By Doug Halberstadt
I went from 13-3 in the first week to 8-7 (Monday night game still to be played at press time) in week number two. Not exactly what I’d call the model of consistency.
Even though I picked these two games incorrectly last week, I was somewhat pleased with the outcomes. I wasn’t disappointed that the Bengals beat the Packers, and I was more than jubilant that the Bears picked up their first win of the year by beating the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers at Soldier Field.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s games, I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Detroit (0-2) to win their first game in more than a year. They play the Redskins (1-1) at home, and for some unknown reason I have a hunch they’ll finally get a “W”. I look for the Packers (1-1) to bounce back and win their road game against the St. Louis Rams (0-2). Minnesota is undefeated (2-0), and except for the running of Adrian Peterson, has not looked that impressive. I see them losing their first game of the season when head coach Mike Singletary brings his upstart 49ers (2-0) to the Metrodome.
Atlanta (2-0) travels to New England (0-2). I think it’s time the luck for these two teams changes. New England should pick up their first win of the year. The New York Jets (2-0) face the winless Titans (0-2) in New York. I like the Jets at home. The Eagles (1-1) host the Chiefs (0-2) in Philadelphia. With or without Donovan McNabb, the Eagles win this one easily.
Eli Manning and the Giants (2-0) are coming off a huge road win over the Cowboys in their new billion-dollar Dallas dome. They should keep the momentum and roll over the Bucs (0-2) in Tampa Bay. Baltimore (2-0) is at home to take on the Browns (0-2). Baltimore will improve to 3-0, and the Browns will drop to 0-3. Jacksonville (0-2) travels to Houston to take on the Texans (1-1). The Texans surprised everyone last week by upsetting the Tennessee Titans on the road. I think they’ll be fine at home and improve to 2-1.
In the later starting games, I like Drew Brees and his Saints (2-0) to continue their winning ways as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (1-1). Chicago (1-1) travels out west to face the Seahawks (1-1) in one of the toughest places to win on the road, Qwest Field. We’ll see if Chicago’s win last week was a fluke or not. I don’t think it was. I’m taking the Bears in a close game. Possibly another Robbie Gould field goal will determine the winner.
Miami (0-1 at press time) has to face the Chargers (1-1) in San Diego. That doesn’t bode well for the fish. Chargers win and improve to 2-1. The Steelers (1-1) face the Bengals (1-1) in Cincinnati. I don’t see the Steelers losing two in a row. They’ll bounce back and win in a close one. Kyle Orton is 2-0 as the quarterback for the Broncos. He’ll be in hostile territory next Sunday when they face the Raiders (1-1) in Oakland. Sorry, Kyle, you won’t make it to 3-0.
In the Sunday night game, it is the “Duel in the Desert”. Peyton Manning and the Colts (1-0 at press time) battle Kurt Warner and the Cardinals (1-1). I always like Manning in these nationally-televised big games.
The Monday night match-up has Carolina (0-2) traveling to the billion-dollar Dallas dome to take on the Cowboys (1-1). There’s no way the Cowboys could lose two in a row in their new crib. Dallas will prevail and send the Panthers back to Carolina winless in 2009.
Not counting the Monday night game, I’m 21-10 after the first two weeks. I’m hoping my picks this week are more in line with the success I had during the first week of the season. and not a repeat of the mediocrity I exhibited last week.
From the September 26-29, 2009 issue