Predicting Week 14 of the NFL season

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

Overall: 126-66

Predicting Week 13 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

With December officially upon us, the NFL has hit its homestretch with each team having just five games left to play. Most playoff spots are very much up in the air, but performances this week could effect a lot of the playoff picture.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Cowboys over Redskins

This Thursday night game probably looked a lot more appealing before the season, but now both these teams seem dead in the water.

I think this will be a close game, but the Cowboys won in Washington earlier this season so I will pick them to win again here.

Vikings over Falcons

This is probably the best game of the week and could mean big things long-term in the NFC. The Vikings have pretty much locked up their division while the Falcons are a game back in theirs and in position for a wild-card spot.

I think the defense of the Vikings will be able to cause problems for the Falcons this season which will allow the Vikings to win a close game.

Patriots over Bills

A win by the Patriots would pretty much end any hope of the Bills catching them in the division and I see that happening here, though I think it will be closer than people think.

I just don’t think the Bills can match up with the Patriots on offense well enough to claim a win.

Bears over 49ers

I thought about this one for a surprising amount of time given the terribleness of the teams involved, but it is more difficult to pick with Jimmy Garoppolo taking over quarterbacking duties in San Francisco.

I think Garoppolo will lead to a more effective 49ers offense, but I think the Bears will be able to pull this one out at home after being embarrassed by the Eagles last week.

Packers over Buccanneers

Jameis Winston will be back for the Buccaneers this week and I don’t think it will make a difference at all because there is frankly very little difference in quality between Winston and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Both of these teams are bad, but the Packers at least showed flashes of promise with their close loss to the Steelers Sunday night.

Titans over Texans

The Titans are in full control of their playoff destiny as they hold the top spot in their division and a tiebreaker over the Jaguars with five weeks to go.

I think the Titans will stay at the top of their division with a home win over a Texans team which is lost without Deshaun Watson.

Dolphins over Broncos

There are no winners in this game, but if pressed to pick one, I will go with the Dolphins.

The Broncos are just an utter mess which is not helped by the fact that all of their quarterbacks are dreadful. The team is in need of a complete reboot at that position if they want to be competitive in the seasons ahead.

Jets over Chiefs

Speaking of utter messes, the Chiefs have gone from apparent Super Bowl-contender to looking like they may not even be good enough to make the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, I don’t think things will get any better this week as I think the Jets will be able to sneak away with an upset win to bring the Chiefs down to 6-6.

Jaguars over Colts

After a bad loss to the Cardinals on the road last week, the Jaguars need to turn things around this week to keep pace with the Titans in the division.

Luckily for them, the Colts are terrible and should be easy picking for their defense.

Lions over Ravens

The Ravens may be 6-5 right now, but don’t be fooled, they are not a good team. Joe Flacco has become one of the most unreliable quarterbacks in the game and their offense is almost nonexistent as a result.

I think the Lions will get a slight upset win here to get to 7-5 and send the Ravens to 6-6 this season.

Chargers over Browns

The Browns got their only win of 2016 on Christmas Eve against the Chargers and now these teams rematch with the Browns once again winless going in.

Unfortunately for Browns fans, I don’t think lightning will strike twice as the Chargers are playing good football right now while the Browns can’t seem to do anything right.

Raiders over Giants

I would like to say that benching Eli Manning is one of the most ridiculous decisions I have seen this season considering who his replacement is.

While Manning hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his play as of late, you cannot honestly tell me that Geno Smith will do any better than a man who brought New York two Super Bowls.

The move strikes me as one of desperation for Ben McAdoo who will be out the door soon after a terrible stint as head coach. With that being said, I expect the Raiders to walk all over Smith and the Giants this week.

Saints over Panthers

This is a game with major playoff implication as both teams sit at the top of the NFC South with identical 8-3 records.

The Saints won the last game against the Panthers by a score of 34-13 and I am expecting a similar result this week with the return of Marshon Lattimore to the field.

Rams over Cardinals

The Rams picked up a convincing win against the Saints last week as they thoroughly controlled the game on both sides of the ball.

While the Cardinals have done a good job hanging around with a weak roster, I think they will be knocked down hard this week by a Rams team which is hitting their stride.

Eagles over Seahawks

The Seahawks were dealt a heavy blow by a season-ending injury to Kam Chancellor Sunday which, combined with the injury to Richard Sherman a few weeks ago, erases a sizable portion of the Legion of Boom.

Now, the Seahawks will face Carson Wentz and the Eagles who have torn through pretty much everyone this season. I expect the Seahawks to put up a fight, but the Eagles will pick up their 11th win here.

