Please remind your children that Santa’s a huge football fan, and leave him some football snacks like chips, pizza, wings and brown pop instead of the traditional milk and cookies.
In honour of Santa and his great team of reindeers, here are The Freak’s annual reindeer awards:
Vixen is tough and would be the first to pull Santa’s sleigh through any injury. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wins it again, playing two weeks after knee surgery.
Cupid never lived up to Santa’s expectations, and this goes to this season’s biggest bust. Three players come to mind – Allen Robinson, DeAndre Hopkins and Todd Gurley. Give it Gurley.
Prancer is known for having an attitude, and that’s Odell Beckum. Without a doubt, he’s one of the top receivers in the game and is the most exciting player in the NFL with the ball in his hands, but needs to tone down all the other stuff.
Dancer has great moves and can run like the wind, which sounds like impressive rookie Ezekiel Elliott.
Dasher is known for his ability to run fast and get open. That is the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, who leads the NFL with 96 catches.
Comet is known to run with any reindeer during their football games. The coverage skills of the Giants’ Janoris Jenkins is one big reason the Gmen are in the playoff hunt.
Donner persevered through many hoof injuries, so this award goes to the comeback player of the year. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, with 10.5 sacks, came back from a bad Achilles injury at age 34.
Blizten loves to blitz during reindeer football games. The Falcons’ Vic Beasley is a rising star, and leads the NFL in sacks with 14.5.
Rudolph is Santa’s top reindeer, and the top player in the NFL is Derek Carr. Where would the Raiders be without him? He loves playing the game, plays through injuries and many big comebacks.
Stat of the week
Cards running back David Johnson became the first player in history to have at least 100 yards from scrimmage in the first 14 games of a season.
Bonehead play of the week
The officials in the Seahawks-Rams’ game had three incorrect spots in the first quarter of this game that Pete Carroll had to challenge. Come on, coaches shouldn’t need to waste challenges on the spot of the football!
The Vikings laid an egg at home against the Colts – it’s Christmas and not Easter. They need to win in Green Bay to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Not a chance as the Packers are hot.
The Patriots need to beat the Jets at home for the first seed in the AFC. The Jets are experimenting with a new quarterback. Experimenting against Coach Belichick is a recipe for disaster. Pats in a romp.
Santa loves his home in the North Pole like Seattle loves playing at their nest. The Seahawks are battling for the second seed in the NFC, and Cards are playing out the season. Take the Seahawks.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
Santa has to travel across many time zones to deliver the goods, and the Chargers have to travel across the county to cold Cleveland. It’s a meaningless game except to the Browns, who want to win one game this year. Don’t underestimate the Browns, but the Chargers will pull it out in the end.
Tampa has lots to play for in New Orleans. The Bucs need a divisional win to stay in the wild-card race. Tampa delivers a win like Santa delivers presents.
Kansas City lost a tough one to Tennessee, but won’t lose two in a row at home, especially to division rival Denver. Chiefs win.
The hometown Panthers want to salvage some of the season, and play their hated divisional rivals – Atlanta Falcons.
Best Christmas gift for Panthers’ fans is a win. In a shootout, take Carolina.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Last week: 4-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.