ONE HD has delivered yet again with some monster games airing on their network in week fourteen. All the games feature at least one playoff teams with massive seeding implications. So make sure you set the alarm to 5am AEST to catch the action live.
NOTE: ONE HD is also showing NFL Total Access from 4:oo am AEST on Monday Mornings.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins
When and Where: Monday December 9, FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 5:00 am AEST
Both teams did not live up to expectations last week as both teams feel to division rivals at home. The Chiefs desperately need a win to bring back some confidence especially in that once "elite" defense and the Redskins, well they just need a win for their fans. It has been a very long season for them.
A positive for Washington over the last month has been the return of RG3 on the ground. Over the last month he has averaged over 6.2 yards a rush and has now racked up 460 yards rushing on the season. Alfred Morris has been very quiet over the last two weeks and struggled against the Giants rushing defense. He and RG3 should be able to get things done on the ground against a Chiefs defense that allows 117.8 rush yards a game.
The Chiefs once "elite" defense has been mediocre of late, it is most likely Peyton Manning related but naysayers are blaming a weak schedule early in the season as the reason for the Chiefs defensive successes. Luckily for the Chiefs, Alex Smith has stepped up his play and shown he can move the ball down the field effectively. Over the last three weeks he has averaged 272 yards through the air and thrown seven touchdowns. This game should boost these stats even more with the Redskins ranked 27th in the NFL in pass defense.
Watch Out For: WR Dwayne Bowe had only two touchdowns through nine games this season until he was arrested for speeding and marijuana possession. He must have received an almighty warning from Chiefs management because over the last three weeks he has at least 50 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns. Bowe has come up big for Alex Smith and will be relied upon here.
Final Word and Prediction: This game could get ugly unless the Redskins can control the clock through an effective ground game. The Chiefs will be roaring to go after three consecutive losses and will hand the lowly Redskins their fifth consecutive loss.
Chiefs 30 - 17
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
When and Where: Monday December 9, Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 8:15 am AEST
The best team in the NFL will visit their greatest enemy in what some consider the best rivalry in the NFL. Seattle have won seven in row since losing on the road to Indianapolis in what feels like forever ago and San Francisco's defense has finally found its mojo again with some dominant displays over the last month.
The Seahawks were impressive in their demolition of the Saints at home on MNF in Week 13. Russell Wilson looked like a legit MVP candidate throwing three touchdowns and recording a 139.6 passer rating. You would expect that not to happen against the 49ers strong passing defense this week but the Saints defense were ranked ahead of the 49ers in passing defense until last weeks loss. Even if the Seahawks fail in their air, their ground attack is just as damaging (if not better). Seattle rank third in the NFL in rush yards thanks to Beast Mode and Russell Wilson's insane ability to scramble.
The 49ers have won two on the trot thanks to some dominate play in the trenches from their offensive and defensive lines. The defensive line has been monstrous in the past fortnight recording nine sacks. The return of Aldon Smith has put balance back into the pass rush and has allowed Justin Smith to be his normal destructive self. The passing game has been below average this season for the 49ers despite Vernon Davis' best efforts, so establishing a ground game behind that great offensive line is important. The last time they met however, Gore was very ineffective on the ground (9 rushes for 16 yards) but Kaepernick racked up 87 yards on the ground. Expect plenty of designed quarterback runs from John Harbaugh.
Watch Out For: The Smith brothers, Aldon and Justin, who will have the job of putting pressure on Russell Wilson this week. If you give Wilson time and space he is going to burn you with that arm and his legs. It is pivotal to the 49ers success that these two pass rushers get to Wilson early and often.
Final Word and Prediction: While the Seahawks at home are unstoppable they're still great on the road, with only one road loss this season. The Niners have looked great in patches but I am still not sold on Colin Kaepernick.
Seattle 27 - 21
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
When and Where: Monday December 9, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 12:20 pm AEST
Despite the intense rivalry between the Seahawks and the Niners this game is definitely the game of the week. With these two teams yet to play each other at all this year and a rematch occurring in Carolina in two weeks the NFC South is still up for grabs. The likely winner of that division will most likely finish the season as the number 2 seed.
The Carolina Panthers have been extraordinary the last six weeks. Their defense, despite what Seahawks fans might say, is the best in the NFL. They are ranked sixth in passing defense and second in rushing defense. Facing Drew Brees and Co. will be their toughest ask yet. They managed to shutdown Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski fairly well at home but this time they are playing in Brees' backyard. The atmosphere and noise of the super dome will be challenging for this defense. Cam Newton will only have to look at tape from the Saints loss to Seattle to know what needs to be done on offense.
The Saints key will be in the underneath passing game. As we have just established the Panthers defense is stingy on yardage especially on the ground. Screen and dump passes to Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas will be a necessity for the Saints offense. As always look for Jimmy Graham to have a huge game and prove that he is the best Tight End in the NFL. Rob Ryan, having been destroyed by Russell Wilson, will have an improved game plan to attack Cam Newton and the electric Panthers offense.
Watch Out For: Luke Keuchly and Thomas Davis have formed the best linebacker duo in the NFL. They have been huge in stopping the run. They have a combined 196 tackles so far this season.
Final Word and Prediction: This game could end up in so many different ways. I see it either being Carolina in a close one or the Saints in a blowout but for some reason I think super Cam and friends will get it done.
Carolina 20 - 17
How do you think these games will pan out?
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