Predicting Week 17 of the NFL season

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

The final week of the NFL season is upon us and all but two of the playoff spots have been clinched, though the exact seeding in each conference is not locked in yet.

With all 16 games being played on Sunday, it will be interesting to see how the final playoff picture works out.

Bengals over Ravens

Neither of these teams has anything to play for, but it should still be a competitive division game.

These two teams always seem to play each other close, but I will give the edge to the Bengals playing at home.

Texans over Titans

The season-ending injury to Marcus Mariota killed any chance of the Titans making a playoff run and this game now means nothing for either team.

I will go with the Texans because I can’t see Matt Cassel doing much against their stout defense.

Buccaneers over Panthers

The Buccaneers need about eight different things to go their way this week to make the playoffs including needing a tie between the Redskins and Giants. Something tells me that won’s happen, but they will at least get one more win to close out the season.

Colts over Jaguars

Neither of these teams has had a good year and this game means absolutely nothing. I will say the Colts should win because the Jaguars are bad.

Patriots over Dolphins

The Patriots should easily get the No. 1 seed with Derek Carr out for the Raiders. This game does matter for the Patriots so I think they will take care of business.

Vikings over Bears

The Bears were expected to be terrible, but the Vikings have been truly disappointing after a hot start to the year.

After Matt Barkley’s five-interception performance last week, I don’t give the Bears much of a chance this week.

Bills over Jets

The Bills made the right move in disposing of Rex Ryan who has not been good the last few years as head coach.

I think they will do fairly well this week against a poor Jets team.

Cowboys over Eagles

This will be an unpopular opinion, but I think Tony Romo should start this game. The Cowboys have already clinched homefield advantage and it would be good to get Romo reps in case of the worst-case scenario.

Either way, I think the Cowboys will win this one pretty handily.

Steelers over Browns

The Browns actually have a credible chance due to the Steelers resting Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown this week.

However, I think the Steelers backups will still be able to win this game at home.

Falcons over Saints

This is yet another game which doesn’t mean anything for either team. I will take the playoff bound Falcons to win at home despite the best efforts of Drew Brees who has had a phenomenal season.

Redskins over Giants

The Redskins can guarantee a wild-card berth with a win while the Giants are locked into the five-seed.

The Redskins should win at home with their season on the line.

Cardinals over Rams

The Rams are just awful to watch and I can’t ever choose them to win no matter who they play.

Broncos over Raiders

I really feel for Raiders fans. Not only is the team moving away from Oakland where they have a loyal following, but the injury to Derek Carr pretty much ended any chance they had of making a Super Bowl run this season.

Khalil Mack will need to put up monster numbers for the Raiders to make any moves in the playoffs and I just don’t see it happening with Matt McGloin taking over under center.

Chiefs over Chargers

The Chiefs benefited the most from the Carr injury as they win the AFC West with a win and a Raiders loss.

I see that happening as the Chiefs jump into the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

Seahawks over 49ers

This should be a fairly lopsided game with a clear difference in skill between the two squads.

The Seahawks should win fairly easily by my estimation.

Lions over Packers

This game is for the NFC North and will determine the final playoff team for the season.

The Packers have been on a big hot streak, but I think the Lions will throw the kitchen sink at them in an attempt to win. I think it will be close, but the Lions will surprise many by winning the game and the division.

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 16: 8-8

Overall: 146-92-2

Predicting Week 16 of the NFL season

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

With two weeks remaining, only four playoff spots have been clinched, but there are quite a few races which could be decided by what happens this week.

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

Giants over Eagles

The Giants need to win out to have a shot at the division title, but can also guarantee a wild-card spot with one more win.

The Eagles have looked bad the past couple weeks and there are now lots of questions about how good Carson Wentz actually is. I think the Giants take this one easily.

Dolphins over Bills

The Dolphins clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Denver loss this week. The Bills, meanwhile, are hanging on by a thread as rumors continue to swirl about Rex Ryan’s job security.

I will take the more consistent Dolphins here.

Patriots over Jets

The Patriots have already clinched the AFC East, but still need to wok for the No. 1 seed.

Luckily for them, the Jets are horrid and just gave up 31 points to a Dolphins team led by Matt Moore.

Titans over Jaguars

This is a must-win game for the Titans and they should take care of business this week fresh off big wins over the Broncos and Chiefs.

Packers over Vikings

The Packers were left for dead after starting the season 4-6 and now they’ve rattled off four straight wins. They enter this week as the current sixth seed with a tiebreaker over the Buccaneers, who are also 8-6.

The Vikings are trending in the complete opposite direction having lost five of their last seven. The Vikings disappointing season will continue as the Packers win in Lambeau.

Chargers over Browns

Philip Rivers has thrown 18 interceptions this season which is impressive considering how hard it is to throw interceptions in today’s league with rules favoring receivers so heavily.

