That's the question asked by NFL clubs this week as Christmas approaches and visions of just one gift dance in their heads -- a trip to the playoffs.
Five teams already are in. In Week 15, four more can earn berths. With three weeks to go in the season, 23 clubs are in contention for Super Bowl XXXVI. This week, 11 of the 15 games on the schedule have postseason ramifications, including New Orleans at Tampa Bay.
"Obviously, the team that wins this game will have the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage and put the other team in a situation where you're just hoping for somebody else to help you," says Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy. "That's the way we've got to look at it. We've got to win this game and put ourselves in position where we don't need any help."
Miami @ New England -- 1:30 p.m. EST Saturday
Dolphins lead all-time series 43-26. Miami is an NFL-best 9-4 in Saturday games, and has won 19 games at Foxboro -- the most at any road venue. Six of the past nine meetings have been decided by three points or less.
Philadelphia @ San Francisco -- 5 p.m. EST Saturday
49ers lead all-time series 14-6-1. Eagles have won nine in a row on the road (6-0 this year). San Francisco CB Ahmed Plummer (seven INTs) can become the first 49er with eight since Ronnie Lott's 10 in 1986.
Tennessee @ Oakland -- 9 p.m. EST Saturday
Raiders lead all-time series 20-15. Titans QB Steve McNair is 2-0 all-time vs. Oakland. He has won 10 of past 11 December/January regular-season starts with 18 TDs and only four INTs.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay -- 1 p.m. EST
Saints lead all-time series 13-6. Buccaneers WR Keyshawn Johnson is on pace to tie Herman Moore's NFL record of 123 catches. He needs 227 receiving yards to break the club record set by Mark Carrier (1,422 in 1989).
Cleveland @ Green Bay -- 4:15 p.m. EST
Packers lead all-time series 8-6. Green Bay RB Ahman Green can become the first player in club history to lead the team in rushing and receiving in consecutive seasons. Last NFL player to do it: Roger Craig, 49ers, 1987-88.
New York @ Indianapolis -- 8:30 p.m. EST
Colts lead all-time series 38-24 -- most wins against any foe. Indianapolis plays its final AFC East game (moving to AFC South in 2002). Colts aim for fourth consecutive victory vs. Jets at RCA Dome.
Best for last
Falcons QB Chris Chandler leads the NFL with a 111.6 fourth-quarter passer rating. Has completed 68.1 percent of his passes and has five TDs vs. two INTs in the fourth quarter.
Chicago has won 10 games for first time since 1991. Part of that success can be attributed to QB Jim Miller, who has passed for a career high 1,790 yards and 10 TDs (2,144 yards, 10 TDs in previous seven years combined).
Cincinnati's defense forced six turnovers in its last game vs. Baltimore. DE Justin Smith has an NFL rookie-high 7 1/2 sacks, and needs 1.0 to break the club rookie mark (James Francis, 8.0 in 1990).
Ride 'em, Cowboys
Dallas is 19-3 in the past 22 regular-season meetings vs. Arizona (and lead series 52-25-1). The Cowboys have outscored the Cardinals 592-278 in those 22 games (average score: Dallas 26.9, Arizona 12.6).
Lions QB Mike McMahon played at North Allegheny (Pa.) High School. He completed 84 of 161 passes for 1,431 yards and rushed for 385 yards during his senior season in 1996. Detroit plays at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Eight is enough
Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith needs eight receptions for his second 100-catch season. He also tops the AFC with 18 catches of 20-plus yards and third-down scoring catches.
Flattery: Yellow fever
Pittsburgh is the NFL's hottest team, winners of six consecutive games. The Steelers have been a model of consistency at home (5-1) and on the road (6-1), and wrapped up the AFC Central last week.
Flag: Dawg Pound
C'mon, folks ... we agree the officials' decision was, at best, questionable. And we're not going to chastise those who littered the field with whatever was handy. Suffice to say, y'all know you did wrong.
Flattery: Proud Patriot
New England RB Antowain Smith needs 80 yards rushing for his first 1,000-yard season since 1998. He has 13 TD runs in the past 15 games. I knew I should have kept him on my fantasy roster ...
Flag: Dance Party, U.S.A.
It's not like we enjoyed seeing Bill Gramatica -- affectionately known as "Kazoo II" -- but.... And it was interesting that when brother Martin converted a FG attempt Sunday, he walked off the field sans the dancing.
Flattery: Keep on truckin'
Jaguars RB Stacey Mack, an undrafted free agent signee in 1999, had first career 100-yard game (28 carries, 115 yards) against the Browns. Entering this season, he had 185 rushing yards in his career.
Flag: Clipped wings
So, Baltimore ... what line of trash-talk is in order this week against Cincinnati? Comments about Takeo Spikes? Random thoughts on Corey Dillon? Better yet: How does humble pie taste?
CNNSI.com's James Quintong notes that for many fantasy football leagues the playoffs start this week. For many, it's time to do that last-minute Christmas shopping with much less guilt and anguish. A big reason why a lot of owners are not playing this week is that a number of players have been huge disappointments this season. Here's a look at several players who likely were taken very high in your draft, thus crippling your team in a big way right off the bat. Check out this week's Fantasy File.
Users sounded off on which teams should make a head-coaching change -- and who they would hire as the replacement:
Tampa Bay -- I like Tony Dungy, but his offensive schemes do not work. I think they need somebody like Bill Parcells. Victor, Miami
Minnesota -- I would change Dennis Green. I like the guy and what he has accomplished, but he does not have control of his "prissy" few players. To ignite some fire and get some control, I'd hire Jerry Glanville. Caesar, Fairfrax, Va.
Indianapolis -- The Colts should cut Jim Mora loose and hire the Ravens' defensive coordinator (Marvin Lewis). If they had a defense, they would be better than the Rams! Michael, Terre Haute, Ind.
Dallas -- Get rid of Dave Campo! Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson need to put their differences behind them and bring Jimmy back in as head coach! Carla, Nashville, Tenn.
Chicago -- Dick Jauron. Bears fans know the team's recent success has had nothing to do with the lame duck coach. Somebody please call Tony Dungy. Mike, Urbana, Ill.
Carolina -- The Panthers need to fire George Siefert and hire either Norv Turner or Jerry Glanville. Jared, Charlotte, N.C.
Cincinnati -- Fire Dick LeBeau! Its time to rebuild Cincy's offense and I think Tony Dungy is just the guy. J.W., Hindman, Ky.
San Diego -- With Mike Riley going, Tony Dungy should fill the spot. Tony's system could win big in the AFC, and Norv Turner could run the offense. Richard, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Kansas City -- Dick Vermeil's stubborness is killing the Chiefs. He didn't get a chance to win with Trent Green in St. Louis and he is destroying a storied franchise by trying to prove Green was the right man for the job three years ago. Bring in a coach who understands the QB position and the need for a QB who plays above the high school level, Gary Kubiak. Rich, Wichita, Kan.
This week's topic: Which player has been the most pleasant surprise of 2001?