In the Cayman Islands this weekend is a very important one as it marks the birth of God’s son Jesus Christ. Then again for a lot of residents it is merely a time to open gifts and the National Football League has a number of its own presents to offer.
A number of matches with playoff implications are on tap for this Sunday 25 December. Two of the Florida-based teams have legitimate playoff hopes hanging in the balance and the New York teams can play into January with victories.
The two most compelling match-ups feature the Washington Redskins and the Jacksonville Jaguars on FOX at 1pm and the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers squaring off at 4.15pm on FOX. Washington are in the midst of another mediocre campaign but the Jaguars still have a chance to win the AFC South division. The Giants and Packers meanwhile have no realistic shot at winning their groups and they are battling each other for a NFC Wildcard berth.
Washington cannot seem to avoid controversy with quarterback Donovan McNabb being benched. McNabb is upset and rightfully so as the Redskins other options are forgettable. No matter who is in the pocket though the offence is lackluster and the side relies on its defence to lead the way. The Jaguars meanwhile are trying to save face after a disastrous showing against the Colts that saw their vaunted run game muster just 50 odd yards.
The Redskins have a good chance of playing spoiler behind Deangelo Hall and London Fletcher on defence. However I believe David Garrard will step up and take pressure off of Maurice Jones-Drew at running back. Look for the Jaguars to barely win by a field goal.
In the other match the Giants are still scratching their heads after the Miracle at the Meadowlands. The Packers meanwhile have a battered head to their offence as QB Aaron Rodgers looks prone to concussions. It’s hard to say who has more momentum of the two squads though Green Bay seemingly has options on offence behind Matt Flynn (251 yards, three touchdowns vs Patriots).
As a Giants fan it’s hard to continue believing in a bipolar defence that shows up in some games and disappears in others. But Eli Manning has the offence clicking enough to warrant hope. If the Giants don’t win by a touchdown it would be a shock.