Predicting Week 13 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

The NFL season enters its homestretch this week as five weeks remain in the regular season and the last NFL teams have their bye week.

December is a month where games are played in colder temperatures around the league and it will be interesting to see which teams perform as the pressure to make the playoffs intensify.

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

Cowboys over Vikings

The Cowboys franchise-record 10-game winning streak is on the line in this game and I see it continuing this week.

I just don’t see the Vikings scoring enough to beat out the well-oiled machine that is the Cowboys’ offensive unit.

Falcons over Chiefs

This has potential to be a high-paced explosive game between two playoff contenders. I think the Chiefs defense is overrated and Matt Ryan should be able to burn them for enough scores to get the win.

Lions over Saints

The Lions hold sole possession of first place in the NFC North, which is not something I thought I would be writing in December.

Regardless, this will likely be like almost every Lions win this season where they trail for the entire game before finding some way to pull it out.

Patriots over Rams

There is absolutely no chance the Rams will win against the Patriots on the road. If I were Jeff Fisher, I might start working on my resume with the way this season has gone for his team.

Broncos over Jaguars

The Broncos currently sit outside of the AFC playoff picture due to tiebreakers and need a win this week to get back on track.

Luckily for them, they play the Jaguars who are the NFL’s resident punching bag.

Packers over Texans

The Packers finally showed some life Monday night with a win over the Eagles, but are still not a playoff team.

They play the Texans who are only a potential playoff team because of the division they play in. I will take the Packers at home this week.

Eagles over Bengals

AJ Green is expected to return this season, but he will not be suiting up for the Bengals this week and their offense will be heavily affected by it.

This might end up being a close game, but I will go with the Eagles here.

Dolphins over Ravens

Since 1978, nine teams have made the playoffs after a 1-4 start. The Dolphins are in position to be the tenth after a six-game winning streak has them currently as the sixth-seed in the AFC.

They play on the road this week, but the Ravens have yet to impress me in any of their wins and so I will go with the Dolphins to continue their streak.

Bears over 49ers

This is what the whole season has been leading towards, folks. Two struggling franchises meet to determine who will make the second overall pick in the 2017 draft after Cleveland inevitably whiffs on the first overall pick.

I guess I will take the Bears since they play at home and have at least shown life as of late.

Raiders over Bills

I cannot figure out if the Bills are good or not, but I know for certain that the Raiders are good and that makes my pick in this game pretty easy.

Giants over Steelers

Everyone keeps saying the Cowboys are the best team in the NFC, but the Giants are quietly lurking just two games back in the division and already have a win over Dallas.

The Giants will need a win to keep pace in the division and I think they will do it here.

Redskins over Cardinals

The Cardinals do have homefield advantage, but they are in rough shape. On the other hand, the Redskins have looked good the last couple of weeks and are playing on a few extra days rest.

Chargers over Buccaneers

The Buccaneers surprised a lot of people the past couple weeks with their wins over the Chiefs and the Seahawks, but I think their run ends here.

The Chargers are not a playoff team, but they are still good and should do enough to pick up the win here.

Seahawks over Panthers

The Panthers season is basically over at this point, but they have a chance to make a final stand in Seattle.

The Panthers did win the last time the two teams met here, but I see the result going the other way this time around.

Jets over Colts

The only winner here is those who enjoy watching bad football. I will go with the Jets because they are the home team and will otherwise ignore this game entirely.

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: 110-65-2

Predicting Week 12 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

This week’s column was slightly delayed, but it’s here just in time for the trio of Thanksgiving games as all 16 teams are in action this week.

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

Lions over Vikings

The winner of this game will move into first place in the NFC North. I think the Lions will take it behind their strong offense doing just enough to get past the stellar defense of the Vikings.

Cowboys over Redskins

Both of these teams enter this game on hot streaks, but one of those streaks must come to an end.

This could be a must-win for the Redskins to win the division, but the Cowboys have too many weapons for me to pick against them.

I will go with the Cowboys in what should be a fun shootout.

Steelers over Colts

The Colts are playing without Andrew Luck and aren’t very good with him out there anyway. Enough said.

Titans over Bears

After a disappointing performance in Indianapolis Sunday, the Titans need a win to bounce back and stay in the playoff picture.

Luckily, they play a terrible Bears team this week so a win should not be a problem.

Bills over Jaguars

The Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 and they have a slim shot this season, but they will need to keep winning to have a shot.

They should take care of business this week against the Jaguars.

Ravens over Bengals

The Bengals will be missing AJ Green in this game and that will hurt as Green has played great against the Ravens throughout his career.

With all the injuries mounted against them, I don’t see the Bengals standing much of a chance here.

Falcons over Cardinals

It’s the battle of the birds this weekend and I will go with the Falcons because of their bevy of offensive weapons.

A loss this week will likely dash the Cardinals playoff hopes, but I don’t think they have enough to get the win.

Giants over Browns

The Giants have quietly won five games in a row to stay right behind Dallas in the NFC East and they should extend it to six this week against the Browns.

The march to 0-16 continues!

