Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
This is the final week for byes in the NFL which means we’re officially hitting the home stretch as the contenders attempt to separate themselves from the pack.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Steelers over Titans
I thought about this pick for a long time before putting it down because I feel like these teams are in a similar place right now.
Both teams are extremely talented on paper and have succeeded plenty on the field this season, but both teams also feel like underachievers thus far.
I think this one will be a close one, but I am going with the Steelers to win based on having the advantage of playing at home.
Lions over Packers
The NFC playoff race is very intense right now with 10 teams currently sitting above .500 and the Lions are right in the thick of it at 5-4 this week.
The Bears are a tough game at home, but it’s hard for me to pick them when their offense has looked so dreadful the past few weeks.
I expect the Lions to pick up their sixth win on Sunday.
Jaguars over Browns
The Jaguars have made a habit out of shutting down offenses all year and now they get an easy run of things this week against DeShone Kizer and/or Cody Kessler depending on Hue Jackson’s mood in between plays.
Even playing in Cleveland, I cannot waste a pick on predicting a Browns win and 0-16 looks more likely each week.
Packers over Ravens
Brett Hundley is no Aaron Rodgers, but he proved last week against the Bears that he can at least be serviceable in his place.
The Ravens are not a good team at all primarily because of their horrid offense and a bad offense does not usually mean good things when a team plays on the road.
Dolphins over Ravens
This is the game that was supposed to be played in Week 1, but got rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.
Neither of these teams are very good, but the Dolphins are passable while the Buccaneers are just terrible which makes this choice easy.
Rams over Vikings
If you had the Rams and Vikings leading their respective divisions 10 weeks into the season, you’re a liar.
This should be a really good game and I am expecting the Rams to pick up a big road win as they establish themselves as one of the best teams in the NFL right now.
Saints over Redskins
The Saints are all of a sudden looking like a top-tier team and they are doing it with a running game as opposed to the normally prominent passing game.
I think the Saints will pick up their eighth straight win this week with a game at home against an average Redskins team.
Chiefs over Giants
The Giants already seemed to be at rock bottom and then they lost to the San Francisco 49ers and fell even lower.
Their quick fall should continue this week as they take on the Chiefs coming off of a bye week.
Cardinals over Texans
This seems like a game that no NFL fan should watch even if you’re a fan of one of the teams. Both teams are just terrible primarily due to their quarterbacks and it should be a dull, lifeless game.
Chargers over Bills
The Bills unexpected decision to start Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor at quarterback this week swung this game for me.
Peterman is an unknown commodity in the NFL, but I can’t trust a late-round rookie quarterback to win on the road in his first start.
Bengals over Broncos
If Brock Osweiler is starting at quarterback for the Broncos, I am not going to be picking them out of principle because Osweiler is just that bad.
This has the potential to be a close game, but I think the Bengals have more weapons on both sides of the ball and should win this one.
Patriots over Raiders
These two teams will be heading to Mexico City for this game, but the change in location shouldn’t have much impact on the game.
The Patriots are significantly better than the Raiders and this game will probably be fairly one-sided in the Patriots favor.
Eagles over Cowboys
This is a must-win game for the Cowboys to have any chance of winning their division, but I don’t think they’ll be able to pull it off.
The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and I think Carson Wentz will take another step toward MVP-status with a big division win on the road.
Seahawks over Falcons
The loss of Richard Sherman might end up shaking up the playoff picture a bit in the NFC, but this week I think the Seahawks will be fine without him.
This will be a big game for both teams, but I expect the Seahawks to take care of business at home and establish themselves further in the playoff race.
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: 8-6