All of a sudden, the Chargers are one of the best teams in the league. It’s too bad they’ve waited until now to show it. (Denis Poroy/AP)

1. I wish that my in-laws will understand when I sneak out of the family holiday lunch on Saturday to watch the Giants-Jets game. The winner of the game won’t necessarily make the playoffs, and the loser of the game won’t necessarily be knocked out, but it still has a “must-win” feel for both teams. The fact that they are two New York-area teams that share a stadium only heightens the tension, as does the fact that at least a dozen teams will be affected by the outcome of the game.

2. I wish that the Chargers had played all season like they played Sunday against the Ravens. Right now, the Chargers might be one of the best teams in the league. They look sharper than the Ravens, Steelers, Broncos and Jets. But those six games in a row that they lost count, too. While they’re still alive for a playoff birth, the chances of the Chargers sneaking in now seem awfully slim, which should be a relief to the other playoff teams.

3. I wish that Larry Fitzgerald had someone to get the ball to him like Kurt Warner once did. Fitzgerald is a transcendent talent, something that is often forgotten not only because he doesn’t play in a major market, but because neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton have been able to find him the way that Warner always did. Go back and watch some highlights of the Cardinals’ 2009 Super Bowl run if you want a refresher on what Fitzgerald can do.

4. I wish that Adrian Peterson were joking. Hampered by a serious high ankle sprain, Peterson told reporters that he was going to play last Sunday against the Saints because he wanted to help those fans who had him on their fantasy teams. If he was joking, it was funny. But I don’t think he was.


Did Adrian Peterson really say he was returning from injury for his fantasy owners? (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

6. I wish that James Harrison would learn something from his suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Colt McCoy. But I doubt he will. If you read his interview in Men's Journal last summer, you know that James Harrison is not an individual prone to introspection.

7. I wish that Chiefs and Dolphins fans realize that their victories last weekend don’t justify the terminations of their coaches. Both teams were already playing well after rough starts, and neither coach deserved to lose his job. That said, I hope Romeo Crennel gets a shot to keep coaching the Chiefs into next season. (I don’t think Todd Bowles has a shot at the Dolphins job. The Dolphins appear intent to fish for a big name like Jeff Fisher.)

8. I wish that everyone who claims he thought the 49ers were a playoff team all along would remember what he really said before the season started. All the pre-season speculation that Jim Harbaugh would tank the season just so he could reunite with his Stanford QB Andrew Luck? Everyone has forgotten that now. Harbaugh and his staff have done a phenomenal job with virtually the same team that seemed to have quit on Mike Singletary last year.

9. I wish the Eagles had played all season like they’re playing now. They’re the East Coast version of the Chargers. It’s probably too late for them to sneak into the playoffs now, but if they do they’ll be dangerous. And you better believe they’ll be watching that Jets-Giants game on Saturday. They need the Jets to knock off the Giants this week, then they need the Giants to knock off the Cowboys next week. Oh, and they also need to win both of their games.

10. I wish everyone hadn’t given up on Reggie Bush, myself included. On Sunday, he looked like the same player he was at USC. You may never forgive him for the transgressions that caused him to return the Heisman and led to USC’s probation, but he could finally be turning into the player almost everyone thought he could be. Now, if they would just stop running those Pizza Hut ads of his every five minutes, we could all enjoy the holidays.

Dec. 16 — 10 NFL holiday wishes: Perfect Packers, coaching second chances