Predicting Week 14 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

Normally I open up these columns with a brief preamble about something that happened in the NFL in the last week.

However, this week I have nothing important to say and the coming finals week has me rushing to write this column so I can prepare for those.

With that being said, let’s go straight into the picks for the week.

Cardinals over Vikings

The Cardinals are a great team at home and the Vikings just got trounced on their own turf. Even on the short week, I’ll give the win to the Cardinals here.

Bills over Eagles

For the sake of my picks, I need the Bills to decide if they are good or not. I was about to write them off as playoff contenders and then they put up 30 points against a tough Texans defense.

I think they are better than the Eagles so I will take them on the road.

49ers over Browns

Let the speculation about who the Browns will draft with the first overall pick begin. The Browns have had a terrible year and it will continue here.

Lions over Rams

I think the Rams quit on this season three weeks ago. I’m just wondering if their management has the guts to fire Jeff Fisher who has done nothing for the team since coming on as head coach in 2012.

Buccaneers over Saints

Look out everybody, the Buccaneers are within shooting distance of an NFC wild-card spot. Meanwhile, the Saints are virtually guaranteed to set the new single-season record for passing touchdowns given up in a season.

Jets over Titans

This game is going to be over by halftime. The Jets are just better in every way.

Bengals over Steelers

This has potential to be the game of the day. In November, the Bengals won 13-10 in a hard-fought game.

I think this game will be a little higher scoring, but the final result will be the same. The Bengals will win a close game and clinch a division title in the process.

Colts over Jaguars

It was fun while it lasted Jaguars, but you are still a year or two away from true contention. I think the Colts win if it’s Hasselbeck or Luck under center.

Chiefs over Chargers

The Chiefs win streak will extend to seven games here with an easy win at home against a broken and lifeless division rival.

Bears over Redskins

The Redskins have yet to win a road game this season which is a problem because three of their remaining four games are on the road. Combining that with the Bears being a decent team means I have to pick Chicago here.

Panthers over Falcons

At this point, the Panthers are going to be tough to beat. I still don’t think they will end this season undefeated, but a team like the Falcons is not going to give them any trouble.

Seahawks over Ravens

This should be a very one-sided affair with either Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen starting for the Ravens. It is also a game the Seahawks need to win to keep pace in the NFC West race with the Cardinals.

Broncos over Raiders

The Broncos were a scary team while Peyton Manning turned into a pick machine. Now Brock Osweiler has them playing like the best team in the NFL.

Packers over Cowboys

The Packers will establish full control of the NFC North here with a home game against the depleted Cowboys. I just can’t see Matt Cassel picking up a win in Lambeau Field.

Patriots over Texans

This is going to be a tough game for the Patriots, especially if Rob Gronkowski does not play as expected. However, I see them doing just enough to win against a Texans team that has not established if they are good or not yet.

Giants over Dolphins

A win could give the Giants sole possession of first place in the NFC East and I think they will grab that against a mediocre Dolphins team.

With that, we wrap up another week of NFL picks. Come back next week for more picks and analysis of the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.

Predicting Week 13 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

After 12 weeks and 176 games, only one team remains among the unbeaten and to the surprise of many that team is the Carolina Panthers.

However, the Panthers start is no fluke. Six of the Panthers 11 wins this season have been by double digits and they have won against the Seahawks and the Packers.

Time will tell if the Panthers can continue their undefeated run, but for now they appear to be riding high at the top of the NFL.

With that said, let’s get to this week’s picks.

Packers over Lions

I still don’t know what’s wrong with the Packers. The Packers looked nearly unstoppable through their first six games, but have now lost four of their last five.

Despite that, I expect them to get back to winning against the Lions on Thursday.

Jets over Giants

I trusted the Giants to take care of business against the Redskins last week and they completely blew it. I’m not going to fall for that again.

Cardinals over Rams

Jeff Fisher is right. His team’s struggles this season are not an effort issue. They are a coach and quarterback issue and until one or both of those issues need to be resolved for the Rams to be taken seriously.

Buccaneers over Falcons

The Buccaneers are a better team and need the win so I will give them the nod.

Vikings over Seahawks

This was a tough decision, but I will take the Vikings at home. The Seahawks are a good team, but the Vikings are a little better.

