War of 1812 Football Prognostications

by Mr. Brutal, Special to Buffalo Sports Page

 

 

                      …… Sunday, November 12, 2017  ……

 

Bye:  Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Baltimore.

 

               ………. 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time……

 

  New Orleans (-3) @ BUFFALO  46.5 

We can only hope that ten days off after last Thursday’s uninspiring, deflating loss to the Jets is behind the Bills.  Those potential midweek, career-ending injury games have only one positive: An extra three days of rest till the next game.  Buffalo is anxious to show that last week’s disaster was an aberration.  The Saints are anxious to show they are a Super Bowl contender.

A close game, but the Saints playing in the cold means we’ll take the ‘Twelfth Man,’ the Western New York elements, the extra days of preparation, the three points and the Bills.

Brutal: BILLS +3

  Bob: Bills +3

 

Green Bay @ CHICAGO (-5.5)  38 

It is amazing how bad head coach Mike McCarthy’s record is without Aaron Rodgers starting.  We forget the actual numbers, something like 2-5-1.  Anyway, well below White House approval ratings.

This record is calling into question McCarthy’s overall competence.  One has to also wonder about their scouting department after drafting Brett Hundley Jr. at quarterback.  He looks lost.  His throws are inaccurate, he doesn’t read defenses well and makes fundamental mistakes like a freshman, despite being in the Packer system for two and a half years.

We have to believe he is familiar with the scheme, so he can’t use the infamous excuse of an ex Buffalo Bills’ signal caller when he was pressed into action on just a week’s notice ( although he had been on the roster all year ).  Legendary Washington Huskie quarterback Billy Joe ‘Gun-rack’ Hobert, after failing miserably in his Buffalo debut, commented in the post game press conference that he had been unprepared for the game because he hadn’t really read the playbook yet.

He was promptly released.  So much for honesty with the press.

The problem with the Packers & Hundley is one of expectations.  At UCLA, for his first two years starting, he was a pretty good 2/3 quarterback ( two yards rushing for every three passing ).  This is fine for College.  He usually ran for 100 yards and threw for 200.  Sensitive to his pro football prospects, in his Junior year he tried to throw more from the pocket.

If you only look at the statistics, he did marginally better, but sharp scouts saw him regress in consequential areas.  Without him threatening to run as much in big games against the best opposition, his throwing mechanics, pocket preseance & propensity to panic were all called into question.  His interceptions came at crucial times in games and key passes were often badly thrown into the ground, the stands or the opposing team’s eager hands.

Watching him struggle at home last Monday night against Detroit was deja vu for all UCLA Bruins’ football fans.

Speaking of UCLA, they must really be proud of their men’s basketball team touring China right now.  They’re over there playing Georgia Tech in some sort of money grubbing, brand building, indentured servitude exploitation tour of “student athletes” cooked up by the Pac 12 and the NCAA.

Three Bruins’ players, including LiAngelo Ball, brother of the Los Angeles Lakers’ savior and allergic to sinking field goals Lonzo Ball, were detained for shoplifting designer sunglasses.

Idiots!

Did they not notice while they were walking around China that all three of them are each over a foot taller than the average citizen of that lovely “People’s Republic?” ….. That there aren’t many other people of their specific heritage either ( like none, other than a few fellow basketball players working in China )? ….. or, …. that in the Sino culture, the curious population does tend to stare at people who are very tall and look different than them, no matter where on the planet they came from originally?

Walking outside in public in China, this would have become apparent to almost anybody within seconds, yet these rocket scientists thought they wouldn’t be conspicuous while shopping in expensive stores and “allegedly” applying the five finger discount to overpriced designer merchandise.  We say allegedly because they haven’t been charged or convicted yet.  If this thing goes through the entire legal process ( we doubt it, ) they could be doing hard time, because China’s infallible justice system has a 99.7% conviction rate for crimes of this nature.

Presently these three geniuses are under house arrest ( like Trumps ex-campaign manger Paul Manafort ) at their luxury hotel.

Coincidentally, the Commander and Chief himself is presently in China on an Asian diplomatic mission, maybe he will come to visit the boys to get a feel for what being under house arrest is like at a luxury hotel?

Coincidentally as well, President Trump is the only man on the planet presently getting headlines who is a more divisive, bombastic and delusional kleptocratic crypto-capitalist than LiAngelo’s father, LaVarr Ball.

