The NFL regular season is slowly coming to an end as we reach week 14 of the campaign. The playoff places are almost secure for the teams at the top of the Conferences, but battles remain in the lower seeding ranks, with sides making last-ditch attempt to keep themselves alive.
This week’s round of matches throw up some fascinating contests, which could decide the fate of divisions and seedings in the AFC and NFC. We’ll now break down the four teams that you should have in your teaser for week 14.
The Chiefs are in freefall and are in dire need of a victory to keep themselves in the playoff hunt. Andy Reid’s men have dropped from a 5-0 start to 6-6, leaving them in danger of missing out on the post-season. The club are far from the side that hammered the New England Patriots on the opening day of the term, with their defense being cut open by the New York Jets last week.
Alex Smith has failed to make the plays he was at the start of the season, although he connected twice with Travis Kelce in the loss in New York. The Chiefs are not playing complementary football and face a tough task to resolve the situation.
The Raiders were one of the first team to beat Kansas City this season. Derek Carr enjoyed one of his best outings of the campaign in the first match between the teams. The quarterback threw for three touchdowns to secure a vital home win for Jack Del Rio’s men.
Oakland could be without Amari Cooper, who scored two touchdowns in the win, although Michael Crabtree will return from suspension. The Raiders can move back into the sixth seed if results fall their way and have the rushing attack to put Kansas City under pressure. Therefore back Del Rio’s men to notch their third win on the bounce at odds of +175 with BetOnline.
The Jets were predicted to be a laughing stock this season in the NFL due to the release of a number of veterans in the off-season. However, Todd Bowles’ men have defied the critics and have won five matches, much to their credit, without a great deal of talent. Incredibly the Jets are still in the hunt for a playoff place, but would have to win out in their remaining games to secure a spot.
Quarterback Josh McCown has fared well by throwing 18 touchdowns, while wideout Robby Anderson is becoming a star for the AFC East outfit. The 24-year-old has recorded 821 yards and seven touchdowns this term and will have the opportunity to test his mettle against Denver’s quality defense. New York have been competitive in almost all of their fixtures and will be aiming to continue that trend against a poor Broncos team.
Denver have lost their last eight matches, falling from 3-1 to 3-9. Vance Joseph is coaching for his future at the club after general manager John Elway revealed his fury with the club’s performance this season. The quarterback position has been a carousel, with Trevor Siemian enduring a woeful outing against the Miami Dolphins last time out. The result was worrying for Joseph as it appeared that his team had quit in the second half, allowing Jay Cutler to cut them apart.
The Jets are good enough to take advantage of their woes and claim a win on the road at odds of -115 with 888 Sport.
After starting 0-4, it’s somewhat of a miracle that the Chargers are within striking distance of the playoffs. A win could lift the AFC West outfit to the top of their division and into the post-season places as a result. Anthony Lynn’s men have won their last three matches, although they were far from convincing in their win over the Cleveland Browns. However, their defense is beginning to play at an elite level, while Philip Rivers is putting points on the board, connecting with Keenan Allen.
Had the club not had issues in the fourth quarter earlier in the term – they could well have been on their way to securing a playoff berth instead of fighting for one. The StubHub Center has not been a fortress for the Chargers this season, but should they keep winning the tide could turn very soon.
The Redskins are all but ready to down tools for the season. At 5-7 in their campaign in a competitive NFC Conference their hopes are almost extinguished.
Even a win may not be enough to keep them alive, while injuries on the offensive line may cause Kirk Cousins to think of his future rather than that of the team in the campaign. Jay Gruden might be looking over his shoulder due to the club’s recent failures to break into the playoffs. A weak end to the term could end his tenure in Washington.
The odds are stacked in the Chargers’ favour so take them at -244 with BetOnline.
The Seahawks roared back into the NFC playoff picture with a fine win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Even without Richard Sherman, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor, the defense was able to limit the production of Carson Wentz to secure an important victory. Pete Carroll’s men are in the wildcard contention, although they will be setting their sights at notching a first-round bye.
Russell Wilson is beginning to enter the conversation for league MVP. The 29-year-old has thrown for 26 touchdowns to just six interceptions on the campaign. He has helped carry the team to their 8-4 record, with Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham playing their part in the passing game. Seattle still have enough quality on their defense to stop the best offenses in the league and will be dangerous in the playoffs should they get over the line.
Jacksonville are not quite at the stage where they will be able to go toe-to-toe with a veteran team. Their defense is rightfully one of the best in the NFL and their line will make life interesting for Wilson on Sunday.
However, Blake Bortles and company have struggled at times against poor defenses to put points on the board. Against Seattle it will not be good enough, which will put the Jaguars under pressure in their post-season bid. Take Carroll’s men at odds of +120 with Betway.
Oakland Raiders To Beat Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 10th December 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
New York Jets To Beat Denver Broncos
Sunday 10th December 2017 16:05 ET (21:05 GMT)
Los Angeles Chargers To Beat Washington Redskins
Sunday 10th December 2017 16:05 ET (21:05 GMT)
Seattle Seahawks To Beat Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday 10th December 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)