Despite Rivers’ terrible play the last couple weeks, he plays the Browns this week so his team will pick up a win.

Redskins over Bears

The Redskins will need a lot of help to make it into the playoffs with their current 7-6-1 record.

They will help themselves this week with a win over the lowly Bears.

Falcons over Panthers

A win this week and a Buccaneers loss will give the Falcons a division title. I see them getting half of the equation figured out with a win over the Panthers here.

Expect Julio Jones to have another big game after burning the Panthers for over 300 receiving yards last game.

Raiders over Colts

The Raiders benefited last week from the Chiefs losing to the Titans and now control the AFC West.

They will get one step closer to a division title by dominating the hapless Colts.

Buccaneers over Saints

The Buccaneers should win easily against the Saints in a battle of an explosive offense taking on a stout defense. I see the defense winning the day here.

Seahawks over Cardinals

Hopefully this game is more exciting than the sleep-inducing tie these two teams had last time they met.

The Seahawks should win easily as the Cardinals season is already over.

Rams over 49ers

In theory, one of these teams has to win. Both have been absolutely awful all season and don’t seem to have very bright futures.

I guess the Rams will win because their defense should be able to completely shut down the 49ers.

Bengals over Texans

The Texans finally benched Brock Osweiler last week after months of poor play. Now, they need Tom Savage to perform well as they compete for the AFC South.

However, I don’t think he will play well enough as the Bengals win here.

Ravens over Steelers

A win by the Steelers would clinch the AFC North title for them. However, I don’t see that happening this week as the Ravens strong defense should be able to hold off the Steelers.

Chiefs over Broncos

The Chiefs are a tough team to beat at home and I see them coming to play in order to stay alive for the AFC West title.

The Broncos are the latest team which has gone from Super Bowl champion to not even being in the playoffs.

Cowboys over Lions

This game could have a large impact on the NFC playoff picture with both teams competing for division titles.

This should be a close game, but I think the Cowboys are just the better team.

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 15: 10-6

Overall: 138-84-2

Predicting Week 15 of the NFL season

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

The playoff race continues to be hotly contested as all but 6 teams are still alive, though some are hanging on by threads.

With just three games remaining for every team, a few more playoff spots could be decided this week.

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

Seahawks over Rams

The last time these two teams played, the Rams somehow won 9-3, but I expect a very different result this week.

This should be an easy win for the Seahawks this week.

Dolphins over Jets

This is a Saturday night game between two division rivals. The Dolphins need a win to stay alive in the division race and I think they will get it.

I just don’t see Bryce Petty and the rest of the Jets doing much in prime time.

Packers over Bears

Just when you think the Packers might be done as a contender, they rattle off three straight wins and are right back in the NFC North race.

The Packers hot streak should continue against a bad Bears team.

Texans over Jaguars

This should be the worst game of the week by far. There is no redeeming value in this matchup whatsoever.

With that being said, the Texans should win, but nobody will care.

Bills over Browns

The Browns march to a winless season will continue when they travel up north to play the Bills.

The Bills playoff hopes are in grave danger at this point, but they should keep their hopes alive for one more week.

Ravens over Eagles

Carson Wentz has thrown seven interceptions in the last four games, which is not good when you’re playing a team with a top defense like the Ravens.

I doubt this game will be very close as the Ravens stay above .500 on the season.

Chiefs over Titans

All of a sudden, the Chiefs are in full control of the AFC West after sweeping their season series against the Raiders.

The Titans are also in their division hunt, but they also play in a weaker division. The game should be close, but the Chiefs will take it at home.

Giants over Lions

The Giants are the only team to beat the Cowboys so far this season and they have done it twice now. I think the worst-case scenario for Cowboys fans might be seeing the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs.

With that being said, I think the Giants will take the win at home and make the NFC North race a little more interesting by handing the Lions a loss.

Vikings over Colts

Both of these teams are in need of a win to stay relevant, but I see the Vikings winning easily. Their defense is still killer and Andrew Luck has looked really shaky recently.

Bengals over Steelers

The Bengals have played fantastic football over the past two weeks and they have a home game against their big division rival this week.

This should be a tough game, but the Bengals will narrowly pull it out.

Cardinals over Saints

Both of these teams are technically still alive for the playoffs, but it would take minor miracles at this point.

The Cardinals aren’t bad, they have just been a victim of poor special teams play. I think they will pick up a win this week.

Falcons over 49ers

If this game isn’t decided by more than 20 points, I will be shocked. There is a large disparity in talent here and it should show pretty well.

Patriots over Broncos

The Patriots took care of business Sunday night against a team that normally gives them a lot of trouble. This week, they play a team which has showed potential to still be a contender, but doesn’t seem to have enough to make a run this year.

The Patriots should win and clinch the AFC East this week.

