By Sam Cowan
It’s that time of year in the NFL. Thanksgiving week marks the end of bye weeks, but also brings us three Thursday games to look forward to.
One particular game on the Thursday schedule has plenty of intrigue with the 10-0 Panthers clashing with the Tony Romo-led Cowboys. The other Thursday games have the potential to impact the current divisional races.
More importantly, December is right around the corner and serves as the true proving ground for playoff hopefuls. With that said, let’s move on to this week’s NFL picks.
Eagles over Lions
I don’t think either of these teams are very good. The tipping point for me was that the Eagles have much more to play for with the division race still very much in question.
Cowboys over Panthers
I’m going with the upset pick here. Tony Romo is 3-0 as a starter this season and the Cowboys have the benefit of playing the Panthers on a short week.
It will be a close game, but the Cowboys should come out on top here.
Packers over Bears
As the weather gets colder, the Packers get better. I don’t think that will change much against an average Bears team.
Raiders over Titans
The Titans have only won this season when Marcus Mariota throws four touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. I don’t think that will be happening this week.
Chiefs over Bills
Both teams need a win to move above .500 for this season and I believe they are fairly evenly matched. I will give the nod to the home team here.
Colts over Buccaneers
Matt Hasselbeck has played better this season than Andrew Luck. That is something which cannot be argued statistically right now.
The only question is how long can Hasselbeck play at his current level? I think it lasts at least one more week.
Giants over Redskins
The wacky ride that is the NFC East continues. I think the Giants will win this game even on the road.
Texans over Saints
JJ Watt has played at another level the past several weeks. There is no reason to think that won’t continue and the Saints should still be in turmoil after firing Rob Ryan as a defensive coordinator.
Vikings over Falcons
The Falcons are not a very good football team. This week’s game should do nothing to change my opinion.
Bengals over Rams
The Bengals will get back on the winning track with a home game against a very beatable Rams team.
Jaguars over Chargers
The Chargers might not win another game because of a combination of injuries and having no home field advantage. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are legitimate division contenders in the AFC South right now.
Jets over Dolphins
I think the loser of this game can be safely written off for the playoffs this season. Unfortunately for Miami fans, I think the Dolphins will draw the short end of the stick in New York.
Cardinals over 49ers
Even at home, Blaine Gabbert is not going to win you all that many games as a starter. Especially not against the Cardinals who are one of the favorites to win the NFC this season.
Seahawks over Steelers
I see this being a big game for both teams. Given the Seahawks are at home and are further back in their division, I have to go with them to pick up a win.
Broncos over Patriots
The Patriots have looked vulnerable the last couple weeks. I think that combined with the recent Patriots injuries and the stifling defense of the Broncos is why I have the Broncos winning in Denver.
Ravens over Browns
Johnny Manziel never had the chance to win a game as a starter. Granted he never played well enough to deserve a win. I think his recent demotion to third string on the Browns is the final nail in the coffin for his career.
That is all for this week’s picks. Come back next week for more picks and analysis of the weeks that was in the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.
Week 11: 7-7