By Mr. Brutal, Special to Buffalo Sports Page
Every year, Bob Gaughan & Mr. Brutal engage in a cross border competition of picking each week’s NFL games against each other with unknown, yet very high stakes on the line for the year end.
………… Sunday, November 4, 2018 ……………..
…………… 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………
Chicago (-10) @ BUFFALO 37
With Derek “The Legend” Anderson likely sidelined due to concussion and the last gasp of “The Peterman” rearing its head to play quarterback for Buffalo yet again like a horror movie multi-sequel, …… all we’re going to say positive about the Bills is that ten points is a lot for the Bears to cover on the road.
Mr. Brutal: BILLS +10
Bob: Bears -10
Kansas City (-8.5) @ CLEVELAND 51
Great to see ex-Bills head coach Greg “The Bounty Hunter” Williams back as an NFL boss. He survived the “Sunday Night Slaughter” that saw head coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the team nutritionist and the secretary responsible for the weekly team bowling schedule all released by owner and Truckstop Godfather Jimmy Haslem.
Gunning for the removal of the interim status to his title while simultaneously trying to shoot down rumours that have the Browns hiring QB Baker Mayfield’s college coach Lincoln Riley as the permanent replacement, Williams has been taking action. This week he announced that the Browns had already adapted the most important aspects of the Sooner offense that Mayfield ran in Norman, Oklahoma into the Cleveland playbook.
Really Greg? Three days and you have the finer aspects of the Lincoln Riley air attack nailed down? That’s the cavalier approach to offense you adopted during your scintillating run of success in Buffalo.
Just a hunch, Browns play a little better on the attack this week without the control freak Todd Haley running the offense, Mayfield is freed up, and their defense plays its usual to cover against the most exciting team in the AFC and they keep it close.
Mr. Brutal: BROWNS +8.5
Bob: KC -8.5
New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! @ MIAMI (-3) 45
Surprise, …. there will be rain in south Florida on Sunday and that should just about drag this contest down into an intractable “Battle of the Somme” mindset of pace, imagination & attrition.
Mr. Brutal: Jets +3
Bob: Jets +3
Detroit @ MINNESOTA (-4.5) 49.5
The Lions salary dumped WR Golden Tate before the trade deadline, trading him to the Eagles for a pair of spare yard markers & a two wheeled chalk spreader, even though Detroit has no outdoor practice facility and play in a domed stadium.
The trade should help QB Carson Wentz and the Eagles, because last year in their run to winning the Super Bowl, Wentz threw sixteen touchdowns to his slot receivers. This year Carson has only one touchdown pass to an inside wideout. Say what you want about Tate, his exaggerated ego, the fact he played at Notre Dame ( those two things often seem to go together ), …. and his chronic disillusionment over his bogus touchdown reception that beat the Packers a few years ago ( when he played in Seattle ), ……. he is a competitor and can only help Philadelphia.
All of this is of no help to Detroit who seem to have given up on the season by adopting a “Glass half empty” philosophy. The Lions’ management has chosen to accept that they are in the cellar of the NFC North rather than just one game out of first place.
Detroit coach Matt Patricia demonstrated his New England Finishing School heritage at the weekly press conference when he berated a reporter for being disrespectful by slumping in his chair while asking Patricia a question about the Golden Tate trade.
Really? …. Matt Patricia is going to demand certain etiquette & decorum in the weekly Q & A? There is nothing like taking elocution lessons from a man who still dresses in a sweatshop wardrobe he robbed from a Goodwill store twenty years ago and whose overgrown beard still contains DNA from the last New England Patriots’ Super Bowl post game barbecue.
Mr. Brutal: VIKINGS -4.5
Bob: Vikings -4.5
Atlanta @ WASHINGTON (-1.5) 46.5
Washington has benefited from a fire sale dump-off at the trading deadline by getting ex Crimson Tide safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix from the Packers. They probably will win the NFC East this year due to its remedial status, but they aren’t a better team than the Falcons.
Atlanta (4-3), is in another must-win game, coming in off the bye after two consecutive wins with their healthiest roster of the year so far.
