By Doug Halberstadt
Week four of the NFL season begins tomorrow night (Thursday, Sept. 25) with an NFC East rivalry. The New York Giants will pay a visit to Washington, D.C., to square off against the Redskins. Both teams bring 1-2 records into the game. The goal in this one is to get to .500. I like Washington’s chances to bounce back from a tough loss to Philadelphia in week three. Look for the Redskins to improve to 2-2 and the Giants to fall to 1-3.
This is the week fans in this area have been looking forward to since the 2014 schedules were announced. It’s the Bears versus the Packers at noon, Sunday, Sept. 28. The Packers are coming off a division loss to the Lions. The Bears will have a short week to prepare for the game. They played the Jets on Monday night. (Results of that game were unavailable at press time.) I’m going with the Bears over the Pack in Soldier Field.
A few teams with identical records will go against one another this week. I like Houston (2-1) at home over Buffalo (2-1). I’m taking the Colts (1-2) over the Titans (1-2) in Indianapolis. The Carolina Panthers (2-1) will be looking to rebound from their Sunday night loss to the Steelers. This week, they travel to Baltimore. The Ravens (2-1) are coming off a last-minute field goal win over the Browns. I like the visitors in this one.
The Lions will follow the Bears into the visitors’ locker room against the Jets this week. Detroit looked solid in their win against Green Bay. The Jets will be coming off a short week. I think despite them being the road team, I’m taking the Lions.
Oakland (0-3), Tampa Bay (0-3) and Jacksonville (0-3) are the only teams in the league without a win this season. The Raiders are at home this week against the Dolphins. The Buccaneers and Jaguars will both be on the road. Tampa goes to Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville travels across the country to San Diego. I think the Raiders will pick up their first win and leave Tampa and Jacksonville as the two teams with goose eggs in the win column.
The Falcons (2-1) are in Minnesota to face the Vikings (1-2). The Vikings are without the services of a couple of key offensive players as a result of injuries and off-field problems. That should equate to the third win of the year for Atlanta.
The Eagles are off to their best start in years. At 3-0, they are surprising people around the league. This week, they are out west against the San Francisco 49ers (1-2). I liked the way Philadelphia looked last week in their shoot-out win over the Redskins. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles showed his teammates how tough he was following some huge hits from Redskins defensive players. He led his team to victory, and I see them rallying around him for another win this week. They should improve to 4-0.
Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys (2-1) host the New Orleans Saints (1-2). The Saints got off to a 0-2 start to begin the season. Last week, they picked up their first win of the year in Minnesota. I think they’ll make it two in a row, and both teams will be 2-2 when this game is done.
The Monday night game has the Patriots (2-1) visiting the Kansas City Chiefs (1-2). KC will be without the services of their star running back, Jamaal Charles. He’s out with a high-ankle sprain. It would be tough for the Chiefs to win with Charles. It will be nearly impossible to win without him. Look for New England to improve to 3-1.
Six teams have a bye this week. They are Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver and Seattle.
Last week, I was 11-4 with only the Monday night game left to be played at press time. I took the Bears over the Jets in that one.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Sept. 24-30, 2014, issue