Predicting Week 12 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

This week’s column was slightly delayed, but it’s here just in time for the trio of Thanksgiving games as all 16 teams are in action this week.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Lions over Vikings

The winner of this game will move into first place in the NFC North. I think the Lions will take it behind their strong offense doing just enough to get past the stellar defense of the Vikings.

Cowboys over Redskins

Both of these teams enter this game on hot streaks, but one of those streaks must come to an end.

This could be a must-win for the Redskins to win the division, but the Cowboys have too many weapons for me to pick against them.

I will go with the Cowboys in what should be a fun shootout.

Steelers over Colts

The Colts are playing without Andrew Luck and aren’t very good with him out there anyway. Enough said.

Titans over Bears

After a disappointing performance in Indianapolis Sunday, the Titans need a win to bounce back and stay in the playoff picture.

Luckily, they play a terrible Bears team this week so a win should not be a problem.

Bills over Jaguars

The Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 and they have a slim shot this season, but they will need to keep winning to have a shot.

They should take care of business this week against the Jaguars.

Ravens over Bengals

The Bengals will be missing AJ Green in this game and that will hurt as Green has played great against the Ravens throughout his career.

With all the injuries mounted against them, I don’t see the Bengals standing much of a chance here.

Falcons over Cardinals

It’s the battle of the birds this weekend and I will go with the Falcons because of their bevy of offensive weapons.

A loss this week will likely dash the Cardinals playoff hopes, but I don’t think they have enough to get the win.

Giants over Browns

The Giants have quietly won five games in a row to stay right behind Dallas in the NFC East and they should extend it to six this week against the Browns.

The march to 0-16 continues!

Saints over Rams

Jared Goff made his first career start on Sunday and was given absolutely nothing to do as the Rams’ offense looked as stagnant as ever.

This week, they play a team with a potent offense and they won’t be able to keep up.

Dolphins over 49ers

The Dolphins have suddenly won four in a row after a 1-4 start to the season. They get the benefit of playing the bottom-tier 49ers this week so anticipate a fifth win in a row this week.

Chargers over Texans

The Chargers’ playoff hopes are basically dead at this point, but there is still a sliver of hope. The Texans are currently leading their division, but I still think the worst team in the AFC West is better than the best team in the AFC South.

Seahawks over Buccaneers

The Seahawks have really started clicking since their tie against Arizona and look like the team to beat in the NFC.

They should continue their winning ways with a win in Tampa this week.

Raiders over Panthers

The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002 and they are now one win away from achieving that with six games to go.

Luckily for Raiders fans, I don’t think they will have to wait long for this ninth win Derek Carr should be able to burn the Carolina defense this week.

Patriots over Jets

The Jets have traditionally been the Patriots’ punching bag during the Brady-Belichick era and this week should be no different.

I also expect Fitzpatrick to throw at least two picks this week.

Broncos over Chiefs

These two teams are right behind the Raiders for first place in the AFC West and one of them has to win.

I will go with the home team, but I could see this going either way.

Eagles over Packers

The Packers are an absolute mess right now and it is clear they will need to make some big changes in the offseason to get back on track.

The Eagles will benefit from those problems this week as they should pick up the win.

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: 11-3

Overall: 97-62-2

Predicting Week 11 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

We’ve got 14 games on the docket for this week and there are some frankly odd pairings coming up.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Panthers over Saints

Both of these teams lost in heartbreaking fashion last week and a loss by either will likely eliminate them from the playoff discussion.

I think the Panthers will pull it out at home and keep their slim hopes for a playoff spot alive.

Steelers over Browns

The sad, slow march to 0-16 for the Browns continues. There’s not much else to say about this game other than it could be a bloodbath in favor of the Steelers.

Cowboys over Ravens

Dak Prescott is officially the Cowboys starting quarterback going forward. Before anyone gets too excited about how the rookie has played through the first nine games of his career, fans should keep in mind that the Cowboys have played the easiest schedule in the NFL so far this season.

It will be interesting to see how he plays against actual playoff teams.

