Santa arrives a day early and delivers what should be favorable outcomes for both the Steelers and Ravens this weekend.
At Pittsburgh, the 2-12 St. Louis Rams are at Heinz Field. Meanwhile, Baltimore greets a 4-10 Browns' club likely headed for a 12-loss campaign.
There are certainly no such guarantees for the Bengals who, at 8-6, are clinging to postseason hopes. Cincinnati must do battle with 7-7 Arizona at Paul Brown Stadium where both teams face must-win scenarios.
With but two weeks remaining in regular season play, several teams remain in the playoff hunt, though that number figures to be significantly reduced by Christmas night.
This column absorbed a 7-9 hit last week and must quickly regroup to remain in postseason consideration.
HOUSTON AT INDIANAPOLIS. Not even Old St. Nick could pull a second straight win out of the bag for Indy. Texans, 30-16.
MIAMI AT NEW ENGLAND. Patriots in excellent position to finish 13-3 and secure AFC's top seed. Patriots, 38-17.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW YORK JETS. Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men may not be on display in the Jimmy Hoffa Bowl. The losing coach's postgame press conference should be memorable. Giants, 20-17.
CLEVELAND AT BALTIMORE. Ravens looked entirely ordinary after being wiped out by Chargers.
A visit by Brownies serves as a quick fix. Ravens, 24-14.
MINNESOTA AT WASHINGTON. Skins shocked Giants last week. We foresee a return to reality in our Upset Special. Vikings, 21-14.
TAMPA BAY AT CAROLINA. Two teams playing out the string, though Panthers have shown more signs of life. Panthers, 34-21.
DENVER AT BUFFALO. The Tebow Tour was dealt a heavy blow last week. Bills, meanwhile, need something to salvage what was once a promising season. Bills, 17-10.
ST. LOUIS AT PITTSBURGH. A potentially sidelined Big Ben adds a degree of intrigue to an otherwise mismatch. Steelers, 23-10.
ARIZONA AT CINCINNATI. It's a tall order asking Bengals to knock off both Cards and Ravens (next week) to earn a playoff berth. Bengals, 27-21.
JACKSONVILLE AT TENNESSEE. Titans coming off loss to Colts and will take out frustrations on the Jags. TITANS, 24-13.
OAKLAND AT KANSAS CITY. Chiefs coming off unexpected KO of Packers and will not produce repeat performance. Raiders, 27-13.
SAN DIEGO AT DETROIT. Chargers appeared invincible at home, shooting down Ravens. Different venue, different result. Lions, 34-14.
PHILADELPHIA AT DALLAS. Eagles coming on strong but Cowboys looking to finish strong. Cowboys, 27-23.
SAN FRANCISCO AT SEATTLE. Niners won't have it easy in the Emerald City in projected low-scoring tilt. 49ers, 14-10.
CHICAGO AT GREEN BAY. Hard to envision Pack dropping consecutive verdicts. Bears on life support. Packers, 23-13.
ATLANTA AT NEW ORLEANS. Falcons can make late-season statement with a victory. Saints, 23-17.
LAST WEEK (7-9) SEASON (136-87) UPSET SPECIALS (2-12).
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