Predicting Week 8 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

This one week is one of the briefest for the NFL in terms of number of games as six teams have the week off which puts just 13 games to predict.

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

Dolphins over Ravens

The Dolphins benefited from addition-by-subtraction on Sunday as the injury to Jay Cutler gave the underrated Matt Moore a chance at quarterback.

Moore isn’t a star under center, but he is a decent quarterback and a marked improvement over the mercurial Cutler.

The Ravens have a good defense, but their offense is just awful and that makes it very hard to win in the modern NFL.

Vikings over Browns

Those willing to wake up at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning will be treated to what should be a completely one-sided affair.

The three London games so far this season have been decided by a margin of 97-7 and this game might be the worst yet as the Vikings have every possible edge on the Browns.

Bengals over Colts

I would say this is a must-win game for both teams though they are teams in completely different places right now.

The Bengals have had a tough schedule to this point and will likely be able to put some wins together now while the Colts have seemingly given up on the season.

This makes the selection for this week very easy as I think the Bengals will win decisively.

Bills over Raiders

This should be an interesting game between two potential playoff contenders and I am giving the Bills an edge because they are playing at home.

The Bills have continued to impress me this season and I am looking forward to seeing how they match up against the Patriots this season.

Patriots over Chargers

The Patriots had a big statement win Sunday night against the Falcons and they should be able to pick up another win against the Chargers.

The Chargers have won three straight after an 0-4 start, but I think they don’t have much chance of winning in New England.

Saints over Bears

The Saints enter this game on a four-game winning streak and have shown one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL to the surprise of pretty much no one.

I think the Saints will make it five in a row this week though the Bears will give them quite a fight before falling on the road.

Falcons over Jets

The Falcons offense has fallen off a cliff in the past few weeks and nobody can seem to figure out why.

Whatever the reason, they will need to get back on track soon to keep pace with the Saints and Panthers in their division.

I think they will be able to pick up a win against a Jets team which has over-performed thus far and should fall back down to their normal level this week.

Eagles over 49ers

Carson Wentz’ MVP credential continue to grow by the week as he has been phenomenal so far.

I don’t think the Eagles will have any trouble against the 49ers as they will improve to 7-1 on the season.

Panthers over Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are favored in this game and I can’t seem to figure out why. The Panthers underachieved last week against the Bears, but the Bears have been good at home this season.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, are not a good team no matter where they play and I think the Panthers will win pretty decisively in this game.

Seahawks over Texans

The Texans have been one of the best offenses in the NFL this season with Deshaun Watson at quarterback and this will be a major test for the rookie.

I think it will be a close game, but the Seahawks should do enough to give the Texans a loss on the road.

Redskins over Cowboys

This should be one of the more closely-contested games of the week and I feel like both teams are very evenly-matched.

I think the game is basically a coin-flip, but I will go with the Redskins who I feel have more upside and will benefit from playing at home.

Lions over Steelers

The Steelers have picked up two big wins over the last few weeks, but I think the Lions will put a stop to that here.

Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense should be able to pick apart the Steelers secondary and I think Ford Field will work well in the Lions favor this week.

Chiefs over Broncos

The Chiefs have lost two straight after a hot start which has left many questioning if they are really contenders.

I personally think they are still the best team in their division and one of the best in the conference, but they will need to prove it with a win Monday night.

However, I think the Chiefs will get the job done against a Broncos offense which has looked bad in the past few weeks.

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 7: 11-4

Overall: 66-40

Predicting Week 7 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Last week was the worst of the season for me from a prediction standpoint as I finished below .500, but it was a surprising week in general with most favorites failing to cover and many of those losing outright.

With another 15 games this week, it will be interesting to see if any more surprising results pop up.

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

Chiefs over Raiders

Prior to the season, many had the Raiders pegged as a sleeper Super Bowl contender, but they have looked horrible the past few weeks.

The Chiefs did take their first loss of the season last week, but they are still definitely the best team in their division and I expect them to get a big win on the road Thursday.

