It’s crunch time in the NFL as the remaining playoff spots are beginning to dwindle. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles became the first clubs to secure post-season berths in week 14.
The Steelers can take that one step further by locking up home-field advantage in the AFC throughout the playoff this week. Although the Eagles enjoyed success over the Los Angeles Rams in their win last time out, the NFC has been blown wide open by Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury.
It will be a scramble in the final three weeks of the term and week 15 throws up some interesting matches. We’ll now break down which teams you should in your teaser.
The Dolphins put in an outstanding display on Monday Night Football to end the New England Patriots’ eight-game winning run. Adam Gase’s men plowed through their AFC East rivals on the ground, while quarterback Jay Cutler outplayed Tom Brady in the passing game. The 34-year-old threw for two touchdowns without committing a mistake to lead Miami to victory. The defense shut down the Patriots’ potent attack, with Xavien Howard intercepting Brady twice in the contest.
Due to the tight race in the wildcard picture in the AFC playoffs, both the Dolphins and the Bills still have the opportunity to break into the post-season. Buffalo earned a vital win over the Indianapolis Colts last week in horrendous conditions. A snow storm almost left New Era Field unplayable, but both teams battled through the elements to play out an entertaining contest. LeSean McCoy led the Bills to victory to improve their record to 7-6. They have a slim hope of reaching the post-season, but will Tyrod Taylor to return to fitness to lead them forward.
The Dolphins are healthier and are playing their best football of the season – therefore they should be able to claim the win on the road at odds of +150 with Betway.
The Eagles were dealt the cruellest of blows when quarterback Wentz was ruled out for the rest of the season. The 24-year-old was putting forward an MVP-calibre campaign, throwing for the club’s franchise record for passing touchdowns with 33. However, he tore his ACL in Philadelphia’s win over the Rams, which has forced Doug Pederson’s men to turn to backup Nick Foles.
The quarterback did have a solid 2013 term and is capable of running the offense, although he does lack the star power of Wentz. The Eagles have a stout defensive line and it may be enough to carry them past poor outfits such as the Giants. However, Wentz’s absence may have ended their hopes of winning the Super Bowl.
New York played tough against the Dallas Cowboys for the opening two quarters of the contest. Dallas eventually broke through their resistance as Dak Prescott put on a clinic. Eli Manning returned to start at quarterback and struggled – perhaps vindicating the decision of former head coach Ben McAdoo to bench him. The club appear to be waiting for the term to end, with the focus on the search for a new head coach and general manager. Even without Wentz the Eagles should ease past their rivals at odds of -333 with BetOnline.
Both teams suffered costly defeats in their bid to wrap up a playoff spot last week. The Rams had a test of character against the Eagles, but were unable to close out the victory even with Wentz on the sidelines. Sean McVay’s men have improved greatly this term, although their matches against the quality outfits in the NFL prove how far the club have to go to become a dominant force. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley were able to go toe-to-toe with the Eagles’ defense. They managed to put 31 points on the board, but a costly turnover late in the game allowed Philadelphia to escape Los Angeles with the crucial victory.
The Seahawks would have liked their chances against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. However, the Jaguars put forward a fine performance to disrupt Seattle’s charge in the NFC. Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns to desperately keep his team in the contest. However, his three interceptions made life difficult for him late in the game and allowed the Jags to see out the win.
Pete Carroll’s men edged the contest between the sides in the first matchup. Cooper Kupp’s drop in the endzone proved to be decisive for the Rams in their narrow defeat. Seattle have lost key players since, but Wilson should be able to open up LA’s defense to secure the victory at odds of -139 with 888Sport.
The Titans are in a desperate battle to remain in the playoff hunt. Following their defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals they dropped below the Jaguars in the AFC South. That has knocked them into the wildcard spot and at 8-5 are looking over their shoulder. Marcus Mariota’s struggles continued as he threw two interceptions against the Cardinals to cost his team. The Titans have not been fluent on offense throughout the campaign and are looking vulnerable at the worst possible moment. Mariota needs to find his rhythm otherwise his side will miss out for the ninth season on the bounce.
The 49ers have been energised by the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo. The quarterback has won his first two starts for the club, guiding the team to back-to-back victories for the first time since the 2014 campaign. The 26-year-old threw for 334 yards against the Houston Texans along with a touchdown, securing the 10-point victory. Garoppolo will be eyeing his third win as the 49ers’ starter, and he will have opportunities to thrive against Tennessee’s defense. Back San Francisco to claim the victory on home soil at odds of -120 with ComeOn.
Miami Dolphins To Beat Buffalo Bills
Sunday 17th December 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Philadelphia Eagles To Beat New York Giants
Sunday 17th December 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Seattle Seahawks To Beat Los Angeles Rams
Sunday 17th December 2017 16:05 ET (21:05 GMT)
San Francisco 49ers To Beat Tennessee Titans
Sunday 17th December 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
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