Texans over Bills

JJ Watt has been an unstoppable monster the past few weeks. Meanwhile, the Bills might be a little overrated given their failure to win games against good teams this season.

Ravens over Dolphins

This is a game between two teams who should be better than they are. I’ll go with the Ravens because they at least have the excuse of losing in close games.

Bengals over Browns

The Browns have Austin Davis starting at quarterback for this game. I don’t need any more justification for this pick.

Jaguars over Titans

Look on the bright side, Titans fans. You’re going to get another high overall pick and you’ll eventually be good if you keep getting those, right?

Bears over 49ers

The 49ers are 0-5 on the road this season and the Bears are a remarkable 1-4 at home. Something’s got to give and I have to go with the Bears here because they are a better team.

Broncos over Chargers

This Brock Osweiler kid might have a future in the NFL with the way he played against the Patriots last Sunday. I think he will extend his record to 3-0 as a starter here in what will be a quasi-home game for the Broncos.

Chiefs over Raiders

The Chiefs enter this week with a five game win streak and a win here could put them in great position for a wild-card berth. I think they will get it done against the Raiders who are still a year away from being true threats in the AFC.

Panthers over Saints

This will probably be another 30+-point performance for the Panthers against a mediocre Saints team. It’s just a question of what dances Cam Newton will pull out this week.

Patriots over Eagles

It says a lot about the Eagles when I confidently pick a Patriots team that is missing Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis and potentially Rob Gronkowski. I don’t think this one will even be close.

Steelers over Colts

Reports suggest Ben Roethlisberger will play in this game. If he plays, I think the Steelers have the decisive edge in this game especially at home.

Redskins over Cowboys

When the Redskins benched Robert Griffin III during the preseason, a lot of people wrote them off as a bottom of the barrel team. Now, a win on Monday night could give them sole possession of first place in the NFC East and I think that will happen.

Week 12: 11-5

Overall: 109-67

Predicting Week 12 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

It’s that time of year in the NFL. Thanksgiving week marks the end of bye weeks, but also brings us three Thursday games to look forward to.

One particular game on the Thursday schedule has plenty of intrigue with the 10-0 Panthers clashing with the Tony Romo-led Cowboys. The other Thursday games have the potential to impact the current divisional races.

More importantly, December is right around the corner and serves as the true proving ground for playoff hopefuls. With that said, let’s move on to this week’s NFL picks.

Eagles over Lions

I don’t think either of these teams are very good. The tipping point for me was that the Eagles have much more to play for with the division race still very much in question.

Cowboys over Panthers

I’m going with the upset pick here. Tony Romo is 3-0 as a starter this season and the Cowboys have the benefit of playing the Panthers on a short week.

It will be a close game, but the Cowboys should come out on top here.

Packers over Bears

As the weather gets colder, the Packers get better. I don’t think that will change much against an average Bears team.

Raiders over Titans

The Titans have only won this season when Marcus Mariota throws four touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. I don’t think that will be happening this week.

Chiefs over Bills

Both teams need a win to move above .500 for this season and I believe they are fairly evenly matched. I will give the nod to the home team here.

Colts over Buccaneers

Matt Hasselbeck has played better this season than Andrew Luck. That is something which cannot be argued statistically right now.

The only question is how long can Hasselbeck play at his current level? I think it lasts at least one more week.

Giants over Redskins

The wacky ride that is the NFC East continues. I think the Giants will win this game even on the road.

Texans over Saints

JJ Watt has played at another level the past several weeks. There is no reason to think that won’t continue and the Saints should still be in turmoil after firing Rob Ryan as a defensive coordinator.

Vikings over Falcons

The Falcons are not a very good football team. This week’s game should do nothing to change my opinion.

Bengals over Rams

The Bengals will get back on the winning track with a home game against a very beatable Rams team.

Jaguars over Chargers

The Chargers might not win another game because of a combination of injuries and having no home field advantage. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are legitimate division contenders in the AFC South right now.

Jets over Dolphins

I think the loser of this game can be safely written off for the playoffs this season. Unfortunately for Miami fans, I think the Dolphins will draw the short end of the stick in New York.

Cardinals over 49ers

Even at home, Blaine Gabbert is not going to win you all that many games as a starter. Especially not against the Cardinals who are one of the favorites to win the NFC this season.

Seahawks over Steelers

I see this being a big game for both teams. Given the Seahawks are at home and are further back in their division, I have to go with them to pick up a win.