Saints over Rams

Jared Goff made his first career start on Sunday and was given absolutely nothing to do as the Rams’ offense looked as stagnant as ever.

This week, they play a team with a potent offense and they won’t be able to keep up.

Dolphins over 49ers

The Dolphins have suddenly won four in a row after a 1-4 start to the season. They get the benefit of playing the bottom-tier 49ers this week so anticipate a fifth win in a row this week.

Chargers over Texans

The Chargers’ playoff hopes are basically dead at this point, but there is still a sliver of hope. The Texans are currently leading their division, but I still think the worst team in the AFC West is better than the best team in the AFC South.

Seahawks over Buccaneers

The Seahawks have really started clicking since their tie against Arizona and look like the team to beat in the NFC.

They should continue their winning ways with a win in Tampa this week.

Raiders over Panthers

The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002 and they are now one win away from achieving that with six games to go.

Luckily for Raiders fans, I don’t think they will have to wait long for this ninth win Derek Carr should be able to burn the Carolina defense this week.

Patriots over Jets

The Jets have traditionally been the Patriots’ punching bag during the Brady-Belichick era and this week should be no different.

I also expect Fitzpatrick to throw at least two picks this week.

Broncos over Chiefs

These two teams are right behind the Raiders for first place in the AFC West and one of them has to win.

I will go with the home team, but I could see this going either way.

Eagles over Packers

The Packers are an absolute mess right now and it is clear they will need to make some big changes in the offseason to get back on track.

The Eagles will benefit from those problems this week as they should pick up the win.

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: 11-3

Overall: 97-62-2

Predicting Week 11 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

We’ve got 14 games on the docket for this week and there are some frankly odd pairings coming up.

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

Panthers over Saints

Both of these teams lost in heartbreaking fashion last week and a loss by either will likely eliminate them from the playoff discussion.

I think the Panthers will pull it out at home and keep their slim hopes for a playoff spot alive.

Steelers over Browns

The sad, slow march to 0-16 for the Browns continues. There’s not much else to say about this game other than it could be a bloodbath in favor of the Steelers.

Cowboys over Ravens

Dak Prescott is officially the Cowboys starting quarterback going forward. Before anyone gets too excited about how the rookie has played through the first nine games of his career, fans should keep in mind that the Cowboys have played the easiest schedule in the NFL so far this season.

It will be interesting to see how he plays against actual playoff teams.

Lions over Jaguars

The Lions jumped into first place in the NFC North on their week off thanks to the continued decline of the Packers and Vikings.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars can’t seem to do anything right as their team is a total mess right now.

Titans over Colts

The Titans are averaging 39 points per game over their last three games and are facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL this week.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Bengals over Bills

This is another game where a loss could potentially mean the end of playoff dreams for the loser.

I will go with the Bengals playing at home this week.

Chiefs over Buccaneers

The Chiefs keep finding ways to come from behind and win games. This will be an important game for them to win as they try to keep pace with the Broncos and Raiders.

Giants over Bears

Reports came out this week that the Bears locker room has given up on Jay Cutler. In other news, the world is round and water is wet.

Vikings over Cardinals

I am calling this week as the one where the Vikings finally get things back on track after losing four in a row since their bye week.

They have a lot of issue, but so do the Cardinals so I will take the Vikings here.

Dolphins over Rams

Man, I am so glad we have football in Los Angeles again, especially with a quality team like the Rams.

In all seriousness, the Rams might be the worst team in football to watch right now, but we will get to see if No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff can change that when he makes his first career start this week.

Patriots over 49ers

I don’t know why the Patriots didn’t hand the ball to LeGarrette Blount on the goal line against the Seahawks Sunday night.

Regardless, this game should be over by halftime considering the disparity between the skills of these two teams.

Seahawks over Eagles

The Seahawks offense looked pretty good last week against the Patriots. The Eagles are no slouch on defense, but the Seahawks should do enough to win.

Redskins over Packers

The Packers are not good at all and their game last week against the Titans proved that as they looked overmatched for the most part.

The Redskins offense should demolish the Packers in this matchup.

Raiders over Texans

The Raiders are coming off a bye and are looking to stay on top of their division this week. They will be a playing a Texans team which is not very good.

I will take the team that actually seems like they have something going for 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 10: 7-7

Overall: 86-59-2

Predicting Week 10 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

The halfway point of the NFL season is officially behind us and the playoff picture is still very muddled as most of the field remains alive. The next few weeks will be important in separating the haves from the have-nots.

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

Ravens over Browns

The Browns are looking more and more like an 0-16 team with each passing week. I think they will continue their inevitable march to a winless season with another loss here on Thursday night.

Packers over Titans

If the Packers lose this game, it could be the final nail in the coffin for head coach Mike McCarthy as the team has not performed well at all this season.

I think the Packers will do well enough this week for McCarthy to keep his job for now.

Redskins over Vikings

I think the Vikings’ slide into mediocrity will continue this week as they face a Redskins team coming off of a bye week.

