By Doug Halberstadt
I originally thought I was going to enjoy seeing Brett Favre in a Vikings uniform. Last Sunday, Sept. 27, I hated it. I picked San Francisco to beat the Vikings, and thought I had it in the bag. The 49ers were up 24-20 in the final seconds of the game, and then Favre decided to pull his heroics and throw a touchdown pass as time ran out. The Vikings ended up winning 27-24. That loss dropped me to 11-4 for the week, with only the Monday night game left to be played. I wish he had stayed retired.
This week’s games should be very entertaining. I like the match-up between the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams are undefeated, and both teams have good quarterbacks. I’m taking the veteran Drew Brees and the Saints at home over the rookie Mark Sanchez and his Jets. Even though the Lions won last week (as I correctly predicted), I’m still taking the Bears at home to end the joy in Detroit.
In the battle for the Ohio state championship, I’m going with the Cincinnati Bengals to win on the road against the Browns in Cleveland. Until he proves otherwise, Peyton Manning is looking as good to me as he ever has. The Colts should improve to 4-0 when they host the Seahawks. Speaking of Manning, I’m also going with little brother Eli Manning and his New York gigantic teammates to annihilate the Chiefs in Kansas City.
In what should be another great game, I like Tom Brady and the Patriots at home against the Baltimore Ravens. In the “Who Cares?” game of the week, Tampa Bay at Washington, I’m taking the home team. Tennessee travels to Jacksonville. Believe it or not, Head Coach Jeff Fisher and his once-mighty Titans will drop to 0-4. I like Houston at home over the Raiders. The Bills are in Miami to face the fish. I’m taking the visitors.
Look for San Francisco to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to the Vikings. They’ll take out their frustrations on the winless St. Louis Rams in Candlestick Park.
The former so-so Chicago quarterback known as Kyle Orton can’t keep winning, can he? His new best buddies, the Broncos, host the Dallas Cowboys at Mile High. I said he’d lose last week, and he didn’t. This week, his luck definitely runs out. The Cowboys should hand him his first loss with his new team.
In the Sunday night game, Pittsburgh hosts San Diego. Pittsburgh has lost two in a row. I don’t see them losing three in a row, especially on their home turf. They bounce back and defeat San Diego.
As I said near the beginning of this column, there were going to be some entertaining games this week. The next one may be the most entertaining for local fans. It’s the Monday night match-up between the Vikings and Brett’s former team, the Packers. The game is at the Metrodome. The Vikings are 3-0, and are on a bit of a roll. I think emotion will play a huge factor in this game and, therefore, I’m taking the un-retired, gray-bearded quarterback and his obnoxious horn-blowing, braided ponytail-wearing fans to send Green Bay back across the state line with another loss.
The Vikings should remain in first place in the NFC North as they improve to 4-0 and Green Bay drops to 2-2. Provided the Bears take care of business at home and defeat the Lions, they should improve to 3-1, and move into second place in the division.
All of that is entirely dependent on if my picks are right and the planets are all aligned. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the September 30 – October 6, 2009 issue