Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
The opening week of the season featured some exciting games, but most games were decided by multiple scores. Now we move on to Week 2 where 1-0 teams will look to stay unbeaten and 0-1 teams will look to get on track.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Bengals over Texans
Neither of these teams had a particular good opening week as the Bengals were shutout by division rival Baltimore and the Texans got blown out at home by the Jaguars.
Deshaun Watson will get his first career NFL start on Thursday night, taking over for Tom Savage who looked terrible in Week 1.
I have the Bengals favored here due to playing at home and due to the experience advantage Dalton’s offense has over the younger Texans offensive group.
Ravens over Browns
The Browns actually looked decent with DeShone Kizer at quarterback and could finally be turning the corner after nearly beating the Steelers on Sunday.
However, they are still far from success and the top-notch defense of the Ravens should shut them down this week.
Panthers over Bills
Both of these teams enter the game with a record of 1-0, but the Bills looked like the much less impressive team after beating the lowly Jets by just nine points.
Cam Newton and the Panthers shouldn’t have too much trouble beating the Bills in their home opener to improve to 2-0.
Cardinals over Colts
The Colts were undoubtedly the worst-looking team in the NFL in Week 1 after they lost to the Rams by 37 points.
While Scott Tolzien’s days as the starter at quarterback are numbered, I don’t think Jacoby Brissett will do much better filling in.
The Cardinals don’t have a particularly good offense with David Johnson down for several months, but their defense will carry them to a win.
Titans over Jaguars
This game could prove to be a very important one down the line for the AFC South.
The Jaguars looked great against the Texans in Week 1, but it will be interesting to see how they do against a competent offensive unit.
I think this game will be close, but the Titans have enough of an edge to come away with the victory on the road.
Chiefs over Eagles
The Chiefs were one of the surprises of Week 1 with their offense dominating the normally strong Patriots defense.
I think the Chiefs can be expected to have a similarly high-octane game against the Eagles and should pick up an easy win in their home opener.
Patriots over Saints
The Patriots suffered a surprising loss to begin the season due in part to mounting injuries on both sides of the ball.
However, teams coached by Bill Belichick don’t tend to start 0-2 and with a week to pull everything together I expect a Patriots win here to get back on track.
Vikings over Steelers
The Steelers won to open the season against the Browns, but it was a deceiving win where they were slightly outplayed but benefited from a blocked punt for a touchdown early.
The Vikings have an incredibly strong defense which I think will lead them to an upset win in Pittsburgh.
Buccaneers over Bears
This will be the Buccaneers season opener after the events of Hurricane Irma delayed their game against the Dolphins.
While the Bears played a close game against the Falcons to open the season, I think they are still not quite there as a team while the Buccaneers seemed poised for success so I will go with them.
Chargers over Dolphins
The Dolphins are the other team having their season opener a week later than everyone else.
The Chargers looked pretty good opening the season and came a blocked field goal away from going to overtime against the Broncos.
I think the Chargers should be able to beat out the Dolphins in their home opener to begin their new run in Los Angeles strong.
Raiders over Jets
The Raiders are a good up-and-coming team while the Jets might be the worst team in football this season.
This is probably the easiest prediction for me to make this week. No way the Raiders lose here.
Broncos over Cowboys
This should be a close game between two playoff contenders, but I will give the Broncos an edge here on the strength of their defense.
The Cowboys looked good in Week 1, but I think their defense benefited from playing a weak Giants defense. The Broncos are only slightly better on offense, but should still be able to get more going against them.
Rams over Redskins
This game was a difficult one, mainly because it is difficult to say how good the Rams actually are.
While they did dominate the Colts last week, it may have more to do with the incompetence of the Colts than anything.
Regardless, the Redskins didn’t look very good in the opening week and the Rams have the advantage of playing at home so I will go with them.
Seahawks over 49ers
The 49ers seem like a mostly hopeless team that will be lucky to win five games while the Seahawks lost a close game to the Packers on the road.
I think this game will be fairly one-sided with the Seahawks winning in front of their home fans.
Falcons over Packers
This should be a very entertaining game between two of the top teams in the NFC. I could honestly see it going either way and it seems like it could be an exciting, high-scoring affair.
I feel like these teams are very even, but I will give the Falcons a slight edge at home.
Lions over Giants
The Giants offense looked pretty bad in Week 1 and while the Lions aren’t exactly known for their defense, I think something similar will happen here.
The Giants have a good defense, but it can’t carry them to victory every time out. I see the Lions winning this one to close out the week.
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 1: 10-5