Steelers over Bengals

This has the potential to be an early trap-game for the Steelers if they’re looking too far ahead to the Patriots.

However, I think the Steelers will end up winning this contest in what will likely be a close game.

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 12: 13-3

Overall: 113-63

Predicting Week 12 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

It’s Thanksgiving this week which means Thursday will be filled with three games on the slate.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Vikings over Lions

Case Keenum is the starting quarterback for one of the best teams in the NFC and that is something that nobody could have predicted at the start of the year.

Regardless, the Vikings staked their claim as a top team with their win over the Rams last week and I think they will establish control of their division this week with a win in Detroit.

Chargers over Cowboys

The Cowboys are in deep trouble right now as the absence of Ezekiel Elliott due to his suspension is clearly hurting their offense.

The Chargers have a fantastic pass-rushing front seven which should pester Dak Prescott all game and the Chargers will likely keep their playoff hopes alive with a win this week.

Redskins over Giants

The NFL decided to save the worst game for last this Thanksgiving as there is no appeal to this matchup whatsoever.

Neither of these teams are making the playoffs, but I guess I will pick the Redskins for being somewhat competent.

Falcons over Buccaneers

The Falcons seem to have found their groove again after wins over the Cowboys and Seahawks in the past two weeks. This is very important because they will need every win they can find to keep pace with the Panthers and Saints in their division.

Luckily for them, they play the worst team in their division this week and should have no trouble beating the Buccaneers at home.

Bengals over Browns

The Browns inevitable march towards 0-16 should continue this week with a game in Cincinnati.

Considering the Bengals won 31-7 in Cleveland earlier this season, I’m not expecting a different result this time around.

Titans over Colts

The Titans loss to the Steelers last Thursday was a great disappointment which left them trailing Jacksonville by a game in the standings.

However, the Titans should get back on track this week with a very winnable game against a bad Colts team.

Chiefs over Bills

After a hot start to the season, both of these teams have fallen on hard times recently. However, the Chiefs are in a much stronger position due to the relative easiness of the division they play in.

I think this game could wind up being close with Tyrod Taylor back at quarterback for the Bills, but I still expect the Chiefs to pick up a win.

Patriots over Dolphins

I mean, I would have to be crazy to pick this horrid Dolphins team to beat the Patriots in Foxborough, right?

In all seriousness, the Dolphins have no chance unless Tom Brady’s ACL explodes and, even then, the game is a bit of a toss-up.

Panthers over Jets

The division race in the NFC South between the Panthers, Saints and Falcons will be an interesting one with all three teams contending for playoff spots.

I think the Panthers will strengthen their playoff resume this week by picking up their eighth win of the season in New Jersey.

Eagles over Bears

The Eagles are running away with their division and it will be a shame if Carson Wentz doesn’t win MVP for the performance he is putting on in his second year in the league.

The Eagles should pick up their 10th win this week as they continue to move towards the top seed in the NFC.

Seahawks over 49ers

The loss of Richard Sherman to a torn ACL two weeks ago definitely seemed to hurt the Seahawks in their game Monday against the Falcons.

It will take time for them to adjust to losing a big defensive leader like Sherman, but they should pick up a win this week against the hapless 49ers.

Raiders over Broncos

The Broncos have officially announced that Paxton Lynch will be making his first career start this week after the failure of Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian.

However, I don’t think that change will be enough, as the Raiders should be able to walk away with an easy win here.

Saints over Rams

This is probably the best overall game of the week and the result could wind up saying a lot about where things stand as a whole in the conference.

I think this game should be very exciting, but I have the Saints winning at home as Alvin Kamara continues his path to winning Rookie of the Year.

Jaguars over Cardinals

Blaine Gabbert going against his former team in a game that absolutely nobody outside of Arizona or Jacksonville should care about at all.

The Jaguars should be able to mop up the Cardinals rather easily to hit 8-3 this season.

Steelers over Packers

Brett Hundley is not Aaron Rodgers and he has made that painfully obvious with his play since Rodgers’ unfortunate collarbone injury.

The Steelers should have no trouble dominating the Packers this week and it should make for a snoozer of a Sunday night game.

Ravens over Texans

What did football fans do to deserve this as a Monday night game? The Ravens shouldn’t have any trouble winning this one as I hardly expect Tom Savage to do anything against the stout Ravens defense.

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 11: 8-6

Overall: 100-60

Predicting Week 11 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

This is the final week for byes in the NFL which means we’re officially hitting the home stretch as the contenders attempt to separate themselves from the pack.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Steelers over Titans

I thought about this pick for a long time before putting it down because I feel like these teams are in a similar place right now.

