Let me start this week's NFL GameDay, by first off saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. My Christmas and Birthday gift, seeing how I was born on Christmas, will be being able to go watch all of the NFL games tomorrow. I love being with my family for the holidays but there are only 2 weeks of the NFL regular season left. If you can't understand that, then you might have clicked on the wrong NFL GameDay.
For those of you who have snuck away from your wife to read these NFL breakdowns and plan on making about 20 trips to the store for egg nog to be able to listen / watch some of your favorite team, then you have found the right spot. My wife will have no problem with me sneaking away for the whole day to watch football because it was written in our vows..."You must love, cherish, and leave him alone for 6 months of Sundays every year (even on Holiday weekends). My parents can't fuss about it because they birthed this fanatical, football personality. They should have put me in Gingerbread building class if they didn't want me to turn out this way. On to the games my little scrooges.
The Pittsburgh Steelers took care of business on Thursday burying Carolina Panthers 27-3. Both teams actually gained on the nigh Steelers took a step closer to winning the AFC North and the Panthers took a step closer to wrapping up the number 1 draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
On Saturday night in Arizona, John Kitna was forced out with a hip injury and the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals put on a competitive display with the Cardinals winning 27-26 as players and coaches on both squads were trying to prove that they should have a starting spots and roster spots on next years teams.
* You will notice that we've placed a number in parentheses next to each team. That number is the teams Power Ranking. To see the entire NFL Power Rankings (Net Points) with two weeks to goor where that team stands relative to others, just click on the number.
(12-2) vs. (3-11)
This game is labeled "The Santa Clause game" because they have made up so many rules to protect Tom Brady. At this time of year, I wouldn't be surprised to see a new rule created that benefits Brady and gives the Patriots a win.
Buffalo has been playing teams close and can light up the score board. I expect a close, high scoring game, but don't see the Patriots having a let up in this one. - Patriots Win 38-35
(10-4) vs. (5-9)
There's been a lot of trash talk this week between the Ravens defense and Peyton Hillis. I don't see any punk in Hillis, so expect a heavyweight fight. If Colt McCoy can relieve some of the pressure on Hillis, I expect him to have a 100 yard rushing performance.
Ray Rice might be the true running back to worry about in this game. Baltimore got back to their run first offense last week and if Rice can stay that explosive, expect them to make a huge push into the playoffs. - Ravens Win 27-21
(5-9) vs. (8-6)
The Redskins don't seem to have a clue on how to stop the bleeding. This team is a soap opera and doesn't have anything to play for.
Jacksonville needs this win and would also appreciate a Colts loss. I just see this team having another late season meltdown. - Upset Alert Redskins Win 17-16
(6-8) vs. (9-5)
I love the denial from the media that Jeff Fisher has lost this team. He won't be back in Nashville next year and this team won't show up for him on Sunday.
KC has a team that they should beat in front of them. If they lose, it's because of a complete choke job and nothing that the Titans will do well. - Chiefs Win 24-13
(4-10) vs. (7-7)
These two teams are going in different directions. Detroit is a year away from really being able to compete.
Miami runs one of the most boring offenses these days. If they bring back Tony Sparano next year, you can expect more of the same. Why pay the money to Brandon Marshall if you don't have a QB that can get him the ball? - Lions Win 31-17
(5-9) vs. (6-8)
This game is "A Christmas Story". There's no other game that appears as more of a Christmas miracle then this game. You have a 5-9 team vs a 6-8 team playing for a legitimate shot at a divisional crown.
I like Troy Smith better than Alex Smith but I like Sam Bradford better than then either of them. - Rams Win 23-21
(8-6) vs. (3-11)
The Chargers are a much better team but they can only hope to win out and hope the Chiefs choke up the division.
The Bengals are only being watched these days to see what their opponents will do. They could play spoiler, but then that would cost them a shot at the #2 draft pick. - Chargers Win 34-20
(5-9) vs. (3-11)
"The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" game. The once storied franchise of the Broncos vs the once promising season of the Texans. The Grinch stole both of their holiday cheer.
Tim Tebow should be able to open up his arsenal this week against the horrific pass defense of the Texans. That's worth watching alone and that's good because alone, that's the only thing worth watching in this game. - Texans Win 30-27
(8-6) vs. (7-7)
I said it last week, I don't see Peyton Manning giving up the division now that he's worked back to controlling their own destiny.
Oakland has a really small chance of making the playoffs. We'll see if this team can rally around that hope or if they've already given up on the season. - Colts Win 26-17
(6-8) vs. (8-6)
I still can't believe that Pete Carroll has decided to stick with Matt Hasselback instead of Charlie Whitehurst. People are saying that Carroll is staying with the vet because the playoffs are still possible. That's the reason I say make the switch.
The Bucs have all of their 8 wins this season, against teams with losing records. Well, they are in luck, the Hawks are 6-8. - Bucs Win 21-17
(5-9) vs. (10-4)
Welcome to the "What a Wonderful Life" game. Mike Vick has to be loving where his life is now as opposed to a few years ago. On the flip side, Brett Favre was having a movie style ending to his career last year but decided to come back for 1 too many.
Philly is playing better then any team right now. Minnesota is just barely showing up. It's going to get ugly in this game. - Eagles Win 38-13
"Water Cooler" Games
(10-4) vs. (10-4)
If the Jets don't win this game, they could easily be left "Home Alone" without anyone to play, after the playoffs start. It could take a loss in the final 2 weeks for the Jets to have a complete meltdown but it is the Jets and so, that makes it worth mentioning.
Philly and Atlanta are getting all of the attention in the NFC and rightfully so. Chicago is playing equally as well as both of them though. If Jay Cutler continues to let the game come to him, then this team will compete with anybody. - Bears Win 27-24
(10-4) vs. (12-2)
This will be a huge psychological win for whichever team pulls it out. I like the Falcons teams fundamentals a lot better but the Saints are still the current World Champs.
It's going to be fun to watch but the Falcons don't lose in Atlanta. - Falcons Win 24-23
Game of the Week
(9-5) vs. (8-6)
Even though this game is being played in Green Bay, I'll refer to it as the "Miracle on 34th Street" if these Giants can bounce back from the type of loss they suffered last week.
This game has a little of everything in it. Aaron Rodgers should be back. These teams are competing with Tampa Bay for the final wild card game. The Packers showed that the whole team wants to win and get to the playoffs by any means necessary. I believe they can, with the type of effort they showed against the red hot Patriots last week, with Matt Flynn at the helm.
What do you say to a team that loss to a hated divisional foe by giving up 28 points in the final 7 minutes. I can't see anyone getting over that and treating it as just another loss. - Packers Win 31-23
I'll be back next Sunday morning week for Week 15 of NFL GameDay. Don't forget to check out NFL Rage mid week where I vent my frustrations at some of the dumbest calls and decisions from this week's games. NFL Gameday - It's easy like Sunday Morning! - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com.
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