It’s wild-card weekend in the NFL(nfl championship rings) and that brings us a clash down in the Lone Star State. The Seattle Seahawks are on the road as they travel to face the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night: the winner advances to the divisional round while the loser sees their season come to an end. Seattle closed their season with a 27-24 win at home over Arizona Sunday afternoon. Dallas rallied for a 36-35 win on the road over the Giants Sunday in their regular season finale. The Cowboys own a 10-8 edge in the all-time regular season(cheap championship rings) series though Seattle won the matchup this season, prevailing 24-13 at home on September 23. The Seahawks took the lone playoff matchup between the teams, prevailing 21-20 at home on January 6, 2007.
Seattle Seahawks Review:
Seattle(Seattle Seahawks championship rings) closed the regular season with two straight wins and victories in six of their last seven contests as they outlasted Arizona at home. The Seahawks now go on the road looking to build off that momentum as the playoffs begin. Seattle’s commitment to the ground game helped spark their success as the team overcame a slew of injuries on the offensive line and throughout their lineup. It added up to a return to the postseason for the Seahawks. The question remains as to whether they can have that kind of success on the road as they tend to at home.
The Seahawks had a tougher time than expected at home against a 3-12 Arizona team in their regular season finale. Seattle ended up winning the game on a Sebastian Janikowski 33 yard field goal as time expired. With the win, they locked up the fifth seed, sending them here to Dallas as opposed to the Windy City to face the Bears. The Seahawks owned a 291-188 edge in total offense, picked up 16 first downs while allowing 12 and forced two turnovers while committing one in the game. Seattle did have one punt partially blocked and a second one blocked and returned for a touchdown. The Seahawks will have to tighten up in special teams to have success. Seattle is 9-5-2 ATS this season with the over going 9-7 in their games.
Dallas Cowboys Review:
Dallas(custom Dallas Cowboys championship rings) seemed out of the hunt at 3-5 at the midway point of the season before turning things around. The Cowboys won seven of their final eight games as their offense came to life while Washington fell apart thanks to injuries decimating their offensive attack. Dallas bounced back from a shutout loss to Indianapolis in week 15 by beating Tampa Bay and the Giants to finish the season strong. The specter of playoff failures looms in Big D: can the Cowboys find a way to put those nightmares to rest?
In a meaningless game for both teams, coach Jason Garrett opted to keep the vast majority of his starters in the whole way. It panned out when Dak Prescott hit Cole Beasley for a 32 yard touchdown pass on fourth and 15 with 1:12 to play on a play reversed by replay and then connected with Michael Gallup on the game-winning two-point conversion. The win wasn’t secure until a fourth-down drop by the Giants. Dallas was outgained 441-419 in the contest while owning a 23-20 edge in first downs and a 30:52 to 29:08 edge in time of possession. The Cowboys also forced two turnovers while committing one. Dallas is 9-7 ATS on the season while the under is 9-7 in their games.
The Jets are playing for pride. The Texans are playing for playoff position.
And that's enough to make Saturday night's game intriguing. The Jets (New York Jets championship rings) have the chance to play spoiler and validate their impressive comeback win last week in Buffalo where they ended a six-game losing streak. The Texans are trying to bounce back after the Colts ended their nine-game winning streak last week.
Here's how the Jets and Titans match up in week 15.
Jets (super bowl rings) : This is the second game the Jets will play after being officially eliminated from playoff contention. But there is still a lot on the line. Within the locker room, there's still a belief among the players that they can save coach Todd Bowles' job by winning out. (They're probably not wrong, by the way.) There are also plenty of players auditioning to come back to the Jets next year, or earn a contract elsewhere. And the Jets are also trying to build momentum for 2019, and winning will help cultivate confidence going forward. So expect this team to play hard, even if it means nothing for this season.
Texans: This is an important game for the Texans (9-4) who have a two-game lead over the Colts in the AFC South with three games to play. A win here will pretty much lock up the division and a trip to the playoffs. But a loss could make things tricky. Houston is trying to rebound from last week's loss to the Colts, their first loss since September. The Texans won nine straight after starting 0-3 and nearly starting 0-4. This is a chance for them to take care of business against a clearly inferior and banged up team.
Jets offensive line vs. Texans DE J.J. Watt and LB Jadeveon Clowney: They're probably the most dangerous pass-rushing combination in the league. And if they get to Sam Darnold early, it could be a long and terrible day for the rookie quarterback and his offensive teammates -- who are already shorthanded with running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa out. Clowney and Watt are capable of lining up just about anywhere, so this is going to be a team effort from an offensive line that is already in patchwork mode with starting left guard James Carpenter out for the season -- expect Spencer Long to start at left guard and Jonotthan Harrison to continue at center, and for the Jets to employ some creative formations featuring Brent Qvale and Dakota Dozier as blockers. If the Jets can slow down Watt and Clowney, they might have a chance.