Mr. Trump has been on quite a roll over there on this junket, confusing most of his Asian hosts with his lack of rudimentary historical knowledge in between delivering off-the-cuff remarks insulting cuisine, music, gifts and the general rules of economics while somehow blaming the Obama Administration for everything from the current trade deficit with China, the “War on Christmas” and the sissy players of today’s NFL.

Our favorite moment was one little covered by the press, since the shadow of all his other bombastic statements and cringing ass kissing of the Chinese government took priority in the 24 hour news cycle we now live in.  In a move right out of the ‘Diplomacy for Idiots’ handbook, Mr. Trump decided to sabre rattle a little more with the dictator of North Korea while he was in his neighborhood.

In a disjointed, vague, then shocking statement he warned Kim Jon-un not to cross the United States.  He told Pyongyang’s fearless leader and greatest Elvis Impersonator something along the lines of ( and we paraphrase, because he was mumbling and some things were unclear ):

“Many, many many countries have made this mistake in the past, ….. and had (sic) paid a very, very, very, severe, awesome, …. terrible, terrible, ultimate price.   They were humiliated and crushed!  They have regretted it ever since.  Bad, very bad, …. don’t do it, … regret!  too late, …… we have some surprises in store. …. devastation, devastation? …. yes, devastation to make your head spin, ….. like the world has never seen the likes of before!”

….. and he delivered that gem on Japanese soil while the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe sat ten feet away, …… both of them merely miles away from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Without Aaron Rodgers the Packers’ season is a disaster of less historically significant and non- nuclear proportions.  The Bears will likely win and cover this spread, despite starting their own inexperienced quarterback.  Mitchell Trubisky went only 4/7 three weeks ago in the 17-3 Chicago victory over the Carolina Panthers.  He did a little more two weeks ago, but the Bears lost.

Chicago comes in off the Bye and Green Bay has the short week after that pathetic loss to Detroit on Monday night.  That’s 15 days of rest against 6, to cover a 5 and a half point spread.  We cautiously take the Bears.

Brutal:  BEARS -5.5

 Bob:  Bears -5.5

 

Cleveland @ DETROIT (-12)  43.5

The umpteenth remake of ‘Murder on the Orient Express‘ is being released this weekend.  Spoiler alert:  They’re all in on it!

Much like it appears the entire Browns’ front office is in on it! ….. that is, in on sabotaging this team and grinding them down into the mud.  Word comes out that maybe the aborted trade for the Bengals’ backup quarterback A.J. McCarron a week ago was maybe not a case of incompetence as much as Agatha Christie caliber subterfuge and misdirection.

The story goes that Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown was not a fan of the trade because McCarron didn’t score well on Brown’s sophisticated ‘Sabremetric’ evaluation system.  However, Cleveland owner & Truckstop Godfather Jimmy Haslem likes his head coach Hue Jackson and actually listens to him occasionally, bypassing the front office chain of command run by Sashi Brown.

Jackson likes McCarron’s potential.  He worked with him in Cincinnati when he was offensive coordinator and feels he can win with McCarron.  As a result, Haslem took the endorsement and pushed the front office to make the trade.

Strangely, the Browns rejected the Bengals’ offer 45 minutes before the trade deadline.  Then five minutes before the deadline, Cleveland told Cincinnati they accepted the offer, but instead of forwarding the trade to the NFL head office as per protocol, ….. they faxed it to the Bengals.  With no time to spare or proof read the notice, the Bengals who were confused by this, immediately sent it to New York.  It missed the deadline.

The trade that was sent to the NFL office wasn’t the one the Bengals had last offered, so it was not only late but technically invalid anyway.  Apparently Browns’ owner Haslem went ballistic.  He was screaming, yelling, stomping his feet and threatening any of his front office staff within throwing distance after this screw-up.  Insiders say Sashi Brown deliberately blew up this trade, but we really don’t know.

He has denied it.  Sashi Brown has yet to be fired.  He has also yet to awaken next to the severed head of American Pharoah.

It’s one thing to believe in your philosophy, but inflexible adherence to unproven statistical protocols is the sign of a fool.  Sabremetric analysis has proven to be of real use in baseball but has yet to show it can be applied to football where character, intuition and determination often trump logarithms, calculus & statistics.  The simple facts are it hasn’t worked in Cleveland.  They are 0-8 for heaven’s sake and there are few signs of hope on the horizon.

This isn’t really a surprise when it comes to Sashi.  Brown has no football experience.  He is a high priced lawyer who only worked previously for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but only in a legal capacity.

We hope Mr. Haslem didn’t hire him just because his last name was the same as his team’s name and he thought that bode good karma.  Despite this, we’ll take Cleveland to cover in the Motor City.

Brutal: Browns +12

  Bob: Browns +12

 

Cincinnati @ TENNESSEE (-4.5)  40.5

A.J. Green, who never says a word, went MMA last week.  The Pro Bowl Cincinnati receiver almost strangled Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey and threw a half dozen punches before being ejected.  Now, Green did take a cheap-shot earlier in the game that went uncalled, but his blowup was still out of line.

On the other hand, Ramsey is as annoying as they come.  He has made a tonne of enemies already in the NFL, and one awaits the day he will be crack backed by a vigilante offensive lineman during an interception return by one of his Jaguar teammates.

Tennessee & Cincinnati have usually produced close games with each other over the years, so we’ll take the dog and the points.

Brutal: Bengals +4.5

  Bob: Titans -4.5

 

Pittsburgh (-10) @ INDIANAPOLIS  44

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay this week showed more signs that his perpetual 1960’s psychedelic flashbacks are back in spades, when he claimed that QB Andrew Luck’s non-return to the team may be all in the player’s mind.  The Drugstore Cowboy seems to think that Luck is just fine and can return to play once he gets over a mental block and just decides to gut it out.

All of his doctors fervently disagree.  Luck won’t be back this year.

In related news, Colts’ CB Vontae Davis was cut this week after he announced that he was going to have season ending surgery.  Indianapolis disagreed with this decision because Davis decided to give the green light to go under the knife only after getting a second opinion from somebody other than the team doctor, who felt he could keep playing without the surgery.

Jim Irsay and the Colts’ front office are to medical science what Jerry Jones is to egalitarianism.

Regardless, QB Jacoby Brissett may have Lou Gehriged Andrew ‘Wally Pipp’ Luck anyway.  He  has looked more than reasonable and the Colts played well on both sides of the ball last week in their big win in Houston.  They have a good chance at least for the backdoor cover.

Brutal:  COLTS +10

  Bob: Colts +10

 

  New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! (-2.5) @ TAMPA BAY  43.5

Jameis Winston idolizes Cam Newton and we can certainly see why.  They were both highly recruited college quarterbacks who played for high profile squads in the South.  They both had great success on those teams.  They both came to the pros with big expectations.

….. and now they are both perceived as thin skinned, immature professionals who lack the proper social skills & mental makeup to be considered consistent and effective leaders.

Last week, taking a page from the Cam Newton school of wafered epidermis reactions, Jameis took another step towards achieving his goal of impressionist nirvana.  In New Orleans, while playing badly, Jameis decided to have words with Saints’ cornerback Marshon Lattimore on the Tampa Bay sidelines.  The fearless leader took his helmet off (for greater television exposure ala Cam), and then started poking his accusatory finger in the New Orleans’ player’s face.

This triggered WR Mike Evans to defend his quarterback, even though Jameis appeared to be the agent provocateur.  Possibly inspired by Claude Lemieux, Matthew Barnaby or Dave “Killer” Carlson, Evans cruised in from the blindside and delivered an epic cheap-shot to Lattimore’s back.  A brawl ensued.  It so lifted the Buccaneers that they promptly collapsed and ended up getting beat by twenty points.

 

For his trouble, Mike Evans got a one game suspension which seemed surprisingly light.  There are rumours that Winston has lost the locker room.  Just another area where he is emulating and maybe surpassing the behaviour of his idol.

No Evans, no leadership, plus the Jets come in off ten days rest and a big divisional win means the Jets! Jets! Jets! will achieve victory by at least a field goal.

Brutal:  Jets -2.5 

   Bob: Jets -2.5

 

  Minnesota (-1) @ WASHINGTON  42.5

Little Danny Snyder had a bad week at the recent League meetings.  The Napoleon of the Potomac was shunned to the empty table in the far corner of the cafeteria, just like he was for his entire high school lunch career.  Seems his fellow owners on several committees didn’t want his input into the crucial issues that preoccupy the NFL soap opera.

Good news though, Jerry Jones of the Cowboys was also shunned along with Bob McNair of the Houston Texans.  This means Danny has some new powerful friends to commiserate with who also need his support.  He immediately joined their ‘Second Triumvirate of the Romans’ in their goal to unseat Emperor Goodell.

Historically speaking, that alliance was successful, but resulted in the end of the Roman Republic, much as Jones wants to deconstruct the NFL hierarchy at all costs and replace it with something of his own creation.

We don’t know if it will be successful, but history will probably remember the efforts of Jones & McNair as they are playing the roles of Octavian and Marc Antony.  Little Danny will be forgotten after the big boys consume the spoils.

He will forever be the Marcus Aemilius Lepidus of the group. consigned to history as an ineffectual, cuckolded appendage who was discarded after usage.

Brutal:  Vikings -1

  Bob: Vikings -1

 

San Diego @ JACKSONVILLE (-3.5)  41

The Chargers have played really well in the last month.  They get into a lot of close games and should be rested off the Bye.  They also flew in early to mitigate the effects of the East Coast-West Coast, Biggy Small-Tupac Shakur curse that plagues California football teams.

The Jaguars are all defense, but Rivers has a way of keeping his teams in games with his relentless fourth quarter drives.  For us, 3.5 points is too many for a team led by Blake Bortles and who once drafted Blaine Gabbert and thought he too would become an outstanding NFL quarterback.

This is the Chargers’ ninth straight road game because like Bela Lugosi in ‘Ed Wood,’ they have no permanent base of operations:

“Home? I have no home. Hunted… despised… living like an animal. The jungle is my home! But I will show the world that I can be its master. I shall perfect my own race of people… a race of atomic supermen that will conquer the world!”

San Diego wins one for Bela Lugosi and the recently departed Martin Landau who won an Academy Award portraying him in the movie.

 

  Brutal:  Chargers +3.5

  Bob: Chargers +3.5

…………. 4:05 pm – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ….

Houston @ LOS ANGELES RAMS (-12)  45.5 

Without quarterback DeShaun Watson the Texans are at the mercy of their owner and Civil Rights leader Bob McNair’s reluctance to okay the hiring of Colin Kaepernick ( “We can’t have the mental patients running the penitentiary!” ).

They are also at the mercy of the offensive genius of their head coach Bill O’Brien.  Until he reluctantly started Watson earlier this year, the Texans’ offense was continuing its three year decline under O’Brien’s magical guidance.

Earlier in the year, when asked why he wasn’t considering signing Kaepernick, Big Bill reasoned that “The guy hasn’t thrown a football in over a year, so we aren’t interested.”  Excellent logic.  So this week, after QB Tom Savage’s latest failure to launch against the Colts, the Texans signed journeyman Josh Johnson.

He hasn’t thrown an NFL pass in a game since 2011.

Good Luck Texans!

 

Brutal:  RAMS -12

  Bob: Texans +12

 

Dallas @ ATLANTA (-3)  50.5 

As we predicted, …. Jerry Jones has started his Palace Coup.  Yep!  The latest appeal of an appeal of an appeal in the spellbinding Ezekial Elliott court case means the Cowboys’ running back was ruled out of this Sunday’s game by the legal system.

We knew Jerry wasn’t going to let this pass.  He has a reputation to uphold, of being a stubborn, self obsessed, stretch faced pit bull that doesn’t know when to let go of the bone.  After being humiliated and marginalized at the last owners’ get together over caviar & champagne, we knew this suspension of his running back would be all too much for the Annie Liebovitz of restroom selfies to accept.

First he sent out his proxy mouthpiece Papa John Schnatter ( Jones owns 120 of these bread & ketchup dollar store pizza outlets ) to test the waters.  Schnatter blamed his company’s lousy third quarter earnings on Goodell’s leadership since football fans no longer order his bad pizza because they are so nauseated by the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.

That tactic didn’t go so well and to make matters worse, the Neo Nazis were inspired by Schnatter’s reasoning, so they came out and endorsed Papa John’s as their official Pizza.  Quite an endorsement!  An accolade like this courtesy of the Fourth Reich is certainly more interesting than being accepted as an official sponsor of those corrupt Olympics!

Well, maybe not.  Papa John’s immediately rejected the association and asked Alt. Right groups to not buy their pizza! …… but the damage may have been done.

So after that opening salvo fizzled, Jerry Jones got on the blower and tried to rally sympathetic owners to get a quorum to deep-six Goodell’s new contract extension that he now thinks is excessive ( He may be right, but he voted for it enthusiastically last summer ).  This didn’t work completely either, so Jerry went further.

