Sunday night, in addition to Santa arriving on his sleigh, the NFL spent Christmas Eve reworking and flexing it’s schedule for playoff spot drama the final Sunday of regular season play. And, the Jaguars, Bucs and Dolphins final games are all on the move.
First, the Jaguars clinched the AFC South, when the Titans lost to the Rams. Then, Jacksonville lost themselves to the 49ers. Still, the NFL has moved their finale’ in Nashville to 4:25 Eastern on New Year’s Eve. This is because the league wants the Titans, Bills and Chargers (who are all 8-7) to play at the same time and battle it out for an AFC Wildcard Spot.
This means that the Dolphins, who lost to Kansas City and were eliminated Sunday, will play their home game with Buffalo at Hard Rock Stadium to 4:25, also. The Bills were beaten Sunday by New England. The Chargers, by the way, host Oakland and that game was always at the 1:25 Pacific time slot.
The Ravens are also in the mix for an AFC Wildcard spot at 9-6, control their own destiny, and will now host Cincinnati at 4:25 p.m. So, they are playing simultaneous to the Bills, Titans, and Chargers, too.
Next, in the NFC Wildcard and playoff picture: the NFL wants the Saints, who won Sunday over the Falcons to clinch a playoff spot to be playing at the same time as the L.A. Rams, who clinched the NFC West Sunday. They both have playoff seeding on the line.
So the Buccaneers home game at Raymond James Stadium moves to 4:25 p.m.
Also, the Panthers who defeated the Bucs Sunday to clinch a spot themselves, can still win the division (if they win and the Saints lose) and are battling for seeding, too. So, the NFL flexed their road game at Atlanta to 4:25 p.m.
The Falcons also have playoff possibilities riding on that game. If they win, or if Seattle loses to Arizona, the Falcons get a NFC Wildcard.
Got all that?
Bottom line is league originally had four scheduled games late in the day and now has nine in the those slots.
The drama will be wild all over the league.
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