The NFL got lucky with the scheduling of its two Christmas games, as both games (Browns-Packers at 4:30 p.m. ET and Colts-Cardinals at 7:15) have major playoff implications.
The 11-3 Packers are currently in the lead to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which comes with a bye week and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. If the Packers win all three of their remaining games they’ll be the No. 1 seed, but a loss to the Browns today would significantly hinder their chances and make the race for the top spot wide open over the final three weeks of the season.
The 7-7 Browns are currently on the outside looking in to the AFC playoff picture, but with an upset today in Green Bay, they would suddenly have a clear path to the playoffs, with games remaining against the division rival Steelers and Bengals. A loss today doesn’t eliminate the Browns from playoff contention, but it does make them extreme long shots.
The 10-4 Cardinals are locked in a tough battle with the Rams for the NFC West title. A win today would keep the Cardinals as the favorites in their division, as they own the division record tiebreaker over the Rams. But a loss today would drop the Cardinals behind the Rams in the division and make Arizona more likely to have to start the playoffs on the road as a wild card.
The 8-6 Colts need a win in Arizona today to stay alive in the AFC South race; if the Colts lose the Titans clinch the division. And with a win today the Colts would stay in first place in the wild card race and make Indianapolis almost certain to make the playoffs.
Both Christmas games have major playoff implications originally appeared on Pro Football Talk