Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
For the second week in a row, six teams have bye weeks including the division-leading Patriots and Steelers. This puts just 13 games on this week’s schedule so it should be a slow week in the NFL.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Bills over Jets
This should be an interesting game between two teams which have completely surpassed expectations as the Jets are an average team and the Bills look like a legitimate playoff contender.
I think the Bills will take this one as their defense should be able to completely shut Josh McCown down and Lesean McCoy should run all over the Jets defense.
Titans over Ravens
Do not be fooled by the Ravens performance against the Dolphins on Thursday. That had as much to do with the Dolphins being terrible as it did with the Ravens being good.
At the time of writing, it is not known whether Joe Flacco or Ryan Mallett will be starting for the Ravens, but either way I expect the Titans to pick up a win here at home.
Saints over Buccaneers
The Saints enter the week at the top of the NFC South with their offense as strong as ever and their defense being surprisingly good.
I think the Saints will improve to 6-2 this week playing at home against a Buccaneers team that has been a complete disappointment this year.
Rams over Giants
The Rams return from their trip to London this week with a very winnable game across the country in New Jersey.
I expect the Rams to win this one rather easily against a Giants team which is just absolutely terrible. Remember when everyone thought the Giants might make it to the Super Bowl for some reason?
Eagles over Broncos
Carson Wentz’ MVP campaign strengthens each week as the Eagles have the best record in football and Wentz has had a fantastic sophomore season.
The Broncos will be trotting out Brock Osweiler this week which will in no way alleviate their recent offensive woes. I can’t see a scenario in which the Broncos win this week in Philadelphia.
Panthers over Falcons
Oh, how the mighty Falcons have fallen. The Falcons went from the best team in the NFC to the third-best in their own division and nobody can seem to figure out how.
The Falcons woes will likely continue this week with a tough road game against division rival Carolina. I think the Panthers will win a close game here to help their playoff chances and continue the Falcons’ descent.
Jaguars over Bengals
The Jaguars shouldn’t have any trouble putting pressure on Andy Dalton all day with the makeshift offensive line the Bengals are using.
The Bengals are no slouches on defense and this should be a low-scoring game, but I think the Jaguars will win this one.
Texans over Colts
The Texans are coming off a tough loss in Seattle in a game which will probably end up being one of the best of the year, if not the best.
The Colts are in shambles and I expect Deshaun Watson to make them his next victim as he should be able to tear apart their horrid secondary.
Update: The day after writing this, Watson tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. I think the Texans will still win this game at home, but the Texans as a whole are going to be in trouble the rest of the year.
The loss of Watson not only robs Texans fans, and football fans in general, of the joy of watching him play, but will likely have a domino effect on the playoff races going forward in the AFC.
49ers over Cardinals
There are no winners between the fans who will sit through this game as the Drew Stanton-led Cardinals take on the winless 49ers.
I think the 49ers will get their first win of the season this week as the Cardinals are about as bad overall. The addition of Jimmy Garoppolo should put the 49ers over the top this week.
Seahawks over Redskins
The Seahawks are undefeated at home so far this year to the surprise of basically no one and they should pick up a fourth home win this week.
Kirk Cousins got through the trade block without any movement so it will be interesting to see where he winds up when his contract expires after this season.
Chiefs over Cowboys
I cannot pick the Cowboys against a good team because they have to prove to me that they can actually beat a good team.
That combined with the absence of Ezekiel Elliott due to him finally serving his suspension leads me to easily pick the Chiefs to win in Dallas this week.
Raiders over Dolphins
Why is this a Sunday night game? Regardless, neither team is playoff-caliber, but it is hard for me to spend a pick on the Dolphins when their offense looks so inept.
The trading of Jay Ajayi only makes their offense worse and basically killed any chance of a playoff run. I think the Raiders defense will decimate the Dolphins to lead the Raiders to their fourth win.
Lions over Packers
If Aaron Rodgers were starting this game, I would take the Packers in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for Packers fans, Brett Hundley is no Aaron Rodgers and I think the Lions will take this one easily.
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: 11-2