By Doug Halberstadt
The Bears are at home against the Packers this weekend. Everyone, except me and a few other loyal Bears fans who have been drinking the orange-and-blue Kool-Aid, believe Green Bay will win. I admit, when it comes to the Bears versus Packers games, I hit the Bears Kool-Aid pretty hard. Therefore, in spite of statistics, logic and every other reason to pick the Packers, I’m taking the Bears at home this week. Besides, I really need them to win, or I’m going to be broke paying off all of those double-or-nothing bets I made following the last game. I say Jay Cutler throws for three touchdowns and the Bears win 31-17.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have to go into the dog pound at Cleveland tomorrow night (Thursday, Dec. 10) to try to save some of their dignity. The defending Super Bowl champions lost in the final moments of their game against the lowly Raiders last week. It was a game they were supposed to win. They didn’t. They are supposed to win again this week against the Browns. I’m predicting they won’t lose two “cake-walk” games in a row.
New Orleans survived a scare last week in Washington. They are on the road again this week in Atlanta. I think they got the message loud and clear and will return to the dominant team we saw earlier in the season. I like Drew Brees and the Saints by at least two touchdowns in this game, as they improve their undefeated record to 13-0.
The other undefeated team, the Indianapolis Colts, are at home this week. They host the Broncos. I look for the Colts to also make it to 13-0. St. Louis is in Tennessee to meet up with the Titans. Despite losing to the Colts last week, the Titans are showing signs of improvement, and shouldn’t have any trouble defeating the Rams.
Buffalo should win on the road in Kansas City. The Jets are also on the road. They have to travel to Tampa Bay. That should mean another win for the Jets. The Dolphins upset the Patriots last week, and will look to stay hot in Jacksonville. I’m going with the Dolphins in another mild upset.
Baltimore should win easily over the Lions at home. Houston hosts Seattle, and I can’t seem to figure out when to take either of these two teams. Thanks to the flip of a coin, heads, it’s Houston.
The Bengals are in the Metrodome to face the Vikings. This could be a much closer game than people think, but I think it’s fairly safe to take the Vikings at home. Another team that usually plays well in front of their home fans is the New England Patriots. They play Carolina at Gillette Stadium, and are due for a bounce-back win.
Oakland is coming off that huge upset over the Steelers, and has to face the Redskins at home. The Redskins almost beat the undefeated Saints last week. This is one of those anything-could-happen games, but I’m going to go with Oakland.
San Diego has to go to Dallas. Both teams need the win. I think the Cowboys will hold serve on their home turf.
In a great NFC match-up, the Eagles are in New York to face the G-Men. Both teams are coming off impressive wins in week 13. This is another game I wanted to flip a coin on, but instead I’m going with a gut feeling and taking the Giants at home.
In the Monday night game, Arizona is at San Francisco. The Cardinals looked good on Sunday night when they handed the Vikings only their second loss of the season. Kurt Warner and the Cardinals seem to be getting hot at just the right time. San Francisco doesn’t have the weapons to stop the Cardinals. I like Arizona to stay on a roll in back-to-back prime-time, nationally-televised games.
Week 13 proved to be unlucky for me. I was 8-7 heading into the Monday night game. I took Baltimore over the Packers.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the December 9-15, 2009 issue