NFL week 15 picks: Colts, Saints will remain undefeated

By Doug Halberstadt

Sports Columnist

Following last week’s Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers, I’d like to share an impersonation of a contestant on Jeff Foxworthy’s game show. “I’m Lovie Smith (and/or Ron Turner), and I’m not smarter than a fifth-grader.”

Granted, the Bears have more problems than just Smith and Turner, but I think they both need to be added to the 15 percent of other Illinoisans who are unemployed. Until they are gone, I don’t see the Bears being much better than a .500 team.

The Bears play on the road in Baltimore this week. I don’t care how much orange and blue Kool-Aid I drink between now and then, there is no way I am taking the Bears.

The Thursday night game has the undefeated Colts making a visit to Florida to meet up with the Jaguars. Unless Peyton Manning doesn’t get on the plane, the Colts will remain undefeated. The other team with a perfect record, the New Orleans Saints, is at home against the Cowboys. They, too, should keep their record intact.

In the other games around the league, I like New England over Buffalo in Buffalo. Arizona will pick up a win while stopping in Detroit. Tennessee is at home against Miami. I like Tennessee to win at home. The Chiefs and Cleveland play in a “who cares” game in Kansas City. I’m going with the home team.

Houston will win in St. Louis. Atlanta has to play the Jets in New York. I’m putting the win in the Jets’ column. Philadelphia hosts the 49ers. I think the quarterback combination of Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick is too much for San Francisco.

Green Bay is heading into Pittsburgh at just the right time. Pittsburgh has lost their last five games. The Packers should be able to make it six in a row for the Steelers.

In what potentially has the makings of the best game of the week, Cincinnati is in San Diego. Both teams are atop their divisions in the AFC. San Diego is riding an eight-game winning streak. I think they’ll make it nine in a row in the win column.

Oakland visits the Mile-High City to face the Broncos. Both teams are coming off losses last week. Denver is 4-2 at home, and the Raiders are 2-4 on the road. That should equal success for Denver. Seattle is another team that plays well at home. They host Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers haven’t won a game on the road all season. What makes anyone think that’ll change this week? I like Seattle to improve to 5-2 at home.

The Vikings are in Carolina to face the Panthers. Even though the Vikings have clinched a playoff spot, I’m sure Brett Favre will continue to play most of the game, and that should mean another win for the Vikings.

In the Monday night game, the Giants are at Washington. Despite the Redskins’ big win over the Raiders last week, I don’t think they’ll have the momentum to help them over the Giants hump. I like New York to win on the road in the nationally-televised game from our nation’s capital.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Dec. 16-22, 2009 issue

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