Well, Sports Fans – now it’s getting exciting. With only the Eagles and Stealers having clinched divisional titles – all the other playoff spots are up for grabs among a select few teams. And even the Eagles and Stealers have to worry about home field advantage. Somehow the 10-3 Patriots have not yet clinched even a Wildcard slot – so anything can happen – but it won’t.
With only 3 more weeks left, Red himself has clinched at least a season tie. For Week 14 Red was 3-3 which totals up to 51-33 for the year and unless Red’s math is totally off he is 18 to the good and could go 0-6 for 3 weeks and still come out even. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that. And Red has not taken his usual bye week this season. That may yet happen as well over the holidays.
Answer to Last Week’s Trivia: Walter Payton and his fellow student at Jackson State, Mary Jones, came in second place in the 1973 Soul Train National Championship Dance Off.
This Week’s Trivia: When was the first Christmas Day NFL game played?
Your Merry Pick of the Week: Stealers over Patriots. Not a surprise to anyone that this is your NFL GAME OF THE WEEK. As noted, Stealers have clinched the AFC North and the Pats are yet to punch their ticket. Stealers want home field in what would seem to be an almost inevitable preview of the AFC title game (although the Jaguars may have something to say about that). Stealers know that the road through Foxboro ends in the trash heap of broken dreams. They pull out all stops to win this one. Red likes the over even at a hefty 53.5 – unless the weather turns bad, then duck and cover. Pittsburgh 29 New England 28.
Your Ho Ho Ho Pick of the Week: Raiders over Cowboys. Two teams that desperately need a win. That usually favors the home team. If the Raiders had the balls to make the Cowboys wear blue I would go whole hog for them, but unfortunately Red does not have such inside information. Young D. Carr needs to have the kind of game he showed two years ago and it would be nice if the Beast (Red’s biggest fantasy bust this season who wasn’t actually carried off the field in a basket) would churn out a couple of decent games to end his career. Maybe just maybe. Red likes the Raiders getting 3 points. Oakland 24 Arlington 20.
Your Let it Snow Pick of the Week: Rams over Seahawks. Or in this case, Let it Drizzle, Let it Drizzle, Let it Drizzle. Red missed the likely snow game of the season last week in Orchard Park – and everyone knows how much Red loves a good blizzard game. Unfortunately there appears to be no prospects for a repeat this week. So Red will have to go with the next best thing – which aint very good at all. Red still likes Rams despite some signs of crackage. Meanwhile, up north giant chasms are opening on the Seahawks side of the ball. Perhaps Pete the Cheat can will his team through a critical last season divisional match up. Red thinks Pete’s deal with Satan is running on fumes at this point. This isn’t quite winner take all in the NFC West, but it’s pretty damn close. As will be the score – so Red wisely takes a pass on this one. Los Angeles 24 Seattle 20.
Your Bowlful of Jelly Pick of the Week: Panthers over Packers. Red somehow keeps forgetting that the Panthers are what is known as a “Pretty Damn Good Football Team.” Panthers have been relatively lucky on the injury front. The same cannot be said for the Packers – but if A-Rodg is really back this week, then anything can happen. Red still likes the Panthers to cover 3 at home. Carolina 24 Green Bay 20.
Your Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer Pick of the Week: Eagles over Giants. Eagles certainly feel like they got sideswiped by an ungulate this week what all with likely All-Pro Carson Wentz getting bounced for the season. The redoubtable Nick Foles is back in town and perhaps he can recapture the magic of 2014 when he was damn near unstoppable as a third stringer coming in to save the season. More likely he is Tom Savage on steroids – meaning average enough to carry the Eagles into a competitive chance at winning one playoff game. Fortunately, he gets to work out the kinks against the hapless Giants. Look for this one to be close and the Giants probably cover 7.5 spread if you can get that. Philadelphia 24 New Jersey 20.
Your Bundle of Sticks and Lump of Coal Pick of the Week: Cards over OTNAs. It’s actually hard to find a true Shit Bowl contender this week as almost every other game includes at least one team with a playoff shot – however remote. So Red will dispense with his usual warning to stay away from the string of Christmas lights and mistletoe lest ye be tempted to string yourself up or mix up a deadly eggnog and mistletoe cocktail in the third quarter of this crude crap contest. Red thinks the over at 41.5 might be worth a look if you are truly desperate for some Christmas cash. Arizona 24, Landover, MD 20