Ryan has been outstanding this season

Falcons, Ravens, Chiefs – NFL Week 17 Teaser

Ryan has been outstanding this season

It’s the final week of the NFL regular season and for over half the league it will be the final time they will take the field for competitive action for nine months.

Therefore they have one last chance to make an impression on their fanbase before signing off for the off-season or on the other hand build momentum heading into the playoffs.

We’ll take a look at five matchups that you should put in your accumulator for week 17.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

Both of these sides have been eliminated from post-season contention due to the form of the Pittsburgh Steelers this term. The Ravens watched their hopes slip away in the dying seconds of their clash with Mike Tomlin’s men at Heinz Field on Christmas Day as Antonio Brown stretched the ball into the endzone with just nine seconds remaining.

As a result, John Harbaugh’s side missed out on the post-season for the second campaign on the spin, putting him under slight pressure in his role, with the need for his team to end the term on a high note.

The Bengals have been rocked by a series of injuries this season and barely threatened to extend their post-season run into a six consecutive campaign. They’ve limped towards the finish line and have struggled on both sides of the ball in recent weeks bar their win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ravens wideout Steve Smith announced that he will be retiring after the season and it would be no surprise to see him put in one last great performance to guide Baltimore to victory.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston has been solid this term

The Buccaneers still have a minute chance of reaching the playoffs, although they will need a lot of things to go in their favour, including a tie game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants.

Therefore it’s unlikely that Dirk Koetter’s men will be competing in the post-season, but they’ve still enjoyed a fairly solid campaign with rising stars Jameis Winston and Mike Evans beginning to shine. Should they continue to improve then it will not be long before the club are competing deep into January and perhaps even in the Super Bowl.

The Panthers have fallen off the map this term just months removed from playing for the Vince Lombardi trophy. They’ve endured a huge hangover from their efforts last season when they recorded a 15-1 campaign and were only prevented from winning the Super Bowl by the Denver Broncos and an inspired Von Miller.

Tampa Bay are the home side and will be determined not to end the campaign on a run of three defeats on the bounce, which makes the prospect of backing them to beat Ron Rivera’s men at -210   with Bovada sportsbook an intriguing option.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have the opportunity to lock up the second seed in the NFC and take the advantage of the first-round bye to rest up ahead of the divisional round of the playoffs. The Saints stand in the way of securing that objective, but with the way Matt Ryan and his offense are playing at the moment they should have no issues in clinching their 11th win of the campaign.

The 31-year-old has been outstanding this term and another brilliant performance could see him be crowned MVP of the league for the first time. There is plenty of incentive for Ryan and his offense to put the Saints to the sword, especially with the way Sean Payton’s men have struggled throughout the campaign on defense.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will aim to pass 5,000 passing yards for the fourth time in his career, and his accomplishments are a rare shining moment for the franchise, who appear to be stalling under the tenure of Payton.

Reports have linked the Saints head coach with an exit at the end of the term, and a timid performance could hasten his departure. As a result, the Falcons are a good bet at -320  with Bovada to secure the win on home soil.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers

McCoy could be out with the Chargers

The Chiefs put in their best display of the season to hammer the Denver Broncos last week, putting huge pressure on the Oakland Raiders at the top of the AFC West.

The Raiders lost quarterback Derek Carr for the rest of the campaign and are vulnerable to lose their first-round bye in the playoffs as they face off against the Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Therefore, Andy Reid’s men can steal away the divisional crown and the second seed in the AFC with a victory at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chargers’ future in San Diego is far from certain and there is speculation that the contest could be their last in the city, with a move to Los Angeles on the agenda.

Mike McCoy will be determined to be the man to lead them into a new location, but final-day defeat could end his four years with the club. He will need to inspire his players to produce their sixth victory of the campaign and erase memories of their defeat to the Cleveland Browns last week.

Kansas City need the win and are the quality outfit in this tie, and should be able to close out a simple win at -210 with BetOnline.

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

As previously mentioned the Raiders were dealt the cruellest of blows in their win over the Indianapolis Colts when Carr suffered a fractured fibula when tackled by Trent Cole.

The hit was clean, but enough to do serious damage to the 25-year-old’s leg as well as Oakland’s Super Bowl hopes, leaving them with Matt McGloin as their starter for the rest of the term.  His side need a strong performance from him against the Broncos to ensure that they secure a first-round bye and possibly snatch the number one seed away from the New England Patriots.

Despite the Broncos’ recent struggles, they still boast the number one pass defense in the NFL, which will make life tough on McGloin. As a result, Oakland may have to rely on their own defense to make plays to hand them the win.

Gary Kubiak’s men will be determined to end their season on a high note and not on a run of three-straight defeats. It was always going to be hard to match the magic of their run to the Super Bowl, and they have a lot of decisions to make during the off-season over the future of the club.

Quarterback Paxton Lynch is their future and he may get a chance to shine in their clash with the Raiders to prove that he is worth of the first-round pick spent on his services in the Draft earlier this year.

The Broncos should have enough to secure the victory even though they’ve not played their best football over the past month, and backing them at -127 with BetOnline would be the wise move.

Tips Summary

Baltimore Ravens to beat the Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday 1st January 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the Carolina Panthers
Sunday 1st January 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Odds: -210

Atlanta Falcons to beat the New Orleans Saints
Sunday 1st January 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -320

Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Diego Chargers
Sunday 1st January 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -210

Denver Broncos to beat the Oakland Raiders
Sunday 1st January 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -127

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