By Sam Cowan
Welcome back to the Cowan Corner for my Week 3 NFL picks.
For the second week in a row I finished with a 9-7 record last week and I remained winless on Monday nights. This week I hope to change that with an easy pick for Monday, but more on that later.
Let’s get down to the picks starting with our Thursday night game.
Giants over Redskins
The injuries to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant combined with the poor play of the Eagles has opened the door for either of these teams to win the NFC East.
I think the Giants will take care of business at home after two straight weeks of late-game collapses.
Ravens over Bengals
The Ravens are better than their 0-2 start implies. This is also the first home game for the Ravens and I expect them to play well in front of their fans.
The Bengals will put up a fight and the game will be close, but Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh should take this one.
Falcons over Cowboys
Whether Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden starts for the Cowboys, it doesn’t affect my pick. The Falcons find themselves as potential contenders early in the year and the Cowboys have no offensive weapons for a few weeks.
Colts over Titans
Andrew Luck has looked average at best in his first two starts, but that may have been a factor of the defenses that he played rather than a reflection of his skill.
The Colts will pick up their first win of the season against a mediocre Titans team.
Raiders over Browns
I still don’t trust Johnny Manziel as an NFL quarterback and the Raiders are coming off a big upset of the Ravens.
Even in Cleveland, I have to take the Raiders.
Update: Josh McCown has returned as the starter for the Browns this week and Johnny Manziel has been benched. My pick remains the same
Patriots over Jaguars
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are going to carve up another defense. This one will probably be over by the third quarter.
Panthers over Saints
It’s looking like a two-horse race for the NFC South title this year with the Panthers and Falcons. Saints struggle on the road even when they’re good and that will not change in this game.
Jets over Eagles
The Jets might make the playoffs based on their defense alone. Meanwhile, if you listen closely, you can hear the angry ranting of Philadelphia fans echoing in the distance.
It’s going to be a long season for the Eagles and their fans if the first two games are any indication.
Texans over Buccaneers
If I keep picking the Texans, they’ll eventually win, right?
All joking aside, Jameis Winston still has a lot to prove and he is going up against the best defensive player in the NFL on Sunday.
Chargers over Vikings
Chargers barely lost against the Bengals in Cincinnati and the Vikings have not been the most impressive over the past two weeks. I would expect Philip Rivers to have a solid bounce-back game here.
Rams over Steelers
This was my toughest pick of the week. I expect both of these teams to be contending for playoff spots at the end of the season.
I decided to go with the Rams here because they are very hard to beat at home as the Seahawks found out in Week 1.
Cardinals over 49ers
The Cardinals season lives and dies on Carson Palmer’s body not falling apart. To this point, Palmer has played well and stayed healthy.
I expect that to continue against a 49ers team that got blown out by the Steelers last week.
Bills over Dolphins
The Bills were unable to beat the Patriots on Sunday, but the game was very close and the Bills have catapulted into the spotlight as a trendy playoff pick.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, are in danger of finishing in last place in the AFC East for the first time since 2011.
Seahawks over Bears
Of the nine teams that currently sit at 0-2, the Seahawks are arguably the most surprising. I expect the Seahawks to pick up their first win of the year against a bad Bears team.
The Bears have given up the most points of any team since 2013.
Broncos over Lions
You never bet against Peyton Manning in night games.
Packers over Chiefs
The Packers are dominant at home and look to be an offensive juggernaut even without Jordy Nelson. The Chiefs are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Broncos and struggle outside of Kansas City.
That’s it for this week. Join me next week for more predictions and thoughts on the week that was in the NFL.
Week 2: 9-7