside his helmet.

…. So how you can you trust the Ravens? A win over the New Browns by the Carpetbagger Browns could put Baltimore in the playoffs. The problem is that their field general leads them with the consistency, loyalty & confidence that Horatio Gates led his Continental Army units against the British in the Revolutionary War.

….. Gates was a retired British General who joined the Americans in the 1776 conflict. He was inept, vain, pathetic & a poor communicator who consistently was beaten by smaller, less well equipped soldiers. What was worse is that he tried to exaggerate his skill in claiming all the credit for the defeat of the British at Saratoga.

….. He then traitorously worked behind the scenes to overthrow George Washington as leader and have him replaced by himself.

….. Hoyer will be leading the Browns again with Johnny Manziel’s hangnail injury. He is fighting to reestablish his reputation so he can stay in the NFL. He is a fighter, and if WR Josh Gordon can concentrate enough to actually run the correct pass routes, Browns should keep it close against their most hated rival.

Pick: Browns (+8.5)
Bob: Ravens -8.5

Dallas (-6) @ WASHINGTON 50

…. Not much for the bovine rustlers to play for here. Trampoline faced owner must see the light and rest his stars.

…. RG III has a lot to play for & Washington has played with spirit & hatred despite their ineptitude. They’ll have no problem giving their best effort against their most despised rival.

Bob: Washington +6

Indianapolis (-7) @ TENNESSEE 47

….. Colts took last week off in Dallas, so why try this week with even less to play for. Even with WR T.Y. Hilton back, the Horseshoes should just go in the tank, and hope to sandbag everyone and turn it on next week with a home game in the playoffs.

….. The Titans don’t appear to be tanking, they’re just really bad.

…. However, under the circumstances, Charlie Whitehurst will lead the Greek Gods to a season ending victory ending the franchise’s longest losing streak.

Pick: TITANS (+7)
Bob: Titans +7

Detroit @ GREEN BAY (-8) 48

….. Looks like the Lions will be without Centre Dominic “Sasquatch” Raiola for the game. Pending appeal, he will serve a one game suspension for grape stomping a Chicago lineman last week. The move was typical behaviour for the longtime veteran from Nebraska. Earlier in the year he attempted to utilize Irish Republican Army tactics on the Patriots’ kneecaps during kneel downs. During the Bears’ game he apparently mocked certain players’ mental issues & medications that he ascertained knowledge of from watching NFL channel player features & surfing Facebook.

…. The Lions last won in Green Bay 23 years ago during Operation Desert Storm. A righteous foray into the Middle East that eventually resulted in the removal of a merciless dictator and gave the region democracy, stability and peace.

…. Could this be the week the Lions end that streak & Matt Stafford’s 18 game streak of not beating a winning team on the road?

Pick: PACKERS (-8)
Bob: Packers -8

Jacksonville @ HOUSTON (-9.5) 40.5

….. This could be a tougher game than the spread indicates, with two teams who have given effort all year.

…. Texans’ fans may think Jadeveon Clowney has been a bust this year, with his lack of effort & season ending injuries, but he’ll be back. QB Case Keenum is already back, and another week of learning the Texans’ playbook means he will have more success in the Red Zone this week.

….. Houston keeps their slim-none chances to go to the playoffs alive & pulls away in the fourth quarter behind hometown boy & ex Houston Cougar Keenum.

Pick: TEXANS (-9.5)
Bob: Jags +9.5

San Diego @ KANSAS CITY (-3)

…… Kansas City could still make the playoffs by winning, getting help from some other unlikely results and clandestinly sneaking into the playoffs. Most experts feel the Chiefs have no chance, especially with QB Alex Smith out with a ruptured spleen. That means Chase Manhattan Daniel will be starting for the Chiefs, further lessening their slim chances.

…. But that is what they said about the Germans’ chances of conquering France in World War II after their invasion of the Low Countries in 1940. Irwin Rommel then snuck his 7th Division through the Ardennes forest.

….. At the direction of commander Heinz Guderian, Rommel was tasked with crossing the Meuse river at night and proceeding through the Belgian forest undetected & seizing the town of Sedan. He crossed the Meuse by quickly driving motorcycles over an unmapped two part stone dam and seizing a bridgehead. This led to the splitting of the allied forces & the quick defeat of France, resulting in major promotion & accolades for Guderian, Rommel & the Wehrmacht. It also gave much needed domestic credibility to Hitler and his grandiose megalomania.

….. To simultaneously encourage their sneaky long shot playoff possibilities and embrace the festive season, the Chiefs plan on playing Clarence Carter’s “Backdoor Santa” all afternoon over the Arrowhead sound system.

…… That is as long as the crack team of NFL head office censors and moral watchdogs are preoccupied with editing the script of Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and don’t actually listen to the lyrics of this under the radar Christmas carol classic.

