Predicting Week 8 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

Last week was fairly uneventful with the Panthers and Patriots remaining undefeated, the other three undefeated teams having the week off and most of the results being fairly predictable.

With that said, let’s move on to this week, which should provide a lot of interest with a huge Sunday night game to cap everything off.

Patriots over Dolphins

The Dolphins have caught fire the last two weeks, but they did it against the Titans and the Texans. Talk to me when they beat a decent team. The Patriots win an easy home game here.

Chiefs over Lions

This is our third and final London game of the season. It’s always amazing how the teams that get signed up to go to London are never contenders.

Falcons over Buccaneers

I still have no idea what to think of the Falcons. They haven’t really beaten anyone good, but they’re still clear contenders based on their record. The Falcons string of winnable games continues here against the hapless Buccaneers.

Cardinals over Browns

The Cardinals have the makings of a Super Bowl contender. However, they need to win their division to have a shot. The good news for Cardinals fans is that the Seahawk’s early struggles have given them a huge early lead.

Rams over 49ers

Todd Gurley has quickly become one of the most entertaining players in the NFL and the Rams have silently become a playoff contender. They should take care of business against a 49ers team that looks lost week-to-week.

Saints over Giants

I thought the Saints were dead in the water after Week 5. Now, they’re a winnable game away from being at .500 and I have them winning in the Superdome.

Vikings over Bears

Add the Vikings to the list of wild card hopefuls in the NFC. They’re not going to catch the Packers, but they will definitely be in the playoff hunt.

Ravens over Chargers

This looked like an exciting at the beginning of the season. Now, it’s a game between two teams that have no absolutely no shot this season and fell apart out of nowhere. I have to go with the home team on principle here.

Bengals over Steelers

Andy Dalton and the Bengals have survived every test so far this season. Even with Ben Roethlisberger playing, I think the Bengals will come out on top and set a new franchise record for most consecutive wins.

Texans over Titans

This is, by far, the most skippable game of 2015. There is nothing else to say about it.

Jets over Raiders

I love watching both of these teams play right now and will likely make a point of watching this game in full. I’ll pick the Jets because they nearly beat the Patriots last week.

Seahawks over Cowboys

Will the Cowboys win a game without Tony Romo? I think the answer will still be “no” after this game.

Packers over Broncos

This is the must-watch game of the week. One of these teams will lose their first game of the season. I give the slight edge to the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is playing at such a high level and I don’t think Peyton Manning can do enough to match him.

Panthers over Colts

The AFC South is the new NFC South because the winner could very likely finish below .500 on the season.

That will wrap things up for this week. Come back next time to see where I was right and where I was wrong here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 7: 10-4

Overall: 67-38

Predicting Week 7 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

As we enter Week 7 of the NFL season, there are five undefeated teams, the most in the history of the league this far into the season.

Last week, four of those five teams won by a touchdown or less to continue an unprecedented start to the year. This week, the Bengals, Broncos and Packers all have byes, but the Panthers and Patriots will be competing to keep their perfect runs alive.

With that, let’s go into my picks for Week 7 beginning with a Thursday night game between two less than perfect teams.

Seahawks over 49ers

I was shocked when Cam Newton connected with Greg Olsen for a game-winning touchdown against the Seahawks on Sunday. Now, I think this is a must-win game for the Seahawks if they want to win their division this season.

Bills over Jaguars

This is our second London game of the season. The Bills are 2-0 when coming off losses so far this season so I think they will win here. If only they could figure out a way to win multiple games in a row.

Redskins over Buccaneers

Two teams with subpar quarterbacks going at it. This game will not be a classic by any means.

Falcons over Titans

Even coming off a bad loss to the Saints, I have to give the Falcons the nod because the Titans are just terrible on both sides of the ball and they are not getting better anytime soon.

Colts over Saints

Kudos to the Colts for not getting blown out like many predicted they would. Andrew Luck has benefited from terrible division competition over the last several years and the team should be able to widen their lead with a win here.

Vikings over Lions

Matthew Stafford has been in the NFL for seven years. If he isn’t a good quarterback by now, he never will be.

