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Beware The NFL’s Grinches

Mill Woods

Posted on December 22, 2020 18:02

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'Tis the season to be jolly, but for 16 NFL teams, the football season is basically over. Individual players will clamor to fill their stockings with contract incentives (while they gussie up their resumes). Although teams who are already eliminated feel no real pressure to actually win a football game, beware, kiddies! It’s December, and these Grinch teams can not only pad their numbers, they can get their last wicked laughs by spoiling Christmas for contenders.

A few weeks ago, I mused: can the Steelers run the table? Today, I’m wondering: can the Steelers lose four in a row? The Steelers — like the Rams and Raiders — had their cookies and milk stolen by nasty teams who are already packing for winter vacations.

Las Vegas (7-7) is likely a cooked goose, even if they beat the Dolphins (9-5) in that big game Saturday night. The flippant Fins need to prevail Saturday and bag a huge Week 17 win over the division champ Bills (11-3). That's a tall order! I suspect the AFC will favor the Ravens (9-5), plus the Titans, Browns, and Colts (all 10-4). The Steelers (11-3) have nabbed at least a wild card but must close versus the tough Colts and Browns. Bells will toll in Baltimore if the Ravens (9-5)  can foil the disgusting, season-ruining plans of the green-with-envy Giants and Bengals. I was not impressed by the Bengals’ one-game excellence Monday. I like the Ravens' chances to celebrate a happy new year.

In the NFC, the Rams (9-5) are begging Santa for wins against the Seahawks (10-4) and Cardinals (8-6). As for those elves in red, the Cards may learn that floundering Niner team is still a “mean one, Mr. Grinch”.

The Washington ‘Mavericks’ (I also like ‘Warriors’) are not just playing Grinch — not at all.  At 6-8, our nameless marauders are still my favorite to lead Santa's sleigh in the unworthy NFC East (keeping a more worthy team out of the playoffs). Washington faces the tough Panthers and the inconsistent Eagles. The lagging Cowboys and Giants (trailing a game behind Washington) must lock antlers in their regular-season finale.

Drew Brees and the Saints (10-4) looked righteous last weekend, despite getting a shiny nose from the Chiefs. Christmas Day, the Saints will likely spank the Vikings — punishment for that playoff stunner last year. Down in New Orleans, the kids have visions of sugar plums — dreams that the Titans and Bears can knock the Packers out of the NFC’s #1 seed. The Bears (7-7) still have their stockings hung by the chimney with care. Their sleepy offense showed some real bite in mauling the Vikings last weekend.

Speaking of W-L records, I am feeling pretty jolly after going 11-5 last weekend. But I will continue to sleep lightly, knowing there are Grinches lying in wait to sabotage my Christmas.

Here are the Week 16 contests — and my list for Santa.


        Away          Home           My Pick


1.    Vikings          Saints          Saints
2.    Buccaneers   Lions           Bucs
3.    49ers            Cardinals      Cardinals
4.    Dolphins       Raiders        Dolphins
5.    Giants          Ravens         Ravens
6.    Falcons        Chiefs           Chiefs
7.    Panthers      Washington  Washington
8.    Browns         Jets              Browns
9.    Bears           Jaguars        Bears
10. Bengals        Texans         Texans
11. Colts             Steelers        Colts
12. Broncos        Chargers      Chargers
13. Eagles          Cowboys      Cowboys
14. Rams            Seahawks     Rams
15. Titans            Packers       Titans
16. Bills              Patriots         Bills

Merry Christmas, all you Grinches.

Mill Woods

Posted on December 22, 2020 18:02

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