Broncos over Patriots

The Patriots have looked vulnerable the last couple weeks. I think that combined with the recent Patriots injuries and the stifling defense of the Broncos is why I have the Broncos winning in Denver.

Ravens over Browns

Johnny Manziel never had the chance to win a game as a starter. Granted he never played well enough to deserve a win. I think his recent demotion to third string on the Browns is the final nail in the coffin for his career.

That is all for this week’s picks. Come back next week for more picks and analysis of the weeks that was in the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 11: 7-7

Overall: 98-62

Predicting Week 11 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

After nine straight weeks of picking above .500, I was bound to slip up at some point.

However, the way I did it was surprising. If it wasn’t for a late holding call on the Cowboys and a 54-yard field goal by the Patriots, I would have picked just two of the 14 games last week correctly.

As it was, I finished a disappointing 4-10 for the week. Now, I have to move on and see if I can get back to playing above .500 from week-to-week.

With that said, let’s move on to this week’s picks beginning with a real snoozer of a Thursday night game.

Jaguars over Titans

The Jaguars came up with one of the surprising comebacks of the year on Sunday and they might actually be a decent team.

I don’t see the Titans giving them much trouble here.

Raiders over Lions

Are the Raiders a good team? I would have said yes after they dominated the Jets and Chargers, but then they blew games against the Steelers and Vikings.

If the Raiders want to be taken seriously, they need to win this game and I think they will.

Falcons over Colts

It will be interesting to see if the Colts’ offense performs better with Matt Hasselbeck at the helm. Regardless, I think the Falcons take care of business at home.

Jets over Texans

Jets get the win here because they need it more right now. As sad as it is to say, 4-6 will be enough to keep the Texans in first place within the AFC South.

Buccaneers over Eagles

I think Sam Bradford won’t be playing in this game due to his shoulder injury. The lack of a quality quarterback and the general skill the Buccaneers have demonstrated have me leaning towards the Buccaneers.

Bears over Broncos

I will admit I misjudged the Bears. Going into the year, I thought they had the makings of a bottom five team, but they have actually displayed some quality play.

I also don’t trust Brock Osweiler enough to pick the Broncos in this situation.

Rams over Ravens

The season from hell will continue for the Ravens.

Dolphins over Cowboys

I think it’s a mistake for Tony Romo to come back. The Cowboys have almost no shot at the playoffs and the risk of injury is too high.

I don’t even think Romo’s return will be enough to give the Cowboys a win here.

Panthers over Redskins

Another week, another Panthers win against a mediocre to average opponent. At this point, their grip on the division title is strong and it will be interesting to see what team can knock them off first.

Chiefs over Chargers

Look out; the Chiefs still might win the west. After a 1-5 start, the Chiefs have rattled off three straight wins and an injury to Peyton Manning has opened the door for a playoff appearance.

Vikings over Packers

I think the Vikings might be legitimate contender for the Super Bowl. They can run or pass and Mike Zimmer has built an incredible defense this season.

On the other hand, the Packers have lost three straight games and will now have to fight for a spot in the crowded NFC playoff picture.

Seahawks over 49ers

Where is the Legion of Boom? They didn’t show up Sunday night against Arizona and they will need to make more appearance this season for the Seahawks to make it into the playoffs.

Cardinals over Bengals

This pick is not being made because of the Bengals primetime record. This pick is being made because I think both teams are on equal ground. This gives the Cardinals an edge playing at home.

Patriots over Bills

Tom Brady is 24-3 for his career against the Bills and the Patriots already won in Buffalo. This was an easy choice to close out the week.

Come back next week for more picks and analysis of what is going on in the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 10: 4-10

Overall: 91-55

Predicting Week 10 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

With every passing week, the question is asked again and again.

Will any team finish this season undefeated? The Broncos dropped from the race with a disappointing loss to the Colts and we are now left with three teams.

I don’t think the Patriots are much of a surprise to be at the top of the AFC this season, but the Bengals and Panthers were both big surprises.

This is the first time in NFL history three teams have started 8-0, but I still don’t think we will have an undefeated team when the Lombardi Trophy is raised in February. In 37 years of 16-game seasons, a perfect 19-0 season has never happened and I don’t expect that to change.

Whether or not they fall this week or somewhere down the line, all three team will stumble. It’s just a matter of time.

