By Doug Halberstadt
Week No. 7 of the NFL season features one of the games that has been circled in red on many local football fans’ calendars. Brett Favre and his Minnesota Vikings come marching into Lambeau Field in Green Bay to take on the Packers.
Both teams have been a disappointment to those fans so far this season. Neither team has been able to live up to the lofty expectations of not only their fans, but also many of the so-called experts. The Packers have lost two consecutive overtime games and are 3-3. The Vikings are 2-3 following a big win against the Cowboys last week.
The Packers are riddled with injuries. Favre has already lost one game this year against a team he formerly played for (29-20 to the Jets in week four). Currently, Green Bay seems to be headed in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, Minnesota seems to be getting things back on track with the “W” over Dallas and the recent addition of Randy Moss. I look for Favre to have a successful “homecoming.”
The Chicago Bears host the Washington Redskins. Even though the Bears were inept on offense last week against the Seahawks, I’m not ready to give up on Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Mike Martz’s offense. I have a feeling that when it does all come together, it will work. I really hope this is the week it comes together. If it doesn’t, it could be a very long rest of the season.
Cleveland is at New Orleans. That’s good news for Saints fans. New Orleans should win by at least two touchdowns. The Jacksonville Jaguars are at Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs. Both teams seem evenly matched. I’ll give the edge to the home team.
The winless Buffalo Bills will stay that way after they lose their sixth game in a row against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The San Francisco 49ers won their first game of the season against the Raiders last week. I expect them to make it two in a row this week when they go up against Carolina.
The Eagles fly in to Tennessee. This is one of those games that no matter whom I pick, the other team will win. I’m taking Philadelphia, but will not be surprised if the Titans win. Tampa Bay hosts the vastly-improving St. Louis Rams, but they are still not that good. I like the Buccaneers at home. Farther south in the same state, the Dolphins will try to get back-to-back wins when they host the Steelers. It won’t happen. The Steelers will knock the fish out of water and back into reality land.
Atlanta is at home in the Georgia Dome and will get a victory over the Bengals. The Seahawks should get their second win in two weeks when they defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle. Another team that tends to win at home is the Broncos. The hapless Oakland Raiders will have to endure the thin air at Invesco Field at Mile High and will end up on the losing side of things.
The Patriots survived a scare from Baltimore last week, 23-20. It won’t even be that close this week when they travel to sunny San Diego. I like New England by at least 10.
In what was traditionally a good matchup, the Dallas Cowboys take on their division rival, the New York Giants, in the Monday-night game. Dallas is just plain bad this season. I don’t care if they are at home in their bazillion-dollar stadium, (as owner Jerry Jones is begrudgingly finding out) that doesn’t automatically equal a win. I’m taking Eli Manning and the G-Men to drop the Cowboys to 1-5.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue