A Holiday Weekend Filled With Sports
Fun, fun, fun. Ho, ho, ho. With Christmas on Sunday, the NFL moves most of its action to Saturday. You’ll have to check your local listings to see if the games you want are on telecast in your area, but your neighborhood tavern will be happy to see you.
Still, putting your heiner in your own recliner is always the recommended avenue.
Many of the playoff-clinching scenarios involve combinations of wins and losses by contending teams. We’ll try to keep this simple.
In one of the two Sunday (Merry Christmas!) games, the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) play the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5). These teams agree that they have a “professional hatred,” which makes it all the more bitter and hard-fought. The Steelers clinch the AFC North with a win.
The Houston Texans (8-6) are home against the Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1) on Saturday night (8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network) and the Texans clinch the AFC South (provided the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12), who haven’t won at home this season, find a way to beat the Tennessee Titans (8-6).
The Green Bay Packers (8-6) can clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Minnesota Vikings (7-7) on Saturday and a combination platter of other results occurs. It’s still a great NFC North matchup.
The Indianapolis Colts (7-7) are still scrapping and visit the Oakland Raiders (11-3) on Saturday. If the Raiders win and the Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) lose on Sunday night to the struggling Denver Broncos (8-6), the Raiders take the AFC West and earn a first-round bye. You should watch both of these games.
The Miami Dolphins (9-5) never have an easy time on the road against the Buffalo Bills (7-7) but must win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If they win Saturday and the Broncos lose on Sunday night, the Dolphins are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
With all of that football, how could these be anything but happy holidays? Enjoy. And all of the best from us to you.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman