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