Pick: CHARGERS (+3)
Bob: SD +3

New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! @ MIAMI (-5) 42

……. Northern England’s most famous vocal stylist passed away this week. Sheffield’s Joe Cocker died at the age of 70 from lung cancer. Cocker poured his heart and soul into his art. He lived hard, played hard & worked hard.

….. Joe Cocker was a lot like the Jets’ defence under Rex Ryan. Blue-collar guys who never quit.

….. Jets keep it close like they have all year, but this time they win over a Dolphin team who has had less time to digest the notion that season has been an abject & total failure.

Pick: Jets (+5)
Bob: Jets +5

Chicago @ MINNESOTA (-7)

1.) The Grammys were once called “The Grammophone Awards.”

2.) Beirut, Lebanon was once called “The Paris of the Mediterranean.”

3.) Jay Cutler was once called a great quarterback with a big arm, leadership skills and solid decision making abilities.

…… Cutler starts again with Jimmy Clausen getting a concussion last week. Enough said.

Pick: VIKINGS (-7)
Bob: Vikings -7

Buffalo @ NEW ENGLAND (-10)

….. As the clock clicked down on the Bills in Oaktown last week, the notion that they would miss the playoffs yet again, painfully sunk into the minds of their long suffering fans.

…… They hadn’t felt a chilling dose of sporting reality like it in Western New York since the realization that Joe Mesi did not possess a chin.

…… With the Patriots clinching the kitchen sink of playoff goodies thanks to Sunday’s results, they have nothing left to play for. That means Bill Belichik should rest his stars, but that didn’t stop him in the past & he lost former WR Wes Welker in a meaningless game like this.

….. Bills’ coach Doug Marrone is playing for his job here after once again punting on fourth and short last week and handing the game to the Raiders. The question is “Will the Bills play for his job?”

….. Probably they will just enough, and even Belichik will wake up to sanity and sit GQ Brady & start Jimmy “Vidal Sassoon” Garoppolo.

Pick: Bills (+10)
Bob: New England -10

Philadelphia @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-3)

Biggest Surprises of the past week:

1.) Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles somehow, miraculously, possibly through the power of Divine Intervention was found innocent of violating the extremely strict FSU personal conduct policy. As a result he will be playing in the inaugural “So called National College Football Playoff.”

2.) ESPN Analyst & former Heisman Winner Desmond Howard actually made an intelligent, cognizant observation while covering a Bowl game without giggling like an inebriated hyena at some joke he continues to silently tell himself without letting the audience in on it.

3.) Chip Kelly & the Philadelphia Eagles somehow, shockingly lost the NFC East Division title, a playoff birth & their swagger when Mark Sanchez uncharacteristically started missing easy passes, throwing interceptions, fumbling & stunningly folding under the pressure of a run for the playoffs.

…… We still can’t get our heads around these developments. Yes we called him the “Human Hand Grenade,” but that was just meant as good natured irony like calling Vince Wilfork, Jamie Nails or Grady Jackson “Tiny.”

…. There was nothing, just absolutely nothing we could see in Mark Sanchez’s past play for the USC Trojans or the New York Jets that prepared us for the horrors that we witnessed unfold on the field the last few weeks.

Pick: Giants (-3)
Bob: Philly +3

New Orleans (-3.5) @ TAMPA BAY

……. Does the total ineptitude of the Saints eclipse the desire of the Buccaneers to go head first to the bottom of the septic tank to ensure a shot at drafting the Hawaiian Duck or the Tallahassee Shoplifter to play quarterback for them next year?

….. We truly just don’t know.

Pick: BUCCANEERS (+3.5)
Bob: Saints -3.5

4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time

Oakland @ DENVER (-14) 48.5

….. Kansas Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder who sponsored the word for word language drafted by Citigroup into the “Cromnibus” bill that slithered its way through Congress last week has disappeared. Yes, the Dodd Frank Compliance Act has had most of its provisions stripped thanks to this action, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

….The major banks, investment houses & stock brokerages will surely seize this opportunity to make a lot more of the profits they justifiably feel entitled to through the magic of new forms of derivatives & complex packages of toxic mortgages.

…… Through the magic of “Trickle-Down Economics” the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny & Tinkerbell will then sprinkle all the spare nickels and dimes leftover from their success on the peasants’ sleeping bodies, filling their beds with enough surplus economic largess so that they can all send their children to college. The American economy will prosper.

…… We are sure that Wall Street will be more careful than they were in 2008 and this time they will not teeter the world economy all the way over the tipping point to complete collapse. Thank goodness that if they do make a few mistakes, it won’t hurt their profitability too much, because this time a lot of their responsible gambling will be covered by the taxpayers through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

…… Congressman Yoder has not been available for comment since the bill’s passing and nobody seems to know where he could be, which is really too bad. We would all like to thank him for his selfless act.