Raiders over Chargers

The Raiders need a win this week to keep their hopes of a division title alive. The Chargers are in complete tatters right now and I don’t see a way the Raiders lose this week.

Buccaneers over Cowboys

The Cowboys are 2-23 on third-down conversions the last two weeks and Dak Prescott has looked shaky the last couple weeks.

This does not spell good things for the Cowboys, especially this week where they meet a young and promising Buccaneers team which has won five in a row.

I am going with the upset pick because I feel like the Buccaneers defense will cause the Cowboys a lot of trouble.

Redskins over Panthers

The Redskins are just outside of the playoff picture right now, but they still have a chance if they can keep winning. I think they will do just that as the Panthers defense will get burned for big yards again.

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 14: 10-6

Overall: 128-78-2

Predicting Week 14 of the NFL season

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

With four weeks remaining on the schedule, only one playoff spot has been officially clinched, but up to three more tickets could be punched this week depending on what happens.

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

Chiefs over Raiders

The last time these two teams met, the Chiefs won 26-10 in Oakland. A win by the Chiefs would shake up the playoff picture as the Chiefs would be the division leader based on the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker.

I think this will happen thanks to a strong Chiefs defense and a hot Kansas City crowd.

Bills over Steelers

The weather forecast for this game in Buffalo indicates the potential for snow and that tends to favor run-heavy offenses.

The Bills have one of the best run offense in the NFL so I will go with them here.

Titans over Broncos

Both teams could use a win this week to stay in their division races. Trevor Siemian could be back for the Broncos this week, but if he isn’t I think the Broncos will be in trouble against a rested Titans team.

I will go with the home team, but I think the game will be fairly close.

Redskins over Eagles

The Redskins currently sit a half-game out of a wild card spot and could really use a win this week against a division rival.

The Eagles seem to have quit on this season after another poor performance Sunday and I see that trend continuing.

Dolphins over Cardinals

The Dolphins looked like potential contenders until they got decimated by Baltimore Sunday. Their season isn’t over quite yet, but they will need to keep winning to have any chance at a wild card.

Chargers over Panthers

Both of these teams are done in the playoff race and this game means nothing in the grand scheme of things. I do think the Panthers look horrid right now and Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon should tear their defense apart.

Bengals over Browns

As of this writing, Robert Griffin III should be getting the start for the Browns and I expect it to mean absolutely nothing to the result of this game.

In all seriousness, the Browns are terrible no matter who their quarterback is and the Bengals showed last week that they can still play well without AJ Green.

Lions over Bears

Who would’ve thought the Lions would have a multi-game division lead in the NFC North in December? The Lions have been a big surprise this season and keep finding ways to win.

One of the four games they have lost so far was to this Bears team, but I don’t see that happening again.

Colts over Texans

The winner of this game would have the inside track to the AFC South title as both teams are tied at the top of the division with the Titans entering this week and both teams also hold tiebreakers over the Titans.

I wouldn’t call either of these team’s good, but the Colts have at least shown a capacity to perform well as of late while the Texans can’t seem to find any sort of offensive rhythm.

Vikings over Jaguars

Blake Bortles has more pick-six’s thrown in his career than he does career wins in his career. The Jaguars are playing a tough defense which has a habit of scoring defensive touchdowns. This spells doom for Bortles and the Jaguars this week.

Jets over 49ers

We all knew the 49ers were terrible, but it says a lot about how bad they are that they got dominated by the Bears last week.

I don’t know if the 49ers will win another game this season, but I think they will suffer yet another bad loss this week.

Buccaneers over Saints

The Buccaneers are tied with the Falcons at the top of the NFC South entering this week, but tiebreakers have them as the final wild card team.

They need a win this week and shouldn’t find it too difficult to beat a struggling Saints squad.

Falcons over Rams

On the other side, the Falcons could also use a win and they have the fortune of playing the absolutely unwatchable Rams.

I still have no idea how Jeff Fisher still has a job in the NFL, let alone how he got a two-year contract extension.

Seahawks over Packers

The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West this week with a win and an Arizona loss.

These two teams have played some very interesting and competitive games over the last several seasons and this one should be no different. I see the Seahawks getting one step closer to a division title here.

Cowboys over Giants

The Cowboys are already in the playoffs, but a win this week will officially clinch the NFC East for them.

The Giants are the only team to beat them so far this season, but the Cowboys are clicking on all cylinders right now and the Giants have too many flaws for me to believe in them winning.

Ravens over Patriots

Finally, the Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win and a Dolphins loss. I am actually going with the slight upset here because the Ravens always seem to do well against the Patriots.

I also think the loss of Rob Gronkowski will greatly affect how effective the Patriots offense can be when they’re not playing a horrible team like the Rams.

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 13: 8-7

Overall: 118-72-2