NFL Power Rankings – Week 15

The Saints take 1st place for the first time since the 3 way tie in week 10. The Chargers prove that they belong in the lead pack with an amazing last second win over the Chiefs. The Seahawks had a chance to clinch a wildcard spot but blew it in San Francisco. The Cardinals would have been the biggest losers this week but they only had one spot to fall. At least they are securely in last place now.

RankChangeTeamScoreChangeWinsLossesTies
1Up 2Saints73131220
2Down 1Rams66-51130
3Down 1Chiefs6201130
4SameChargers59151130
5Up 1Texans4381040
6Up 1Bears3541040
7Down 2Patriots34-4950
8Up 3Steelers2111851
9Up 1Titans187860
10Down 1Cowboys17-4860
11Up 1Ravens159860
12Down 4Seahawks12-12860
13Up 1Colts1010860
14SameVikings77761
15Up 2Eagles211770
16Up 2Browns-37671
16Down 3Dolphins-3-7770
18SameRedskins-73770
19Up 1Bengals-84680
20Down 6Broncos-9-9680
21SamePanthers-17-3680
22SamePackers-23-6581
23Up 1Buccaneers-27-5590
24Up 4Bills-294590
24Up 3Falcons-293590
26Down 1Giants-30-6590
27Down 4Lions-32-14590
28Down 2Jaguars-39-94100
29SameJets-47-74100
30Up 249ers-5314100
31Down 1Raiders-54-123110
32Down 1Cardinals-64-143110
Highlights from Week 15
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Scrooged (1988)

Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross, a TV channel executive, in this “modern” retelling of A Christmas Carol.

While the story is not unique, it adds enough 80s charm and moves at a fast pace to make it a very enjoyable Christmas movie. Murray is perfect as the self-absorbed yuppy asshole, who is visited by three ghosts to show him the error in his ways. 

I like how the character progresses and how he really doesn’t want to be nice or feel the Christmas spirit. There is a darkness to the story that you don’t often see in Christmas movies.

All in all, this is one of the best Scrooge tales, that both delivers the comedy and the drama of a conflicted character who needs redemption. 

Rating:

Available on Starz or to rent from these locations.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Clark W. Griswold is back in this third installment of the Vacation series. This one is a bit different. Instead of going somewhere for a vacation, like Wally World or Europe, the Griswolds stay home for the holidays.

Written by John Hughes, the comedy works well due to Chevy Chase’s performance of Clark, who pushes every situation to the extreme. From cutting down a massive Christmas tree to putting thousands of lights on his house, there is nothing that Clark won’t take too far, and it is glorious to watch.

Randy Quaid also shows up as Cousin Eddie, the poor idiot who lives out of his crappy RV with his wife, two kids, and big dog that eats out of the garbage.

As a timeless classic, this movie is required for every holiday season. It perfectly characterizes the situations that remind you of what makes Christmas so great no matter how much goes wrong. 

Rating:

Available to rent/buy from these locations

The Santa Clause (1994)

Tim Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced businessman who has a strained relationship with this son, Charlie.

The movie starts with Scott spending Christmas with Charlie by burning a turkey and then having dinner at a Denny’s. In the night, Saint Nick shows up and falls off the roof, which sets in motion the transference rule where Scott assumes the role of the jolly old fat man. 

Charlie and Scott finish Santa’s route for that night and then the reality sinks in that Scott Calvin is the new Santa Claus. He gains weight, his hair turns white, and he grows a massive beard. Charlie is overjoyed by his dad being Santa, but Charlie’s psychiatrist step-dad Neil (Judge Reinhold) thinks Scott is completely insane and should lose visitation rights of Charlie.

Tim Allen is mostly a buffoon in everything he does, but he manages to convince the viewer he’s a dad who wants to do right by his son. The comedy isn’t overblown and there aren’t too many cringe-worthy moments. While I don’t consider this to be required Christmas viewing, it’s still enjoyable and usually ends up being watched every year when the classics are all exhausted.