How they'll win:
Jets (cheap championship rings): They're missing two of their top offensive weapons, so the defense is going to have to step up in a big way if the Jets want to stay in this game. That will start with slowing down Deshaun Watson who is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the league. If the Jets get pressure on him, he's a threat to scramble for big gains. If the Jets' defense can keep those in check -- which hasn't exactly been a strong suit -- it will go a long way toward limiting the offense. They also need to keep DeAndre Hopkins in check (84 catches for 1151 yards and 9 touchdowns this season) and while running back Lamar Miller (909 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns) will likely be effective, they cant' let him break a big run.
Texans: Their clearest and easiest path to a win is to get pressure on Darnold early, make him feel uncomfortable in the pocket, and force him into throwing one or more costly interceptions. If the Jets offense turns over the ball, this could turn into a rout. This is also a good opportunity for the offense. The way the Jets defense has played this year, it's likely just a matter of time before they give up a huge play. So if the Texans keep feeding the ball to Miller -- he had a 97-yard touchdown run earlier this season -- or Hopkins, it seems inevitable that they'll be able to break the game open.
Broncos' keys to victory: Denver's offense can't get too one-dimensional against Cleveland's underrated defense. After trading away WR Demaryius Thomas and losing WR Emmanuel Sanders (nfl championship rings) to a season-ending injury, the Broncos are thin at receiver. The team does not have many threatening receiving options, but Denver can't line up and run the ball every play against the Browns if they want to win. On defense, the Broncos need to slow down Nick Chubb, Cleveland's star rookie running back.
Browns' keys to victory: Cleveland's defense needs to focus on stopping Denver's rushing attack. That's easier said than done because the Broncos have two talented rookie rushers in Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. If the Browns can stack the box and shut down the run, though, they shouldn't have to worry about QB Case Keenum beating them through the air. On offense, QB Baker Mayfield needs to protect the football and allow Chubb to do most of the heavy lifting. Denver's defense forced nine turnovers during their three-game win streak before a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Mayfield can't afford to have any big blunders against the Broncos.
Matchup to watch: Browns WR Jarvis Landry vs. Broncos CB Bradley Roby (championship rings). After CB Chris Harris broke his leg in Week 13, Roby stepped up as the team's fill-in No. 1 cornerback. Roby will be tasked with covering Landry — Cleveland's leading receiver — this weekend.
Who wins? The Browns may be a better team than their record suggests, but the same could be said of the Broncos. Denver has won three of four games since its bye week and the Broncos seem to always have the upper hand when playing at home. Broncos, 24-17.
It's time for the Round 2 of the Chiefs-Chargers rivalry for this season, and this time around the stakes are significantly higher than when the teams met in Week 1.
The 11-2 Chiefs (custom Kansas City Chiefs championship rings) are currently out in front of the 10-3 Chargers in both the race for the AFC West title and home field advantage in the playoffs. A win from the Chiefs in this game will clinch the AFC West as well as a first-round bye, while a Chargers win would clinch them at least a 5-seed in the AFC playoffs.
The two teams combined for over 900 yards of offense in Kansas City's 38-28 Week 1 win, during which Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and said afterward he should have gotten 600. Expect plenty of offense again this week, especially through the air considering the question marks each team has at the running back position.
Here's a guess at what each team's lineup will look like then they take the field at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night.
Chargers - Philip Rivers; Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes got the better of Rivers in Week 1, throwing for 256 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in Kansas City's win (super bowl championship rings) . The Chiefs have befuddled Rivers in recent years, holding him to nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions since 2014. In last year's meeting at Arrowhead Stadium, which was also a Week 15 night game, the Chiefs picked Rivers off three times on route to a 30-13 win. Rivers is having a season that has gotten him mentioned in the MVP discussion (3,638 yards, 29 touchdowns, six interceptions), but Thursday night he'll have to do a much better job taking care of the football (custom championship rings) than he did the last time he was at Arrowhead.
While this game features a marquee matchup at quarterback, things are decidedly different at running back, where it appears rookie and seventh-round pick Justin Jackson (27 carries, 139 yards, one touchdown) will get the start for Los Angeles in place of the injured Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion). Undrafted rookie Detrez Newsome, who has five carries for 15 yards on the season, would be next in line behind Jackson. The loss of Gordon and Ekeler is no small deal, considering they combined for 292 yards of offense against the Chiefs in Week 1. On the Chiefs' side of things, Spencer Ware was listed as a non-participant at practice on Monday and Tuesday after coming up with a shoulder injury in the Week 14 win over Baltimore, although the guess here is he'll be good to go this week.