Unfortunately for the Lions, he is not a good quarterback and the Vikings defense should eat him alive in this game.

Steelers over Chiefs

It doesn’t matter who the Steelers start at quarterback, they just keep on winning. Were it not for Josh Scobee’s leg, the Steelers would be 5-1 right now.

They will pick up their fifth win of the season here against a hurting Chiefs team.

Rams over Browns

This might be the game to watch during the Sunday afternoon slate. Two frisky teams who have played well the last couple of weeks.

I’ll take the Rams because of their solid home field advantage.

Dolphins over Texans

The Dolphins defense actually played like the studs they were supposed to be last week. This game will be a test to see if that game was a mirage or if they are now for real.

Patriots over Jets

Expect Darrelle Revis to come up with some big plays in his return to Foxborough. However,  the Patriots should win comfortably in their friendly confines.

Chargers over Raiders

Both of these teams have had up-and-down seasons to this point in the year. I have the Chargers winning a close game here.

Giants over Cowboys

Try as they might, the Cowboys cannot get me excited about Matt Cassel starting an NFL game in 2015. I think the Giants will win by a landslide.

Panther over Eagles

The Panthers will join the ranks of the 6-0 teams this season with a Sunday night game against the Eagles. The team’s true test to win the division will come when they have to play the Falcons for the first time in Week 15.

Cardinals over Ravens

The Raven’s dramatic fall from grace will continue with a blowout loss to a Cardinals team that has firm control of the NFC West right now.

With that, another week comes to a close. Come back next week for more discussion and analysis of the NFL season here on the Cowan Corner.

Week 6: 8-6

Overall: 57-34

Predicting Week 6 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

You never know what you’re going to get in the NFL on a week-to-week basis.

Week 5 saw three overtime games, home teams going a dismal 6-8, a team coming back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit for the first time since 2010 and a rare walk-off touchdown in regulation to cap off the week.

Now we move on to Week 6, which probably won’t be as crazy, but you never know what could happen. Here are my picks.

Falcons over Saints

I think at least one of the six undefeated teams will lose this week. However, I don’t think the Falcons will be that team.

Atlanta’s time will come eventually, but Matt Ryan and Davonta Freeman will have no trouble running all over this Saints team.

Bengals over Bills

Through five games, Andy Dalton is averaging 300 yard per game and has more than five times as many touchdown passes as interceptions. The last two quarterbacks to do that through five games in the Super Bowl era are Aaron Rodgers in 2011 and Peyton Manning in 2013.

Needless to say, Dalton is having the best year of his career and that combined with the news of Tyrod Taylor missing time with an MCL sprain has me picking the Bengals.

Jets over Redskins

The Jets are back in America and primed to dominate a bad Redskins team.

Cardinals over Steelers

I will admit to being surprised by Michael Vick’s success as a starting quarterback for the Steelers. Was it not for Josh Scobee hooking a couple field goal tries, the Steelers would be 2-0 with Vick at the helm.

However, the Cardinals are just a better team and even in Pittsburgh, I have to choose Arizona to win.

Vikings over Chiefs

Jamaal Charles’ ACL tear ended his season and basically killed any hope that the Chiefs had this season. In contrast, the Vikings have the look of a fringe playoff team and have yet to lose at home this season.

Lions over Bears

The Lions are the NFL’s only winless team after five weeks. I think they will pick up their first win of the season at home against a bad Bears team.

If the Lions lose, Matthew Stafford’s job could very well be in jeopardy.

Broncos over Browns

Say what you will about Peyton Manning’s arm this season, the Broncos defense is no joke and could single-handedly bring them a first-round bye.

Browns won last week in an overtime thriller, but stand little chance against this Broncos team.

Jaguars over Texans

Probably the most entertaining part of Thursday night’s game was the shots of Ryan Mallett looking disgruntled on the sidelines.

We will probably get more of those shots as the Texans dig themselves a deeper hole in the division.

Dolphins over Titans

I’ll take the Dolphins here because the Titans are just as much of a mess and the Dolphins have a better defense.

Seahawks over Panthers

The Panthers will fall from the ranks of undefeated in Seattle. The Seahawks are coming off an overtime loss in which they led by as much as 17 points.

