- The Washington Times - Friday, December 26, 2008


The Heat host the Bulls in a showcase of the top two picks from June’s NBA Draft - Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Miami’s Michael Beasley. 5 p.m., ESPN


NFL final weekend - Somehow Norv Turner has the Chargers playing for the playoffs Sunday in a do-or-die game against the Broncos for the AFC West crown. The AFC East race is also up for grabs along with the NFC South, NFC North and wild card spots in both conferences. Maybe most notably, 0-16 could become a reality when the Lions visit the Packers at Lambeau Field - a place Detroit hasn’t won since 1991.

Wizards host Thunder - OK, so it’s not the “best” this weekend has to offer, but Saturday’s game at Verizon Center between two teams with a combined 7-49 record has that can’t-look-away, train-wreck quality that some find thoroughly enjoyable.

Two full English Premier League slates - Fans of English soccer get two week’s worth of games in one weekend. Friday’s highlight is struggling Arsenal’s trip to third-place Aston Villa, while Sunday’s top tilt is Newcastle’s home match against first-place Liverpool.


David Elfin ranks the NFL from top to bottom. Here’s a look at the top of the heap:

1. Giants - The comeback in the cold against Carolina cemented New York’s hold on the top spot in the rankings along with home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. Derrick Ward’s 215 rushing yards showed how dangerous this offense can be even without Plaxico Burress. New York played well in last year’s meaningless finale. Will it do the same at Minnesota?

2. Titans - Having lost two of its last four and having had a 10-0 lead become a 14-10 deficit, Tennessee could have swooned against visiting Pittsburgh on Sunday. Instead, the Titans outscored the Steelers 21-0 the rest of the way to clinch home-field advantage in the AFC. Tennessee, 7-1 at home, could be headed to its first Super Bowl in nine years.

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