Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
It’s Thanksgiving this week which means Thursday will be filled with three games on the slate.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Vikings over Lions
Case Keenum is the starting quarterback for one of the best teams in the NFC and that is something that nobody could have predicted at the start of the year.
Regardless, the Vikings staked their claim as a top team with their win over the Rams last week and I think they will establish control of their division this week with a win in Detroit.
Chargers over Cowboys
The Cowboys are in deep trouble right now as the absence of Ezekiel Elliott due to his suspension is clearly hurting their offense.
The Chargers have a fantastic pass-rushing front seven which should pester Dak Prescott all game and the Chargers will likely keep their playoff hopes alive with a win this week.
Redskins over Giants
The NFL decided to save the worst game for last this Thanksgiving as there is no appeal to this matchup whatsoever.
Neither of these teams are making the playoffs, but I guess I will pick the Redskins for being somewhat competent.
Falcons over Buccaneers
The Falcons seem to have found their groove again after wins over the Cowboys and Seahawks in the past two weeks. This is very important because they will need every win they can find to keep pace with the Panthers and Saints in their division.
Luckily for them, they play the worst team in their division this week and should have no trouble beating the Buccaneers at home.
Bengals over Browns
The Browns inevitable march towards 0-16 should continue this week with a game in Cincinnati.
Considering the Bengals won 31-7 in Cleveland earlier this season, I’m not expecting a different result this time around.
Titans over Colts
The Titans loss to the Steelers last Thursday was a great disappointment which left them trailing Jacksonville by a game in the standings.
However, the Titans should get back on track this week with a very winnable game against a bad Colts team.
Chiefs over Bills
After a hot start to the season, both of these teams have fallen on hard times recently. However, the Chiefs are in a much stronger position due to the relative easiness of the division they play in.
I think this game could wind up being close with Tyrod Taylor back at quarterback for the Bills, but I still expect the Chiefs to pick up a win.
Patriots over Dolphins
I mean, I would have to be crazy to pick this horrid Dolphins team to beat the Patriots in Foxborough, right?
In all seriousness, the Dolphins have no chance unless Tom Brady’s ACL explodes and, even then, the game is a bit of a toss-up.
Panthers over Jets
The division race in the NFC South between the Panthers, Saints and Falcons will be an interesting one with all three teams contending for playoff spots.
I think the Panthers will strengthen their playoff resume this week by picking up their eighth win of the season in New Jersey.
Eagles over Bears
The Eagles are running away with their division and it will be a shame if Carson Wentz doesn’t win MVP for the performance he is putting on in his second year in the league.
The Eagles should pick up their 10th win this week as they continue to move towards the top seed in the NFC.
Seahawks over 49ers
The loss of Richard Sherman to a torn ACL two weeks ago definitely seemed to hurt the Seahawks in their game Monday against the Falcons.
It will take time for them to adjust to losing a big defensive leader like Sherman, but they should pick up a win this week against the hapless 49ers.
Raiders over Broncos
The Broncos have officially announced that Paxton Lynch will be making his first career start this week after the failure of Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian.
However, I don’t think that change will be enough, as the Raiders should be able to walk away with an easy win here.
Saints over Rams
This is probably the best overall game of the week and the result could wind up saying a lot about where things stand as a whole in the conference.
I think this game should be very exciting, but I have the Saints winning at home as Alvin Kamara continues his path to winning Rookie of the Year.
Jaguars over Cardinals
Blaine Gabbert going against his former team in a game that absolutely nobody outside of Arizona or Jacksonville should care about at all.
The Jaguars should be able to mop up the Cardinals rather easily to hit 8-3 this season.
Steelers over Packers
Brett Hundley is not Aaron Rodgers and he has made that painfully obvious with his play since Rodgers’ unfortunate collarbone injury.
The Steelers should have no trouble dominating the Packers this week and it should make for a snoozer of a Sunday night game.
Ravens over Texans
What did football fans do to deserve this as a Monday night game? The Ravens shouldn’t have any trouble winning this one as I hardly expect Tom Savage to do anything against the stout Ravens defense.
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 11: 8-6