Bills over Buccaneers

At the time of writing, the status of Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is uncertain, but even if he plays, I think the Bills are a much better team.

That being said, the Buccaneers don’t have a chance with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center so I will go against them.

Panthers over Bears

This has the potential to be an interesting game because the Bears have been a good home team this season.

However, the Bears lack effective receivers and that will likely hurt them despite the solid running backs they have.

I think the Panthers are a better team and I think they will pick up the win on the road this weekend.

Titans over Browns

The Browns are the worst team in the NFL and I don’t think anyone will argue with me there.

The Titans are an average team, but I fully expect them to dominate this game and hand the Browns yet another loss to begin the season.

Saints over Packers

You really have to feel for the Packers who went from top-tier team to average at best with the loss of Aaron Rodgers for possibly the entire season.

With Aaron Rodgers, this would have been an intriguing shootout, but without him, Drew Brees and the Saints should win very easily.

Jaguars over Colts

Leonard Fournette has already established himself as one of the best running backs in football and he almost makes up for Blake Bortles’ lack of playmaking ability.

I think Fournette’s powerful running and the Jaguars defense should allow them to dominate the Colts on the road this week.

Rams over Cardinals

The Cardinals seem revitalized last week as Adrian Peterson found an offense he is comfortable in and Carson Palmer actually seemed like a solid quarterback.

However, given the Buccaneers are not a good team, that win should be taken with a grain of salt.

The Rams, meanwhile, are still quietly the best team in the NFC West and I expect them to win this game to further their lead in the division.

Jets over Dolphins

The Jets outplayed the Patriots last week and if it wasn’t for one of the worst touchdown overturns I have ever seen, they probably would have beaten them. The game was another one demonstrating that the Jets might actually be a decent team that has outperformed all expectation so far.

The Dolphins got a big win last week against the Falcons, but I can’t trust a team led by Jay Cutler to play with any sort of consistency so I am going against them today.

Vikings over Ravens

With the Aaron Rodgers injury, the Lions underperforming and the Bears still being a few pieces shy of contending, the Vikings have seemingly jumped to the front of the line in the NFC North.

I think they will pick up their fifth win of the season this week against a Ravens team which has so much trouble moving the ball.

While the Ravens defense is good, it’s difficult to take them seriously as their offense stands right now.

Cowboys over 49ers

Ezekiel Elliott will be playing this week as the story around his on-again, off-again suspension continues to develop by the week.

Regardless of how well Elliott plays despite these distractions off of the field, I think the Cowboys will get back to .500 this week with a win over a below-average 49ers team.

Seahawks over Giants

The Giants did surprisingly well against the Broncos Sunday despite missing their only real offensive playmaker in Odell Beckham Jr.

However, I’m still not buying into them as a team and I think the Seahawks will win this one easily coming off of a bye week.

Steelers over Bengals

This should be one of the more interesting games of the week as matchups between these two teams tend to be very intense.

I think these two teams are on the same level, but I will give the Steelers a slight edge due to playing at home.

Chargers over Broncos

The Chargers seemed like an easy team to write off after an 0-4 start, but now they’ve won two straight and could make it three with a game against the struggling Broncos.

Trevor Siemian is projected to be able to play for the Broncos, but he hasn’t done much the past few weeks and I think the Chargers will get a close win here.

Falcons over Patriots

As mentioned above, the Patriots got outplayed by the Jets on Sunday and yet I am supposed to still buy them as a favorite for the Super Bowl.

The fact is their defense is horrible and their offense, while still good, is not what it used to be.

The Patriots will have home-field advantage, but they have already lost two games at home this season and I don’t see any way their defense can stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

The Falcons have made rough outings the past two games, but I think they are better than the Patriots and will win here.

Eagles over Redskins

This is a solid Monday night contest this week as the Eagles are the best team in the NFC East, but I feel like the Redskins are not too far behind.

Carson Wentz has been fantastic this year and I feel like he is currently being overlooked as a threat for MVP. If the Eagles continue on their current pace, he will have to be considered for it and I feel like he will bolster his case with another 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 6: 5-9

Overall: 55-36

Predicting Week 6 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Four more teams have byes this week so it will be another spread of 14 games to choose from this weekend.