Both teams are extremely talented on paper and have succeeded plenty on the field this season, but both teams also feel like underachievers thus far.

I think this one will be a close one, but I am going with the Steelers to win based on having the advantage of playing at home.

Lions over Packers

The NFC playoff race is very intense right now with 10 teams currently sitting above .500 and the Lions are right in the thick of it at 5-4 this week.

The Bears are a tough game at home, but it’s hard for me to pick them when their offense has looked so dreadful the past few weeks.

I expect the Lions to pick up their sixth win on Sunday.

Jaguars over Browns

The Jaguars have made a habit out of shutting down offenses all year and now they get an easy run of things this week against DeShone Kizer and/or Cody Kessler depending on Hue Jackson’s mood in between plays.

Even playing in Cleveland, I cannot waste a pick on predicting a Browns win and 0-16 looks more likely each week.

Packers over Ravens

Brett Hundley is no Aaron Rodgers, but he proved last week against the Bears that he can at least be serviceable in his place.

The Ravens are not a good team at all primarily because of their horrid offense and a bad offense does not usually mean good things when a team plays on the road.

Dolphins over Ravens

This is the game that was supposed to be played in Week 1, but got rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.

Neither of these teams are very good, but the Dolphins are passable while the Buccaneers are just terrible which makes this choice easy.

Rams over Vikings

If you had the Rams and Vikings leading their respective divisions 10 weeks into the season, you’re a liar.

This should be a really good game and I am expecting the Rams to pick up a big road win as they establish themselves as one of the best teams in the NFL right now.

Saints over Redskins

The Saints are all of a sudden looking like a top-tier team and they are doing it with a running game as opposed to the normally prominent passing game.

I think the Saints will pick up their eighth straight win this week with a game at home against an average Redskins team.

Chiefs over Giants

The Giants already seemed to be at rock bottom and then they lost to the San Francisco 49ers and fell even lower.

Their quick fall should continue this week as they take on the Chiefs coming off of a bye week.

Cardinals over Texans

This seems like a game that no NFL fan should watch even if you’re a fan of one of the teams. Both teams are just terrible primarily due to their quarterbacks and it should be a dull, lifeless game.

Chargers over Bills

The Bills unexpected decision to start Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor at quarterback this week swung this game for me.

Peterman is an unknown commodity in the NFL, but I can’t trust a late-round rookie quarterback to win on the road in his first start.

Bengals over Broncos

If Brock Osweiler is starting at quarterback for the Broncos, I am not going to be picking them out of principle because Osweiler is just that bad.

This has the potential to be a close game, but I think the Bengals have more weapons on both sides of the ball and should win this one.

Patriots over Raiders

These two teams will be heading to Mexico City for this game, but the change in location shouldn’t have much impact on the game.

The Patriots are significantly better than the Raiders and this game will probably be fairly one-sided in the Patriots favor.

Eagles over Cowboys

This is a must-win game for the Cowboys to have any chance of winning their division, but I don’t think they’ll be able to pull it off.

The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and I think Carson Wentz will take another step toward MVP-status with a big division win on the road.

Seahawks over Falcons

The loss of Richard Sherman might end up shaking up the playoff picture a bit in the NFC, but this week I think the Seahawks will be fine without him.

This will be a big game for both teams, but I expect the Seahawks to take care of business at home and establish themselves further in the playoff race.

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 7: 8-6

Overall: 92-53

Predicting Week 10 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

We’re officially past the halfway point of the season with every team having played at least eight games to this point. However, the playoff picture is still very muddled and this is usually the point in the season where the true contenders begin to separate themselves.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Seahawks over Cardinals

How can I pick Drew Stanton to get a win against the fierce Seahawks defense? The answer is that I can’t.

I think this game will be a one-sided squash for the Seahawks as they look to get back into playoff position after a slow start to the season.

Bills over Saints

This has the potential to be one of the most interesting games of the week as the strong defense of the Bills takes on the usually high-powered offense of the Saints.

I think this game could go either way, but I am going to go with the Bills because they will have the advantage of playing this game at home where they are 4-0 so far this season.

Bears over Packers

The Bears have been a feisty team at home this season and even if Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t really panned out at quarterback so far, the Bears are dangerous when Jordan Howard is pounding the ball.

I think Howard should be able to tear through the Packers defense and the Packers won’t be able to do much to respond.

Lions over Browns

The Browns journey to the No. 1 overall pick will continue this week as they will probably get decimated by the Lions this Sunday. There’s not much else to say about this one.