Rating:

The Snowman (1982)

In 1978, Raymond Briggs created the classic children’s book: The Snowman. It is a unique tale about a boy and his snowman friend told with pictures and no words.

In 1982, the half-hour animated TV special became an instant holiday/winter classic. In the same style as the book, the story is told with animation and music only; no dialog.

I remember watching this in grade school on one of those big TV carts with the VCR on the bottom shelf. I liked how mesmerizing and different it was. As a young boy with red hair, I related to the child of the story and wished I had my own snowman friend.

It’s an incredible 30 minutes of sounds and visuals. The boy and the snowman go on a dreamy adventure of epic proportions involving a motorcycle, flying, and a congregation of snow people at the north pole with Santa. As viewers, young and old, we are happy to take the journey with them. 

Rating:

Available on Amazon Prime or YouTube

NFL Power Rankings – Week 14

This was upset week. The Bears over the Rams, Colts over the Texans, Browns over the Panthers, Dolphins over the Patriots, and the Raiders over the Steelers. The Dolphins and Colts made the most of it moving up 6 and 5 spots respectively. The Steelers and Panthers both dropped 4 spots and put their playoff chances in jeopardy. 

RankTeamScoreWinsLossesTiesChange
1Rams711120Same
2Chiefs621120Up 1
3Saints601120Down 1
4Chargers441030Up 2
5Patriots38940Down 1
6Texans35940Down 1
7Bears31940Up 1
8Seahawks24850Up 1
9Cowboys21850Up 1
10Titans11760Up 3
11Steelers10751Down 4
12Ravens6760Same
13Dolphins4760Up 6
14Vikings0661Same
14Colts0760Up 5
14Broncos0670Down 3
17Eagles-9670Down 1
18Browns-10571Up 3
18Redskins-10670Down 3
20Bengals-12580Down 2
21Panthers-14670Down 4
22Packers-17571Up 1
23Lions-18580Up 2
24Buccaneers-22580Down 2
25Giants-24580Up 3
26Jaguars-30490Down 1
27Falcons-32490Down 3
28Bills-33490Down 3
29Jets-40490Up 1
30Raiders-423100Up 1
31Cardinals-503100Down 2
3249ers-543100Same
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12 Days of Tinsel and Holly

It’s that time of year again. Break out the nog, fire up the yule log, and try not to be naughty or you’ll get a big nugget of “coal” in your stocking.

This year, a new tradition of Christmas movie reviews begins. For the first go round, you’ll get some of the most beloved Christmas movie classics, but subsequent years will start to showcase the stinkers.

Here is this year’s expertly curated list:

  1. The Snowman (1982)
  2. The Santa Clause (1994)
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  4. Scrooged (1988)
  5. Jingle All The Way (1996)
  6. Elf (2003)
  7. Home Alone (1990)
  8. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  9. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
  11. Die Hard (1988)
  12. A Christmas Story (1983)

Starting on the 14th and finishing on the 25th, you will get 12 days of fun and excitement. So, without further ado…

NFL Late Season Picks

With just 4 games left things are starting to take shape. Heres how I think its going to go down.

AFC East: Patriots (9-3)
With a 3 game lead, the Patriots can clinch the division next week in Miami. Even if the Dolphins pull something off they will have to win out and hope for help from the Bills and Jets.

AFC North: Bengals Steelers (7-4-1)
The Bengals have lost all 4 games since my last prediction and 6 of their last 7. That is not the makings of a playoff team. The Steelers should be able to hold the Ravens off.

AFC South: Texans (9-3)
Its hard to bet against a team that has won 9 straight going into December. Especially when their remaining 4 opponents dont have a single winning record.

AFC West: Chiefs (10-2)
The Chiefs are probably the best team in the AFC. The Chargers might just be the second best. The Chiefs have the easier remaining schedule but they face each other Thursday night week 15. That game could be the difference between a wildcard and first week bye.

