Seahawks at Dolphins
This is a matchup of two teams headed in completely different directions. The Seahawks are coming off two straight and find themselves in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, while the Dolphins are reeling from 3 straight losses and are looking up at a whole lot of teams in the AFC playoff picture.
Also, the Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson is coming off, arguably his two best game of the year, while the Dolphins’ rookie QB has thrown 5 INT his last two games (and only 1 TD)
What to watch for:
The Seahawks have already beaten the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady this year, because of their outstanding secondary. With rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggling mightily as of late and Reggie Bush not being able to run the ball effectively, it will be interesting to see how the Dolphins attack this Seattle defense.
On the defensive side for the Dolphins, will their 9th ranked run defense be able to slow down Marshawn Lynch, who has recorded 100 +100 yards in 4 straight games? Doesn’t look likely.
The Dolphins have appeared uninspired to me the last few weeks, while the Seahawks have looked very sharp. Look for the Seahawks to overcome a possible slow start (because they do have to travel TO Miami) and prolong the Miami Dolphins struggles. Seahawks by at least a touchdown.
Bills at Colts
If you look at the overall numbers and records of the two teams, it would appear that the Colts would be a heavy favorite. However, the Bills are coming off a win against Miami after two close losses on the road to the Texans and Patriots. On the other hand, the Colts are coming off a 59-24 shellacking against the Patriots last week. Where Andrew Luck’s impressive rookie season continued to be tainted by his issues turning over the football (17 turnovers in 10 games) with 4 more turnovers.
What to watch for:
The Bills offense struggled to move the football last week against the Dolphins, however, they still have an outstanding running attack that will look to expose the Colts 21st ranked run defense. C.J. Spiller is having a fantastic season and stopping him, in both the passing and running game, will be key for the Colts success.
For Luck and the Colts offense, keeping Luck well protected from pass rushers like Mario Williams, will be crucial. Luck has been the key to the offense all year, but has also struggled with turning the ball over. Look for the Bills to try to get in Luck’s face, get him off his spot, and force him into bad decisions.
Based on the last few weeks, my eyes tell me to go with the Bills, but my gut tells me otherwise. After seeing the Colts overcome expectations all year for their inspiring head coach, it’s hard to bet against them at home in a game crucial for their playoff hopes. IF—and that’s a big if—Luck can take care of the football, I see the Colts winning a close, gutsy one at home. If not, Bills could make this ugly.