By Doug Halberstadt
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks in the pigskin prognostication department. In week nine, I was 7-7, and in week 10, I’m 8-7 with only the Monday night game left to be played at press time. I did take the Packers over the Vikings in that game. Not only did I have a subpar couple of weeks in the win-loss department, I also forgot to include my pick in the Titans vs. Panthers game last week. Truthfully, even though it didn’t make the column, I picked the Titans.
Despite the tough times, I did manage to correctly predict the Bears’ wins over the Eagles and the Lions. I’m also saying they’ll win again this week against the visiting Chargers. This match-up pits two teams headed in the opposite directions against one another. The Bears will be looking for their fifth-straight win. After starting the season 4-1, the Chargers have dropped their last four in a row. They are 1-3 on the road, and the Bears are 4-1 at home. This should equate to another victory for Chicago.
In the Thursday night game, the Jets will fly into Mile High to take on the Broncos. Denver has won their last two games, and the Jets are coming off a Sunday night loss to the Patriots. I like the Broncos on their home turf in this one and look for them to make it three wins in a row.
The Packers and the 49ers have the two best records in the NFL. Both teams are at home this week and are heavily favored to continue their winning ways. The Packers host the Buccaneers and shouldn’t have any problem adding another win to their collection. The 49ers welcome their division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals, to town. Look for the 49ers to continue their dominance in the NFC West and improve to 9-1.
The Ravens and the Bengals have identical 6-3 records. They face one another in Baltimore this week. Both teams are coming off losses. The Ravens haven’t lost a home game this year. I’m going with the Ravens to maintain that unblemished home record.
In a match-up of two other teams with identical records, it’s the Jaguars (3-6) vs. the Browns (3-6). This game is in Cleveland. I like the Browns in the dog pound.
The Cowboys are starting to live up to expectations and are playing much better. They’ve won two in a row, and travel to Washington to face their rivals, the Redskins. Washington has dropped five in a row and doesn’t show any signs of improvement, whether it’s Rex Grossman or John Beck under center. Look for the consistent Tony Romo and the Cowboys to make it three in a row and improve to 6-4.
In an AFC East match-up, it’s the Bills in Miami. The Dolphins have won two in a row, and the Bills have lost two in a row. Look for that trend to change. I like the Bills to come away with a road win. The Raiders are the only other team I have winning on the road this week. They play the Vikings in Minnesota.
The rest of the home teams I have winning are the Falcons over the Titans, the Lions over the Panthers, the Rams over the Seahawks, and the Giants over the Eagles in the Sunday night game.
In next Monday night’s game, the Chiefs make the trip to New England to meet the Patriots. The Chiefs have only managed to score 10 points in their last two games. The Patriots are capable of putting up big numbers when Tom Brady is dialed in. He seems to be able to do that in front of his home fans. I look for the Patriots to come away with at least a double-digit win in front of the national audience on Monday night.
Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Pittsburgh have byes.
WNTA’s news director, Ken DeCoster, won for the fifth time this season in our “Fearless NFL Picks.” We will be making our weekly predictions this Friday morning at 7:35 a.m. on the Doug McDuff and Company show. Tune in to 100.5 on the FM dial to hear who else besides me will pick the Bears over the Chargers and the Packers over the Bucs. I’m guessing all five of us will.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue