By Sam Cowan
Welcome back for the next set of picks for the upcoming week in the NFL.
The inaugural picks column started off strong through Sunday last week. Then, I completely whiffed on the Monday night games and had to settle for a 9-7 record.
Still, we’re starting off the year above .500 and that’s always a good thing.
Without further ado, let’s get to the action.
Broncos over Chiefs
Peyton Manning isn’t going to go two straight weeks without a touchdown pass and the Broncos defense mauled the Ravens last week. The same should happen here on the Thursday night game.
Bengals over Chargers
The Bengals picked up a win on the road last week in the first victory in Oakland in franchise history. Now, they return to Cincinnati for their first home game.
It will be a close game, but the Bengals come up on top.
Texans over Panthers
Cam Newton has no one to throw too and JJ Watt is the master of everything.
Steelers over 49ers
I underestimated the 49ers last week. However, now they are on the road and facing a much better offensive unit in the Steelers.
If they prove me wrong again, I’ll start looking at them more seriously.
Saints over Buccaneers
Winston looked generally unimpressive against the Titans in his NFL debut.
While Drew Brees is on his last legs, he’s still better than Winston at the moment.
Vikings over Lions
The Viking were the only team that didn’t score a touchdown last week. At the same time, the Lions are bad on the road and coming off a loss in which they blew an 18-point lead.
I’ll take the home team, but I will avoid watching this game at all costs.
Cardinals over Bears
The Bears put up a surprising fight last week against the Packers, but they are playing another playoff-caliber team here and I expect the same result.
Patriots over Bills
This was my toughest choice of the week. The Bills looked great against the Colts and might actually have something in Tyrod Taylor.
That doesn’t change the fact that Tom Brady dominates the AFC East and I don’t think that will change. However, don’t be surprised if this one comes down to the wire.
Titans over Browns
I firmly believe Marcus Mariota has a bright future ahead of him in the NFL and proved it with his four touchdowns and no interception on Sunday. Johnny Manziel, on the other hand, has yet to prove he belongs on an NFL field.
Both of those trends should continue.
Falcons over Giants
The Giants should still be recovering from that incredible collapse Sunday night and the Falcons are still flying high after a win on Monday.
Rams over Redskins
Kirk Cousins is 2-8 as a starter for his career. The Rams just beat the defending NFC champions. My choice here was incredibly easy.
Dolphins over Jaguars
Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season, but the Dolphins are definitely the better team.
Ravens over Raiders
It was an incredibly tough break for the Raiders with Derek Carr’s hand injury. The fact that they are playing two straight playoff teams to start the year doesn’t help matters.
Ravens will pick up their first win of the season here.
Cowboys over Eagles
Even without Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have enough weapons to beat the Eagles.
Let the countdown begin until Philadelphia fans start calling for Chip Kelly’s head.
Packers over Seahawks
The road back to the Super Bowl will be a difficult one for the Seahawks as I now think they start 0-2. Ending the holdout of Kam Chancellor is a must for them to have any shot of making it back.
Colts over Jets
I’ll take Andrew Luck over Ryan Fitzpatrick in prime time, thank you very much.
With that, another column comes to a close. Come back next week for more analysis and predictions of what is to come in the NFL.
Week 1: 9-7