The Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North with a big win on “Monday Night Football,” but plenty remains up in the air on the NFL playoff horizon.
With that in mind, the NFL changed the start time for six games with playoff implications with one additional game changing channels.
The big change is “Sunday Night Football,” which will now feature the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks after the slot had previously been left blank.
Here are the other changes to the Week 17 schedule (all times are Eastern):
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals: 1 p.m. on CBS to 1 p.m. on Fox
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: 1 p.m. on CBS to 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: 1 p.m. on CBS to 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: 1 p.m. on CBS to 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: 1 p.m. on FOX to 4:25 p.m. on Fox
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys: 1 p.m. on FOX to 4:25 p.m. on Fox
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks: 4:25 p.m. on FOX to 8:20 p.m. on NBC
What is on the line for these changed games?
Most of the playoff implications are easy enough to see. With the exception of the Browns-Bengals game, which only changed channel, all of the playoff games have been moved to the same time so no team can benefit from knowing how another game ended.
The Eagles can win the NFC North with a win, while the Cowboys will need a win and an Eagles loss. The SNF winner will take the NFC West. However, things get complicated with the second AFC wild card.
The Steelers and Titans are tied at 8-7, and the Raiders barely trail at 7-8. The Colts are also 7-8 but won’t be able to make it because they already lost to the Steelers and Raiders. However, the Colts can still impact the race, even if it won’t benefit themselves.
The Titans have a tiebreaker over the Steelers due to strength of schedule, but if both teams lose and the Colts win, the Colts would leapfrog the Titans in the AFC South. That would likely leave the wild card to the Raiders if they win, or the Steelers if Oakland loses.
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