By Hamish Girvan
Two teams in good form coming into the last quarter of the season are the AFC’s Pittsburgh Steelers and surprise NFC team the Philadelphia Eagles and guess what – they both reside in the same state of Pennsylvania. Both these teams feature in the prime time match ups on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks- Monday 2.30pm NZ time
Carson Wentz leads his Eagles to Seattle this week in what will be another test for the surprise team of the season. Wentz has been unstoppable and he has a great team around him. Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery signed a new 4 year $52m contract over the past weekend which says something about the potential of the team. Sometimes big contracts mean a drop in form however the playoffs are more or less guaranteed. The Seahawks are a bit of a one man band at the moment and if not for quarterback Russell Wilson they would not be still in the playoff hunt. Decimated by injuries to running backs and on the defence they are not the home ground threat they once were. The Eagles head here as a 5 point favourite – unheard of at Seattle’s home ground in most cases. The smart lay would be to take the Seahawks. This could be close one however the Eagles should hit no.11 in terms of season wins here.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – Tuesday 2.30pm NZ time
This was a written up match up last season by this writer and 12 months later nothing has changed. The Steelers still own the Bengals, Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis always seems to be a favourite to be fired at the season end and the Steelers are playoff bound more or less again. The Steelers although on form have not been winning by much and they only just beat the struggling Packers last week with a last second field goal. The Bengals have been playing better in recent weeks. Andy “the red rifle” Dalton at quarterback is still inconsistent and their defence is only OK compared to the physicality of it in previous seasons. The Steelers won 29-14 in week 7 in this fixture however it should not be that large in terms of a points defeat this week. The Bengals are getting 5.5 points here as the home team. Take them – they may not win but should run the Steelers close.
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