- 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
Week 14 NFL picks: Bears and Packers will win, Vikings and Lions will lose
By Doug Halberstadt
Another week equals another win for the Chicago Bears. They have won their last five games in a row. This week, they may have their hands full when they take on the New England Patriots in Soldier Field. The Patriots will be dealing with a short week because of their game against the New York Jets on Monday night. That, combined with the Bears’ recent success and home-field advantage, might just be enough to propel the Bears to six in a row. I’m taking Chicago until they prove me wrong.
The Packers will be trying to keep pace with their division foes when they visit Detroit to take on the lowly Lions. Detroit hasn’t played that poorly; they just don’t seem to know how to win. I don’t think they are going to learn that valuable lesson against Green Bay.
Tomorrow night’s game (Thursday, Dec. 9), the Colts visit Tennessee. Both teams are fresh off losses. Tennessee scored 6 points in their most recent game and is starting a rookie quarterback named Rusty Smith. The Colts scored 35 points in an overtime loss to the Cowboys and are starting a future Hall of Fame quarterback named Peyton Manning. Take the Colts.
The Bills host the Browns in Buffalo; I like the Bills at home. My lock pick of the week is Atlanta over the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Steelers are at home against the Bengals. Pittsburgh will prevail.
The New York Giants visit the Mall of America Field to face the Vikings. It’s uncertain whether Brett Favre will start at quarterback for the Vikings after leaving last week’s game with a shoulder injury. With or without Favre, I don’t think the Vikings will have enough weapons to beat the G-men.
Look for Oakland to add another win to their record when they travel to Jacksonville to meet the Jaguars. The Redskins are at home to take on Tampa Bay. Washington should come away with the W.
Despite surviving a scare last week against the Bengals, the Saints keep on winning. This week, they host St. Louis. The Rams shouldn’t be much of a challenge, but the Bengals weren’t supposed to be, either. I think the Saints will have this game won before halftime.
The 49ers have a home game against the Seahawks. I like San Fran by the bay. The Jets are at home against the fish. Miami lost at home last week to the Browns. They certainly won’t do any better this week on the road against the Jets.
The Kyle Orton-led Broncos head to the Southwest to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Neither team has lived up to expectations this season. I’m taking Arizona simply because they are at home.
The Kansas City Chiefs have exceeded most expectations this season with their 8-4 record. They travel to sunny San Diego for a Week 1 rematch with the Chargers. The Chiefs won the season-opener at Arrowhead 21-14. I think they’ll sweep the Chargers this year. This game might be a little closer; I’ll say KC 24, San Diego 21.
The resurgent Cowboys have to host Philadelphia in the Sunday night game. Dallas looked a lot better in last week’s overtime road win over the Colts. I think Dallas will win again this week.
The Ravens will play in their second primetime game in as many weeks. They face the Texans in front of a national audience in the Monday night game. The Ravens play tough under the bright lights and should dominate the Texans.
Last week, I was 11-4 heading into the Monday night game. I took the Patriots over the Jets in that one.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Dec. 8-14, 2010 issue