- Clean water under attack in the U.S. Congress
- Man faces charges following attempted armed robbery
- Discovery Center experiences record public attendance
- Pet Talk: Probiotics for your pets
- Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December
- Supreme Court and gay marriage — U of I expert weighs in
- More than 6,100 residents of Winnebago County enrolled in Marketplace
- First large U.S. delegation to visit Cuba since opening of relations
- Merger complete for Illinois Bank & Trust, Galena State Bank
- Crusader welcomes Dr. Maria Lozano Vazquez
NFL week 16 picks: Vikings, Packers will win
By Doug Halberstadt
And then there was one. Thanks to the Dallas Cowboys upsetting the New Orleans Saints last Saturday night (Dec. 19), the Indianapolis Colts are the lone remaining undefeated team entering week 16 of this year’s NFL season. The Colts host the New York Jets this Sunday, and will make it to 15-0.
The Saints should be able to get back into the win column; they are at home against their NFC South division opponent and one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Christmas night, the San Diego Chargers are in Tennessee to take on the Titans. After starting the season 2-3, the Chargers have wheeled off nine wins in a row. The Titans also had a slow start to their year. They lost their first six before winning their first game. In what should be a decent game, I like the Chargers to make it 10 in a row.
Back to the Sunday games. Buffalo plays at Atlanta. I like the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Bengals are at home to play the Chiefs. Even though the Bengals have lost their last two games, I still like them over Kansas City. Oakland travels to Cleveland. Neither team will be playing in the postseason. Oakland has shown some signs of life recently. Cleveland scored a ton of points last week against the Chiefs. I think Oakland’s defense will be much stingier and hold the Browns’ offense in check. I say the Raiders by a touchdown.
Green Bay lost on the final play of the game last week in Pittsburgh. They return to Lambeau this week to host the Seahawks. Seattle has lost their last two and is 1-6 on the road this season. Green Bay should bounce back from that heartbreaking loss and put up a “W” against Seattle.
The Ravens are in Pittsburgh facing a must-win situation to keep their playoff hopes alive. Following their Super Bowl season last year, Pittsburgh has been somewhat of a disappointment this season. They showed they still have some fight left in them with a last-second, come-from-behind win against the Packers last week. I look for the Steelers’ roller-coaster season to continue as they head back downhill this week. I like the Ravens in a close game.
Miami hosts Houston. Both teams have identical 7-7 records. I’m hoping the home-team-advantage comes into play, and I’m taking the Dolphins. The Patriots are a perfect 7-0 at home this season. They host the Jaguars. Jacksonville is only 2-4 on the road. I look for the Patriots to improve to 8-0 at Gillette Stadium.
The New York Giants are home for the holidays when they take on Carolina in Giants Stadium. I like the G-Men at home. Denver is in Philly to face the Eagles.
The Eagles have won five in a row and seem to be peaking at the right time of the season. They are the better team, and will win easily over the Broncos.
Arizona will have no problem at home as they host the team with the worst record in the NFL, the 1-13 St. Louis Rams. Sorry, St. Louis, you drop to 1-14. Speaking of teams who are bad, the Detroit Lions haven’t won a game away from Michigan this season. They are in San Francisco to take on the 49ers. I don’t see them getting their first road win of the season against San Fran. The Lions will drop to 2-13.
In the Sunday night game, the Cowboys and the Redskins play in prime time. Dallas is coming off the huge win over the Saints. I think that momentum should help them parlay back-to-back wins.
The Bears host the Vikings in the Monday night game. The Vikings will win. The only question in this game is, will Brett Favre throw more touchdowns than Jay Cutler throws interceptions?
Merry Christmas to all! (Except Lovie Smith and Ron Turner).
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Dec. 23-29, 2009 issue