Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
The playoff round has been narrowed down to eight teams and two wild-card teams are still alive in the hunt. The top seeds in each conference will return to the field this week after a bye as well.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Falcons over Eagles
The Eagles enter this game as the first No. 1 seed to be listed as an underdog at home since 1970. It is not without reason as the Falcons looked very impressive in their win over the Rams while the Eagles are playing Nick Foles at quarterback.
Foles is not the worst quarterback in the NFL, but he has looked a little shaky in recent games against the Raiders and Cowboys to end the regular season.
If you add that to the speed and power the Falcons defense showed Saturday, it is very easy to see why they are favored and I think they will win.
The Eagles have a good defense, but I think they will not be able to keep up with the Falcons this week.
Patriots over Titans
The Titans pulled off one of the biggest comeback in NFL playoff history against the Chiefs Saturday and nobody can take that away from them.
Unfortunately, I think many people will not remember that win after the Patriots dismantle them on Saturday night.
The Titans are not a top-quality team at the end of the day and the Patriots will be playing with anger after the recent media reports of dissent in the organization.
The Patriots should win this one fairly easily.
Jaguars over Steelers
These two teams met early in the season and the Jaguars demolished the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers are listed as the heavy favorite in this game and I’m not sure because their offense did nothing in the last game between the two.
Ben Roethlisberger threw five picks in that game and I expect him to throw a few more on Sunday.
Blake Bortles is not very good, but the Jaguars just need him to be passable to succeed and I think Leonard Fournette will have a big game to lead the Jaguars to a win.
Vikings over Saints
I think this game has the most potential because both teams are very well-balanced on both sides of the ball.
The Saints’ offense looked dynamic as ever in their win over the Panthers last week even though their running game never really got going and their defense has been solid all season.
The Vikings boast one of the best defenses in the NFL and Case Keenum has been one of the biggest surprises of the season in leading a very potent Vikings offense.
I think this game will be close, but I think the Vikings are a bit overall and will be able to pick up a big home win to advance to the NFC Championship game.
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.