Detroit Lions vs Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday 24th December, 6pm (UK Time)
- Winner: Lions 4/9, Bengals 15/8
Although the Lions currently sit outside the playoffs, it is possible for them to sneak in by season’s end. They will need to win both their remaining games, whilst also having the Falcons lose to the Panthers and defeats for both Seattle and Dallas. That plane should begin well this week with a win over the Bengals who have looked lost all season.
Matthew Stafford, quarterback for the Lions, signed the largest ever deal by a quarterback in the offseason. He hasn’t quite fulfilled this potential, but there is only so much one man can do when you give him the second worst running offence in the NFL and a defence that ranks towards the bottom of the league in most of the major categories. The depth at wide receiver is a huge bonus, and will have to be on top form against a Bengals defence that ranks top ten in pass yards.
The Bengals have suffered a completely wasted season for a team that was full of hope. They were a perennial AFC powerhouse for a number of years in a row, but two dreadful seasons back to back has the team likely looking at replacing its head coach. Since their offensive coordinator moved to a different coaching job, the offence hasn’t been able to do anything, highlighted this year by ranking in the bottom five for every offensive category, along with rushing yards and total yards being the bottom of the league. The only way this team has a chance is if Andy Dalton and AJ Green get going early and build some momentum.
This should be a regulation win for the Lions, but fans of the team will know that barely ever happens. The Lions are 5-2 away from home whilst the Bengals are just 3-4 playing at home, so its easy to see why the Lions are favoured.
Sports.net Top Tip
|Lions v Bengals||
Lions Points Over 24.5
Jacksonville Jaguars vs San Francisco 49ers
Sunday 24th December, 9:05pm (UK Time)
- Winner: Jaguars 12/25, 49ers 17/10
The Jaguars will finally make a playoff appearance for the first time since 2007 and its been well worth the wait. After some absolutely torrid seasons, the team is finally starting to play winning football and has the belief that they can go anywhere and win the game. They boast the best defence in the league, allowing the fewest points and the fewest passing yards whilst also racking up the most sacks.
The 49ers had a horrific start to the year behind quarterbacks CJ Beathard and Brian Hoyer. It was assumed the team would go thorough a rebuilding stage with new GM John Lynch and new Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, but the top draft picks on defence did not live up to expectation. The team traded for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who sat for a few games, but was thrust into the starting spot due to injuries. The outcome? Three straight wins and a fan base that is already looking forward to next year.
This will be the sternest test Garoppolo has experienced in his short career, but there is a reason the Eastern Illinois graduate is 5-0 as a starter due to his poise and incredible throwing motion. The biggest question is whether the 49ers offensive line can hold back the Jaguars pass rush to give Garoppolo the time to go through his reads. On the other side, two rookie phenoms will go head to head as Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette goes up against 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster.
Sports.net Top Tip
|Jaguars v 49ers||
Jaguars First to 20 Points