NFL week 10 picks: Vikings will be only NFC North winner

By Doug Halberstadt

Sports Columnist

Only two teams remain undefeated in the NFL this season. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints have yet to taste defeat. This week could be trouble for one of those teams. It’s not the Saints. They play St. Louis, and won’t have any trouble keeping their win streak intact.

The Colts, on the other hand, will have their hands full when they play host to the New England Patriots next Sunday night, Nov. 15. NBC, the television network that will televise the game, is calling these two teams “The rivalry of the decade.” I’m not sure I concur with that hyperbole, but I agree it should be a good game. I’m going with Peyton Manning and his Colts teammates in their home stadium.

The Bears play in San Francisco in a game that can only be seen by those with the NFL Network. That leaves me out. I predict the 49ers will defend their home turf. That’s one Bears loss I won’t have to watch this season.

The Titans have won two in a row after a horrendous 0-6 start. They should improve to 3-6 with a win over Buffalo this week. In the battle for Florida supremacy, I like Miami at home over Tampa Bay. Minnesota will flex their NFC North muscle and kick some sand in the face of the Detroit Lions.

The New York Jets are at home against Jacksonville. I like the Jets at home. In an interesting AFC contest, Pittsburgh is hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. Even though the Bengals are a much-improved team this season, I’m still taking the defending Super Bowl champions to prevail.

The Denver Broncos make a trip to our nation’s capital to square off against the Redskins. Denver is clearly the superior team, and should win this one, even though they are on the road.

Another road team I expect to win is Atlanta. They play the Panthers in Carolina, and unless Michael Turner doesn’t find his way to the stadium, the Falcons shouldn’t have any problems.

The “Who cares?” game of the week takes place in Oakland. The Raiders host the hapless and helpless Kansas City Chiefs. Only because someone has to win, I’m taking the home team. Although it wouldn’t be a total shock if this one were to end up in a 0-0 tie.

Dallas is coming off a nice win over the Eagles last Sunday night. This week, they travel to Green Bay. The big “D” has the momentum, and besides that, Green Bay lost to the worst team in the league last week. I don’t see them bouncing back and knocking off the Cowboys. Green Bay will fall to 4-5.

San Diego is at home against the Eagles. The Chargers beat the Giants in New York last week, and the Eagles lost to Dallas in Philly. I like San Diego’s chances at home.

In the Monday night game, the Ravens fly into Cleveland. I look for Baltimore to dog the Browns and win easily.

If the Steelers beat Denver in the Monday night game, I was 8-5 last week. If the Broncos won, I dropped to 7-6. For the season, I’ll either be 91-38 or 90-39. Not spectacular, but respectable, if I do say so myself.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the November 11-17, 2009 issue

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