Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
Several playoff spots could be clinched this week depending on the results of some games and even as many as four division races could end this week.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s pick starting with a very important Thursday night matchup.
Saints over Falcons
The Saints sit at the top of the NFC South this week while the Falcons are two games out in the division and one game out of position for a wild-card.
This game should prove very important to the divisional race in the NFC South and I expect the Saints to win and solidify their place at the top.
The Falcons will have trouble slowing down Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and I don’t think Matt Ryan will do enough to counter that against the tough Saints defense.
Colts over Bills
This pick is made under the assumption that Tyrod Taylor will not be playing this week. The injury to Taylor is unfortunate as the Bills playoff chances will basically disappear if he is out for any length of time.
Assuming Nathan Peterman starts for the Bills, it will be a rough night for their fans as they lose to the lowly Colts.
Bengals over Bears
Both of these teams are already looking forward to next year with where they are in the standings.
I think the Bengals will win this one easily as the Bears have had trouble this season winning on the road.
Packers over Browns
Packers fans received some great news this week as Aaron Rodgers may actually be back on the field before the end of the season after a collarbone injury initially appeared to end his season.
Rodgers is projected to return next week at the earliest so if the Packers can stay in the playoff race until then, then they will definitely have a chance.
Luckily for them, they play the worst team in football this week which should mean Brett Hundley picks up another win before Rodgers’ return.
Raiders over Chiefs
Remember when the Chiefs were 5-0 and seemed like one of the best teams in football. Now they’ve lost six out of their last seven and in a three-way tie with the Chargers and their opponent this week.
The Raiders won the last game these two teams played against each other and I’m expecting something similar here. The Chiefs can’t seem to do much right and I think their downward spiral will continue this week.
Cowboys over Giants
The Giants did the right thing in firing Ben McAdoo after a horrific tenure as head coach which ended in him benching the most revered player on the team for a guy who failed at quarterbacking the Jets.
Now they’ll look to move forward, though it will still be tough to win with the roster they have right now. I expect the Cowboys to pick them apart this week to add to their continuing woes.
Lions over Buccanneers
This one is hard to predict because it is uncertain whether Matthew Stafford will be starting the game after suffering a hand injury last time out.
Stafford has not missed a start since 2011 so I’m going to assume he guts it out and plays which gives the Lions a definite edge.
If he sits out, it’s a bit more of a toss-up.
Vikings over Panthers
The Vikings could wrap up the NFC North with a win in this game and I think they will get the job done.
The Panthers are a good team, but their offense has struggled at times and I think the Vikings will be able to completely shut them down in this game.
49ers over Texans
The Jimmy Garoppolo era has begun in San Francisco and I think he will make it two straight wins this week against a bad Texans team.
The 49ers aren’t very good still, but having Garoppolo under center definitely makes them better than what they were.
Jets over Broncos
Considering how low expectations were going into the season, the Jets and their fans have plenty to be happy about with their young team.
I think they will pick up their sixth win this week as the face a Broncos team which has proven how important the quarterback position with how horrible their quarterbacks have been this season.
Titans over Cardinals
The Cardinals could potentially play spoiler here as the Titans continues to compete with the Jaguars for the AFC South title.
I think this game could be a potential loss, but I think the Titans will be able to pull it out on the road.
Chargers over Redskins
The Chargers have completely turned things around on an 0-4 start and are now in contention to win the AFC West.
I think they will get above .500 this week with a win against a Redskins team which has struggled as of late.
Rams over Eagles
This is a game which could have some significance down the line as it is very possible these two teams could meet in the playoffs.
I think this will be a close game, but the Rams should win at home to further their hold on the NFC West.
Jaguars over Seahawks
The Seahawks showed they are not completely done yet with a win over the Eagles last week despite the loss of Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman to injuries.
However, I think the Jaguars will take this one as their defense should be able to overall the weak Seattle offensive line.
Steelers over Ravens
A win by the Steelers would clinch the AFC North for them and I see that happening Sunday night.
The Steelers won earlier this season in Baltimore and I am expecting a similar result here.
Patriots over Dolphins
Even with Rob Gronkowski suspended for this game due to the needless assault of another player, I don’t see a way the Dolphins can win this one.
Jay Cutler is a walking pick-six and the Dolphins will have trouble stopping the strong Patriots offense.
That does it for this week’s picks. Check back next week for more NFL picks and analysis of the week that was in football.
Week 13: 13-3