By Doug Halberstadt
If Minnesota ends up beating Green Bay in the Monday night game, I will be 12-2 for the week. That would take my season record to 46-16. That would put me at 74 percent after the first four weeks. My goal for the 17-week season is at least 70 percent. If Green Bay wins, I’ll be 11-3 for the week, and 45-17 for the season. That is still 72 percent, and slightly above my goal, but I’d really like for the Vikings to beat the Packers.
Moving on to the games this week, the Bears, Packers, Saints and Chargers all have the week off. I hate the Bears’ bye week. Although, it should help them get some of their players who are banged up and slightly injured healthy and back to 100 percent.
In the early-starting games, the Browns are at Buffalo. Both teams lost last week. I think Buffalo stands the better chance at rebounding in front of their fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Dallas travels to Kansas City. Both of those teams also lost last week. Even though the game is at Arrowhead Stadium, I’m going with the visiting Cowboys. The Vikings go south to take on the Rams in St. Louis. The Rams haven’t won a game this season, and I don’t see that changing when they face Brett Favre and his Vikings.
The Raiders have to cross the country to play the Giants in New York. That’s a recipe for disaster for Oakland. Look for Eli Manning and the Giants to remain undefeated. Tampa Bay won’t find any brotherly love in Philadelphia. The Eagles are well rested coming off a bye week, and should win easily.
After dropping the game to Chicago last week, the Lions have started a new losing streak. It should go to two in a row when they play host to the Steelers. Washington is at Carolina. The Panthers are coming off a bye and are at home. Those two factors should help them with a win over the Redskins.
In my toughest game to pick this week, I’m going with the home team. Baltimore hosts the Bengals. Cincinnati is coming off a big overtime win, and Baltimore, will be trying to rebound from a tough loss to the Patriots. It should be a good game. I still like the way head coach Mike Singletary is handling his team. They host the Falcons this week. I’m taking the 49ers at home.
Jacksonville is in Seattle. I rarely pick the road team against the Seahawks, but I like the Jaguars in this one. Houston meets Arizona at the beautiful University of Phoenix Stadium. I like Kurt Warner at home in this one.
I haven’t had good luck picking Denver so far this year. I keep expecting Kyle Orton to fall flat on his face. So far, he hasn’t. This week, they host Tom Brady and the Patriots. I really don’t see Orton leading his team to five wins in a row. Come on, Patriots, help me out on this one.
In the believe-it-or-not category, the Tennessee Titans will be 0-5 following their game against the Colts next Sunday night. Peyton Manning and his team should improve to a perfect 5-0 against the struggling Titans.
In the Monday night game, the Jets are in Miami to take on the Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium. The Jets are coming off a loss to the Saints, and the Dolphins are riding a high after destroying the Bills last week. I like Miami at home in this one.
As I said earlier in this column, the Bears are off this week, and to make matters even worse, Bears fans will have to wait until the Sunday night game Oct. 18 before we see them play again. That’s a long time to go without a Bears game during the middle of the regular season. I think it’s time for a new person to do the scheduling.
From the October 7-13, 2009 issue