- Hospitals lift visitor age restrictions as number of flu cases decreases
- Winnebago County sheriff names chief deputy
- URGENT: Four votes and we could lose on Keystone
- Guest Column: Housing Authority CEO: Time to unify behind quality living
- Rockford police investigate 17th Street murder
- 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
NFL week 17 picks: Bears and Vikings will win, Lions and Packers will lose
By Doug Halberstadt
The last week of the 2009-2010 NFL regular season is finally here. Thanks to the letdown by the Indianapolis Colts last week, there are no undefeated teams left in the league. I think that was a disgrace to the integrity of the game and to the NFL. To me, it’s the equivalent of a heavyweight boxing champion taking a dive against a lesser challenger. There’s no place for it in any professional sport.
Here are my final picks for the regular season. The Bears should close the season with a win on the road over Detroit. The Packers are also on the road. They travel to Arizona. I like Arizona at home in this one. The other NFC North game has the Vikings at home against the New York Giants. Look for Brett Favre to finish on a high note and hand the Giants another loss.
Provided the Colts decide to play real football this week, they should win in Buffalo. Jacksonville ends its season in Cleveland and should get another road win.
In my opinion, the premier game of the week is the Eagles versus the Cowboys in Dallas. Both teams are coming off wins. The Eagles have won six in a row heading into the playoffs. I like how they are playing. I look for them to make it seven in a row to finish up the regular season.
Atlanta is in Tampa Bay. Despite their surprise victory over the Saints last weekend, I don’t think they’ll have any more surprises left this year. Atlanta should pick up the win. Speaking of New Orleans, they play Carolina on the road. The Saints definitely don’t want to lose three in a row heading into the postseason. They better right their ship and get back in the win column. I think they’ll get the job done.
The 49ers are in St. Louis. Unfortunately for St. Louis, that means another loss. They’ll finish as the worst team in the league with a 1-15 record. Pittsburgh has won two in a row, and they travel to Miami. The Dolphins have lost two in a row. I think both teams’ streaks will stay alive.
The Jets are at home against the Bengals. I like Cincinnati to win and head into the playoffs on the right foot. San Diego is the hottest team in the NFL currently. They have won 10 in a row, and shouldn’t have any trouble making it 11 straight when the Redskins come calling this week.
The Titans head west to face Seattle. Neither team will play in the postseason. I usually like Seattle at home, but I’m going to take the Titans to end the year at 8-8. Denver finishes the year at home against the Chiefs. The Broncos have lost three in a row. Kansas City has lost five in a row. Denver should stop the bleeding and close out the year with a win.
Baltimore heads to the opposite side of the country to square off against the Raiders. Both teams lost last weekend. I’m taking the Ravens to find a way to win their final game of the year.
Look for my playoff predictions in next week’s issue.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Dec. 30, 2009 – Jan. 5, 2010 issue