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Ok, grinches, who do you NOT want to win the Super Bowl?Saints

Only a few more shopping days ‘til the playoffs!

by J.W. Miller on 12/18/18

I’m not going to take up much of your time today, seeing as how this is one of the busiest weeks of the year and you’ve probably got some Christmas shopping yet to do. So for the last time this year I will shamelessly suggest one or both of my books that appear in the right-hand column of this page. They are worth the read, and any purchases will go to the Miller children’s milk fund so they will have something to drink beside beer. But seriously …

Please don’t call the Saints’ 12-9 win at Carolina Monday night an “ugly” victory. Losses are ugly. Wins are beautiful, although sometimes the paths to glory are filled with pot holes. QB Drew Brees appeared to struggle for the third game in a row, but thank goodness the defense is playing as well as any unit in the NFL right now. 

Much of Brees' problems is due to the bumps and bruises along the offensive line. Starting left tackle Terron Armistead missed another game, and his backup Jermon Bushrod left the Carolina game with an ailment of his own. Andrus Peat moved over from left guard to play tackle, while seventh-rounder Will Clapp of LSU took over for Peat. Center Max Unger also went out, with an apparent concussion, which left undrafted second-year man Cameron Tom at snap. Attrition happens during the slog of a long season, and the Saints have been fortunate to have kept most of their core players healthy …

There are only a few more shopping days left until the playoffs. The good news is that the Saints have a two-game lead over the Rams and Bears and need to win one of their final two games to assure the critical No. 1 seed for home field throughout the playoffs. If the Saints lose to Pittsburgh and Carolina, both home games, they could fall to No. 3 – and lose their first-round bye - if the Rams and Bears win out. The best scenario is for the Saints to beat Pittsburgh at home on Sunday, which would assure home-field and allow Coach Sean Payton to rest his starters in the finale against Carolina.  We might even get to see Teddy Bridgewater play a full game ... 

Mission accomplished with my trip to Kentucky this past week. I sold a few books after my presentation to the kind folks at the Georgetown-Scott County Museum, then the Wildcats played their best game of the season, defeating Utah by a couple of dozen points. They’ll need to continue their uptick against No. 9 North Carolina Saturday to establish the Christmas mood around the Bluegrass. Big Blue Nation will either find their stockings filled with the sugar plums and bourbon balls of hope for a ninth national championship or find them filled with the twigs and coal of disappointment ...

As for me, I’m going to join you in a little yuletide cheer and give you some relief from my weekly screed. I assure you I will be back in another week or so. Even if you don’t buy my books! 


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NFL Selections: 
Conference Championships

Take Saints v. Rams +3.5
Take Patriots +3 at Chiefs

Last week's results 1-3
Season results 46-44-3

Selections posted on Thursdays. Picks are for fun and is not a recommendation to bet.

RB Alvin Kamara scores one of his two touchdowns in the Saints' 45-35 win over the Rams on Nov. 4. The two teams square off again on Sunday and the winner goes to the Super Bowl.