Lions over Jaguars

The Lions jumped into first place in the NFC North on their week off thanks to the continued decline of the Packers and Vikings.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars can’t seem to do anything right as their team is a total mess right now.

Titans over Colts

The Titans are averaging 39 points per game over their last three games and are facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL this week.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Bengals over Bills

This is another game where a loss could potentially mean the end of playoff dreams for the loser.

I will go with the Bengals playing at home this week.

Chiefs over Buccaneers

The Chiefs keep finding ways to come from behind and win games. This will be an important game for them to win as they try to keep pace with the Broncos and Raiders.

Giants over Bears

Reports came out this week that the Bears locker room has given up on Jay Cutler. In other news, the world is round and water is wet.

Vikings over Cardinals

I am calling this week as the one where the Vikings finally get things back on track after losing four in a row since their bye week.

They have a lot of issue, but so do the Cardinals so I will take the Vikings here.

Dolphins over Rams

Man, I am so glad we have football in Los Angeles again, especially with a quality team like the Rams.

In all seriousness, the Rams might be the worst team in football to watch right now, but we will get to see if No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff can change that when he makes his first career start this week.

Patriots over 49ers

I don’t know why the Patriots didn’t hand the ball to LeGarrette Blount on the goal line against the Seahawks Sunday night.

Regardless, this game should be over by halftime considering the disparity between the skills of these two teams.

Seahawks over Eagles

The Seahawks offense looked pretty good last week against the Patriots. The Eagles are no slouch on defense, but the Seahawks should do enough to win.

Redskins over Packers

The Packers are not good at all and their game last week against the Titans proved that as they looked overmatched for the most part.

The Redskins offense should demolish the Packers in this matchup.

Raiders over Texans

The Raiders are coming off a bye and are looking to stay on top of their division this week. They will be a playing a Texans team which is not very good.

I will take the team that actually seems like they have something going for 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 10: 7-7

Overall: 86-59-2

Predicting Week 10 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

The halfway point of the NFL season is officially behind us and the playoff picture is still very muddled as most of the field remains alive. The next few weeks will be important in separating the haves from the have-nots.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Ravens over Browns

The Browns are looking more and more like an 0-16 team with each passing week. I think they will continue their inevitable march to a winless season with another loss here on Thursday night.

Packers over Titans

If the Packers lose this game, it could be the final nail in the coffin for head coach Mike McCarthy as the team has not performed well at all this season.

I think the Packers will do well enough this week for McCarthy to keep his job for now.

Redskins over Vikings

I think the Vikings’ slide into mediocrity will continue this week as they face a Redskins team coming off of a bye week.

Buccaneers over Bears

Neither of these teams is any good and this should be a game worth skipping. I will go with the Buccaneers because they are 0-4 at home this season, but have to get a home win at some point this season, right?

Chiefs over Panthers

The Panthers won on Sunday, but did so in a very sloppy game against the Rams that left me unimpressed.

This week, they go against the very capable Chiefs and I can’t seem them picking up the win here.

Falcons over Eagles

Carson Wentz has not looked good the past couple weeks and the Eagles have really fallen off after a 3-0 start to the year.

In the battle of the birds, I will take the Falcons who look like a major playoff contender.

Jets over Rams

The Rams really just need to put Jared Goff out on the field at this point. They have no chance of making the playoffs at this point so they may as well give the rookie some starting time instead of wheeling Case Keenum out there every week.

Saints over Broncos

I think the Saints can burn the Broncos defense for enough points where they can win this game. The Broncos really need a solid running game to be looked at as a serious contender.

Texans over Jaguars

The Texans are in firm control of their division despite losing JJ Watt early on and one major reason for that is they get to play against their fellow AFC South teams.

This is another game against a division opponent for them and one they should easily win.

Chargers over Dolphins

Despite some inexplicable collapses early in the season, the Chargers are hanging around and a win here will get them back to .500.

The Dolphins are currently at .500, but I see them losing here on the road against a better Chargers team.

Cowboys over Steelers

The Cowboys roll continues as they have the best record in the NFC and have two exciting young rookies in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot.