Bengals over Titans

I’m going with the upset pick here because I feel like the struggling Bengals offense matches up well with the defense of the Titans.

The Titans are weak on defense and don’t really have any one who can cover AJ Green who should have a big game this week to lead the Bengals to a win.

Steelers over Colts

The Steelers are coming off a bye week and should be able to crush a weak Colts team which is going nowhere fast.

I expect this game to be probably be over by the time the teams head into the locker room for halftime.

Jets over Buccaneers

The Jets were expected to be at the bottom of the barrel this season, but with a win they can get themselves to .500.

I think they will get there this week against a Buccaneers team which has been a complete disappointment in contrast. The suspension of Mike Evans this week will also not help the Buccaneers chances.

Vikings over Redskins

The Redskins remained in the playoff hunt with a win over the Seahawks last week, but I think they will fall back down to Earth with a loss this week.

The Vikings have been a top team in the NFC so far this season and their defense should be able to shut down the Redskins this week.

Jaguars over Chargers

The old adage is that defense wins championships and if that holds true, the Jaguars have a great chance of winning a championship this season after years as an NFL doormat.

I think the Jaguars are definitely the best team in their division and should be able to continue their path to the playoffs with an easy win over the Chargers this week.

Rams over Texans

The Texans are a team without an identity after injuries to Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt while the Rams seem like a bonafide Super Bowl contender.

I could see this game being fairly one-sided and I really don’t give the Texans much of a chance with Tom Savage at quarterback.

Cowboys over Falcons

The Cowboys surprised many people including myself with a big win over the Chiefs which established them as a major wild-card threat.

I think the Falcons are still off-kilter this season and I think they will struggle this week once again against the Cowboys.

Giants over 49ers

I don’t think the NFL could have booked a less interesting game for this week if they tried because this game has me reaching for the remote just thinking about it.

I guess I’ll pick the Giants to win the battle of the train wrecks because they have shown some life this season, negligible as it may be.

Patriots over Broncos

The Patriots still have a lot of questions to face about their legitimacy after barely beating the Chargers in their last game, but they shouldn’t have much trouble against a Broncos team which gave up over 50 points to the Eagles last week.

Panthers over Dolphins

Who keeps giving the Dolphins prime-time games? Seriously, there is nothing appealing about this team and certainly no reason for them to get three straight night games.

That being said, I expect the Panthers to win and hand the Dolphins a third straight loss in prime-time. Whether it’s Jay Cutler or Matt Moore in at quarterback, the Dolphins are just not a good team.

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 7: 8-5

Overall: 84-47

Predicting Week 9 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

For the second week in a row, six teams have bye weeks including the division-leading Patriots and Steelers. This puts just 13 games on this week’s schedule so it should be a slow week in the NFL.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Bills over Jets

This should be an interesting game between two teams which have completely surpassed expectations as the Jets are an average team and the Bills look like a legitimate playoff contender.

I think the Bills will take this one as their defense should be able to completely shut Josh McCown down and Lesean McCoy should run all over the Jets defense.

Titans over Ravens

Do not be fooled by the Ravens performance against the Dolphins on Thursday. That had as much to do with the Dolphins being terrible as it did with the Ravens being good.

At the time of writing, it is not known whether Joe Flacco or Ryan Mallett will be starting for the Ravens, but either way I expect the Titans to pick up a win here at home.

Saints over Buccaneers

The Saints enter the week at the top of the NFC South with their offense as strong as ever and their defense being surprisingly good.

I think the Saints will improve to 6-2 this week playing at home against a Buccaneers team that has been a complete disappointment this year.

Rams over Giants

The Rams return from their trip to London this week with a very winnable game across the country in New Jersey.

I expect the Rams to win this one rather easily against a Giants team which is just absolutely terrible. Remember when everyone thought the Giants might make it to the Super Bowl for some reason?

Eagles over Broncos

Carson Wentz’ MVP campaign strengthens each week as the Eagles have the best record in football and Wentz has had a fantastic sophomore season.

The Broncos will be trotting out Brock Osweiler this week which will in no way alleviate their recent offensive woes. I can’t see a scenario in which the Broncos win this week in Philadelphia.

Panthers over Falcons

Oh, how the mighty Falcons have fallen. The Falcons went from the best team in the NFC to the third-best in their own division and nobody can seem to figure out how.

The Falcons woes will likely continue this week with a tough road game against division rival Carolina. I think the Panthers will win a close game here to help their playoff chances and continue the Falcons’ descent.

