ONE HD has again provided Aussie NFL Fans three live games in Week 15. Make sure you set the alarm to 5am AEST to catch the action live.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
When and Where: Monday December 16, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, INCoverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 5:00 am AEST Before the season started this game would be a definitely must watch in the calender, funny how things can quickly change. The Colts have clinched the AFC South divisional title and are playoff bound but they are hardly playing like a playoff team. Houston on the other hand were predicted to win this division and by some the Super Bowl but are now in line to draft number one overall at the New York City Music Hall in May. Eleven seems to be an unlucky number for Houston as they're on an eleven game losing streak and haven't won in their previous eleven games in Indianapolis, even when Peyton Manning was injured. Breaking these two voodoo's seems unlikely after the week they have had. Loosing to Jacksonville and the sacking of Gary Kubiak is far from ideal. Teams that normally have a new coach in the midst of a season tend to rally behind their new guy. Wade Phillips is now in charge and has stated Keenum will play the full game, and why wouldn't you start him after he and Andre Johnson burned the Colts secondary earlier this season. Chuck Pagano is not resting players despite the divisional title and insisted his team has a lot of work to do before the playoffs. The loss of Reggie Wayne has affected this team immensely and it is showing. Since Wayne's injury the Colts defense has gone from allowing an average of 19.4 points per game to 32.2 points per game. They haven't scored in the first half of their last six games so the key for the Colts now until playoffs is fine tuning that offense. The emergence of Da'Rick Rodgers may give Andrew Luck a legit target to throw too other than T.Y Hilton. Watch Out For: Colts RB Trent Richardson needs to deliver and soon. The Texans are ranked second in the league in pass defense and after watching MJD run for 103 yards last week, the Colts game plan must involve pounding the ball on the ground. Will the real Trent Richardson please stand up? Final Word and Prediction: The way these two are playing its hard to select a team to win the game. The change of coach mid week has swayed me in their favour. Texans win. Texans 24 - 16
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans
When and Where: Monday December 16, LP Field, Nashville, TN
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 8:15 am AEST
The second game on One HD features yet another AFC South team and a playoff hopeful. The Titans all but ruled themselves out of the wildcard race by blowing a two touchdown lead against the Broncos. The Cardinals have a good shot at being an NFC Wildcard in the playoffs and are looking for their sixth win in seven games.They are one game behind San Francisco and Carolina but with a game against the Niners in Week 17, anything can happen.
This game is a must win on the road for Bruce Arians squad. The great news for the Cardinals is that the Titans have been woeful at home this season and have lost four straight home games. What is strange about all those losses however is that they have not allowed one single passing touchdown. Can Carson Palmer break that streak? Palmer has been playing very well over the last two months including an 84.4% completion rate last week and has built up a great rapport with superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
As said above the Titans have been atrocious at home this year and they have also lost four of their last five games. There is no coincidence that statistic is related to the injury of Jake Locker. Loosing your starting quarterback is a major blow for any team in the NFL and the Titans are not immune to it. Fitzpatrick has been solid but needs to step it up big in this game. With Arizona ranked number three in rushing defense he will need to air it out and take advantage of the injury to rookie Tyrann "H0neybadger" Mathieu.
Watch Out For: Rookie receiver Justin Hunter has had two 100 yard receiving efforts in his last three games and is a great red zone target for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Final Word and Prediction: The Cardinals have too much on the line to lose this game, the loss of the potential defensive rookie of the year will hurt them but luckily Carson and co have been getting the job done.
Arizona 21 - 17.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
When and Where: Monday December 16, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Coverage: LIVE on Channel One HD, 12:20 pm AEST
Whenever the Bengals play the Steelers it is a tough brutal match up between fierce division rivals. Cincinnati often referred to as the little brother have finally stepped it up and are now one win away from a divisional title.
A win for the Bengals will give them a third consecutive playoff berth, something that has never been done in the Bengals franchise history. Over the past few weeks the Bengals have won games on their back of their offense primarily the play of Andy Dalton but also relied upon their defense against the Chargers. When these two meet it is normally a defensive slog but with some in-actives and injuries a shootout looms. The tandem of Giovani Bernard and Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis aka the Law Firm have combined for 1,282 yards on the ground and ten touchdowns. Bernard also has three receiving touchdowns. These two running backs will be utilized to exploit the Steeler's 24th ranked run defense.
The last time these two met, the Bengals reigned supreme with a 20-10 victory. The Steelers are coming off two additional (and frustrating) losses and coach Tomlin insist they have a plan put in place that will go a long way to defeating the Bengals. This plan will have to revolve around Ben Roethlisberger who, despite the recent losses, has been in superb form. He is 14-6 all time against the Bengals. Protecting "Big Ben" will be a concern for the Steelers who have allowed 39 sacks this season and face a Bengals front seven ranked eleventh in the league in sacks.
Watch Out For: Giovani Bernard, who after seeing Keenan Allen smash it on TNF, will be roaring to go and push himself back into offensive rookie of the year award contention. Last time he played the Steelers he had two touchdowns, one on the ground and the other through the air.
Final Word and Prediction: With Denver loosing and the Patriots with two tough games remaining on their schedule the Bengals have a chance at the number one or two seed in the AFC. With this in mind the will emerge victorious against their "big brother".
Bengals 37 - 34