I think they will continue on that roll against a Steelers team which has been weakened by injuries.

Cardinals over 49ers

The 49ers fired head coach Jim Tomsula after one 5-11 year. The question will be if Chip Kelly will be next on the chopping block after a worse season.

Patriots over Seahawks

The Patriots have been on a roll since Tom Brady’s return from suspension. This should be a close game, but I think the Patriots will continue their current four-game winning streak with another one here.

Bengals over Giants

This has potential to be a shootout on Monday night and could honestly go either way. I think Bengals will do just enough to win here.

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 8: 10-3

Overall: 79-52-2

Predicting Week 9 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

There’s nothing quite as annoying as watching your favorite team finish a game with a tie. It’s even more annoying when you have to wake up early just to watch the game because it’s being played in London or having to stay up late because it’s a night game.

However, this has been the case the last two weeks as the Seahawks-Cardinals night game Oct. 23 and the Bengals-Redskins London game Sunday gave us our first ties in back-to-back weeks since 1997.

Maybe we’ll see another tie this week just to make my overall picks record slightly more disjointed.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks as we once again have six teams on byes resulting in 13 games for the week.

Falcons over Buccaneers

The Falcons have been one of the more exciting teams to casually follow this season because of their explosive offense.

I will be picking them against a Buccaneers team that just lost at home to a Raiders team which set the single-game record for penalties.

Ravens over Steelers

As of this writing, Ben Roethlisberger will not be playing for the Steelers on Sunday. The Ravens are not a good team, but I will take them against Landry Jones.

Cowboys over Browns

The Browns just can’t catch a break. Last week, they blew a 13-point halftime lead against the Jets and this week they play one of the best teams in the NFC.

Suffice to say, it will not be a fun week for Browns fans. Unless the Indians win the World Series, in which case, they won’t care.

Chiefs over Jaguars

The Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos are currently in a tight race for the AFC West. The Chiefs will need to win games like this to keep pace with the other two.

Dolphins over Jets

Neither of these teams are very good, but one of them has to win, right?

Eagles over Giants

The Cowboys have a comfortable lead in the NFC East right now, but both of these teams still have a chance to catch them.

I will take the Eagles and their very good defense to prevail here.

Vikings over Lions

The Vikings have not looked like the same team since their bye week as they have dropped two games in a row.

Luckily, they should get back on track against a Lions team which stays in games, but struggles to beat more capable teams.

Panthers over Rams

The Panthers proved they are not quite dead in the water yet after beating up on the Cardinals. They should pick up their third win of the season this week against the Rams

Perhaps the most interesting part of this game will be the possibility of Jared Goff seeing the field for the first time in his NFL career if Case Keenum turns in another lackluster performance.

Saints over 49ers

This will not be a game many people outside New Orleans or San Francisco will focus on with neither team going anywhere.

I think the Saints will win, primarily because of how poor the 49ers roster is right now.

Chargers over Titans

I will probably regret this pick on Sunday when the Chargers find some way to blow a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

However, I will risk it because the Chargers are really not that bad. They just need to work on playing for a whole 60 minutes.

Packers over Colts

Both of these teams have major issues to work out, but the Colts have a lot more issues.

Also, Aaron Rodgers is significantly better than Andrew Luck so I think the Packers will come away with the easy win.

Raiders over Broncos

This is a major opportunity for the Raiders to prove they are a real threat in the AFC and claim control in their division.

I think they will come through against a Broncos team which will lack much of a ground game with several running backs injured.

Seahawks over Bills

This is a weird Monday night matchup. With that being said, I think the Seahawks are the better team and will come away with the win.

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 8: 9-3-1

Overall: 69-49-2

Predicting Week 8 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

This week is one of the smallest for the NFL this season as six teams are on bye weeks which means there are only 13 games to choose from.

Without further ado, let’s head into this week’s picks.

Titans over Jaguars

Oh boy, this one will not be fun to watch. Both of these teams are members of the dreadful AFC South division and a win here could play a major factor for either team considering 9-7 will be good enough for a division title.