With that, let’s go to the picks for Week 10.

Jets over Bills

I’ll give the nod to the home team here based on their incredible defense. The Jets also need a win to establish themselves as a wild-card favorite in the AFC.

Packers over Lions

The Packers find themselves in a division race with the charging Vikings all of a sudden because of their two straight losses. The race for the NFC South could very well be decided in the two games the teams have left to play.

I expect the Packers to take care of business this week.

Buccaneers over Cowboys

At this point, Tony Romo won’t be coming back soon enough to salvage the Cowboys’ season. It might be in their best interest to shut Romo down and go for a high draft pick to make a run next year.

Panthers over Titans

The train keeps on rolling for Cam Newton and the Panthers.

Rams over Bears

The Rams continue to look frisky as a potential wild-card team. It will be very interesting to see how the playoff race in the NFC West unfolds.

Saints over Redskins

This is a must-win game for the Saints and so I have to go with them even on the road.

Eagles over Dolphins

The wacky NFC East continues as the Eagles and Giants have emerged as the front-runners. Eagles have a great chance to pick up some ground with a home game against the struggling Dolphins.

Steelers over Browns

Even with Landry Jones starting for the Steelers, I can’t pick the Browns to win in Pittsburgh.

Ravens over Jaguars

The Ravens are another team playing with their season on the line this week. I think Joe Flacco will come through with enough to beat the Jaguars and temporarily keep their playoff hopes afloat.

Raiders over Vikings

Both of these teams have been pleasant surprises this season. I’ll take the Raiders because they are playing at home and Teddy Bridgewater might be missing for the Vikings.

Patriots over Giants

I considered this game for a long time because Eli Manning seems to always have the Patriots number. However, this Giants team is not good enough to beat the Patriots.

Broncos over Chiefs

Peyton Manning will break the passing yards record this week guaranteed. Other than that historical note, I predict the Broncos to walk all over the Chiefs this week.

Seahawks over Cardinals

This is a big game for both teams and could go a long way in determining who wins the NFC West. I have to with the Seahawks because they are more desperate to prove they are still championship contenders.

Bengals over Texans

The Bengals took care of business against the Browns on Thursday and the Texans are not much better, if at all. I’ll take the Bengals to improve to 9-0 to wrap up the week.

With that, we conclude another week of picks. Come back next time for more discussion, analysis and picks for the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 9: 9-4

Overall: 87-45

Predicting Week 9 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

Last week was yet another successful one for my picks column as I went 11-3. Here’s hoping that my string of weeks above .500 will continue with an intriguing Week 9 upcoming.

Here are my picks for the week beginning with one of the four unbeaten teams in action on Thursday.

Bengals over Browns

This is the first of three straight prime time games for the Bengals. I had this penciled in as a win for the Bengals before Joe Haden and Josh McCown were ruled out.

Now, I think a win is certain, especially in Cincinnati.

Panthers over Packers

On Sunday, we learned that Aaron Rodgers is human and can have bad games at quarterback now and again. This is a huge test for the Panthers to find out if they are real contenders.

I think Carolina comes through with a big win at home.

Patriots over Redskins

The Patriots train will keep on rolling here. If this game is even close, I will be shocked.

Saints over Titans

Drew Brees found the fountain of youth at some point this season and he gets the benefit of playing a terrible Titans team this week.

Bills over Dolphins

This is a must-win game for both teams. I have the Bills winning because the Dolphins are a mirage with their blowout wins over the awful Titans and Texans.

Vikings over Rams

The Vikings might be the best team no one is talking about. This game should be a close one, but the Vikings should come out on top.

Jets over Jaguars

The Raiders’ dismantling of the Jets last week was startling to see, but I think Todd Bowles will right the ship in this game.

Raiders over Steelers

Speaking of the Raiders, they look like a bonafide playoff contender and get to play an injury-addled Steelers team this week.

Giants over Buccaneers

It must stink to lose a game in which you scored 49 points like the Giants did last week. However, I expect Eli Manning and company to take care of business this week.

Falcons over 49ers

I think the Falcons are another mirage team that is not as good as their record implies, but I can’t pick a team that has Blaine Gabbert under center.

Broncos over Colts

We’ve never had four 7-0 teams in a single season prior to this one. I think after this week we’ll have four 8-0 teams.

