AFC East hinges on Jets-Dolphins

The Christmas season is a time to be merry, give thanks and watch the last games of the 2008 NFL regular season.

There will be plenty of noteworthy games all day starting from 1pm this Sunday 28 December.

Atlanta and St. Louis face off in a must-win game for the Falcons. Their playoff future is still up in the air but more solid running from Turner should keep the team on the cusp of a playoff berth.

The Jags are headed to a dismal final record on the season. A beating from the Colts last week seems to be only a fraction of the pain the Baltimore defense is sure to dish out.

Buffalo would like to end their season showing improvements on offense, especially if Losman is at the helm. But don’t expect the Patriots to give away anything easy.

Kansas City-Cincinnati is simply a meaningless game on the schedule. With both teams playing a modicum of defense expect a high-scoring game.

The Packers are a frustrated team having gone from contender to also-ran in a heartbeat. Look for Green Bay to take out its frustrations on the pathetic Detroit Lions.

The Texans, in spite of their early season start, look to end the year with a winning record. Houston would love to play spoiler and ensure Chicago ends its season on a sour note.

The Titans and Colts are both guaranteed to make the playoffs and continue playing in the New Year. It will be interesting to see how much playing time the starters, especially Peyton Manning, get.

The Giants, regardless of who they play, always bring the pass rush. Against the agile Tavaris Jackson they’ll look to stifle the Vikings and get momentum going into the New Year.

The Panthers have thrashed many clubs to prove they’re one of the best in the NFL. Carolina should have more aggressive football on display and burst through the porous defense of the Saints.

As many thought past the halfway mark in the season, the AFC East is coming down to the last game of the year. The Jets and Dolphins are both good enough to make the playoffs but only the squad that conquers the run game on Sunday will succeed.

Coming into this year no one would guess Dallas would miss the playoffs. But that would almost certainly be the case if the Cowboys can’t rush McNabb enough and stop the offense of the Eagles.

Pittsburgh has shown great fortitude over the last six weeks and are a safe bet in the playoffs. The Steelers defense will remind the league why it’s a perennial power against the scuffling Browns.

Tampa Bay is still a team with flaky playoff prospects. The reason their season has been up and down is a defense that gets burned in big ways by the run game. The defensive front should get a morale boost against the Raiders.

Arizona is seemingly a shallow side that does well against poor teams but isn’t too competitive against the better teams. Nevertheless that shouldn’t affect the Cardinals ability to blow out the Seahawks.

Much of the troubles for San Diego this year came after their controversial loss to Denver early on. With the Broncos playoff-bound expect the Chargers to play for revenge.

It’s still a shame that Washington won’t make the playoffs after their excellent start. The Redskins at least can take comfort in a competitive record which, if they show up on defense, should see another win against the Niners.

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