Coming off that loss, I expect the Seahawks to come out determined and focus.

Packers over Chargers

It’s Aaron Rodgers at home. Need I say more?

Ravens over 49ers

Remember when the Ravens were a trendy Super Bowl pick? Now, they’ll barely scrape by a pretty bad 49ers team.

Patriots over Colts

Tom Brady’s going to be playing to kill due to all the fallout from Deflategate that started with a game against the Colts. Even if Andrew Luck plays, I don’t see much hope for the Colts here.

Giants over Eagles

Giants have by far the best team in their division and a win here will solidify their first place standing.

Whatever the next week of action brings, come back next week for more discussion of the week that was and what is to come at the Cowan Corner.

Week 5: 8-6

Overall: 49-28

Predicting Week 5 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

I thought for sure my streak of correct Thursday night predictions would come to an end against the Steelers last week.

Then, Josh Scobee shanked a couple of field goals and the Ravens somehow clawed back to win as I improved to 4-0 on Thursdays.

That win was the beginning of another successful week of predictions at the Cowan Corner as I went 11-4 on the week. Now, I look to continue that run of good fortune with an interesting slate of games coming up.

Let’s start with the Thursday night game for this week.

Texans over Colts

Even if Andrew Luck plays, I don’t see a win here for the boys in blue. The AFC South is a wide-open race at the moment and I see the Texans picking up a key win at home here to bring themselves even with the Colts.

Bengals over Seahawks

This is the first real test for a Bengals team that looks as strong as any team in the Marvin Lewis era. The Seahawks are traveling cross-country on a short week and are coming off a game in which they needed a fumble on the one-yard line to beat the winless Lions.

I expect this game to be a comfortable Bengals win to put the Bengals at 5-0 for the first time since 1988.

Chiefs over Bears

The Chiefs 1-3 record is deceiving because those three losses were a heartbreaker to the Broncos, a loss in Lambeau Field to the Packers and a loss to the aforementioned Bengals.

Meanwhile, the Bears somehow beat a good-looking Raiders team on a last minute field goal. I’ll take the Chiefs here, mainly because Andy Reid is a master of beating bad teams.

Falcons over Redskins

Falcons will remain undefeated this season with an easy home win and the Redskins will lose to add more intrigue to the NFC East race.

Jaguars over Buccaneers

No one wins in this battle of bad Florida teams. I’ll take the Jaguars on the road because they have actually showed flashes of competence with a win over the Dolphins and an overtime loss to the Colts.

Saints over Eagles

Neither of these teams are very good, but I’ll take the Saints because they have a pretty good quarterback in Drew Brees. That’s more than the Eagles can say right now.

Ravens over Browns

Ravens are hard to beat at home and Josh McCown is not capable enough to beat them here.

Packers over Rams

I will say I was shocked that the Rams beat the Cardinals in Arizona. However, playing the Packers at home is a completely different animal.

Bill over Titans

I know the Bills just suffered an embarrassing loss at home to the Giants, but I also know that the Titans are not a good team.

On the bright side, Marcus Mariota still looks like a promising NFL quarterback.

Cardinals over Lions

The Lions winless woes will continue here against a motivated Cardinals team. The Lions will win at some point, just not this week.

Patriots over Cowboys

The Patriots have steamrolled everybody they’ve faced so far this season and the Cowboys will be no different. My question is if the Cowboys will win any games before Tony Romo returns to the field.

Broncos over Raiders

It’s Peyton Manning in a division game against a team who just lost to the Bears. Even in Oakland this was an easy decision for me to make.

Giants over 49ers

Man, if it weren’t for those terrible collapses in the first two games of the season, the Giants would be sitting pretty at the top of their division. As it is, I expect them to jump into sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a win on Sunday night.

Chargers over Steelers

To cap off Week 5 in the NFL, I expect Philip Rivers and the Chargers to easily handle the Steelers in a Monday night encounter which would have been much more interesting before the Ben Roethlisberger injury.

Come back next week for more discussion on the week that was and predictions on what is to come in the NFL.

Week 4: 11-4

Overall: 41-22