Pro Football: Week 16 NFL picks: Packers will hand Bears another loss for Christmas

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Last Saturday, Dec. 17, the northern Illinois area woke up to its first measurable snowfall of the season. The next day, Sunday, Dec. 18, they must have had the same weather in hell. For the first time this season, the Green Bay Packers lost and the Indianapolis Colts won.

This week, the Packers host the Bears on Christmas night. I was originally hoping the Bears could somehow manage a “Miracle on Lombardi Avenue” and upset the Pack and ruin their perfect season. Since the Kansas City Chiefs already took care of that, I’ll let that wish go by the wayside and take Grinch Bay over the (Teddy) Bears.

Tomorrow night (Thursday, Dec. 22) the Houston Texans are in Indianapolis against the Colts. Despite Christmas coming early for Indy last weekend, I’m saying they are one and done. The Texans will win.

A full slate of games is set for Christmas Eve. The Ravens are at home against the Browns. The Ravens will gladly unwrap that gift and put some coal in the Browns’ stockings. Another team expecting to find some coal is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They will lose on the road to the Panthers.

The Patriots will be snuggled in their beds all comfy and cozy following their win against the Dolphins at home. The Raiders are in Kansas City to deliver some good cheer. They’ll defeat the Chiefs and claim that someone forgot to tell them about bringing the good cheer.

The Titans are hosting the Jaguars. I’m predicting a return to the win column for the Titans after their embarrassing loss to the Colts last weekend. The Bengals are at home. They host the Cardinals in a pear tree. I like the Cats.

The entire Empire State will be gathered around the Christmas tree and the TV to watch the Jets and the Giants. I’m going with the Jets. Another team from that state is playing at home as well. The Bills take on the Broncos in Buffalo. What child hasn’t asked for a pony at one time or another for Christmas? I’m taking Tim Tebow and the ponies.

Pittsburgh is home for the holiday and will send the Rams back to St. Louis with another loss to hang on their mantle.

The Vikings are traveling over the river and through the woods to the Washington Redskins. I like the Redskins. The Lions get to celebrate their win with Christmas dinner at home after they take the batteries out of the San Diego Chargers.

There won’t be any kisses exchanged under the mistletoe between the Cowboys and their division rival, the Eagles. This is a home game for Dallas and a must-win if they expect any gifts under their tree from owner Jerry Jones. I’m predicting Jones will relish his role as Jolly Ol’ Jerry and reward the team for knocking off the Eagles.

San Francisco takes on the Seahawks in the final game before Santa hits the skyway. Seattle has a history of playing tough at home, but I’m going against the grain and taking the 49ers.

The Monday night game features the Saints at home against the Falcons. Who could possibly pick against the Saints in this one? Not I!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your families!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Dec. 21-27, 2011, issue

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