I will take the Titans because they have better weapons at their disposal this season.

Bengals over Redskins

This is the third and final London game of the season and it pits Jay Gruden against the team he was the offensive coordinator of for several years.

The Redskins will likely be without Josh Norman, who suffered a concussion Sunday, and that means AJ Green should have a field day against a weak Redskins secondary.

Chiefs over Colts

The Colts are bad in just about every position but quarterback and even that position makes poor decisions sometimes.

This is a game against a bad team, which means Andy Reid and the Chiefs are pretty much guaranteed to win.

Raiders over Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have sneaked back into the division race after starting the year 1-3, but this week they go up against a good Raiders team.

The Raiders are actually 4-0 on the road this year and I think they will make it 5-0 this week.

Seahawks over Saints

Last week, the Seahawks and Cardinals played in one of the most dreadful games I can remember viewing. The horrible display was capped off by both kickers missing chip-shot field goals in overtime to end the game in a tie.

Surely, the Seahawks offense can’t look any worse than it did against the Cardinals, right?

Lions over Texans

The Lions have been surprisingly fun to watch this year and their offensive is explosive enough where they can never be counted out of games.

The Texans have sorely missed JJ Watt this season and I think Brock Osweiler’s poor quarterback play will continue here.

Jets over Browns

On Sunday the Browns tied the NFL record for most different players to throw a pass in a single season at six. That record is shared with the 1984 and 1987 Bears.

The amazing thing is they still have nine games left to go and they could potentially blow the record out of the water.

Patriots over Bills

The last time these two division rivals met, the Bills won 16-0, but the Patriots were still without Brady and started an injured Jacoby Brissett in his place.

Now, Brady is back and the Patriots should be going full force to avenge the loss and take complete control of the division.

Panthers over Cardinals

For as good as the Cardinals defense looked against the Seahawks Sunday night, their offense and special teams looked downright terrible.

Now, they face a Panthers team which is coming off a bye and needs to start winning to have any shot whatsoever at the playoffs.

Broncos over Chargers

The Chargers scored a surprising Thursday night win the last time these two teams met, but I see things ending differently here.

The Broncos will be the hosts this team and should be able to handle the Chargers this week.

Falcons over Packers

Something is still wrong with the Packers, but nobody knows exactly what. I will go with the Falcons here because I think their high-octane offense will overpower the defense of the Packers.

Cowboys over Eagles

Two rookie quarterbacks face off when these division rivals meet this Sunday night. I think this one will be close, but the Cowboys look like the better team overall so I will go with them.

Vikings over Bears

It says a lot about the Vikings offense when they were the beneficiary of four turnovers by their defense and they still only had 10 points last week.

The good news for the Vikings is they play a bad Bears team this week and should get right back to winning.

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: 8-6-1

Overall: 60-46-1


Predicting Week 7 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

Last week got off to a poor start as my Thursday night record continues to get worse and I whiffed on several early games, but I rallied back in the evening and finished a respectable 8-7.

We’ll see if I can get another week above .500 this week and, with that, let’s head into the picks.

Packers over Bears

Brian Hoyer has more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers through the first six weeks of the season. I’m not exactly sure what this means other than the Packers might be trouble going forward.

However, I still expect the Packers to come out victorious against a bad division rival.

Giants over Rams

Case Keenum has done surprisingly well so far this season after a disastrous start to the season. However, the Giants defense should do well enough shutting them down as NFL defenses continue to stack the box against Todd Gurley.

This should be an interesting game, but the Giants will win.

Chiefs over Saints

Which version of the Chiefs will show up this week? Will it be the team that got absolutely humiliated by the Steelers or the team that shut down the up-and-coming Raiders?

I am banking on the latter with this pick mainly because Andy Reid specializes in beating bad teams and not much else.

Titans over Colts

The Titans might be the best overall team in the AFC South which is a little scary considering how bad they were for the past couple seasons.

A win here could go a long way towards a division title and I’m picking them to get the home victory.

Vikings over Eagles

The Vikings are coming off a bye and their top-notch defense should play as well as ever. It should be a low-scoring affair because the Eagles defense is no slouch, but I will go with Minnesota regardless.

Bengals over Browns

Hue Jackson returns to Cincinnati to face his former team. The Browns are still winless, but the Bengals need a win after losing four of their last five.

Redskins over Lions

The Redskins have quietly won four in a row after dropping their first two games of the season. I don’t really see the win streak lasting too much longer, but I see them getting to at least five this week.

Raiders over Jaguars

Both of these teams are built around a young, talented nucleus, but the Raiders are the team which is turning that formula into success right now.

The Raiders are the easy choice in this game and I will take advantage of that easy choice.

Bills over Dolphins

The Bills are another team on a winning streak after a rough start to the season and I also see their streak getting up to five games with a win here on the road.

Ravens over Jets

Both of these teams are on a major downward decline at the moment. I still don’t think the Ravens are any good, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is self-destructing with the Jets and that won’t change any time soon.

Buccaneers over 49ers

Man, it’s a good thing the 49ers decided to make Colin Kaepernick their starter last week. If Blaine Gabbert was the starter, they probably would have scored 13 points instead of 16.

In all honesty, the 49ers are terrible no matter who is under center, but it doesn’t help when Kaepernick has shown major regression over the past several seasons.

Falcons over Chargers

The Falcons should be 5-1 right now were it not for a blatant missed call last week against Seattle. As it is, the Falcons have continued to look impressive on offense and should be able to burn the Chargers pretty easily on Sunday.

Patriots over Steelers

The Steelers just lost to the Dolphins by 15 points and will be missing Ben Roethlisberger this week.

Rob Gronkowski should tear the poor Steelers secondary apart.

Seahawks over Cardinals

The Cardinals are back at .500, but their last two wins have come against the 49ers and the Jets so it’s not like they have set the world on fire.

I think the Seahawks are just the better team and should win here on Sunday night.

Broncos over Texans

The week wraps up with Brock Osweiler playing against his former team. Unfortunately for the Texans, Osweiler has not been worth the $72 million investment and it should be an easy win for the Broncos this week.

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 6: 8-7

Overall: 52-40

Predicting Week 6 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for a slightly-delayed week of NFL picks and predictions.

It’s been a busy week so let’s just get straight into the picks beginning with a division matchup on Thursday night.

Broncos over Chargers

It would have been hard to believe a few months ago, but the Broncos need Trevor Siemien back as soon as possible.

The Broncos struggled last week against a Falcons team which has played remarkably better than anyone expected. However, I am still picking the Broncos this week because the Chargers keep finding ways to blow games.

Bills over 49ers

A lot of people, including myself, wrote the Bills off after their 0-2 start to the season, but they are now 3-2 and seem like a legitimate playoff team.

They will extend their current winning streak to four games against a bad 49ers team.

Eagles over Redskins

The Eagles fell from the ranks of undefeated teams last week and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz threw the first pick of his NFL career in the game.

However, they should get back on track with a win on the road against the Redskins.

Titans over Browns

The Browns just have no luck on their side this season with quarterbacks dropping left and right.

It looks like Cody Kessler will be in action this week after suffering a rib injury, but Browns fans have to be concerned about their inability to keep quarterbacks on the field.

Giants over Ravens

Two weeks ago, I said the Ravens 3-0 start was entirely a product of the teams they played and two weeks later they are 3-2. Last week, they lost at home to an average-at-best Redskins team which furthered my point.

I expect their slide to continue on the road against the Giants.

Panthers over Saints

Cam Newton will be back in action for the Panthers this week and surely the Panthers are not as bad as their 1-4 start would have us believe, right?

I guess we will find out this week because, if they lose, their window will have already closed.

Bears over Jaguars

It says a lot about Jay Cutler’s Bears tenure when Brian Hoyer notably outperforms him.

I think Hoyer will do enough to beat a bad Jaguars team this week.

Rams over Lions

Both of these teams have been hot-and-cold all season so it is really hard to get a read on this game.

I will take the Rams and their solid defense to win this week.

Steelers over Dolphins

I see absolutely no way the Dolphins can win this game. Enough said.

Patriots over Bengals

This is Tom Brady’s first home game of the season and the crowd should be absolutely electric.

The Bengals will be going all-out after a disappointing display in Dallas last week, but the Patriots will get the win.

Raiders over Chiefs

The Raiders seem to have finally put all the pieces together and look like a top-10 team right now.

I also don’t trust the Chiefs right now, which makes my choice an easy one.

Seahawks over Falcons

The Falcons are a surprisingly good team this year and are actually 3-0 on the road to start the season.

However, they travel to Seattle this week, which is always a tough place to win and I think the hot streak of the Falcons will end here.

Cowboys over Packers

The Cowboys will have a tough decision when Tony Romo returns from injury considering how well Dak Prescott has handled himself at quarterback.

This week, I think the combo of Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot will be too much for the Packers to handle.

Texans over Colts

The Colts are just not a good team and I will take the Texans even without JJ Watt.

Cardinals over Jets

The Jets seemed like a contender this season, but they have gotten off to a disappointing 1-4 start. The loss of Eric Decker to a shoulder injury for the rest of the season will likely spell the end of their season.

The Cardinals will benefit from this as they will pick up the win and move back to .500.

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

Overall: 44-33

Predicting Week 5 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

Last week, I ended my streak of picking the Thursday night games incorrectly and was able to put together a solid week. Hopefully, we can keep the good fortune going this week as fourteen more games will be played.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Cardinals over 49ers

Both teams enter this Thursday night game with a 1-3 record and I am truly surprised by the Cardinals slip this season.

Carson Palmer will likely be out for this game, but I think backup Drew Stanton will do well enough to get the win here.

Patriots over Browns

This game marks the return of Tom Brady and there is no way I am taking a team quarterbacked by Cody Kessler over a returning Brady.

Eagles over Lions

Carson Wentz has been superb through the first three games of his NFL career and he will play a bad Lions team here. The Eagles should have no trouble getting to 4-0 here.

Colts over Bears

Both of these teams look like they are among the worst in the NFL this season. In a battle of the worst, I guess I will take Andrew Luck over Jay Cutler.

Titans over Dolphins

Both of these teams have shown brief flashes of solid play and now this may be a must-win game for both. I think the Titans have a little more promise in them so I am going with them.

Ravens over Redskins

I called the Ravens loss to the Raiders last week due partially to their weak schedule in the weeks prior. Now, I still think they are not that good, but they are playing a Redskins team with a bad defense and I will go with them to win on the road.

Vikings over Texans

The Vikings defense has been incredible thus far and could be enough to make the Vikings a viable Super Bowl team.

I expect them to take care of business again this week against the Texans as they remain undefeated.

Steelers over Jets

This could be a do-or-die game for the Jets who find themselves with a 1-3 record despite some preseason promise.

Unfortunately for Jets fans, the Steelers are too good for the Jets to really match up.

Broncos over Falcons

Trevor Siemian is listed as day-to-day with a shoulder injury that knocked him out of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. However, Paxton Lynch looked just as good in replacing him so I will still go with the Broncos.

This game could be a good indicator of how good the Falcons actually are after their 3-1 start though.

Bengals over Cowboys

This game will be an interesting one, but I will go with the experience of the Bengals over the youth of the Cowboys.

Rams over Bills

After a disastrous start to the year against the 49ers, the Rams have rattled off three straight wins and Case Keenum seems to have found his footing at quarterback, as weird as that is to type.

I think this is a coin flip game, but I will go with the Rams at home.

Raiders over Chargers

The Raiders need to keep winning to keep pace with the Broncos and they are going up against a Chargers team which keeps finding new ways to blow games. I like those odds.

Packers over Giants

The Packers are coming off a bye week and the Giants are playing on six days rest. That combined with the fact that the Packers just seem like a better team are what has me going with Green Bay this week.