This game could be historically important because Peyton Manning can break Brett Favre’s record for career passing yards.

Eagles over Cowboys

Good news for Cowboys fans is Tony Romo should be back in a few weeks. That will be the only good news for them this week.

Bears over Chargers

The Chargers’ terribly disappointing season will continue with another prime time loss at home. On the bright side, they might be in Los Angeles soon.

That will do it in for this week’s picks. Come back next week for more thoughts on what is happening and what is to come in the NFL here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 8: 11-3

Overall: 78-41

Predicting Week 8 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

Last week was fairly uneventful with the Panthers and Patriots remaining undefeated, the other three undefeated teams having the week off and most of the results being fairly predictable.

With that said, let’s move on to this week, which should provide a lot of interest with a huge Sunday night game to cap everything off.

Patriots over Dolphins

The Dolphins have caught fire the last two weeks, but they did it against the Titans and the Texans. Talk to me when they beat a decent team. The Patriots win an easy home game here.

Chiefs over Lions

This is our third and final London game of the season. It’s always amazing how the teams that get signed up to go to London are never contenders.

Falcons over Buccaneers

I still have no idea what to think of the Falcons. They haven’t really beaten anyone good, but they’re still clear contenders based on their record. The Falcons string of winnable games continues here against the hapless Buccaneers.

Cardinals over Browns

The Cardinals have the makings of a Super Bowl contender. However, they need to win their division to have a shot. The good news for Cardinals fans is that the Seahawk’s early struggles have given them a huge early lead.

Rams over 49ers

Todd Gurley has quickly become one of the most entertaining players in the NFL and the Rams have silently become a playoff contender. They should take care of business against a 49ers team that looks lost week-to-week.

Saints over Giants

I thought the Saints were dead in the water after Week 5. Now, they’re a winnable game away from being at .500 and I have them winning in the Superdome.

Vikings over Bears

Add the Vikings to the list of wild card hopefuls in the NFC. They’re not going to catch the Packers, but they will definitely be in the playoff hunt.

Ravens over Chargers

This looked like an exciting at the beginning of the season. Now, it’s a game between two teams that have no absolutely no shot this season and fell apart out of nowhere. I have to go with the home team on principle here.

Bengals over Steelers

Andy Dalton and the Bengals have survived every test so far this season. Even with Ben Roethlisberger playing, I think the Bengals will come out on top and set a new franchise record for most consecutive wins.

Texans over Titans

This is, by far, the most skippable game of 2015. There is nothing else to say about it.

Jets over Raiders

I love watching both of these teams play right now and will likely make a point of watching this game in full. I’ll pick the Jets because they nearly beat the Patriots last week.

Seahawks over Cowboys

Will the Cowboys win a game without Tony Romo? I think the answer will still be “no” after this game.

Packers over Broncos

This is the must-watch game of the week. One of these teams will lose their first game of the season. I give the slight edge to the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is playing at such a high level and I don’t think Peyton Manning can do enough to match him.

Panthers over Colts

The AFC South is the new NFC South because the winner could very likely finish below .500 on the season.

That will wrap things up for this week. Come back next time to see where I was right and where I was wrong here at the Cowan Corner.

Week 7: 10-4

Overall: 67-38

Predicting Week 7 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

As we enter Week 7 of the NFL season, there are five undefeated teams, the most in the history of the league this far into the season.

Last week, four of those five teams won by a touchdown or less to continue an unprecedented start to the year. This week, the Bengals, Broncos and Packers all have byes, but the Panthers and Patriots will be competing to keep their perfect runs alive.

With that, let’s go into my picks for Week 7 beginning with a Thursday night game between two less than perfect teams.

Seahawks over 49ers

I was shocked when Cam Newton connected with Greg Olsen for a game-winning touchdown against the Seahawks on Sunday. Now, I think this is a must-win game for the Seahawks if they want to win their division this season.

Bills over Jaguars

This is our second London game of the season. The Bills are 2-0 when coming off losses so far this season so I think they will win here. If only they could figure out a way to win multiple games in a row.

Redskins over Buccaneers

Two teams with subpar quarterbacks going at it. This game will not be a classic by any means.

Falcons over Titans

Even coming off a bad loss to the Saints, I have to give the Falcons the nod because the Titans are just terrible on both sides of the ball and they are not getting better anytime soon.

Colts over Saints

Kudos to the Colts for not getting blown out like many predicted they would. Andrew Luck has benefited from terrible division competition over the last several years and the team should be able to widen their lead with a win here.

Vikings over Lions

Matthew Stafford has been in the NFL for seven years. If he isn’t a good quarterback by now, he never will be.

Unfortunately for the Lions, he is not a good quarterback and the Vikings defense should eat him alive in this game.

Steelers over Chiefs

It doesn’t matter who the Steelers start at quarterback, they just keep on winning. Were it not for Josh Scobee’s leg, the Steelers would be 5-1 right now.

They will pick up their fifth win of the season here against a hurting Chiefs team.

Rams over Browns

This might be the game to watch during the Sunday afternoon slate. Two frisky teams who have played well the last couple of weeks.

I’ll take the Rams because of their solid home field advantage.

Dolphins over Texans

The Dolphins defense actually played like the studs they were supposed to be last week. This game will be a test to see if that game was a mirage or if they are now for real.

Patriots over Jets

Expect Darrelle Revis to come up with some big plays in his return to Foxborough. However,  the Patriots should win comfortably in their friendly confines.

Chargers over Raiders

Both of these teams have had up-and-down seasons to this point in the year. I have the Chargers winning a close game here.

Giants over Cowboys

Try as they might, the Cowboys cannot get me excited about Matt Cassel starting an NFL game in 2015. I think the Giants will win by a landslide.

Panther over Eagles

The Panthers will join the ranks of the 6-0 teams this season with a Sunday night game against the Eagles. The team’s true test to win the division will come when they have to play the Falcons for the first time in Week 15.

Cardinals over Ravens

The Raven’s dramatic fall from grace will continue with a blowout loss to a Cardinals team that has firm control of the NFC West right now.

With that, another week comes to a close. Come back next week for more discussion and analysis of the NFL season here on the Cowan Corner.

Week 6: 8-6

Overall: 57-34

Predicting Week 6 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

You never know what you’re going to get in the NFL on a week-to-week basis.

Week 5 saw three overtime games, home teams going a dismal 6-8, a team coming back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit for the first time since 2010 and a rare walk-off touchdown in regulation to cap off the week.

Now we move on to Week 6, which probably won’t be as crazy, but you never know what could happen. Here are my picks.

Falcons over Saints

I think at least one of the six undefeated teams will lose this week. However, I don’t think the Falcons will be that team.

Atlanta’s time will come eventually, but Matt Ryan and Davonta Freeman will have no trouble running all over this Saints team.

Bengals over Bills

Through five games, Andy Dalton is averaging 300 yard per game and has more than five times as many touchdown passes as interceptions. The last two quarterbacks to do that through five games in the Super Bowl era are Aaron Rodgers in 2011 and Peyton Manning in 2013.

Needless to say, Dalton is having the best year of his career and that combined with the news of Tyrod Taylor missing time with an MCL sprain has me picking the Bengals.

Jets over Redskins

The Jets are back in America and primed to dominate a bad Redskins team.

Cardinals over Steelers

I will admit to being surprised by Michael Vick’s success as a starting quarterback for the Steelers. Was it not for Josh Scobee hooking a couple field goal tries, the Steelers would be 2-0 with Vick at the helm.

However, the Cardinals are just a better team and even in Pittsburgh, I have to choose Arizona to win.

Vikings over Chiefs

Jamaal Charles’ ACL tear ended his season and basically killed any hope that the Chiefs had this season. In contrast, the Vikings have the look of a fringe playoff team and have yet to lose at home this season.

Lions over Bears

The Lions are the NFL’s only winless team after five weeks. I think they will pick up their first win of the season at home against a bad Bears team.

If the Lions lose, Matthew Stafford’s job could very well be in jeopardy.

Broncos over Browns

Say what you will about Peyton Manning’s arm this season, the Broncos defense is no joke and could single-handedly bring them a first-round bye.

Browns won last week in an overtime thriller, but stand little chance against this Broncos team.

Jaguars over Texans

Probably the most entertaining part of Thursday night’s game was the shots of Ryan Mallett looking disgruntled on the sidelines.

We will probably get more of those shots as the Texans dig themselves a deeper hole in the division.

Dolphins over Titans

I’ll take the Dolphins here because the Titans are just as much of a mess and the Dolphins have a better defense.

Seahawks over Panthers

The Panthers will fall from the ranks of undefeated in Seattle. The Seahawks are coming off an overtime loss in which they led by as much as 17 points.

Coming off that loss, I expect the Seahawks to come out determined and focus.

Packers over Chargers

It’s Aaron Rodgers at home. Need I say more?

Ravens over 49ers

Remember when the Ravens were a trendy Super Bowl pick? Now, they’ll barely scrape by a pretty bad 49ers team.

Patriots over Colts

Tom Brady’s going to be playing to kill due to all the fallout from Deflategate that started with a game against the Colts. Even if Andrew Luck plays, I don’t see much hope for the Colts here.

Giants over Eagles

Giants have by far the best team in their division and a win here will solidify their first place standing.

Whatever the next week of action brings, come back next week for more discussion of the week that was and what is to come at the Cowan Corner.

Week 5: 8-6

Overall: 49-28

Predicting Week 5 of the NFL season

By Sam Cowan

I thought for sure my streak of correct Thursday night predictions would come to an end against the Steelers last week.

Then, Josh Scobee shanked a couple of field goals and the Ravens somehow clawed back to win as I improved to 4-0 on Thursdays.

That win was the beginning of another successful week of predictions at the Cowan Corner as I went 11-4 on the week. Now, I look to continue that run of good fortune with an interesting slate of games coming up.

Let’s start with the Thursday night game for this week.

Texans over Colts

Even if Andrew Luck plays, I don’t see a win here for the boys in blue. The AFC South is a wide-open race at the moment and I see the Texans picking up a key win at home here to bring themselves even with the Colts.

Bengals over Seahawks

This is the first real test for a Bengals team that looks as strong as any team in the Marvin Lewis era. The Seahawks are traveling cross-country on a short week and are coming off a game in which they needed a fumble on the one-yard line to beat the winless Lions.

I expect this game to be a comfortable Bengals win to put the Bengals at 5-0 for the first time since 1988.

Chiefs over Bears

The Chiefs 1-3 record is deceiving because those three losses were a heartbreaker to the Broncos, a loss in Lambeau Field to the Packers and a loss to the aforementioned Bengals.

Meanwhile, the Bears somehow beat a good-looking Raiders team on a last minute field goal. I’ll take the Chiefs here, mainly because Andy Reid is a master of beating bad teams.

Falcons over Redskins

Falcons will remain undefeated this season with an easy home win and the Redskins will lose to add more intrigue to the NFC East race.

Jaguars over Buccaneers

No one wins in this battle of bad Florida teams. I’ll take the Jaguars on the road because they have actually showed flashes of competence with a win over the Dolphins and an overtime loss to the Colts.

Saints over Eagles

Neither of these teams are very good, but I’ll take the Saints because they have a pretty good quarterback in Drew Brees. That’s more than the Eagles can say right now.

Ravens over Browns

Ravens are hard to beat at home and Josh McCown is not capable enough to beat them here.

Packers over Rams

I will say I was shocked that the Rams beat the Cardinals in Arizona. However, playing the Packers at home is a completely different animal.

Bill over Titans

I know the Bills just suffered an embarrassing loss at home to the Giants, but I also know that the Titans are not a good team.

On the bright side, Marcus Mariota still looks like a promising NFL quarterback.

Cardinals over Lions

The Lions winless woes will continue here against a motivated Cardinals team. The Lions will win at some point, just not this week.

Patriots over Cowboys

The Patriots have steamrolled everybody they’ve faced so far this season and the Cowboys will be no different. My question is if the Cowboys will win any games before Tony Romo returns to the field.

Broncos over Raiders

It’s Peyton Manning in a division game against a team who just lost to the Bears. Even in Oakland this was an easy decision for me to make.

Giants over 49ers

Man, if it weren’t for those terrible collapses in the first two games of the season, the Giants would be sitting pretty at the top of their division. As it is, I expect them to jump into sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a win on Sunday night.

Chargers over Steelers

To cap off Week 5 in the NFL, I expect Philip Rivers and the Chargers to easily handle the Steelers in a Monday night encounter which would have been much more interesting before the Ben Roethlisberger injury.

Come back next week for more discussion on the week that was and predictions on what is to come in the NFL.

Week 4: 11-4

Overall: 41-22