ONE HD has again provided Aussie NFL Fans three live games in Week 16. Make sure you set the alarm to 5am AEST to catch the action live. Week 16 is, for most, fantasy finals week so good luck to all those playing in their championship games.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
When and Where: Monday December 23, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 5:00 am AEST
To kick off Week 16 on Free to Air television the Cleveland Browns travel east to New Jersey to face the New York Jets. Both teams cannot make the playoffs so this game is what I like to call a bit of a "fizzer".
The Cleveland Browns have a been a team that has surprisingly been enjoyable to watch this season. They are a young team with some great pieces in place to build from in the 2014 NFL draft. Leading the crop of young studs are the explosive receiver Josh Gordon and potential shut down corner Joe Haden. Gordon leads the NFL in receiving yards with 1,467 despite missing the first two games due to suspension. Gordon has accomplished this feat despite bad play at the quarterback position. Against a weak Jets secondary, Gordon should stuff the stat sheet. Joe Haden's great play has earned him nicknames such as "The Iron Haden" and he has already been labelled as top tier corner. He should add to his four interceptions this week against Geno Smith.
The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention for three straight years and enter the final two games with very little to play for. Rex Ryan and Geno Smith may be playing for their jobs. Smith despite one or two good games has been as bad as Sanchez in his rookie year but with his best weapon being a decrepit Santonio Holmes. Smith has completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 386 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions over the last two games and running for another touchdown. Smith will need to play some safe solid football to enable Jets management to give him one more shot. It will be tough against a Cleveland defense that troubled Tom Brady.
Watch Out For: Browns safety Tashaun Gipson has quietly gone about his business in good fashion this season. He capped off his good year with two interceptions against the Bears last week, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Final Word and Prediction: The Browns have been very competitive in all their games this season, they are definitely the team to watch this off-season. They are a decent quarterback away from competing for a divisional title. They win on the road in this one.
Browns 28 - 13
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers
When and Where: Monday December 23, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 8:15 am AEST
The Steelers travel up the road to face a Green Bay side that, despite the injury to Aaron Rodgers, is still alive in the playoff hunt. Rodgers has been ruled out for the game and Matt Flynn will be starting yet again.
Back to back come from behind victories against the Falcons and Cowboys have the the Green Bay Packers in control of their destiny to postseason glory but they will have to do that without Rodgers for at least one more week. The Steelers will breath a sigh of relief because Rodgers has historically been flawless against them including an MVP performance in Super Bowl XLV. Rodgers has thrown for 687 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions in his two starts against the Steelers. Flynn has been better over the last two week with five touchdowns and only two interceptions but will rely heavily on Eddie Lacy against the Steelers porous run defense.
The Steelers made a statement last week with an impressive victory over the Bengals. Coach Tomlin was confident in his game plan against their "baby brother" and they held on for a 30 - 20 win. Ben Roethlisberger looked great completing 20 of 25 passes and connected once again with the now elite receiver Antonio Brown for a touchdown. That was against a tough Bengals secondary so expect a lot more of this combination against the 22nd ranked pass defense of the Packers. Le'Veon Bell should also be in for a game has he tries to outdo fellow rookie Eddie Lacy.
Watch Out For: Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel who returns from injury this week. He has the job of containing rookie sensation Eddie Lacy. The key cog in the Rodgers-less Packers offense.
Final Word and Prediction: The Packers have showed a lot of grit the past two weeks with their come from behind victories but Big Ben has been sensational the past few weeks and should exploit that secondary with ease.
Steelers 31 - 21
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
When and Where: Monday December 23, Lincoln Field, Philadelphia, PA
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 12:30 pm AEST
There are some blockbuster games this week in the NFL but this will definitely be the toast of them all. Both teams are in line for a divisional title thanks to some monumental stuff ups by Dallas and Detroit. Both teams have high powered explosive offenses and both teams have questions on defense. Shoot out alert.
Here are the scenarios: If Dallas loses at Washington earlier in the day, the Eagles will claim the NFC East with a victory against the Bears. If Dallas wins (more likely, it is Washington) this game between the Eagles and Bears becomes less relevant because even with a loss the NFC East will be up for grabs in Week 17 when Philadelphia visit Dallas.
The Bears will earn the NFC North crown with a win against Philly if second place Green Bay loses at Pittsburgh and the Lions don't beat the Giants at Ford Field. Of those rivals if only the Lions lose than this game wont mean as much to Chicago because regardless of the result it would face the Packers for the division next week.
HOWEVER, despite the results of other teams a victory here will give the winner the edge for the number three seed. Despite all this Chip Kelly has stated he will not rest starters and the Lions will likely beat the Giants meaning it is game on for both sides.
The Eagles have looked superb since Foles took over earlier this year but all that was questioned when they were smashed by a Vikings team that has struggled all season. You know your secondary has issues when Matt Cassel throws for 382 yards. This will be put to the test even further when they face the best wide receiving duo in the NFL in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. Both have been phenomenal over the last month no matter who the quarterback is. LeSean McCoy, the leading rusher in the NFL, faces the worst run defense in the NFL. Need I explain more? He should have a monster game.
Who to Watch For: There is so many superstars in this game its hard to pick one, the thing to watch is the 5th best passing attack against the 31st best pass defense and the number 1 ranked rushing attack against the 32nd ranked rushing defense.
Final Word and Prediction: This game will have a tonne of points and will most likely be decided inside the final two minutes. At the end of the day Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery can make the clutch catches and that will be the difference maker.
Bears 39 - 31
- How do you see these games playing out?
- Let us know in the comments below.
- The team at US Sport Down Under wish you all a very Merry Christmas.