Before we get to the picks and the games a little home work.
Please watch Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas message. There will never be another like her. She is a treasure beyond measure.
And BTW the song starting the BBC broadcast is NOT My Country Tis of Thee. It is God Save The Queen. God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save the Queen. Send her victorious. Happy and glorious. Long to reign over us. God save the Queen! This is the U.K.'s national anthem and we suggest you learn it.
This is the last Sunday of football in a strange 2020 season. Enjoy it.
Home dog Steelers to put the wheels back on the bus finally. Pittsburgh +1.5 at home over Colts. WIN
Titans +3.5 on the road at Green Bay. Yes the Pack is having a great year. But Titans RB Derrick Henry is having an MVP season and football is still a game where a RB can put his team on his back and carry them to victory.
Rams at Seahawks over 47.5. You have to assume the Rams are a mite upset over their loss to the J...E...T....S.... Jets Jets Jets last week.
Speaking of which, we will hop on the bandwagon and take the J....E....T.....S.... Jets Jets Jets +10 against a Cleveland Browns team that might just be looking ahead to their season ending matchup against the Steelers next week. Update- losing their top four WRs to covid, the Browns game is off the board. So we like the Jets even more. Remember, before winning their last game, the lost the game prior to that on a last second bonehead defensive play. WIN
A FITZMAGIC CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He has a big long beard, wears number 14 for the Miami Dolphins, and he is the elfin spirit of the team that is still alive and kicking in the playoff race.
This Christmas gift starts with a first- for the first time in his 16 year career, Dolphin backup QB Fitzpatrick had to use the bathroom during a game. It happened in the 4th quarter, and those of us with some gray hairs can understand the urge. When Fitz returned relived, head coach Brian Flores told him to grab his helmet. The Dolphins needed a spark on offense. Down 13-6 in the 3rd Q, TT had led the Fins to a TD and a tie with a nice crisp pass to running back Gaskin who took it in from five yards out. The Raiders responded with a FG of their own late in the 3rd quarter and were up 16-13, at which point TT hit a wall. His passes were not crisp and he was sacked on a crucial third down early in the fourth quarter. The Fins were still down by three when Flores went to his bullpen and his reliever, the aging, wily veteran who still has a few tricks up his sleeve as Howard Cosell would have said in his nasal twang. Judges under 40 who are puzzled by this reference are invited to stop reading a blog that makes cultural references needed for good writing.
Back came the Fins and Fitz with two gun slinging throws over the middle to their emerging tight-end star Gesicki. The drive stalled inside the ten with 4 minutes left and the Fins tied the game with a FG. The Raiders have a gunslinger at QB as well, and Carr launched a deep one from his ten that was caught 45 yards down field and WR Nelson Agholor raced into the end-zone. The Raiders missed the extra point and were up by six, 22-16 with 3:15 left. Now it was going to get fun.
At his own 40 Fitz hit RB Gaskin with a ten yard square in. Gaskin shed one erstwhile Raider tackler as cavalierly as one of our own Judges denying a motion to suppress in a death penalty case, then juked another wannabe tackler and was off to the races. 23-22 Miami with 2:55 left to play.
Another Carr deep bomb to Agholor who had toasted the Fins earlier resulted in perhaps the worst pass interference call of the season. Basically the ref decided that if the Fins had eleven men on the field that was PI, because the Miami Defensive back had adequate coverage at best. If when you read this and pause a minute, the Dolphin defenders are just getting close. Now the home team had the ball on the 12 with 2:22 left and Coach Gruden went into the NFL equivalent of the four-corners offense. He did not want the TD the Dolphins were offering. He wanted to run out the clock. A draw brought Jacobs the Raiders bruising running back to the one with over a minute to go. Jacobs dived to the ground rather than score. A couple of kneel downs later and the Raiders were back up by two with 19 seconds left 25-23.
Fitz didn't need it all. Santa took the snap at his 25. Here was the miracle- A 34 yard pass play caught by Fins WR Matt Collins in-bounds at the Raiders 41 in which a Raider D lineman had Fitz's facemask and was twisting it like a bottle of cheap wine with a screw on cap that so many of our robed readers are forced to consume on their limited state salary. Fitz threw the ball blind, but it was caught. Tack on 15 for the facemask and the fins were in FG position. A play later they kicked the game winner with six seconds left.
Somewhere in the night Vegas sky, that new stadium cavernous and empty, a sleigh was seen led by a creature with a red nose. And the driver of the sleigh, a portly fellow with a beard, similar to the Fins own QB, was chuckling "Dolphins win...ho ho ho."
Your Miami Dolphins now have a 65% chance to win. Just hope the Ravens lose, but it is not needed. All they need to do is win next week at Buffalo and they are in. Win and in, It has been a very long time since a Fin fan could say that. Merry Fitzmas.
COMING MONDAY: The death of an old friend. And the Florida Supreme Court is the killer. Their fingerprints are all over the knife.