Christmas is coming this week! In addition to being a special holiday week, the football teams of the NFL will be celebrating the end of the regular season this coming weekend, too.
For some teams, your SwampSanta will deliver a playoff spot. For other teams, prepare for a big ol’ lump of coal and another year of sadness for their fans.
I’ll give you a preview of what SwampSanta is pondering heading into this final week of the 2019 NFL regular season. Let’s take a look at what he might have in his sack for several teams of the NFL:
Dallas Cowboys – Head coach Jason Garrett will soon be granted his present – freedom from the Jerry Jones family! After the Cowboys laid another egg in Philadelphia this week, the best Dallas can finish the season is 8-8 (which I predicted before the season). Jason Garrett, who has coached so-called “America’s Team” for nine seasons, will certainly be released after the end of the season (even if, somehow, Dallas limps into the playoffs after the final weekend of games). Merry Christmas, Jason Garrett. You’ll soon be FREE, Jason!
Philadelphia Eagles – Though Philadelphia now controls their own destiny in the embarrassingly-bad NFC East, the 8-7 Eagles must go on the road in the final week of the season to play the 4-11 New York Giants. It would not surprise me in the least if Philly loses to New York. That would enable the aforementioned Dallas Cowboys a chance to win (by forfeit) the NFC East by taking down the pitiful 3-12 Washington Redskins in Jerry World on Sunday. SwampSanta will bring a small present to Eagles fans as he believes they will slink into the playoffs and lose in the first round.
Hey, SwampSanta! What about the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, and the currently homeless Raiders?
Have the Pittsburgh Steelers have been good or bad this year? Yes, they have! Pittsburgh (8-7) has somehow survived after injuries to several key players (including star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger). With a back-up QB named after a former professional golfer (Mason Rudolph) and another sporting a nickname of “Duck”, Pittsburgh still had a chance to lock-up a playoff spot with a decent finish. Sadly, the Steelers two back-up quarterbacks have been more adept at throwing interceptions than touchdowns recently as Pittsburgh lost on Sunday to the offensively-challenged 6-9 New York Jets. With a win, they would have given themselves a chance to ease into the playoffs with a win over Baltimore this coming week. With the loss, though, they handed control of a playoff spot to the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee (the former Houston Oilers, lest we forget) lost an important home game on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints. There’s no shame in that, but I find it odd that, by losing Sunday, the 8-7 Titans now control the final AFC playoff spot if they simply win their final game this coming weekend. However, they will play at 10-5 Houston. Will Houston bench their starters for this game and hand the final playoff spot to the football team which left the city behind 22 years ago? I doubt it. But, what if Tennessee and Pittsburgh both lose on Sunday (a distinct possibility)?
That brings the team formerly known as the Oakland Raiders into the picture. Though the 7-8 Raiders have played their final home game in Oakland and are packing-up for Las Vegas next year, a loss by Tennessee and Pittsburgh would put them at 8-8 and allow the Raiders a chance to join the 8-8 group with a win this coming weekend at 6-9 Denver. Will this happen?
SwampSanta believes that all three teams will lose this weekend! Yes, it’s a lump of coal each for fans of Pittsburgh, Tennessee and especially the Raiders (for abandoning the city of Oakland for the second time!). Tennessee, based on this triple futility, will still go into the playoffs as the AFC wildcard team, but quickly return home after a loss in the first playoff week.
Hey, SwampSanta? Who will grab the NFC’s top playoff spot this year?
Great question! At this writing, the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints are both 12-3. The Green Bay Packers also have three losses pending tonight’s game at the 10-4 Minnesota Vikings.
First, I think Green Bay will lose one more game (either tonight at Minnesota or at Detroit next weekend). So, let’s toss a lump of coal in the Christmas stocking of Packers fans, but their team will still make the playoffs regardless.
That leaves San Fran and the Saints fighting for the #1 spot in the NFC playoffs. Since the 49ers beat New Orleans a few weeks ago, they would win a tie breaker against the Saints.
San Francisco travels to the 11-4 Seattle Seahawks for the final regular season game of 2019 on Sunday night in a battle for first place in the NFC West. Since Seattle has already beaten the 49ers once, a second win would put both teams at 12-4, and Seattle would win the NFC West by virtue of two head-to-head wins.
SwampSanta sees the Seattle fans rallying their team to victory on Sunday and handing the 49ers a lump of coal and an NFC wild-card spot.
That brings us to the New Orleans Saints. Remember, this Saints team gave up a heart-breaker last second touchdown in the playoffs a few years ago against the Minnesota Vikings. They also didn’t receive a pass interference call last season in a playoff game against the Rams which ultimately cost them a Super Bowl berth.
This year, New Orleans (12-3) travels to NFC South rival Carolina for the final game of the season. The 5-10 Panthers have already fired their head coach. Also, I expect many of the LSU fans in Atlanta on Saturday (for the BCS playoff game against Oklahoma) will also make the short drive up I-85 to Charlotte to support their beloved Saints on Sunday. I expect there will be more Saints fans in Charlotte than Panthers supporters.
SwampSanta likes a happy ending for this year’s New Orleans Saints. The Saints should beat Carolina on Sunday and then clinch “Dome” field for the entire NFC playoffs with the win!
WhoDat say dat SwampSanta isn’t biased?
Merry Christmas to all! Heaux, Heaux, Heaux!