Jaguars over Bengals

The Jaguars shouldn’t have any trouble putting pressure on Andy Dalton all day with the makeshift offensive line the Bengals are using.

The Bengals are no slouches on defense and this should be a low-scoring game, but I think the Jaguars will win this one.

Texans over Colts

The Texans are coming off a tough loss in Seattle in a game which will probably end up being one of the best of the year, if not the best.

The Colts are in shambles and I expect Deshaun Watson to make them his next victim as he should be able to tear apart their horrid secondary.

Update: The day after writing this, Watson tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. I think the Texans will still win this game at home, but the Texans as a whole are going to be in trouble the rest of the year.

The loss of Watson not only robs Texans fans, and football fans in general, of the joy of watching him play, but will likely have a domino effect on the playoff races going forward in the AFC.

49ers over Cardinals

There are no winners between the fans who will sit through this game as the Drew Stanton-led Cardinals take on the winless 49ers.

I think the 49ers will get their first win of the season this week as the Cardinals are about as bad overall. The addition of Jimmy Garoppolo should put the 49ers over the top this week.

Seahawks over Redskins

The Seahawks are undefeated at home so far this year to the surprise of basically no one and they should pick up a fourth home win this week.

Kirk Cousins got through the trade block without any movement so it will be interesting to see where he winds up when his contract expires after this season.

Chiefs over Cowboys

I cannot pick the Cowboys against a good team because they have to prove to me that they can actually beat a good team.

That combined with the absence of Ezekiel Elliott due to him finally serving his suspension leads me to easily pick the Chiefs to win in Dallas this week.

Raiders over Dolphins

Why is this a Sunday night game? Regardless, neither team is playoff-caliber, but it is hard for me to spend a pick on the Dolphins when their offense looks so inept.

The trading of Jay Ajayi only makes their offense worse and basically killed any chance of a playoff run. I think the Raiders defense will decimate the Dolphins to lead the Raiders to their fourth win.

Lions over Packers

If Aaron Rodgers were starting this game, I would take the Packers in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for Packers fans, Brett Hundley is no Aaron Rodgers and I think the Lions will take this one easily.

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 7: 11-2

Overall: 76-42

Predicting Week 8 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

This one week is one of the briefest for the NFL in terms of number of games as six teams have the week off which puts just 13 games to predict.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Dolphins over Ravens

The Dolphins benefited from addition-by-subtraction on Sunday as the injury to Jay Cutler gave the underrated Matt Moore a chance at quarterback.

Moore isn’t a star under center, but he is a decent quarterback and a marked improvement over the mercurial Cutler.

The Ravens have a good defense, but their offense is just awful and that makes it very hard to win in the modern NFL.

Vikings over Browns

Those willing to wake up at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning will be treated to what should be a completely one-sided affair.

The three London games so far this season have been decided by a margin of 97-7 and this game might be the worst yet as the Vikings have every possible edge on the Browns.

Bengals over Colts

I would say this is a must-win game for both teams though they are teams in completely different places right now.

The Bengals have had a tough schedule to this point and will likely be able to put some wins together now while the Colts have seemingly given up on the season.

This makes the selection for this week very easy as I think the Bengals will win decisively.

Bills over Raiders

This should be an interesting game between two potential playoff contenders and I am giving the Bills an edge because they are playing at home.

The Bills have continued to impress me this season and I am looking forward to seeing how they match up against the Patriots this season.

Patriots over Chargers

The Patriots had a big statement win Sunday night against the Falcons and they should be able to pick up another win against the Chargers.

The Chargers have won three straight after an 0-4 start, but I think they don’t have much chance of winning in New England.

Saints over Bears

The Saints enter this game on a four-game winning streak and have shown one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL to the surprise of pretty much no one.

I think the Saints will make it five in a row this week though the Bears will give them quite a fight before falling on the road.

Falcons over Jets

The Falcons offense has fallen off a cliff in the past few weeks and nobody can seem to figure out why.

Whatever the reason, they will need to get back on track soon to keep pace with the Saints and Panthers in their division.

I think they will be able to pick up a win against a Jets team which has over-performed thus far and should fall back down to their normal level this week.

Eagles over 49ers

Carson Wentz’ MVP credential continue to grow by the week as he has been phenomenal so far.

I don’t think the Eagles will have any trouble against the 49ers as they will improve to 7-1 on the season.

Panthers over Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are favored in this game and I can’t seem to figure out why. The Panthers underachieved last week against the Bears, but the Bears have been good at home this season.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, are not a good team no matter where they play and I think the Panthers will win pretty decisively in this game.

