By Doug Halberstadt
Week No. 4 of the NFL season is here, and that means the first week of byes. Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota and Tampa Bay all have the week off.
In the early games Sunday, Oct. 3, the Denver Broncos visit Tennessee. The Titans are coming off a nice win over the New York Giants, and the Broncos are coming off a home loss against the Colts. I like the Titans to continue their winning ways and drop the Broncos to 1-3.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-0 without their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. They host the Ravens this week. The Steelers should hold serve and advance to 4-0. Can you say “Ben who?”
In the battle for supremacy in the state of Ohio, the Bengals travel to Cleveland. Cincinnati is 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Browns. I think they’ll make it 10 out of 12. The Lions will remain winless in 2010 when they drop to 0-4 against Green Bay.
The defending champion New Orleans Saints lost in overtime last week. I look for them to bounce back big against the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons were the team to beat the Saints in week three. The Falcons host the 49ers this week. I like Atlanta at home.
The Seahawks fly into St. Louis. Seattle is 10-0 in their last 10 games against the Rams. They won’t have any problem making it 11 straight. The New York Jets have to shuffle off to Buffalo this week. I like the Jets on the road.
The Colts are on the road for the second consecutive week. This week, they are in Florida to face off against the Jaguars. Jacksonville is 4-14 in the last 18 games against Indy. Look for the trend to continue. The Colts will improve to 3-1.
The Raiders are at home against the Texans. Last week, Oakland won and Houston lost. I’ll say the same thing will happen this week. I like Oakland by the bay. In the same state, but a little farther south, the Chargers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to town. They won’t be such welcome visitors when this one is over. I look for the Cardinals to win big in San Diego.
In Philadelphia, it’s a game that has been circled on the calendar for some time. Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his new team, the Redskins, come to the “City of Brotherly Love” for the first time since Philly let him go. Thanks to Michael Vick, the Eagles haven’t missed McNabb. I think Vick and the Eagles won’t show any love to their rivals from the East. I’m figuring the Eagles by at least 10.
The Sunday-night game features the Bears in the Big Apple against the Giants. That’s not good news for Eli Manning and his Giants. The road team has won the last seven straight meetings. I look for the Bears to add another win to their record and make it eight in a row for the road team.
In the Monday-night game, the Dolphins host the Patriots. This one could go either way, but I’m taking the Patriots to pull the mild upset on the road.
At press time, the only game undecided from week three was the Bears and Packers’ Monday-night contest in Chicago. Since I picked the Bears, I’m hoping I went 10-6 instead of 9-7. It’s hard to type this column with my fingers crossed.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue