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.