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Pivotal Weekend In The NFL

Mill Woods

Posted on December 15, 2021 20:33

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In mid-December, we fans are finally going to learn the first NFL playoff teams of 2021. Several key matches on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday will result in guaranteed playoff spots — wild cards, at the minimum — and even division titles for a few clubs. Better plan on a few hours for suspending your Christmas shopping.

On Dasher, on Dancer . . . on with the Blitzes. The Chiefs and Chargers go to war on Thursday night, then Patriots and Colts butt heads Saturday night. And if that's not enough action before Sunday, catch the Raiders and Browns Saturday afternoon. All three are virtually playoff games.

Then, on Sunday, we witness the clash of the Titans and Steelers (both badly needing a playoff booster), while the Bengals and Broncos try to gallop to the top of their respective divisions. And, fans: if you were thinking all the action was in the AFC, check out the Saints vs. the Bucs Sunday night (a last gasp, perhaps, for the Saints).

Meanwhile, let me note that several teams are in trouble — at least, as of this writing. In some cases, it's because key players have tested positive for COVID — and actually may not be able to play this weekend. Early in the season, when we noted how many individual players, teams and (let's not forget) cities (meaning: you citizens) were slacking off about getting immunized and taking other precautions, some NFL pundits predicted that if any teams had key players out due to COVID glitches in mid to late December, such news could actually cost them the playoffs.

Well, folks, here we are! We are used to having injuries clouding December's outcomes — and now, there's COVID, the ultimate wild card.

The Browns just won a huge game in their ultra-tight division race, but — on the heels of that great news for loyal and long-suffering Cleveland fans — head coach Stefansky and starting quarterback Baker Mayfield both tested positive. At the time of this writing, their status for Sunday’s match is up in the air — and so are Cleveland’s playoff hopes.
 
Monday, the Rams took a giant step toward winning the NFC West when they upended the #1 Cardinals, but soon after, several players were placed on the COVID watch list, and their statuses for Sunday’s game are similarly uncertain.
 
The Falcons, Vikings, and Washington teams also have question marks due to players and/or coaches now in COVID protocol. Personally, I can’t feel too confident about those teams winning these tough December matches. Nevertheless, I must report on my crystal ball's findings — as always.

My crystal ball had its best week of the season last week: 11-3.  Here are all the Week 15 matches — and my picks:

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

Hold on tight.  Here we go, dashers and dancers — laughing all the way!


 

Mill Woods

Posted on December 15, 2021 20:33

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