….. He could be on the Appalachian Trail finding himself like other politicians have been known to do. Or maybe he is stuck in an airport toilet playing footsie with his unpaid intern in the neighbouring cubicle.

…… Most likely he is volunteering at a neighborhood soup kitchen over the holidays tending to the most needy. I hope he takes that opportunity to explain to all those people that their ship is soon coming in, opportunity is just around the corner, every dog has its day, there will be a chicken in every pot and God is smiling on them & will soon reward them with material wealth because that is what his Christian faith has taught him.

….. Like the Honorable Congressman from the Sunflower State, Peyton Manning’s arm strength has also gone missing over the last couple of weeks.

…. Raiders hate the Broncos and their defence should keep this close. Inside information says that the locker room loves coach Sparano & hopes a good performance here will make Mark Davis consider keeping him as head coach as nobody else he has called seems to want the job.

Pick: Raiders (+14)
Bob: Raiders +14

Arizona @ SAN FRANCISCO (-6) 37

…… Arizona’a quarterback woes continue. Early in the week, Bruce Arians announced that rookie Logan “Paul Bunyan” Thomas out of Virginia Tech would start for the Cardinals in this crucial game that could still make the Cards the #1 seed in the NFC.

…… Then after watching the 6’7″ 260 pound QB stumble through practice he changed his mind. Thursday, he announced that Ryan “Mercury Blues” Lindley would regain the starting job. This was after more phone calls to Kurt Warner begging him to return were ignored. It appears that Mr. Warner wants to continue living a normal life and has no desire to get concussed by rabid defensive linemen & linebackers.

…. So we guess Moses will not lead the Cardinals to the promised land which is not so far away since the Super Bowl is in their home stadium.

…. San Francisco is playing out the string with a lame duck coach, a regressing quarterback, disillusioned fans paying Klondike Gold Rush prices in their spanking new stadium & a host of thugs with growing rap sheets. The Forty Niners have addressed this last point by releasing DE Ray McDonald after he got into another unfortunate domestic dispute with a paramour that probably just revolved around a misunderstanding over proper silverware place settings or toilet seat etiquette.

… The fact that the Forty Niners had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just prior to the decision played no role in McDonald’s release. San Francisco just wants to be a good partner in the NFL family and follow the spirit of Commissar Goodell’s new player code of conduct policy.

….. This could be a Roaring Twenties era game of dominant defence and end 3-0, or 6-3. In that case, Cards cover.

Pick: Cardinals (+6)
Bob: Carsinals +6

Saint Louis @ SEATTLE (-13) 41

….. Another terrible letdown by the Rams last week as they got beat at home by the Giants. Reflecting the sensitive ego & petty vindictiveness of their head coach Jeff Fisher, they decided to gang swarm New York rookie phenom wide out Odell Beckham at every opportunity rather than concentrate on the game.

… It worked out well, countless penalties, crucial coverage mistakes, Beckham going Plasticman and the Rams lose worse than the score reflects.

….. Oh well, at least the game was spirited, and the fights were real and entertaining.

…. Still, the Rams-Giants game was only the second best Footbrawl this week. The Holy War Donnybrook at the end of the inaugural “Miami Beach Bowl” between Brigham Young and Memphis was something to behold. This came was chippy all afternoon, so at the end of Overtime it was no surprise that the Cougars & Tigers engaged in some tooth, fang & claw fur flying fisticuffs when Memphis pulled it out.

….. Everybody was embarrassed & apologetic after including the Deputy Mayor of Miami, the Bowl organizers and the Coaches, Athletic Directors & Administrators from both schools.

….. What did they expect? The players were just trying to acknowledge the zeitgeist of the Metropolis they were playing in and the rich football tradition of the region after watching ESPN’s part two of the “U.”

….. Seattle looks like they are coasting to the #1 Overall seed in the NFC, but beware of the Rams & their defence, especially after a dumb-ass performance like last week.

…… Rams cover a spread that is just a little too large for the Seahawks & their still flawed offence.

Pick: Rams (+13)
Bob: Rams +13

8:35 pm Eastern Standard Time

Cincinnati @ PITTSBURGH (-3.5)

…. Bengal’s “D” is rounding into shape & Andy Dalton has a running game to masque his passing inconsistencies that include consistent high trajectory passes that endanger the ribs/careers/lives of his wide receivers, tight ends & running backs. The Bengals are in the playoffs again after hitting, confusing & intercepting Peyton “The Rusting Machine” Manning last Monday, but this game is for the AFC North title.

….. Bengals seek revenge for that bad fourth quarter last month, against the Steelers. Unfortunately Dalton & three other Bengals have the flu this week. This game still could come down to a field goal which means Bengals cover.

Pick: Bengals (+3.5)
Bob: Bengals +3.5

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