The race for the two NFC Wild Card spots (championship rings) heats up on Monday night at CenturyLink Field as the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings meet in a critical contest for both teams.Russell Wilson completed 11 of 17 passes for 185 yards and four touchdowns as Seattle (7-5) routed San Francisco 43-16 last Sunday. The Seahawks did a nice job of running the ball to produce a balanced attack, including 168 rushing yards on 29 carries. One point of concern is on defense as Seattle let Nick Mullens throw for 414 yards and couldn’t slow down Dante Pettis, who burned the Seahawks' secondary for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just five receptions.
Minnesota (6-5-1) is coming off of a tough 24-10 loss on the road against the New England Patriots. Kirk Cousins was inconsistent as he threw two interceptions and continued to give ammunition to those who question his ability to win spotlight-type of games. The defense also had its issues, as Tom Brady completed 24 of 32 passes for 311 yards and the Vikings weren't able to slow New England down on the ground either. Life on the road has not been easy for the Vikings, who 2-3-1 away from U.S. Bank Stadium. Things won't get any easier this week up in the Pacific Northwest as Minnesota aims for a potential season-defining road win.
This battle will go a long way towards deciding who wins on Monday night. Seattle is averaging No. 1 in the NFL (nfl championship rings) in rushing at 148.8 yards per game while the Vikings are seventh against the run, limiting teams to just 99.2 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry. The Seahawks' offensive line has been a big reason why the ground game has taken off, but will likely be without D.J. Fluker, who is listed as doubtful with a first-degree hamstring strain. Jordan Simmons will likely step in for Fluker and will need to perform as he did in Week 10 when Seattle posted 273 rushing yards in a loss to the Rams. For Minnesota, Danielle Hunter leads the team with 11.5 sacks and you can expect him to be turned loose to try and harass Russell Wilson in the pocket all night long. Sheldon Richardson will get a shot at his former teammates and it will be up to the Seattle offensive line to neutralize Richardson to free up the running game.
2. Vikings' offense vs. Seahawks' defense
Minnesota offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has plenty of weapons to throw at the Seattle defense. Adam Thielen is having a great 2018 season with 1,166 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Stefon Diggs is another big-play wide receiver who has caught 84 passes for 839 yards and six scores. As for the Seahawks' defense, they have come up with timely plays in the red zone but have allowed more than 450 yards in each of their last two games. Bobby Wagner has collected 99 tackles on the season and had a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown last week against the 49ers. Seattle is going to need Wagner to carry the mail again this week until the secondary can get back on track and stop giving up big plays.
3. Sustaining and finishing drives
Another underrated key to victory for both teams will be the ability to extend drives. Minnesota is the best in the NFL at third-down defense, limiting teams to a 29.9 percent conversion rate. The Seahawks rank ninth in the NFL on third down, holding teams to a 37.3 conversion rate. So, for both offenses, it will be very crucial to avoid unnecessary penalties and to keep their quarterbacks upright to stay ahead of the sticks. If Wilson can get the ball in hands of Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown, it will slow down the Vikings' defensive line enough to give the Seattle offense a shot to succeed. Finishing drives and not settling for field goals will be important as well as the weather is calling for a chance of scattered showers, which could potentially affect the kicking game a little bit. The Seahawks rank eighth in the red zone in touchdown percentage, while the Vikings are 22nd.
The Seahawks have won five straight games against the Vikings, including the epic 10-9 victory in the NFC Wild Card (super bowl rings) back in January 2016. If Seattle can take care of the football and grind out about 120 yards on the ground, the Seahawks will be in great position to get their eighth win. Minnesota will need to survive the initial wave of crowd noise and emotion of the primetime setting. If the Vikings can get the game into the fourth quarter they should be able to hang in until the very end. But look for the Seahawks to create a key turnover in the second half with the offense securing the victory via a game-winning drive in the final minutes.
The Philadelphia Eagles (custom Philadelphia Eagles championship rings) are 2-0 straight up and against the spread in their last two games against Washington since going 0-5 SU and ATS in the previous five games of this head-to-head series. The Eagles hope to extend their winning streak over Washington (Washington Redskins championship rings) to three games and to bring these two teams’ records to even at 6-6 SU apiece this Monday night.
Philadelphia is a 6-point home favorite at sportsbooks monitored by super bowl rings. Washington has won each of its last six games when entering a game off consecutive losses.
