War of 1812 Football Picks

by Mr. Brutal, Special to Buffalo Sports Page

                ….. Sunday, November 19, 2017  ……

Bye:  Indianapolis, New York Jets, San Francisco, Carolina.

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

Detroit (-3) @ CHICAGO  41

Detroit didn’t really impress us last week in giving up a load of yards and 24 points to Cleveland.  The Bears never impress us, but they were screwed by the worst rule in the NFL last week after losing a touchdown and ball possession after challenging another stupid ‘Football hitting the pylon play’ in their home loss to Green Bay.

Betting on this game makes us nervous.  The kind of nervous you get when spotting Judge Roy Moore of Alabama in the stands watching your daughter’s middle school volleyball game.

Brutal: BEARS +3 

  Bob: Bears +3

Jacksonville (-7.5) @ CLEVELAND  37.5 

Cleveland had a big first half lead last week in Detroit, and looked like they would be going into halftime with at least a tie, …… before falling apart at the Jaguars’ goal-line in a manner that can only be described as ‘Keystone Kops Reborn,’ ‘Time Management for Dummies 101,’ or more simply; ‘Vintage Clevelandesque.’

Their management may be sabotaging trades, but head coach Hue Jackson doesn’t need to sabotage the play calling, because it organically deteriorates on its own.

The Jaguars can reclaim the lead in the AFC South after the Titans’ collapse on Thursday in Pittsburgh.  They’ll probably win, even in the cold Lake Erie autumn, but not by over a touchdown.

Brutal: BROWNS +7.5

  Bob: Browns +7.5

Baltimore (-2) @ GREEN BAY  38  

Brett Hundley has one win under his belt after the Packers’ win over the inept Bears in Chicago.  Now he faces the declining Human ATM, Joe Flacco and the Ravens in Titletown.

Note to Clay Matthews the Third, linebacker for Green Bay:

“Supposedly the NFL is random testing this year for steroids and HGH.”

Do we really have to make a pick in this game?

Yes we do.

Brutal: PACKERS +2

   Bob: Ravens -2

Tampa Bay @ MIAMI (-1)  41

Saudi Arabia recently approved the use of female robots in the Kingdom.  The automatons will not have to wear headscarves, will be licensed to drive cars and go shopping without being chaperoned by men.

In other words, they will have all the freedoms that women don’t enjoy in that progressive land.  About the same rights as Dolphins’ players are permitted regarding pregame anthem demonstrations.

Brutal: DOLPHINS -1

  Bob: Tampa Bay +1

Los Angeles Rams @ MINNESOTA (-2)  46 

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer let the world’s worst secret out when he confirmed that Case Keenum would be starting over Teddy Bridgewater who hasn’t taken an in-game snap for 22 months.  Somehow, we don’t think the Rams altered their game planning or were thrown off by this obligatory, tired & useless trope of head coach subterfuge.  We have to belief the Rams have the edge here with the vikings short two starters in their secondary.

People in Los Angeles are finally warming to the Rams after getting over the Dodgers’ and their billionaire, starting pitchers major league choke job in the World Series.  In related news, the three UCLA basketball shoplifters returned to the United States.  Before they could fly home, deboard their plane & hold a press conference where they admitted responsibility, thanked the President and apologized to everybody, …… the President of the United States had already tweeted that they probably wouldn’t bother to thank him for helping to secure their release.

What a thin skinned, petty child, …. dog whistling to the base yet once again and sullying one of the few decent things he has done in his lifetime.  One has to wonder if the same type of cynical prediction & vitriolic reaction would have occurred with him and his followers if something similar had happened to the Penn rowing team while visiting overseas?

Speaking of Mr. Trump, we want to congratulate him on his successful tour of Asia ( He tells us it was the most successful overseas trip by any President of all time! ).

It was especially encouraging to see him physically able to visit Vietnam.  I guess his chronic case of debilitating bone spurs finally cleared up.

Brutal:  Rams -2

  Bob: Rams -2

Washington @ NEW ORLEANS (-7.5)  51 

Little Danny Snyder and his Washington football team head to New Orleans as a big underdog.  Sort of the position he finds himself in with the other NFL owners after aligning himself with fellow Republican Jerry Jones in his never ending feud with the League.

We kind of like the “Unmentionables” to cover here, since the Saints are bound to have a bit of a letdown after their whitewashing of the Buffalo Bills last week and somewhat over confidently still riding their longest winning streak in well over a decade.  Last week the Saints ran the ball 24 straight times.  It was reminiscent of Army, who earlier in the year, did not throw a pass in beating Fordham 64-6 in their 2017 season debut ( It briefly resulted in Army having the best passing rating in the NCAA ).

Speaking of the Republicans, they are encouraged by the blind faith and stubbornness of their “True Believer” base supporters.  After some polls showed embattled Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore spiking with Evangelicals and old, bitter white men during his bout with sexual predator allegations, the party has moved into future mode:

A steering committee has been immediately convened to explore the possibility of running Jared Fogle in the 2020 Indiana Governor race.

Brutal: Crimson Epidermis +7.5

  Bob: Washington +7.5

Kansas City (-10.5) @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS  44

Bill Clinton’s successful Presidential Campaign famously used Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow’ as a theme song.  At the start of his own Presidential run, Donald Trump tried to use Neil Young’s ‘Keep on Rocking in the Free World’ before he successfully did become the leader of the free world and fulfilled his life long ambition to experience unfettered access to pilfer, accumulate, tweet and hoard for the next four years.

After watching Attorney General Jeff Sessions appear before Congress this week, it is clear he has adopted his own running theme song:  Peter Gabriel’s ‘I Don’t Remember, I Don’t Recall.’

If somebody walking the street had cognitive recall this faulty, they would be at the least, committed into a manged care or assisted living facility due to a diagnosis involving debilitating Alzheimer’s or a similar form of advanced dementia.  Regardless, the ploy seems to be working for the elfin Attorney General.

The New York Giants have their own memory issues.  They are at that point where they can’t remember the glory days of being lectured by a chronically constipated curmudgeon of a head coach, being fined for being less than five minutes early for every meeting, regularly attending and winning Super Bowls while relying on a quarterback who showed at least medium ability and passable leadership qualities.

Brutal: Chiefs -10.5

Bob: Giants +10.5

Arizona (-1) @ HOUSTON  40

Recently, a 500 year old Leonardo da Vinci painting sold at auction for a record 450 million dollars.

That’s exactly 450 million dollars  more than QB Tom Savage is worth as an NFL quarterback.

Brutal: Cardinals -1

Bob: Texans +1

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

Buffalo @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-4)  43

( Notice to the Bills’ ownership and front office:  You are technically already in the Playoffs & have too many wins this year to resurrect the off season game plan to ‘tank’ the season for a top draft pick. )

Wow!  The Nathan Peterman era has begun.  The legendary Pitt star, best known from the convincing ‘Pinstripe’ Bowl loss to Northwestern last year in Yankee Stadium has taken the wheel.  Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has one bad game against New Orleans and gets benched.  He still has thrown less interceptions all season than Jay Cutler does in an average game.

Now we doubt that Buffalo will have as much road support as previous visitors have mustered this year playing in the Orange County soccer stadium, although even a token showing by the Bills’ Mafia will mean an outnumbering of the few loyal Charger home fans.

Good news for Buffalo though, ….. QB Phillip Rivers may not play.  He put himself in the concussion protocol after last week’s tough overtime loss in Jacksonville.  Some people are concerned that merely voluntarily entering into this agreement means something is even more seriously wrong with Rivers.  When people start to take actions that seem out of character, alarm bells go off.

Not for us.  Phillip Rivers deciding to self bench himself doesn’t worry us that he has lost the competitive edge or has acquired brain damage.

Now if he went out and got a vasectomy, then we’d be worried.

Brutal: Bills +4

Bob: Chargers -4

Cincinnati @ DENVER (-2.5)  39

The Bengals gave up All Pro OT Andrew Whitworth to free agency and the Rams, where he is playing flawlessly protecting QB Jared Goff’s blindside.  The Cincinnati line is just plain bad now.  Quarterback Andy Dalton is a year past his “Best Before” date.  His pocket presence continues to deteriorate along with his mobility.  It is hard to believe that he is the same guy who once ran the option with LaDainian Tomlinson at TCU.

WR A.J. Green is fed up with being double teamed, risking his health on wounded duck passes that risk his post retirement future living in a wheelchair and having to punch out opposing cornerbacks because nobody backs him up after being constantly targeted with cheap shots, game after game.  The other wideouts are mediocre and unproven.  The running back situation is three unhappy backs who can’t gain much anyway behind that line.

And of course, TE Tyler Eifert is hurt.  Again!

Their defence is okay, but gets tired because they are on the field all the time.  The special teams are atrocious and head coach Marvin Lewis looks more like Jeff fisher with each passing loss.

Weighing all of this we have to make a pick. …. and we will, because the Broncos may be even worse.

Brutal:  Bengals +2.5

Bob:  Broncos -2.5

New England (-7) @ OAKLAND  52.5

{ Mexico City }

We don’t know what combination of sorcery, science & witchcraft the Patriots have utilized in their quest for immortality, but it is disturbing.  What Faustian bargain, what compromise at the Crossroads, what lost map of Ponce de Leon’s, what picture of Dorian Gray was employed to bestow eternal youth upon their quarterback and Greek God Tom Brady?