Seahawks over Texans

The Texans have been one of the best offenses in the NFL this season with Deshaun Watson at quarterback and this will be a major test for the rookie.

I think it will be a close game, but the Seahawks should do enough to give the Texans a loss on the road.

Redskins over Cowboys

This should be one of the more closely-contested games of the week and I feel like both teams are very evenly-matched.

I think the game is basically a coin-flip, but I will go with the Redskins who I feel have more upside and will benefit from playing at home.

Lions over Steelers

The Steelers have picked up two big wins over the last few weeks, but I think the Lions will put a stop to that here.

Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense should be able to pick apart the Steelers secondary and I think Ford Field will work well in the Lions favor this week.

Chiefs over Broncos

The Chiefs have lost two straight after a hot start which has left many questioning if they are really contenders.

I personally think they are still the best team in their division and one of the best in the conference, but they will need to prove it with a win Monday night.

However, I think the Chiefs will get the job done against a Broncos offense which has looked bad in the past few weeks.

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 7: 11-4

Overall: 66-40

Predicting Week 7 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Last week was the worst of the season for me from a prediction standpoint as I finished below .500, but it was a surprising week in general with most favorites failing to cover and many of those losing outright.

With another 15 games this week, it will be interesting to see if any more surprising results pop up.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Chiefs over Raiders

Prior to the season, many had the Raiders pegged as a sleeper Super Bowl contender, but they have looked horrible the past few weeks.

The Chiefs did take their first loss of the season last week, but they are still definitely the best team in their division and I expect them to get a big win on the road Thursday.

Bills over Buccaneers

At the time of writing, the status of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is uncertain, but even if he plays, I think the Bills are a much better team.

That being said, the Buccaneers don’t have a chance with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center so I will go against them.

Panthers over Bears

This has the potential to be an interesting game because the Bears have been a good home team this season.

However, the Bears lack effective receivers and that will likely hurt them despite the solid running backs they have.

I think the Panthers are a better team and I think they will pick up the win on the road this weekend.

Titans over Browns

The Browns are the worst team in the NFL and I don’t think anyone will argue with me there.

The Titans are an average team, but I fully expect them to dominate this game and hand the Browns yet another loss to begin the season.

Saints over Packers

You really have to feel for the Packers who went from top-tier team to average at best with the loss of Aaron Rodgers for possibly the entire season.

With Aaron Rodgers, this would have been an intriguing shootout, but without him, Drew Brees and the Saints should win very easily.

Jaguars over Colts

Leonard Fournette has already established himself as one of the best running backs in football and he almost makes up for Blake Bortles’ lack of playmaking ability.

I think Fournette’s powerful running and the Jaguars defense should allow them to dominate the Colts on the road this week.

Rams over Cardinals

The Cardinals seem revitalized last week as Adrian Peterson found an offense he is comfortable in and Carson Palmer actually seemed like a solid quarterback.

However, given the Buccaneers are not a good team, that win should be taken with a grain of salt.

The Rams, meanwhile, are still quietly the best team in the NFC West and I expect them to win this game to further their lead in the division.

Jets over Dolphins

The Jets outplayed the Patriots last week and if it wasn’t for one of the worst touchdown overturns I have ever seen, they probably would have beaten them. The game was another one demonstrating that the Jets might actually be a decent team that has outperformed all expectation so far.

The Dolphins got a big win last week against the Falcons, but I can’t trust a team led by Jay Cutler to play with any sort of consistency so I am going against them today.

Vikings over Ravens

With the Aaron Rodgers injury, the Lions underperforming and the Bears still being a few pieces shy of contending, the Vikings have seemingly jumped to the front of the line in the NFC North.

I think they will pick up their fifth win of the season this week against a Ravens team which has so much trouble moving the ball.

While the Ravens defense is good, it’s difficult to take them seriously as their offense stands right now.

Cowboys over 49ers

Ezekiel Elliott will be playing this week as the story around his on-again, off-again suspension continues to develop by the week.

Regardless of how well Elliott plays despite these distractions off of the field, I think the Cowboys will get back to .500 this week with a win over a below-average 49ers team.

Seahawks over Giants

The Giants did surprisingly well against the Broncos Sunday despite missing their only real offensive playmaker in Odell Beckham Jr.

However, I’m still not buying into them as a team and I think the Seahawks will win this one easily coming off of a bye week.

Steelers over Bengals

This should be one of the more interesting games of the week as matchups between these two teams tend to be very intense.

I think these two teams are on the same level, but I will give the Steelers a slight edge due to playing at home.

