Hello and welcome back to The Cowan Corner for another week of NFL picks and predictions.
With four weeks remaining on the schedule, only one playoff spot has been officially clinched, but up to three more tickets could be punched this week depending on what happens.
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s picks.
Chiefs over Raiders
The last time these two teams met, the Chiefs won 26-10 in Oakland. A win by the Chiefs would shake up the playoff picture as the Chiefs would be the division leader based on the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker.
I think this will happen thanks to a strong Chiefs defense and a hot Kansas City crowd.
Bills over Steelers
The weather forecast for this game in Buffalo indicates the potential for snow and that tends to favor run-heavy offenses.
The Bills have one of the best run offense in the NFL so I will go with them here.
Titans over Broncos
Both teams could use a win this week to stay in their division races. Trevor Siemian could be back for the Broncos this week, but if he isn’t I think the Broncos will be in trouble against a rested Titans team.
I will go with the home team, but I think the game will be fairly close.
Redskins over Eagles
The Redskins currently sit a half-game out of a wild card spot and could really use a win this week against a division rival.
The Eagles seem to have quit on this season after another poor performance Sunday and I see that trend continuing.
Dolphins over Cardinals
The Dolphins looked like potential contenders until they got decimated by Baltimore Sunday. Their season isn’t over quite yet, but they will need to keep winning to have any chance at a wild card.
Chargers over Panthers
Both of these teams are done in the playoff race and this game means nothing in the grand scheme of things. I do think the Panthers look horrid right now and Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon should tear their defense apart.
Bengals over Browns
As of this writing, Robert Griffin III should be getting the start for the Browns and I expect it to mean absolutely nothing to the result of this game.
In all seriousness, the Browns are terrible no matter who their quarterback is and the Bengals showed last week that they can still play well without AJ Green.
Lions over Bears
Who would’ve thought the Lions would have a multi-game division lead in the NFC North in December? The Lions have been a big surprise this season and keep finding ways to win.
One of the four games they have lost so far was to this Bears team, but I don’t see that happening again.
Colts over Texans
The winner of this game would have the inside track to the AFC South title as both teams are tied at the top of the division with the Titans entering this week and both teams also hold tiebreakers over the Titans.
I wouldn’t call either of these team’s good, but the Colts have at least shown a capacity to perform well as of late while the Texans can’t seem to find any sort of offensive rhythm.
Vikings over Jaguars
Blake Bortles has more pick-six’s thrown in his career than he does career wins in his career. The Jaguars are playing a tough defense which has a habit of scoring defensive touchdowns. This spells doom for Bortles and the Jaguars this week.
Jets over 49ers
We all knew the 49ers were terrible, but it says a lot about how bad they are that they got dominated by the Bears last week.
I don’t know if the 49ers will win another game this season, but I think they will suffer yet another bad loss this week.
Buccaneers over Saints
The Buccaneers are tied with the Falcons at the top of the NFC South entering this week, but tiebreakers have them as the final wild card team.
They need a win this week and shouldn’t find it too difficult to beat a struggling Saints squad.
Falcons over Rams
On the other side, the Falcons could also use a win and they have the fortune of playing the absolutely unwatchable Rams.
I still have no idea how Jeff Fisher still has a job in the NFL, let alone how he got a two-year contract extension.
Seahawks over Packers
The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West this week with a win and an Arizona loss.
These two teams have played some very interesting and competitive games over the last several seasons and this one should be no different. I see the Seahawks getting one step closer to a division title here.
Cowboys over Giants
The Cowboys are already in the playoffs, but a win this week will officially clinch the NFC East for them.
The Giants are the only team to beat them so far this season, but the Cowboys are clicking on all cylinders right now and the Giants have too many flaws for me to believe in them winning.
Ravens over Patriots
Finally, the Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win and a Dolphins loss. I am actually going with the slight upset here because the Ravens always seem to do well against the Patriots.
I also think the loss of Rob Gronkowski will greatly affect how effective the Patriots offense can be when they’re not playing a horrible team like the Rams.
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 13: 8-7