By Doug Halberstadt
Tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov. 6), the Minnesota Vikings are at home against the Washington Redskins. The Vikings have only won a single game so far this season and lost their other seven. Washington is slightly better at 3-5. The Vikings’ only offensive weapon is running back Adrian Peterson. He’s having a subpar season and can’t single-handedly save the team. It might be time for the Vikings to start thinking about next year’s draft. The Redskins shouldn’t have any problem picking up their fourth win of the year and dropping the Vikings to 1-8.
Sunday’s games start with Seattle at Atlanta. The Seahawks are 8-1, and the Falcons are 2-6. I think the better birds are the Seahawks in this one. Look for Seattle to improve to 9-1.
The Chicago Bears are at home against their division foes, the Detroit Lions. The Bears lost to the Lions in week four at Detroit 40-32. I think the outcome will be different when the two meet in Soldier Field. I’m taking the Bears to win at home.
Green Bay has another home game this week. The Philadelphia Eagles come to Lambeau. Last week, the Eagles scored 49 points against the Raiders. I don’t see that type of offensive outpouring happening two weeks in a row. If the Packers can keep them at 20 points or fewer, they’ll win. Look for the Packers’ defense to come up big and help their offense pull out another home win.
The Titans, Colts, Giants and Steelers are all at home this week and should pick up wins. The Titans host the Jaguars, the Colts welcome the Rams, the Giants entertain the Raiders, and the Steelers play the Bills. I’m taking the home team in each of those games.
Denver, Cincinnati and Houston are the only three other road teams I’m picking to win this week. The Broncos will take their 7-1 record down to San Diego to face the Chargers. I like Peyton Manning to have a big week coming off a bye and leading Denver to a lofty 8-1 record.
The Bengals travel to Baltimore. Both teams suffered losses last week. I think the Bengals are the more resilient squad and should bounce back with a win over the Ravens.
The San Francisco 49ers are another team coming off a bye and will use the extra rest to their advantage. They will have the tough task of trying to stop Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Both teams have decent winning streaks going. The Panthers have won four straight, and the 49ers have won their last five. This should be the game of the week. I’m going with San Fran simply because they’ve had an extra week to prepare for this one, and they also have the home-field advantage.
Houston looked like they had new life with Case Keenum under center and Andre Johnson catching his touchdown passes last week against the Colts. I believe in momentum. Even though they didn’t hang on to a 21-point lead and ended up losing to the Colts, I’m taking them to beat the Cardinals in the desert.
The Saints are at home against the Cowboys. New Orleans hasn’t lost a home game this season (4-0) and the Cowboys are only 1-3 away from the Big D. I’m taking the Saints.
The Monday night game features a battle for bragging rights in Florida. The Miami Dolphins visit the neighbors to the north and will take on the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa took the Seahawks to overtime last week in Seattle before dropping their eighth straight. That’s close, but no cigar. I think the Dolphins will make it nine losses in a row for the Bucs.
Last week was my worst of the season so far. Going into the Monday night game, I was a mediocre 6-6. I took Green Bay over the Bears in that game. As long as I’m doing so poorly, I really hope Chicago wins and I end up 6-7. With a Bears win, I could at least smile as I look at week nine in my rear-view mirror.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Nov. 6-12, 2013, issue