Chargers over Broncos

The Chargers seemed like an easy team to write off after an 0-4 start, but now they’ve won two straight and could make it three with a game against the struggling Broncos.

Trevor Siemian is projected to be able to play for the Broncos, but he hasn’t done much the past few weeks and I think the Chargers will get a close win here.

Falcons over Patriots

As mentioned above, the Patriots got outplayed by the Jets on Sunday and yet I am supposed to still buy them as a favorite for the Super Bowl.

The fact is their defense is horrible and their offense, while still good, is not what it used to be.

The Patriots will have home-field advantage, but they have already lost two games at home this season and I don’t see any way their defense can stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

The Falcons have made rough outings the past two games, but I think they are better than the Patriots and will win here.

Eagles over Redskins

This is a solid Monday night contest this week as the Eagles are the best team in the NFC East, but I feel like the Redskins are not too far behind.

Carson Wentz has been fantastic this year and I feel like he is currently being overlooked as a threat for MVP. If the Eagles continue on their current pace, he will have to be considered for it and I feel like he will bolster his case with another win here.

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 6: 5-9

Overall: 55-36

Predicting Week 6 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Four more teams have byes this week so it will be another spread of 14 games to choose from this weekend.

We have a long way to go until the playoffs as the playoff picture could change dramatically in the next few weeks.

With that being said, let’s get into this week’s picks beginning with the Thursday night game.

Panthers over Eagles

This is probably the best overall game of the week and we’re getting it early on Thursday night.

Both of these teams are clear playoff contenders and I could see it going either way. However, the Panthers have shown a capability to be a top contender this season while I think the Eagles aren’t quite at that level yet.

That combined with the Panthers playing at home means I am going with them.

Falcons over Dolphins

The Falcons are coming off of a bye week and they have the luxury of facing a terrible Dolphins team at home.

I’m just wondering what it’s going to take for the Dolphins to bench Jay Cutler considering how horrible he has played thus far couple with his terrible body language.

Regardless, whether it’s Jay Cutler or Matt Moore under center for the Dolphins, I think the Falcons win easily.

Packers over Vikings

Aaron Rodgers showed once again why he is the best quarterback in the NFL Sunday with his marvelous final drive to beat the Cowboys.

Now the Packers travel to Minnesota for an important NFC North matchup and I think they will win this one as well to improve to 5-1.

The Vikings are a decent team, but their offense has no identity and the quarterback combo of Case Keenum and Sam Bradford doesn’t inspire confidence.

Saints over Lions

This game should be the quite a shootout with two teams used to playing in domes and with quarterbacks who can sling it around facing off.

I think this game will be close, but I think the Saints coming off of a bye week will pick up the victory.

Patriots over Jets

The Jets and Patriots come into this game with identical 3-2 records which is not something I would not have expected going into the season.

Regardless, the Patriots are much better than the Jets even if their defense isn’t what it used to be and I think the Patriots will pick up an easy win here.

Redskins over 49ers

The 49ers are one of three winless teams at this point in the season and I don’t think they will get their first win this week.

The Redskins are a decent team and Kirk Cousins should be able to lead his offense to a solid win over the 49ers.

Ravens over Bears

The start of Mitchell Trubisky’s NFL career was not particularly eye-catching as threw for just one touchdown and had less than 200 yards passing, but his performance was passable.

However, this week he is matched up against a formidable defense in the Ravens and I expect the Ravens to overwhelm the young rookie with pressure throughout.

Texans over Browns

Will the Browns win a game this season? Maybe. Will they win against the Texans this week? I don’t think there is any chance that happens.

The Texans did lose handily to the Chiefs Sunday, but Deshaun Watson has continued to look impressive and should pick apart the Browns.

Buccaneers over Cardinals

These two teams have evenly matched records going in, but I would say the Cardinals have been a little less impressive.

After being decimated by the Eagles last week, I could see the Cardinals getting torched again by the combined power of Mike Evans and Desean Jackson.

Jaguars over Rams

The Jaguars are the early favorite for most confusing team of 2017 because you can never tell which version of them will show up. Some weeks they absolutely destroy the competition, but then the next week they’ll get torched themselves.

I’m making this prediction based on the assumption and hope that the Jaguars put on another dominating performance like they have in their three wins so far this season.

Chiefs over Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is an old man in football years and he showed Sunday when he threw five interceptions to the Jaguars including two pick-sixes.

When you combine that with the fact that Alex Smith is putting together an MVP season and Kareem Hunt has continued to dominate defenses, and there’s no way I can pick against the Chiefs to win at home.

