By Doug Halberstadt
In last week’s NFL picks column, I inadvertantly left out my choice for the Thursday night (Nov. 11) game between Baltimore and Atlanta. Thanks to one of our readers who sent me an e-mail, I was able to get my pick on record prior to the kick-off that evening. I wish I hadn’t. I took Baltimore. Heading into the Monday night game, I was 9-4, with Philadelphia over Washington in that contest.
This week, I won’t have any problem remembering there is another Thursday night game. It features the Bears in Miami. I really liked the way Jay Cutler looked last week against the Vikings. His willingness to move out of the pocket and run with the ball seems to have added a new (and much-needed) dimension to the offense. Granted, he did throw a couple of interceptions that continue to drive me insane. Especially when they come in their own end zone. Grrrrrrrrrr! If he can avoid those stupid mistakes and continue to rush the ball effectively, I think the Bears will come away with their second victory in five days.
A couple of real clinker games are featured in the league this Sunday. Buffalo, which finally won its first game last week, travels to Cincinnati to face the 2-7 Bengals. Now that the Bills have tasted success, I look for them to make it two in a row. In the other “So what?” game, Detroit (2-7) goes to the Taj Mahal of NFL stadiums to face the new and improved Jason Garrett-coached Cowboys. That should spell trouble for Detroit. I like Dallas in this one.
Kansas City is at home against Arizona. I’m taking KC at home. Cleveland is on the road to face Jacksonville. Even though the Browns have surprised a few people around the league, I still like the Jaguars over the Browns. The Jets host the Texans. I’m sticking with New York.
Baltimore should have it easy this week. They face the Panthers (1-8). Carolina is bad. Baltimore will win big. In a classic match-up of two storied AFC franchises, the Raiders invade Pittsburgh to try to knock off the Steelers. I don’t think that’ll happen. Look for the Steelers to prevail.
After watching Brett Favre and the Vikings lose to Chicago last week, I think it’s safe to say Mr. Favre’s best days are long behind him. This week, he has to face his former Packers teammates. He usually gets pretty ramped up for these big games; however, I don’t think he alone can rescue the entire Vikings team. Atlanta is in St. Louis. That should mean another win for the 7-2 Falcons. New Orleans is at home against the Seahawks. Even though the Saints aren’t as dominant as they were last season, I still think they have enough left in their tank to make a late-season charge, and it should begin this week with a win over Seattle.
In the best game of the week, Indianapolis (6-3) is at New England (7-2). Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning. These two offenses have the ability to score tons of points. It may come down to which team has the ball last. I like Manning and the Colts. The G-Men travel to Philly. I think New York was stunned by their loss against the Cowboys last week and will recover with a road win.
Tampa Bay has to make the trek out West to face the 49ers. The Bucs are the better team, and should get the road win.
Finally, in the Monday night game, I like San Diego at home against Denver.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Nov. 17-23, 2010 issue