He did what all billionaires do when their feelings get hurt.  He sued.  Jerry even brought in Harvey Weinstein’s main attorney ( Jerry always cares about the image optics of the NFL and despite his unrivaled track record of employing violent domestic abusers and the entire nature of the Ezekial Elliott affair, he brazenly announced this week at a press conference:  “The Cowboys have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for domestic abuse!”).

He not only brought court action against the NFL and Goodell, but some of his fellow owners.  Specifically, he is going after Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank who heads the ‘Compensation Committee’ and the other owners who are members of that group which oversee Goodell’s contract.

All of that makes this game just that more special this week in Atlanta.  We’d like to say we are betting on this cafeteria food fight with logic, but on this one we are going with our heart.

We’re taking the Falcons, because to the best of our recollection, unlike Papa John’s, Arthur Blank’s Home Depot chain has never been endorsed by The American Nazi Party, David Duke or the John Birch Society.

If the Cowboys lose this week in Atlanta, and the Cowboys’ owner fails to unseat Commissioner Goodell, it won’t be a total waste.  Jerry Jones is now the proud owner of 120 Papa John’s Pizza franchises that are now the home of the official pizza endorsed by the New York Times of racial hatred and intolerance, ….. The Daily Stormer.

 

Brutal:  FALCONS -3

   Bob: Falcons -3

 

 New York Football Giants (-2.5) @ SAN FRANCISCO  42.5

Duane Bobick, Geno Smith and Bruce the Mouse Strauss and more recently, the Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic all have something in common.  They have all been knocked out with a single punch.

We sure hope to see ‘Canvasback Geno’ in this game.  Obviously he is the future.  Giants’ QB Eli Manning is just a few years away from joining his brother on television, starring in never-ending commercials, shamelessly shilling for cardboard & cheap spaghetti sauce pizza with his older brother Peyton.  He should leave football know, before the Giants’ lack of an offensive line also leaves him like in a physical state like his big brother.

That means spending his time espousing Republican platitudes about family values, tax cuts and homey jokes while denying his wife uses HGH.  Peyton made and makes a lot of money, but he now ambles about with his neck vertebrae possessing the turning ratio & motor dexterity of Ray Bolger in the Wizard of Oz.

Forty Niners’ General Manager John Lynch says he may not play new prize Jimmy Garoppolo at all this year because it will take him that long to learn the new offense.  Really?  How hard can if be to master the nuances of the 0-8 juggernaut attack of the football powerhouse of the Bay Area?

If we didn’t know better, we’d say that the Forty Niners were tanking.

Tanking or not, we’ll back San Francisco even if the pride of the Iowa Hawkeyes, C.J. Beathard is at the controls once again.  We still like them better than the Giants who quit on coach Ben McAdoo in training camp.

Brutal: FORTY NINERS +2.5

 Bob: Niners +2.5

 

 

 

    ………… 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………..

 

New England (-7.5) @ DENVER  46.5

Ossweiler played really badly last week for Denver.  We hope the Jeff Fisheresque coaches of the Broncos will put Trevor Siemian back in or finally throw Memphis Tiger Paxton Lynch into the deep end of the pool

New England quarterback Tom Brady underwent 16 hours of spa therapy this week that included swamp orchid aromatherapy and a reverse osmosis colonic using sodium chloride mined from the Altai mountains of Mongolia.

New England is coming in off the Bye, but the Mile High altitude is bound to be enough to alter the performance of a 60 year old quarterback who has already been hit more times this year than in his last three seasons combined.

Patriots are still good, but the altitude, father time and an aggressive Bronco defence mean they will at least cover this number in a cold Sunday night game that will adversely affect Tom Brady’s arthritis.

Brutal: BRONCOS +7.5 

  Bob: Pats -7.5

 

     ………….. Monday, November 13, 2017 ……………..

 

………… 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………..

 

Miami @ CAROLINA (-9)  40

Cam Newton is a bad leader and extremely inconsistent.  However, he is quite talented and the Carolina roster is stacked on offense with viable weapons.  As much as we despise Jay Cutler, he is experienced and looked competent last week in the loss to the Raiders.

So, weighing those options, we’ll bet a pack of Marlboros ( and no more ), that the water mammals can cover a two score spread.

Brutal: Dolphins +9

  Bob: Dolphins +9

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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