Washington at Philadelphia Eagles
When: Monday, December 3, 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Betting Line / Total: Philadelphia -6 / 45 Points
Washington at Eagles OddsShark Matchup Report
The Eagles narrowly escaped with a 25-22 victory as 5-point favorites last week against the New York Giants. The win snapped a two game straight-up losing streak for Philadelphia but continued the team’s ATS woes as the Eagles dropped to 2-8 ATS over their last 10 games.
Not much has gone right for Philadelphia this season as the defending champs rank 15th in the league in scoring defense allowing 23 points per game and 23rd in scoring offense with only 20.9 points per game. Last year, the Eagles averaged 28.6 points per game for and 18.4 points per game against.
With a 5-2 SU and ATS record heading into the month of November, Washington sat comfortably in first place in the NFC East. November was not kind to Washington however as the team lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the season due to injury and went just 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS over its last four games, all while the Dallas Cowboys sprung into first place with four straight wins.
Washington hopes to turn things around in December as the team is 7-4 SU and ATS in its last 11 December games.Monday night’s total is set at 45 points. The UNDER is 5-1 in Philadelphia’s last six games at home.Dallas has emerged as the team to beat in the NFC East coming off an impressive home win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. The winner of this Monday night matchup figures to be Dallas’s biggest obstacle towards a division title down the stretch.
Atlanta hasn’t done much to stop opponents from scoring all season, and even if talented linebacker Deion Jones returns from injured reserve in time for Sunday’s game, the Falcons still have significant holes in the middle of the defense. They’ve given up at least 132 rushing yards in each of their past three contests, all losses.
Why it matters Sunday:
The Ravens (Baltimore Ravens championship rings) have topped the 240-yard mark on the ground the past two weeks with Jackson playing quarterback after piling up no more than 123 rushing yards with Joe Flacco helming the offense over the first nine games of the season. So there are optimistic ways for Ravens fans to view Atlanta’s shabby run defense, even if Flacco returns from his hip injury and re-enters the lineup. The Falcons’ struggles either provide a reason to stick with Jackson and the new-look offense designed around the ground game or they offer hope that a more traditional rushing attack could offer Flacco a boost in a potential return to action.
2) The Ravens are 1-6 in December road games the past three years:
Last year’s Week 17 collapse against the Bengals at home stands as memorable moment, but the Ravens’ late-season road woes are perhaps more concerning and pertinent as the team looks to make a playoff push. Baltimore’s only December win away from M&T Bank Stadium the past three years came last season against the winless Browns. And losses on the road in 2016 and ’17 played a part in extending the Ravens’ postseason drought.
Why it matters Sunday:
Three of the Ravens’ five remaining games this season will come on the road, and it’s fair to assume Baltimore must win one (and maybe two) to have a shot at making the postseason for the first time since 2014. Baltimore (custom Baltimore Ravens championship rings) plays at the Chiefs (9-2) and Chargers (8-3) later this month, so Sunday’s game in the domed Mercedes-Benz Stadium could mark their best chance to score that road win.
3) The Falcons rank third in the NFL in third-down offense (49.3 percent conversion rate) but 31st in third-down defense (51.5 percent conversion rate)
Despite their disappointing campaign, quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense still have the potential to pile up big numbers. With all-pro wide receiver Julio Jones and other playmakers at Ryan’s disposal, the Falcons have been able to move the chains. On the other side of the ball, they haven’t been able to get teams off the field, in part because opponents often run the ball well on the early downs to set up third-and-shorts.
Why it matters Sunday:
The Ravens have been good on third downs on both sides of the ball this season. Their defense ranks third in that category and the offense ranks fifth, and over the past two games, Baltimore’s converted better than 50 percent of its third downs to dominate time of possession. The Ravens could follow a similar path to victory Sunday if they can occasionally stop Ryan from extending drives and take advantage of Atlanta’s defensive deficiencies.
4) The Ravens allow the fewest yards per pass attempt (5.3) in the NFL(championship rings)
The Ravens’ defense has endured its share of hiccups, but overall, the unit has been impressive in an NFL season defined by eye-popping passing numbers. An outside cornerback rotation featuring Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey and a sturdy pass rush has helped Baltimore fare well against the pass.
Why it matters Sunday:
While the quarterback situation in Baltimore will draw the headlines, the battle between Ryan and the Ravens’ defense could decide the game. Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, has the tools to beat the best secondaries. Baltimore’s secondary has stymied its share of explosive signal-callers. And defense is often what matters most for the Ravens, who are 0-4 this year when they allow an opponent to score more than 21 points.