We have a long way to go until the playoffs as the playoff picture could change dramatically in the next few weeks.

With that being said, let’s get into this week’s picks beginning with the Thursday night game.

Panthers over Eagles

This is probably the best overall game of the week and we’re getting it early on Thursday night.

Both of these teams are clear playoff contenders and I could see it going either way. However, the Panthers have shown a capability to be a top contender this season while I think the Eagles aren’t quite at that level yet.

That combined with the Panthers playing at home means I am going with them.

Falcons over Dolphins

The Falcons are coming off of a bye week and they have the luxury of facing a terrible Dolphins team at home.

I’m just wondering what it’s going to take for the Dolphins to bench Jay Cutler considering how horrible he has played thus far couple with his terrible body language.

Regardless, whether it’s Jay Cutler or Matt Moore under center for the Dolphins, I think the Falcons win easily.

Packers over Vikings

Aaron Rodgers showed once again why he is the best quarterback in the NFL Sunday with his marvelous final drive to beat the Cowboys.

Now the Packers travel to Minnesota for an important NFC North matchup and I think they will win this one as well to improve to 5-1.

The Vikings are a decent team, but their offense has no identity and the quarterback combo of Case Keenum and Sam Bradford doesn’t inspire confidence.

Saints over Lions

This game should be the quite a shootout with two teams used to playing in domes and with quarterbacks who can sling it around facing off.

I think this game will be close, but I think the Saints coming off of a bye week will pick up the victory.

Patriots over Jets

The Jets and Patriots come into this game with identical 3-2 records which is not something I would not have expected going into the season.

Regardless, the Patriots are much better than the Jets even if their defense isn’t what it used to be and I think the Patriots will pick up an easy win here.

Redskins over 49ers

The 49ers are one of three winless teams at this point in the season and I don’t think they will get their first win this week.

The Redskins are a decent team and Kirk Cousins should be able to lead his offense to a solid win over the 49ers.

Ravens over Bears

The start of Mitchell Trubisky’s NFL career was not particularly eye-catching as threw for just one touchdown and had less than 200 yards passing, but his performance was passable.

However, this week he is matched up against a formidable defense in the Ravens and I expect the Ravens to overwhelm the young rookie with pressure throughout.

Texans over Browns

Will the Browns win a game this season? Maybe. Will they win against the Texans this week? I don’t think there is any chance that happens.

The Texans did lose handily to the Chiefs Sunday, but Deshaun Watson has continued to look impressive and should pick apart the Browns.

Buccaneers over Cardinals

These two teams have evenly matched records going in, but I would say the Cardinals have been a little less impressive.

After being decimated by the Eagles last week, I could see the Cardinals getting torched again by the combined power of Mike Evans and Desean Jackson.

Jaguars over Rams

The Jaguars are the early favorite for most confusing team of 2017 because you can never tell which version of them will show up. Some weeks they absolutely destroy the competition, but then the next week they’ll get torched themselves.

I’m making this prediction based on the assumption and hope that the Jaguars put on another dominating performance like they have in their three wins so far this season.

Chiefs over Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is an old man in football years and he showed Sunday when he threw five interceptions to the Jaguars including two pick-sixes.

When you combine that with the fact that Alex Smith is putting together an MVP season and Kareem Hunt has continued to dominate defenses, and there’s no way I can pick against the Chiefs to win at home.

Raiders over Chargers

Derek Carr is projected to play this Sunday if everything goes well which is good for the Raiders because without him, the team goes from a playoff contender to a pretender.

Even without Carr, I would favor the Raiders here, but if he is starting then I will definitely pick them to win at home.

Broncos over Giants

The season-ending injury to Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday put the nail in the already-closed coffin of the Giants season as they are now among the top contenders for the No. 1 overall pick come April.

With that being said, they should get one step closer to that premier spot this week as they will be completely outmatched against the Broncos.