Buccaneers over Bears

Neither of these teams is any good and this should be a game worth skipping. I will go with the Buccaneers because they are 0-4 at home this season, but have to get a home win at some point this season, right?

Chiefs over Panthers

The Panthers won on Sunday, but did so in a very sloppy game against the Rams that left me unimpressed.

This week, they go against the very capable Chiefs and I can’t seem them picking up the win here.

Falcons over Eagles

Carson Wentz has not looked good the past couple weeks and the Eagles have really fallen off after a 3-0 start to the year.

In the battle of the birds, I will take the Falcons who look like a major playoff contender.

Jets over Rams

The Rams really just need to put Jared Goff out on the field at this point. They have no chance of making the playoffs at this point so they may as well give the rookie some starting time instead of wheeling Case Keenum out there every week.

Saints over Broncos

I think the Saints can burn the Broncos defense for enough points where they can win this game. The Broncos really need a solid running game to be looked at as a serious contender.

Texans over Jaguars

The Texans are in firm control of their division despite losing JJ Watt early on and one major reason for that is they get to play against their fellow AFC South teams.

This is another game against a division opponent for them and one they should easily win.

Chargers over Dolphins

Despite some inexplicable collapses early in the season, the Chargers are hanging around and a win here will get them back to .500.

The Dolphins are currently at .500, but I see them losing here on the road against a better Chargers team.

Cowboys over Steelers

The Cowboys roll continues as they have the best record in the NFC and have two exciting young rookies in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot.

I think they will continue on that roll against a Steelers team which has been weakened by injuries.

Cardinals over 49ers

The 49ers fired head coach Jim Tomsula after one 5-11 year. The question will be if Chip Kelly will be next on the chopping block after a worse season.

Patriots over Seahawks

The Patriots have been on a roll since Tom Brady’s return from suspension. This should be a close game, but I think the Patriots will continue their current four-game winning streak with another one here.

Bengals over Giants

This has potential to be a shootout on Monday night and could honestly go either way. I think Bengals will do just enough to 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 8: 10-3

Overall: 79-52-2

Predicting Week 9 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

There’s nothing quite as annoying as watching your favorite team finish a game with a tie. It’s even more annoying when you have to wake up early just to watch the game because it’s being played in London or having to stay up late because it’s a night game.

However, this has been the case the last two weeks as the Seahawks-Cardinals night game Oct. 23 and the Bengals-Redskins London game Sunday gave us our first ties in back-to-back weeks since 1997.

Maybe we’ll see another tie this week just to make my overall picks record slightly more disjointed.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks as we once again have six teams on byes resulting in 13 games for the week.

Falcons over Buccaneers

The Falcons have been one of the more exciting teams to casually follow this season because of their explosive offense.

I will be picking them against a Buccaneers team that just lost at home to a Raiders team which set the single-game record for penalties.

Ravens over Steelers

As of this writing, Ben Roethlisberger will not be playing for the Steelers on Sunday. The Ravens are not a good team, but I will take them against Landry Jones.

Cowboys over Browns

The Browns just can’t catch a break. Last week, they blew a 13-point halftime lead against the Jets and this week they play one of the best teams in the NFC.

Suffice to say, it will not be a fun week for Browns fans. Unless the Indians win the World Series, in which case, they won’t care.

Chiefs over Jaguars

The Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos are currently in a tight race for the AFC West. The Chiefs will need to win games like this to keep pace with the other two.

Dolphins over Jets

Neither of these teams are very good, but one of them has to win, right?

Eagles over Giants

The Cowboys have a comfortable lead in the NFC East right now, but both of these teams still have a chance to catch them.

I will take the Eagles and their very good defense to prevail here.

Vikings over Lions

The Vikings have not looked like the same team since their bye week as they have dropped two games in a row.

Luckily, they should get back on track against a Lions team which stays in games, but struggles to beat more capable teams.

Panthers over Rams

The Panthers proved they are not quite dead in the water yet after beating up on the Cardinals. They should pick up their third win of the season this week against the Rams

Perhaps the most interesting part of this game will be the possibility of Jared Goff seeing the field for the first time in his NFL career if Case Keenum turns in another lackluster performance.

Saints over 49ers

This will not be a game many people outside New Orleans or San Francisco will focus on with neither team going anywhere.

I think the Saints will win, primarily because of how poor the 49ers roster is right now.

Chargers over Titans

I will probably regret this pick on Sunday when the Chargers find some way to blow a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

However, I will risk it because the Chargers are really not that bad. They just need to work on playing for a whole 60 minutes.

Packers over Colts

Both of these teams have major issues to work out, but the Colts have a lot more issues.

Also, Aaron Rodgers is significantly better than Andrew Luck so I think the Packers will come away with the easy win.

Raiders over Broncos

This is a major opportunity for the Raiders to prove they are a real threat in the AFC and claim control in their division.

I think they will come through against a Broncos team which will lack much of a ground game with several running backs injured.

Seahawks over Bills

This is a weird Monday night matchup. With that being said, I think the Seahawks are the better team and will come away with the win.

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 8: 9-3-1

Overall: 69-49-2