"Every NFL Team in playoff position liked Christmas a lot ...
But the Grinches, whose seasons had already ended, did not!"

OK, that may not be the exact line from Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!", but it might as well be. At the end of every NFL season, there are a group of teams fighting for the final playoff spots and a group of teams mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

But don't think the eliminated teams have nothing to play for. For some teams, there is no better feeling than spoiling an opponent's season. Keeping a rival out of the postseason can taste even better than Christmas Eve eggnog.

Here is a list of this year's potential grinches, who can steal Christmas from the "Whos" trying to make the playoffs. These teams will not have postseason football in their stockings, but all eight have a chance to make sure their opponents' do not have it either.

Note: Four of these teams lost to the Jets during the regular season. No wonder they may be bitter.

NFL Grinches: Who Can Spoil Playoff Hopes? Slideshow


Philadelphia Eagles (4-10)

In 1968, Philadelphia fans threw snowballs at Santa Claus. In 2012, the Eagles' players have their own opportunity to play Bad Santa. The Eagles battle two division rivals, the Redskins and the Giants, in what may be Andy Reid's final two games as head coach. Both teams control their own destiny for a playoff berth (the Redskins for the NFC East and the Giants for a Wild Card spot). Both could also see their seasons grinched in the final weeks by the Eagles.


Kansas City Chiefs (2-12)

Arrowhead Stadium could be the site of a gut-wrenching blow for the Colts. Indianapolis needs just one win to clinch a playoff spot. With a Week 17 matchup against the AFC-leading Texans looming, the Colts will be bringing most of their marbles to Kansas City. The Chiefs are currently tied for the NFL's worst record at 2-12, but do not sleep on a potential spoiler. The team also gets a Week 17 Grinch game in Denver to try to damage the division rival Broncos' bid for a first-round bye.


Arizona Cardinals (5-9)

The Cardinals may have the pleasure of dropping the final weight on the Bears' free fall. Chicago already needs help as it is, so a Week 16 loss would all but end the Bears' season. If angering Jay Cutler is not a satisfying enough Christmas gift, the Cardinals also may have a shot in Week 17 to strip the division rival 49ers of a first-round bye.


Cleveland Browns (5-9)

Before the Chiefs get a crack at Peyton Manning, the Browns get a chance to knock the Broncos out of first-round bye position. If they fail to spoil in Denver, the Browns will be licking their chops for a Week 17 bout in Pittsburgh. Depending on the result of the Steelers' Week 16 game against the Bengals, the showdown at Heinz Field could determine Pittsburgh's playoff fate.


St. Louis Rams (6-7-1)

At 6-7-1, the Rams need a near miracle to slip past the four 8-6 teams vying for the final NFC playoff spot. Despite what happens against the Buccaneers in Week 16, St. Louis will likely enter Week 17 with nothing to play for. That is, nothing but spoiling the division rival Seahawks' season. The Rams can become the first team to win in Seattle all season. They can also sour the New Years' Eve celebration in the Great Northwest.


Detroit Lions (4-10)

The Lions can damage the Falcons' hopes at a first-round bye in Week 16, but more importantly, the team hosts the division rival Bears in Week 17. If Chicago slips past Arizona in Week 16, Detroit would happily strip the Bears of a possible playoff ticket in the final week.


New Orleans Saints (6-8)

A tumultuous season in New Orleans is coming to a close, but not without a little more controversy. Rumors swirled in the past week regarding the possibility of Sean Payton not returning to the Saints in 2013. Much of the gossip hinted at the suspended coach taking over the Cowboys job next season. New Orleans has a chance in Week 16 to prove its superiority, as the Saints go to Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys are currently tied for the NFC East lead, but that can change with a few deep passes by Drew Brees.


Buffalo Bills (5-9)

Mathematically speaking, the Dolphins are still not eliminated from playoff contention. The Bills can end those hopes during the early set of Week 16 games. Buffalo also would have had a shot to end the Jets' season in Week 17, but that ship has sailed. As a consolation, the Bills get a shot at ruining Greg McElroy's second career start.

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