Week 17 is almost underway and we have some very key matchups that decide who will end up making the playoffs.
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Headline: Chargers need to win + Titans lose + Baltimore win or Buffalo lose
Chargers are coming off a close victory against the Jets while the Raiders are coming of a loss against the Eagles. Last time these two teams played, the Chargers pulled out a narrow victory 17-16.
Inconsistency has been the name of the game for the Raiders as they came into this year with sky-high expectations and fell very short. Derek Carr has been below average this season. So has this offense as they have not been able to hit on all cylinders like they did last year. To win this game their offense has to be efficient to put points up on the board.
The Chargers come into this game winning 8 of their last 11 games. This Chargers team could easily be above 10 wins if they had a decent kicker. Phillip Rivers started the season terrible, then started playing like an MVP for a bit. To win this game, Rivers needs to be his mid-season self.
Prediction: Raiders 17-31 Chargers
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Headline: Bills need a win + Baltimore win/loss + Tennessee lose + Chargers lose
The Bills are coming off a blowout loss against the Patriots while the Dolphins are coming of a loss to the Chiefs. Last time these two teams played the Bills won 24-16.
The Dolphins season was over when Tannehill was injured, leading to the signing of Jay Cutler. Then they traded Ajayi for a fourth-round draft pick. The Dolphins offense has faltered without Ajayi and still needs to find an identity. To win this game the Dolphins offense needs to be more consistent.
The Bills have had some very impressive wins along with some embarrassing losses. McCoy has been very impressive this season while Tyrod has had a terrible year throwing the ball. The defense has been very inconsistent as has the offense. This whole team has to be consistent defensively if they want a chance to win.
Prediction: Bills 27-24 Dolphins
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Headline: Titans need to win or Charger loss + Bills loss
The Titans are coming of a tough loss against the Rams while the Jaguars are coming of a tough loss against the GOAT Jimmy Garropollo and the 49ers. Last time these two teams played, the Titans won 37-16.
The Jaguars have exceeded expectations this season and are secured as the number 3 seed in the playoffs. Their defense is top tier as they have a stacked secondary and d-line. Offense is the only juggernaut.
The Titans are currently sitting on the final wild-card spot and need a win to get through. The Titans wide receiving core needs to improve as does the play of Mariota. Defense has been fairly good for the Titans. To win this game the Titans wide receiving core needs to step up and make some catches.
Prediction: Jaguars 30-21 Titans
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Headline: Seahawks need to win + Falcons lose
The Seahawks and Cardinals are both coming off large wins. Last time these two teams played the Seahawks won 22-16.
The Cardinals are without star quarterback Carson Palmer and running backs Adrian Peterson and David Johnson. Their offense is non-existent while their defense is very inconsistent. Enough said. To win this game their defense has to contain Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks have not lived up to expectations this year but this can be due to them losing Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas for part of the year. This offense is very inconsistent as they cannot find ways to score until the fourth quarter. To win this game, they have to start strong and finish strong.
Prediction: Cardinals 10-27 Seahawks
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Falcons are coming off a disappointing loss at the hands of the Saints while the Panthers are coming off a nail-biting win against the Buccaneers. Last time these two teams played the Panthers won 20-17.
The Panthers have had a bounce-back season and this is due to the improved play of Cam Newton. He is a completely changed player as you can see with his decisions with the football. The defense has been iffy at times and has had a huge problem controlling speed. To win this game they have to stop Julio Jones.
The Falcons offense has to be more consistent. Ryan has been making more errant throws and does not look like his MVP self from last season. Jones has dropped multiple balls that he normally catches. Vic Beasley has gone MIA. To win this game the defense has to contain Cam Newton, never an easy task.
Prediction: Panthers 24-27 Falcons