Titans over Colts

The NFL week wraps up with a matchup that could be terrible or interesting depending on the status of quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota is apparently probable for the game at this point, but it could be a decision made on the day of the game.

Meanwhile, the Colts will likely still be without Andrew Luck though Jacoby Brissett has done a decent job in his place.

Regardless of which combination of quarterbacks play, I think the Titans are definitely better so I will go with 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 5: 7-7

Overall: 50-27

Predicting Week 5 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.

Week 5 is where bye weeks begin for NFL teams as the Saints, Dolphins, Broncos and Falcons all got a week off.

However, that still leaves 14 games on the schedule to be picked so without further ado, let’s get into this week’s selections.

Patriots over Buccaneers

The Patriots have the worst defense in football so far this year by a wide margin as their defense is on pace to allow over 500 points.

To put that into perspective, no Bill Belichick team has ever given up more than 350 points in a single season.

The Patriots need to find some defensive rhythm and the Buccaneers might be the team to help with that as they haven’t exactly lit the world on fire so far. I will go with the Patriots to pick up the win at home.

Bengals over Bills

The Bills have been on fire the last two weeks with wins over the Broncos and the Falcons, but their win over the Falcons should be taken with a grain of salt because the Falcons were playing without Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu for the entire second half.

I’m predicting a let-down for the Bills this week as the Bengals carry on their momentum from a blowout win over the Browns last week.

Jets over Browns

The Browns are arguably the worst team in football and even playing at home against the Jets, I can’t bring myself to pick them.

On the bright side for Browns fans, a loss this week will continue their path towards the No. 1 overall pick. Who knows, they might actually draft a quarterback that the franchise desperately needs.

Lions over Panthers

The Lions aren’t getting much attention so far this year, but they might be one of the best teams in the NFC.

This should be an interesting game, but I expect the Lions to pick up a win in front of their home fans at Ford Field.

Colts over 49ers

The Colts actually looked somewhat competent in the first half against the Seahawks before things fell apart in the second half.

However, while the Colts are far from a complete team, they are at least better than the 49ers so I will pick the Colts.

Titans over Dolphins

The status of Marcus Mariota is in doubt and it probably won’t be known until Sunday, but the Titans are still better than the Dolphins even if Matt Cassel starts.

I mean if you get shut out by the Saints, it says a lot about how bad your team is and the Dolphins definitely fit that bill.

Chargers over Giants

Two of the four remaining winless teams in the NFL square off in this game and one of them has to win, right?

I’ll go with the Chargers because they actually have consistent playmakers on offense unlike the Giants.

Eagles over Cardinals

There are three good teams in the NFC East and the Eagles seem like they may be the best among them. I think the Eagles will continue their early momentum this week when they take on a Cardinals team which has not looked good early in the year.

Raiders over Ravens

The Ravens have been ravaged by injuries so far this season and their lack of an offensive identity has caused them to fall short of expectations so far.

The Raiders really need a win to get back on track after two straight losses and I think they will have no problem beating the Ravens here.

Rams over Seahawks

Look out, the Rams are not only exciting to watch, but they’re a bonafide playoff contender.

This game could prove very important down the line in the NFC West and I expect the Rams to get to 4-1 with a big win here.

Packers over Cowboys

This should be one of the more exciting games of the week and it’s one I could honestly see going either way.

However, I think the Cowboys will take another loss at home this week as the Packers are a clear step better than them.

Texans over Chiefs

The Chiefs enter this game as the only undefeated team left this season, but I see them taking their first loss this week.

I think it will be a close game, but if Deshaun Watson plays like he did the first two weeks, the Texans should be able to win this game.

Bears over Vikings

The loss of Dalvin Cook from a torn ACL has put a massive damper on the Vikings playoff hopes and it’s hard to see them winning consistently with the offense they now have.

Mitch Trubisky will be making his debut for the Bears in this game and, while he is not a proven commodity yet, he performed well in the preseason and combined with the potent running attack of the Bears should be able to pick up a win in his NFL debut.

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 4: 12-4

Overall: 43-20