….. And what miracle cure has been bestowed upon their new, productive acquisition?  What godly blessing has allowed TE Martellus Bennett to avoid surgery and be productive for the Patriots?  Just weeks ago he quit on the Packers.  He was released by Green Bay, claiming he needed season ending surgery after getting an outside medical opinion at coincidentally the same time it became apparent that QB Aaron Rodgers was going to be out for a long while.

The Patriots after beating the Broncos last week, stayed in Colorado and have been training to acclimatize themselves to the Mexico City altitude which is actually even higher than Denver.

The Raiders ( who won last year in Mexico ), have taken a very different, very California approach.  They have spent the week just outside of Oakland at the team Ashram, studying Buddhism, getting pedicures and attending lectures by Richard Gere, Gwyneth Paltrow & former NFL running back Ricky Williams.

Who says only Brady & the Patriots know how to prepare using modern celebrity endorsed, unorthodox means?

Brutal: RAIDERS +7

Bob: Raiders +7

 

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

Philadelphia (-3.5) @ DALLAS  48.5

Ezekial Elliott has withdrawn his latest appeal of his six game suspension regarding his domestic violence issues.  He’ll miss this game with the Eagles, but should be back at the end of the year for the rematch in Philly.  This is a double dose of misery for the owner of the Cowboys, the Arkansas Playboy & Perennial Kindergarten Nap-time Temper Tantrum, Jerry Jones.

Last week he was more than humiliated by his team’s 27-7 loss to the Falcons and their owner, his latest, worst enemy:  Arthur Blank.

Now the Dallas legal department & braintrust throws in the towel on the Elliott case because millions of dollars on retainer have proven nothing other than their cause is hopeless.  This may be because the NFL has even more billions of dollars on retainers with New York City law firms that can crush even Jones’ billions of dollars spent on lost cause legal delays & faint hope clauses.

The king-in-waiting will not be deterred however, he vows to continue the fight.  He awaits the return of his controversial running back before Christmas.  By that time, Jerry Jones will have successfully overthrown his oldest enemy and nemesis Roger Goodell and completed his Palace Coup that erupted more or less over this Ezekial Elliott situation.

Either that, or he will have died trying.

Jones is nothing if not relentless, shameless & grudging.  He never gave a damn about the Ray Rice debacle several years ago, but when domicile savagery reared its ugly head this year in J.R Ewingville, things were different.  He suddenly became Clarence Darrow, the ACLU and Thurgood Marshall all rolled into one in his quest for justice & the sacred pursuit of due process.  All this from a man who signed sociopath & current MMA wannabe Greg Hardy.

However, maybe the tide has turned and many of the other owners have had enough of this megalomaniac.  This week The NFL launched its own legal action against Jones, charging him with conduct detrimental to the League.  Essentially the Goodell faction is calling the Dallas owner a traitor.  Regardless, this is the type of public jurisprudence mudslinging that Jerry, ‘The Plastic Surgeons of America’s Best Friend’ relishes.

Jerry also loves history and legacy.  Now it is beyond unlikely that he will be forced to sell his franchise if he loses, but theoretically it is still possible.  So, congratulations Herr Jones, you’re now treading down the same path to infamy as Donald Sterling & Marge Schott.

This week, the NFC East leading Eagles come to town, and if that suddenly grossly incompetent offensive line doesn’t improve, Dallas will be blown out for the second week in a row.  It looked to us that it wasn’t  just the loss of offensive left tackle Tyron Smith last week that led to QB Dak Prescott getting pounded into the Atlanta field turf like a Bob Gaughan replacement divot, and if it was, ….. they’re still in trouble because he’s out for this game too.

By the time Zeke’s suspension is over, ‘Dem Cowboys’ will probably be mathematically eliminated from the NFL playoffs anyway, but there will be some new straw-man, cynical cause or bloated distraction for Jerry Jones to pursue.  There will always be something to occupy the Septuagenarian, 365 day a year, Human Halloween Mask’s relentless drive to be relevant, modern, noticed & praised.

After all, moral leaders are never caught with their pants down.

Brutal: Eagles -3.5

Bob:  Eagles -3.5

………. Monday, November 20, 2017 ……………………

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

Atlanta @ SEATTLE (-3)  45

Speaking of Arthur Blank, his team is back in the playoff mix after their humiliation of Jerry Jones & the Zekeless Cowboys last week in Atlanta.  Last year’s Super Bowl choke artists finally put together a strong second half in dispatching “America’s Self Appointed Team.”

The Seahawks are damaged goods.  They come in off ten days rest, but the length of their real injury list rivals the fake one Bill Belichick issues each week on behalf of the Patriots.

Brutal:  Falcons +3

Bob:  Falcons +3

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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