We don't quite understand what's going on in the NFL this season. The league's perennial loser, Detroit, won a place in our hearts when they smashed the San Diego Chargers 38-10 to firm up a place in the 2011-12 NFL Play-Offs.
After an amazing start to the season, the 'D-Train' tailed off somewhat, and there were a lot of people (yours truly included) who believed it had completely derailed. But it didn't.
Then, this year's perennial loser, the Indianapolis Colts, won their second straight game of the year. That's form to you and me. Suddenly the Colts are in a tie for the worst record in the league - and what a time to start winning when you've got Andrew Luck waiting for you!
And next week they play Jacksonville, who have been pretty dreadful themselves. Anyway, if they win and either St Louis or Minnesota win, then it's the Rams or the Vikes who get the top pick. And sorry Vikings fans, we'd have Andrew Luck rather than Christian Ponder any day!
Oh, and a quick bit of props go to Drew Brees, who broke quite a big record on Monday night....
Anyway, with that said, Sky Sports blogger Alex Ferguson gives his thumbs up to those team performances which impressed him and the thumbs down to those that didn't. And since it's Christmas, there are a number of, ahem, presents, to give out...
Confirmed a play-off spot by routing San Diego. This team is going to be dangerous in the play-offs - if Matt Stafford can stay healthy and Calvin Johnson keeps on catching balls. By the way Calvin, thanks for the Transformers 3 video for Christmas. It'll be great watching you for 90 of the loudest minutes in film.
Weren't the Colts meant to lose every game to guarantee the hire of Andrew Luck? Weren't they meant to finish 0-16 and create a lot of laughs having the Grand Finale of the 2011-12 Season played at the Home of The Greatest Failure of the 2011-12 Season? Well, the 19-16 last-gasp victory over Houston gave them their second win in a row and pulls them into a tie for the most/least-wanted (depending on who you talk to) lead in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees made history on Monday night when he broke Dan Marino's passing record for yards in a season when he hit Darren Sproles for a TD. The ominous thing about it was him saying: "There's more to be done". And as for that statement, we can only think back to the start of the season, when they narrowly lost at Lambeau to the Packers. Who's betting against THAT happening again in the NFC Championship Game? If you are, you shouldn't be.
If I said to you at the start of the season that the Cincinnati Bengals were going into the last game favoured to get in the play-offs, you would have laughed at me, wouldn't you? Well, if the Bengals beat the already-guaranteed-a-play-off-spot Baltimore, then that's going to be the case. Let's hope the stadium fills up to support the 'Who Deys' for once. Hey, and they can all wear their "We Still Hate You [Owner Mike Brown] T-Shirts" if they want, just to show that they are supporting the team, not the owner.
We think it's safe to say that that Carolina Panthers won't need a quarterback to replace Cam Newton this year. The rookie has been sensational. And in the 48-16 mauling of Tampa Bay, Newton passed Peyton Manning's rookie passing record. Who said that the kid from Auburn was all about legs and nothing else? And a quick note for Jimmy Clausen: Leave. Now.
New York Giants
After royally shooting themselves in the foot against Washington, the Giants rebounded with a convincing 29-17 win over the 'Going The Wrong Way Fast' Jets. And although they aren't guaranteed the NFC East Title yet - a loss to the Jets could quite easily have put them out to pasture. It didn't. Now comes Sunday night's showdown with the Cowboys - in New Jersey. The winner goes to the play-offs - and the loser goes home.
Beat the snot out of the Denver Broncos - and made Tim Tebow look not only human, but also awful in the process. The Bill grabbed FOUR interceptions as they ran roughshod over 'Tebow's Boys'. And although they started this season brilliantly, before falling to the floor - the passion's still there for a Bills side, even if they really need a makeover.
Another convincing performance by the Eagles proves to us that Michael Vick's going to be the No.1 QB in Philly in 2012-13. But will Andy Reid be there to coach him now that Philly - that pseudo-Super Bowl team - have missed the play-offs?
After the win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders are still in with a shout of getting the play-offs. If they win and Denver loses, then 'Raider Nation' makes it. Now that WOULD be a tribute to Al Davis.
Hear that 'bombing sound'? That's not an alien; it's the sound of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos coming down to earth - just in time for the most important game of the young quarterback's career. As for the sound of the crash? We'll see how loud it is if Denver loses to Kansas City and Oakland beats now-out-of-it San Diego. It could be deafening.
New York Jets
The Jets - once a dark horse for the AFC East and perhaps a Super Bowl spot - picked a hell of a time to be terrible, didn't they? If the Jets don't beat Miami, then they aren't going to the play-offs. If they win, they still aren't favoured to go to the play-offs. Wow, Rex Ryan, what guarantees did you give about that at the start of the season?
St Louis Rams
The only great thing about their awfulness is that once again they will stock up on a good NFL draft pick. If the Rams don't get Andrew Luck (and then rid themselves of Sam Bradford, who's looking increasingly like an expensive, oft-injured bust), then can we recommend Alabama's unbelievable running back Trent Richardson. The kid will turn out to be better than Stephen Jackson.
The home loss to Philadelphia means that it's going to be squeaky-bum time at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. It's quite easy though - the winner of the game goes to the play-offs, and the loser ends up with nothing. Gulp.
San Diego Chargers
A few weeks of joy don't make up for the fact that this is a very poor Chargers side. Norv Turner will be seen exiting in the building in the next week or so. And he won't be coming back!
Sorry, how many rebuilding years are the Skins going to have before owner Dan Snyder simply rids himself of the front office, including the coach? Probably not many, folks!