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December 28, 2008|By KEN MURRAY

Gruden the Grinch?

Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in the 2002 season with a great stretch run. But in six years since, Gruden is just 9-16 in December, including 0-3 this month. The team's latest slide means the Bucs need help today to return to the playoffs this season.

Taking his last shot

There is no chance coach Romeo Crennel can keep his job after the Browns' 4-11 collapse this season. In four years, he has yet to beat the Steelers. He said last week that he hopes for a chance to make his case with owner Randy Lerner, but that time is gone.

Future on line

The Vikings started the season with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback and after two games turned to Gus Frerotte. Injury has brought Jackson back the past two weeks. His future in Minneapolis could be decided today when he faces the Giants with the NFC North title on the line.

Big-game drought

After an ugly loss to the Ravens nearly knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs last weekend, QB Tony Romo gets another chance today to win a big game in December at Philadelphia. He will be under tremendous pressure to save the Cowboys' season.

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