Panthers over Buccaneers

The question is, do I think Derek Anderson can win in prime time with Cam Newton likely out with a concussion. I think the answer will be yes against a poor Buccaneers 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 4: 9-6

Overall: 37-26

Predicting Week 4 of the NFL season

Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.

It’s been an up-and-down year for me so far with the picks, but I see quite a few games this week that I am very confident about.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.

Bengals over Dolphins

I am currently 0-3 picking Thursday night games this season, but I feel pretty certain about this one.

The Dolphins have been very hit-and-miss so far this season and I feel like the Bengals will pull out all the stops to avoid a dangerous 1-3 start.

Colts over Jaguars

The AFC South is in very rough shape right now. The Jaguars are on pace for another sub-.500 season, the Texans will be without the best defensive player in the NFL and both the Colts and Titans feel extremely erratic and untrustworthy so far this season.

I could see the winner of this division being 9-7 at best. With that being said, I think the Colts are better and need to win games like this to have a shot at the playoffs.

Texans over Titans

Now we move on to the other half of the division. It is unclear exactly how much the loss of JJ Watt will affect the Houston defensive unit.

However, I still expect a Texans win here at home to maintain control of the division, especially after being embarrassed last Thursday against the Patriots.

Redskins over Browns

There’s still some life in the Redskins after beating the Giants last week. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Browns.

Just think, the Browns could have had Carson Wentz as the quarterback of the future, but decided Robert Griffin III was  a better option. Now, they still don’t have a quarterback and Wentz is tearing it up in Philadelphia.

Seahawks over Jets

Just when you think the Seahawks may not be as good as people thought, they blow the doors off the 49ers.

On the other hand, the Jets can’t really be trusted with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center which was made even more evident by his incredible six-pick performance on Sunday.

Patriots over Bills

This pick is being made under the assumption that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starter Sunday. Even if he’s not, the Patriots will still find a way to win because Bill Belichick has consistently owned Buffalo.

Panthers over Falcons

Who would have thought the Falcons would be the team above .500 coming into this game? Unfortunately for Falcons fans, it won’t last long because the Panthers have the clear advantage in this game on both sides of the ball.

Raiders over Ravens

Do not let the Ravens 3-0 record fool you. They have played the Bills, Browns and Jaguars to open up the season and have won each of those games against weak opponents by less than a touchdown.

I am going with the Raiders to get the slight upset on the road here based on the weak schedule Baltimore has gotten so far.

Lions over Bears

Do I have to pick a winner here? This game will go a long way towards determining who finishes third in the NFC North this season.

I will pick against the Bears since they might be the worst team in football right now.

Broncos over Buccaneers

Trevor Siemian has proven he belongs as a starter in the NFL and he should have no problem cutting through a Buccaneers defense that just gave up 37 points to the Rams.

Cardinals over Rams

I guess the Cardinals aren’t as good as we thought they were after getting blown out by Buffalo Sunday. I still expect them to get back on track here against the Rams.

Chargers over Saints

It says a lot about the Chargers that two of their best players are out for the season with torn ACLs and they still nearly beat the Colts Sunday.

I think they will torch a bad Saints defense here and improve to 2-2 as the Saints remain winless thus far.

Cowboys over 49ers

Rookie Dak Prescott has given Cowboys fans plenty to be excited about even as Tony Romo continues to stay on the sidelines with various injuries.

The Cowboys will have more to be happy about this week when they win and improve to 3-1 on the season.

Steelers over Chiefs

This should be an interesting game to watch, especially with the return of Jamaal Charles to the field for the Chiefs.

I expect a close game, but the Steelers will edge it out.

Vikings over Giants

It’s a bit of a cliche in sports that defense wins championships. The Vikings will put that to the test this season as their stellar defense will have to carry the load with Adrian Peterson out for the year and Sam Bradford playing quarterback.

Time will tell if that is a formula which can work this season, but I expect it to continue to work here as they improve to 4-0.

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 3: 7-9

Overall: 28-20

Predicting Week 3 of the NFL season

Welcome back to the Cowan Corner for another round of NFL picks and predictions.

Last week, I missed big on some games, but was still able to salvage a 9-7 record. Now, we move on to Week 3 which is typically the point at which the true contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack.

Let’s get into this week’s picks.

Texans over Patriots

With the suprisingly good Jimmy Garoppolo potentially out for the game, I have to go with the Texans tough defense to dominate this Thursday night game.

Then again, I am 0-2 so far on Thursday nights this season so who knows what’s going to happen.

Cardinals over Bills

The Cardinals bounced back from a disappointing opening game to trounce the Buccaneers and they should get above .500 this week.

The Bills are a bit of a mess and I would not be surprised if Rex Ryan was fired by the end of the season.

Raiders over Titans

There is no home field advantage for the Titans these days as they went 1-7 at home in 2015 and 2014. The Raiders were disappointing last week against the Falcons, but look for them to get back on track here.

Dolphins over Browns

It’s amazing how the Browns keep fighting ways to make their fans suffer. For a while against the Ravens Sunday, it looked like the Browns might actually have a competent team.

However, reality set in as the Browns blew a 20-point lead and lost. Now, they have to play a Dolphins team which hasn’t looked bad thus far and 0-3 seems like a virtual certainty.

Ravens over Jaguars

I don’t really know what to make of either of these teams so far this season. However. I think the Ravens are better overall which is why I am taking them.

Packers over Lions

The Packers have won seven of their last 10 games against the Lions and I expect that trend to continue.

The Packers were slowed down by the Vikings defense last week, but I put more of that on how good the Vikings defense is than anything.

Bengals over Broncos

I wish Demarcus Ware a smooth and speedy recovery after suffering a fractured forearm Sunday. Ware is a fantastic defensive player and he will be sorely missed by the Broncos.

However, the Bengals will not miss him being out there and should ride their solid units on both sides of the ball to victory.

Panthers over Vikings

Without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings will need their defense to continue performing at a high level and will also need Sam Bradford to be a leader on offense.

I expect this game to be close, but the Panthers are the more well-rounded team and should win here.

Giants over Redskins

Remember when people were saying the Redskins are definitely a playoff team this year? Now they are 0-2 and have looked very disappointing in their losses.

The Giants, meanwhile, have looked very strong and the upgrades they made to their defense look like they are paying off. I expect both trends to continue here.

Buccaneers over Rams

The Buccaneers actually looked like a decent sleeper team before Doug Martin went down with an injury which will keep him out for three weeks. Despite that loss, I will still take the Buccaneers because the Rams still seem like a mess despite their shocking win over the Seahawks.

Seahawks over 49ers

Speaking of which, what happened to the Seahawks? They were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender and now they are 1-1 to start the year and have scored a combined 15 points in those games.

The offense has looked disappointing to say the least and will need to vastly improve for the team to have any shot of making it to the playoffs.

Jets over Chiefs

I think both of these teams are fringe playoff contenders and this game could have a major impact on the final standings come January.

I will take the Jets on the road, primarily because I have been more impressed with them overall to this point.

Colts over Chargers

In two weeks the Chargers have lost two of their best offensive weapons to ACL tears. First, Keenan Allen went down in Week 1 and then Sunday it was Danny Woodhead.

Without those two, it will be tough for Philip Rivers to get a good offense going for the season and I think the Colts will win here easily.

Steelers over Eagles

This will be the first true test of Carson Wentz and his ability to play quarterback in the NFL after torching the Browns and Bears to start his career.

This game should be a close one, but it will be difficult for the Eagles to keep pace with the offense of the Steelers.

Cowboys over Bears

There is no way I am picking this horrible Bears team over a Cowboys team which has looked pretty decent so far.

It really doesn’t help that Jay Cutler, average as he is, will likely not be playing and Chicago’s hopes will rest on Brian Hoyer under center.

Saints over Falcons

I expect this to be a fast-paced, high scoring shootout which will make for entertaining television even if neither team has much hope of making the playoffs.

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 2: 9-7

Overall: 21-11