By Doug Halberstadt
I want to start off this week’s NFL picks column with some good news. At least it is for me. I’ve won two of the first four weeks against my contemporaries at WNTA 1330 AM. The news only gets better. If the Bears beat the Lions in Monday night’s game, I’m pretty sure that makes it three weeks in a row that I will earn the bragging rights.
You can tune in at 7:35 a.m., Friday, Oct. 14, to hear all of our picks for week six and to find out if indeed I hold on to my weekly champion title. Here’s a sneak peek at my goal to make it four in a row.
The Panthers (1-4) have the task of trying to pick up their second win of the season, on the road. They will be under the dome in Atlanta to face the Falcons (2-3). I don’t see the Falcons losing two in a row at home, especially this week to the Panthers. I’m taking Atlanta.
The Eagles (1-4) are in Washington. The Redskins (3-1) are coming off a bye week and are in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. The Eagles are coming off an 8-point loss to the Buffalo Bills. I’m taking the well-rested Redskins to hand the Eagles their fifth-straight loss.
The Bills (4-1) take on the Giants (3-2) in New York. The Giants lost at home last week to the Seahawks. I don’t think they’ll lose two in a row at home. I’m taking the Giants to rebound and hand the Bills their second loss of the year.
Another team that should be able to take full advantage of their home field this week is the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2). They welcome the winless Colts (0-5) to town. Sorry, Indy, I think you’ll drop another one and fall to 0-6.
The only road team I’m picking this week is the Saints (4-1). They shouldn’t have any trouble with the Buccaneers (3-2) down in Tampa.
The Steelers (3-2) will improve to 4-2 when they win at home over the Jaguars (1-4). The Lions will be at home again this week to take on the much-improved 49ers (4-1). Despite San Fran’s early-season success, I think the Lions will prevail.
The Rams (0-4) will keep pace with the Colts and the Dolphins as the only teams in the league without a victory. This week, they lose on the road in Green Bay. That means the Pack will improve to a perfect 6-0.
The Ravens (3-1) and the Raiders (3-2) both should pick up home wins this week. Baltimore hosts the Texans (3-2), and the Browns (2-2) are in Oakland.
The Patriots (4-1) host Dallas (2-2). That’s good news for New England fans and not so good news for those Cowboys fans. I look for Tom Brady and New England to rout Dallas. I’m predicting at least a 14-point win for the Pats.
Now, it’s time to talk about my Bears. As I sit here writing this, they still have to play the Lions Monday (Oct. 10). The outcome of that game won’t be known when this column is submitted for publication. Therefore, I have nothing substantial to base this one on, but here it goes anyhow … I think the Bears will thrill the Soldier Field fans gathered for the nationally-televised Sunday night game and squeak out a win against the Vikings (1-4) on a last-minute Robbie Gould field goal. Final score: Bears 27, Vikings 24.
Finally, the Jets (2-3) host Miami (0-4) in the Monday night game. The Jets aren’t going to lose a home game in front of a national audience, especially to a team that hasn’t won a game all year. The Jets will climb back to .500, and Miami will fall to 0-5.
The teams with byes this week are Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Oct. 12-18, 2011, issue