Hello and welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another week of predictions for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
Four more teams have byes this week so it will be another spread of 14 games to choose from this weekend.
We have a long way to go until the playoffs as the playoff picture could change dramatically in the next few weeks.
With that being said, let’s get into this week’s picks beginning with the Thursday night game.
Panthers over Eagles
This is probably the best overall game of the week and we’re getting it early on Thursday night.
Both of these teams are clear playoff contenders and I could see it going either way. However, the Panthers have shown a capability to be a top contender this season while I think the Eagles aren’t quite at that level yet.
That combined with the Panthers playing at home means I am going with them.
Falcons over Dolphins
The Falcons are coming off of a bye week and they have the luxury of facing a terrible Dolphins team at home.
I’m just wondering what it’s going to take for the Dolphins to bench Jay Cutler considering how horrible he has played thus far couple with his terrible body language.
Regardless, whether it’s Jay Cutler or Matt Moore under center for the Dolphins, I think the Falcons win easily.
Packers over Vikings
Aaron Rodgers showed once again why he is the best quarterback in the NFL Sunday with his marvelous final drive to beat the Cowboys.
Now the Packers travel to Minnesota for an important NFC North matchup and I think they will win this one as well to improve to 5-1.
The Vikings are a decent team, but their offense has no identity and the quarterback combo of Case Keenum and Sam Bradford doesn’t inspire confidence.
Saints over Lions
This game should be the quite a shootout with two teams used to playing in domes and with quarterbacks who can sling it around facing off.
I think this game will be close, but I think the Saints coming off of a bye week will pick up the victory.
Patriots over Jets
The Jets and Patriots come into this game with identical 3-2 records which is not something I would not have expected going into the season.
Regardless, the Patriots are much better than the Jets even if their defense isn’t what it used to be and I think the Patriots will pick up an easy win here.
Redskins over 49ers
The 49ers are one of three winless teams at this point in the season and I don’t think they will get their first win this week.
The Redskins are a decent team and Kirk Cousins should be able to lead his offense to a solid win over the 49ers.
Ravens over Bears
The start of Mitchell Trubisky’s NFL career was not particularly eye-catching as threw for just one touchdown and had less than 200 yards passing, but his performance was passable.
However, this week he is matched up against a formidable defense in the Ravens and I expect the Ravens to overwhelm the young rookie with pressure throughout.
Texans over Browns
Will the Browns win a game this season? Maybe. Will they win against the Texans this week? I don’t think there is any chance that happens.
The Texans did lose handily to the Chiefs Sunday, but Deshaun Watson has continued to look impressive and should pick apart the Browns.
Buccaneers over Cardinals
These two teams have evenly matched records going in, but I would say the Cardinals have been a little less impressive.
After being decimated by the Eagles last week, I could see the Cardinals getting torched again by the combined power of Mike Evans and Desean Jackson.
Jaguars over Rams
The Jaguars are the early favorite for most confusing team of 2017 because you can never tell which version of them will show up. Some weeks they absolutely destroy the competition, but then the next week they’ll get torched themselves.
I’m making this prediction based on the assumption and hope that the Jaguars put on another dominating performance like they have in their three wins so far this season.
Chiefs over Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is an old man in football years and he showed Sunday when he threw five interceptions to the Jaguars including two pick-sixes.
When you combine that with the fact that Alex Smith is putting together an MVP season and Kareem Hunt has continued to dominate defenses, and there’s no way I can pick against the Chiefs to win at home.
Raiders over Chargers
Derek Carr is projected to play this Sunday if everything goes well which is good for the Raiders because without him, the team goes from a playoff contender to a pretender.
Even without Carr, I would favor the Raiders here, but if he is starting then I will definitely pick them to win at home.
Broncos over Giants
The season-ending injury to Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday put the nail in the already-closed coffin of the Giants season as they are now among the top contenders for the No. 1 overall pick come April.
With that being said, they should get one step closer to that premier spot this week as they will be completely outmatched against the Broncos.
Titans over Colts
The NFL week wraps up with a matchup that could be terrible or interesting depending on the status of quarterbacks.
Marcus Mariota is apparently probable for the game at this point, but it could be a decision made on the day of the game.
Meanwhile, the Colts will likely still be without Andrew Luck though Jacoby Brissett has done a decent job in his place.
Regardless of which combination of quarterbacks play, I think the Titans are definitely better so I will go with them.
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 5: 7-7