Week 17 is already upon us and for some fans this is your last chance to see your team. Lets take a look at the teams on Free To Air TV for the last time this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
When and Where: Monday December 30, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 5:00 am AEST
We kick off Week 17 with the best team in the AFC South against the worst team in the AFC South. The 10 - 5 Colts will host the 4-11 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Having clinched a top four seed with the AFC South divisional title the Colts don't have much to lose in this game but definitely have a lot to gain from a win here. If Cincinnati loses to Baltimore, the Colts will seal the third seed and if New England fall to Buffalo along with a Bengals loss, Indy will claim the two seed and a first round bye. Over the past two weeks the Colts defense has been very solid with nine sacks and six takeaways while only allowing ten points. Against the 31st ranked Jacksonville offense expect another dominant display from the Colts defense led by DPOY candidate Robert Mathis.
Jacksonville have mostly struggled all year but over the last month have managed to put up some bold showings. Against a divisional rival and future contracts up for grabs expect some fight from a below average roster. Chad Henne and Co have managed decent offensive production over the last month including a 32 - 28 victory on the road against the stout Cleveland defense. Mike Brown has been gallantry in his role as Justin Blackmon's replacement and Marcedes Lewis has shown why he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2010. He has a touchdown in four consecutive games and has proven to be a real red zone threat.
Player to Watch: Colts RB Donald Brown has really come into his own in the "absence" of Trent Richardson. Brown has averaged 6.1 yards per carry.
Final Word and Prediction: Another convincing win for Indianapolis.
Indianapolis 31 - 14.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
When and Where: Monday December 30, O. Co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Coverage: LIVE on Channel ONE HD, 8:15 am AEST
The 12-3 Denver Broncos will head to the hostile Oakland to take on the 4-11 Oakland Raiders. Oh Boy this could get ugly and fast. With the number one seed not yet secured the Broncos will actually need to play in this game. For Oakland their quarterback and coach cannot even get along. Two very different franchises in two very different circumstances.
The Broncos offense struggled against the Chargers at home a fortnight ago without Wes Welker but it doesn't take Peyton Manning long to iron out the kinks in his offense and they were completely dominant offensively against the Texans. With the eleventh ranked run defense the Broncos will have to air it out to win this game. I think John Fox and Peyton Manning will be just okay with that game plan. The loss of Von Miller is a blow to the Broncos Super Bowl chances and it will be interesting to see who steps up on defense for this side.
The Raiders lost to San Diego last week marking their fifth consecutive loss. To make matters worse the agent of Terrelle Pryor accused the coach Dennis Allen of putting the quarterback in a position to fail by starting him this week rather than Matt McGloin. Agent Jerome Stanley told media he believed Allen hoped Pryor would fail to justify to everyone in his choice to start McGloin all these weeks over Pryor. Pryor was impressive early this season but cracks began to form and his form declined rapidly before an MCL Sprain. This is Pryor's audition tape for the world.
Player to Watch: The Denver Broncos pass rush. Which player will step up and fill the void? My money is on Shaun Philips and Robert Ayers. The signing of Jeremy Mincey may also come in handy down the stretch.
Final Word and Prediction: This is going to be a white wash, actually an orange wash. Denver should deliver and secure home field advantage.
Denver 38 - 10
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
When and Where: Monday December 30, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Coverage: LIVE on Channel ONE HD, 12:15 pm AEST
For the third consecutive year the Dallas Cowboys are in a Week 17 "playoff" for the NFC East divisional title and a proper play off spot. In 2011 they got pumped by the Giants 31 - 14 and last year the were beaten by rookie RG3 and the Redskins 28 - 18. In this one they face the red hot Philadelphia Eagles.
Tony Romo has been ruled out for the season due to a serious back issue, one that he played with in the epic comeback win against the Redskins last week. Kyle Orton will get the start for the Cowboys and they have also signed 41 year old veteran John Kitna. The last time Kyle Orton started an NFL game he was benched for Tim Tebow, so John Kitna may see some playing time. With a serious set of weapons around him Orton may be able to score on the Eagles 30th ranked pass defense but their issue is that they cant cover anything at all.
The Eagles demolished Chicago last week in what was a nothing game for them. Chip Kelly's ruthless and refreshing attitude (and possible stubbornness) by not resting his starters should be applauded. Too many teams rests players and personally I think it is a momentum killer. Nick Foles has been a gem for Kelly's offense since he started for him earlier this year and should easily eclipse 400 yards in this game against the 31st ranked passing defense. Dallas managed to contain Foles before he got injured earlier this year but that was before the mountain of injuries, including the injury to stud linebacker Sean Lee.
Player to Watch: Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson should have a monster game this week. Pierre Garcon lit it up against this secondary last week for nearly 150 receiving yards and a touchdown. Expect similar from Jackson.
Final Word and Prediction: This should be a high scoring game and I expect a 400 yard, four touchdown performance from Nick Foles. It is up to Kyle Orton to keep this game close and keep Foles off the field.
Philadelphia 42 - 28
- This wraps up the Free-To-Air regular season previews
-- US Sport Down Under hopes you enjoyed them and we will see you for the post season!