Mr. Brutal: Falcons +1.5
Bob: Falcons +1.5
Tampa Bay @ CAROLINA (-6.5) 54.5
John Dillinger had a fatal flaw in his attraction to bleached blondes, ….. Pablo Escobar could not resist calling his mom on unsecured cell phones, …. and we cannot ever trust QB Cam Newton to put a sixty minute effort together in back-to-back weeks. Fitzmagic rises again ( like Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes ) for a return engagement this week ( He’s still the second highest rated QB in the NFL ) and outguns the Auburn fashion-plate.
Mr. Brutal: Buccaneers +6.5
Bob: Bucs +6.5
Pittsburgh @ BALTIMORE (-3) 47
All logical signs say that these two teams will split the season series and we picked Baltimore earlier this season when they went into Steeltown and knocked off Pittsburgh in a very minor upset. The Ravens cost us last week though by forgetting to bring their offense to Carolina but that only means they are due for a rebound and we never subscribe to “all logical signs.”
Mr. Brutal: RAVENS -3
Bob: Ravens -3
…………….. 4:05 pm – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ………
Houston @ DENVER (-1) 46
Denver gave the Chiefs all they could handle last week in Kansas City but ended up losing by a touchdown. Everybody is on the Houston bandwagon, riding their five game winning streak and latest triumph last Thursday over the red algae infected Dolphins. The Texans did make a good trade this week too, for WR Demaryius Thomas to replace Will Fuller who is now gone for the year.
The Texans have barely beat the Giants, Colts, Cowboys and Bills during their winning streak and their only semi-impressive win was putting up twenty points on a Jacksonville defense that gave up because the Jaguar offense only managed three points. Denver is three and five, but their only bad loss was on the road against the Jets. They have been in every other game they’ve played this year. This contest is at altitude in Colorado and will be Houston’s toughest test. Despite WR Thomas returning to play his old team and the prospect of him going Roger Stone & Wikileaks against the Broncos by disclosing inside intelligence, we’ll take them anyway.
Mr. Brutal: BRONCOS -1
Bob: Broncos -1
San Diego @ SEATTLE (-1.5) 48
Good thing we have multiple televisions to simultaneously observe all of these late games together. This might be the best game of the day if the Male Sheep and the Roman Catholic Patrons of Piety game in Louisiana hits the skids. The Chargers are coming off the bye week and like the Seahawks, they are playing their best ball of the year, …… actually in maybe a decade because we can’t recall the Chargers being this healthy in that long.
We’ll take the points, Phillip Rivers and the exiled Chargers from San Diego ( after a very brief stay in Los Angeles for their inaugural season in 1960 ).
Mr. Brutal: Chargers +1.5
Bob: Chargers +1.5
Los Angeles (-1.5) @ NEW ORLEANS 60
Game of the week, month, season, decade? Well, we’ve been waiting for the Rams to stumble all year and it may as well be this week in the very loud Superdome. QB Drew Brees only needed to throw for a 100 yards last week to beat the Vikings in Minnesota, this week the all-time passing king might go off for 400 against a Ram defense that has been surprisingly good and not great this year. This spread has switched sides over the week, so we’re getting a few points. Yeah!
Mr. Brutal: SAINTS +1.5
Bob: Saints +1.5
………………. 8:20 pm Eastern Standard Time ……………
Green Bay @ NEW ENGLAND (-6) 57
The Patriots continue to win despite having no running backs, a quarterback with an aging portrait in the attic that is about to expire and a grumpy head coach who is allergic to laughter.
In fact, Bill Belichick was especially grumpy and distant this week at the team press conference. Unfortunately he had “natural causes” as the cause of death for Whitey Bulger in the office Dead Pool.
Mr. Brutal: Packers +6
Bob: NE -6
……. Monday, November 5, 2018 ………
Tennessee @ DALLAS (-6.5) 41
This was once a great state rivalry when the Titans were the Oilers and played in Houston. Now it’s a game between two quarterbacks who are prematurely aging and fading before their time on two teams whose fates are also mostly declining. The Cowboys have the best shot at winning this year because they play in an even worse division than the Titans and they just picked up the Raiders best and most expensive receiver ( Armani Cooper ) as a result of the ongoing Jon Gruden purge.
Dallas should win, but the Tennessee defense remains stingy and should cover.
Mr. Brutal: Titans +6.5
Bob: Titans +6.5
Last Week: Mr. Brutal: 8-5
Year-to-Date: Mr. Brutal: 55-53-2
Bye: Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Philadelphia,