Raiders over Chargers

Derek Carr is projected to play this Sunday if everything goes well which is good for the Raiders because without him, the team goes from a playoff contender to a pretender.

Even without Carr, I would favor the Raiders here, but if he is starting then I will definitely pick them to win at home.

Broncos over Giants

The season-ending injury to Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday put the nail in the already-closed coffin of the Giants season as they are now among the top contenders for the No. 1 overall pick come April.

With that being said, they should get one step closer to that premier spot this week as they will be completely outmatched against the Broncos.

Titans over Colts

The NFL week wraps up with a matchup that could be terrible or interesting depending on the status of quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota is apparently probable for the game at this point, but it could be a decision made on the day of the game.

Meanwhile, the Colts will likely still be without Andrew Luck though Jacoby Brissett has done a decent job in his place.

Regardless of which combination of quarterbacks play, I think the Titans are definitely better so I will go with them.

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 5: 7-7

Overall: 50-27

Predicting Week 5 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Week 5 is where bye weeks begin for NFL teams as the Saints, Dolphins, Broncos and Falcons all got a week off.

However, that still leaves 14 games on the schedule to be picked so without further ado, let’s get into this week’s selections.

Patriots over Buccaneers

The Patriots have the worst defense in football so far this year by a wide margin as their defense is on pace to allow over 500 points.

To put that into perspective, no Bill Belichick team has ever given up more than 350 points in a single season.

The Patriots need to find some defensive rhythm and the Buccaneers might be the team to help with that as they haven’t exactly lit the world on fire so far. I will go with the Patriots to pick up the win at home.

Bengals over Bills

The Bills have been on fire the last two weeks with wins over the Broncos and the Falcons, but their win over the Falcons should be taken with a grain of salt because the Falcons were playing without Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu for the entire second half.

I’m predicting a let-down for the Bills this week as the Bengals carry on their momentum from a blowout win over the Browns last week.

Jets over Browns

The Browns are arguably the worst team in football and even playing at home against the Jets, I can’t bring myself to pick them.

On the bright side for Browns fans, a loss this week will continue their path towards the No. 1 overall pick. Who knows, they might actually draft a quarterback that the franchise desperately needs.

Lions over Panthers

The Lions aren’t getting much attention so far this year, but they might be one of the best teams in the NFC.

This should be an interesting game, but I expect the Lions to pick up a win in front of their home fans at Ford Field.

Colts over 49ers

The Colts actually looked somewhat competent in the first half against the Seahawks before things fell apart in the second half.

However, while the Colts are far from a complete team, they are at least better than the 49ers so I will pick the Colts.

Titans over Dolphins

The status of Marcus Mariota is in doubt and it probably won’t be known until Sunday, but the Titans are still better than the Dolphins even if Matt Cassel starts.

I mean if you get shut out by the Saints, it says a lot about how bad your team is and the Dolphins definitely fit that bill.

Chargers over Giants

Two of the four remaining winless teams in the NFL square off in this game and one of them has to win, right?

I’ll go with the Chargers because they actually have consistent playmakers on offense unlike the Giants.

Eagles over Cardinals

There are three good teams in the NFC East and the Eagles seem like they may be the best among them. I think the Eagles will continue their early momentum this week when they take on a Cardinals team which has not looked good early in the year.

Raiders over Ravens

The Ravens have been ravaged by injuries so far this season and their lack of an offensive identity has caused them to fall short of expectations so far.

The Raiders really need a win to get back on track after two straight losses and I think they will have no problem beating the Ravens here.

Rams over Seahawks

Look out, the Rams are not only exciting to watch, but they’re a bonafide playoff contender.

This game could prove very important down the line in the NFC West and I expect the Rams to get to 4-1 with a big win here.

Packers over Cowboys

This should be one of the more exciting games of the week and it’s one I could honestly see going either way.

However, I think the Cowboys will take another loss at home this week as the Packers are a clear step better than them.

Texans over Chiefs

The Chiefs enter this game as the only undefeated team left this season, but I see them taking their first loss this week.

I think it will be a close game, but if Deshaun Watson plays like he did the first two weeks, the Texans should be able to win this game.

Bears over Vikings

The loss of Dalvin Cook from a torn ACL has put a massive damper on the Vikings playoff hopes and it’s hard to see them winning consistently with the offense they now have.

Mitch Trubisky will be making his debut for the Bears in this game and, while he is not a proven commodity yet, he performed well in the preseason and combined with the potent running attack of the Bears should be able to pick up a win in his NFL debut.

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 4: 12-4

Overall: 43-20