AFC Wildcard: Chargers (9-3), Ravens (7-5)
The Chargers are going to get a wildcard if they dont win the division. They could easily go 12-4. As for the second spot, its a crap shoot. The fact that the 3-9 Jets are still officially in the hunt is a bit upsetting. Right now it goes to the Ravens and I just dont know if theres anybody left to take it from them.

NFC East: Redskins Cowboys (7-5)
Without Alex Smith, the Redskins have fallen apart. Pair that with 4 straight wins from the Cowboys and I have to change my pick. The Eagles could put something together but its unlikely.

NFC North: Bears (8-4)
I really though this division would be more competitive. The Lions and Packers are done. The Vikings will have to win out and get some help. Look like the Bears are going to the playoffs.

NFC South: Saints (10-2)
This is another division that I thought would be more competitive. Even with a loss this week, the Saints have pretty much wrapped things up. Like the Vikings, the Panthers would have to win out (including 2 games against the Saints) to have a chance. Even then they would need help.

NFC West: Rams (11-1)
The Rams have not only clinched their division but they are one win from locking down a first round bye as well.

NFC Wildcard: Panthers Seahawks (7-5), Vikings (6-5-1)
There are really only 3 teams worth a damn in the NFC. There are several teams that could wind up in the wildcard games for the NFC. The Panthers and Eagles have a shot but their schedules are incredibly hard the rest of the way.

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NFL Power Rankings – Week 13

The Saints got stunned by the Cowboys this week and the Chiefs had an easy game. Combine this with a win in Detroit for the Rams and they take a commanding lead.

RankTeamScoreWinsLossesTiesChange
1Rams681110Same
2Saints531020Same
3Chiefs521020Same
4Patriots40930Same
5Texans38930Same
6Chargers34930Same
7Steelers22741Down 1
8Bears16840Down 2
9Seahawks15750Same
10Cowboys14750Up 5
11Broncos11660Up 2
12Ravens10750Down 1
13Titans7660Up 4
14Vikings5651Down 4
15Redskins-1660Down 3
16Eagles-3660Up 5
17Panthers-4660Down 4
18Bengals-6570Down 3
19Dolphins-8660Up 2
19Colts-8660Down 2
21Browns-15471Down 1
22Buccaneers-17570Up 4
23Packers-20471Down 4
24Falcons-21480Down 1
25Jaguars-22480Up 2
25Lions-22480Same
25Bills-22480Down 1
28Giants-27480Up 1
29Cardinals-40390Up 1
30Jets-43390Down 2
31Raiders-482100Same
3249ers-582100Same

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NFL Power Rankings – Week 12

There are three teams that continue to dominate week after week, even when they lose to one another. The Rams, Saints and Chiefs look to be unstoppable.

The next bunch is a combination of teams that are red hot right now and is just what the league needs to make the playoffs interesting. If anyone else wants to make the playoffs they are going to have to upset the Patriots, Texans, Steelers, Bears and Chargers.

RankTeamScoreWinsLossesTiesChange
1Rams581010Same
2Saints551010Same
3Chiefs44920Same
4Patriots31830Up 1
5Texans28830Up 1
6Steelers23731Down 2
6Bears23830Up 2
6Chargers23830Up 1
9Seahawks11650Up 5
10Vikings10641Up 3
11Ravens8650Up 1
12Redskins5650Down 3
13Broncos3560Up 7
13Panthers3650Down 3
15Bengals2560Down 4
15Cowboys2650Up 2
17Titans0560Down 2
17Colts0650Up 2
19Packers-8461Down 2
20Browns-9461Up 4
21Eagles-10560Up 2
21Dolphins-10560Down 5
23Falcons-12470Down 2
24Bills-14470Up 1
25Lions-17470Down 3
26Buccaneers-19470Same
27Jaguars-28380Down 1
28Jets-33380Up 1
29Giants-34380Down 1
30Cardinals-41290Same
31Raiders-44290Same
3249ers-50290Same

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