The NFL on Monday flexed a Week 15 matchup between the Washington Commanders and the New York Giants into the 8:20 pm ET “Sunday Night Football” slot on NBC.
The New England Patriots-Las Vegas Raiders game initially slated for prime time on Dec. 18 will now be played at 4:05 pm ET on Fox. The league also announced three Saturday matchups for Dec. 17.
Saturday games won’t be broadcast nationally
The Indianapolis Colts will play the Minnesota Vikings at 1 pm ET, the Baltimore Ravens will play the Cleveland Browns at 4:30 pm ET and the Miami Dolphins will take on the Buffalo Bills in a high-stakes AFC East matchup at 8:15 pm ET. All three games will be played on NFL Network and over the airwaves in local markets. Fans outside of local markets without NFLN will have to make alternative plans to access the games.
High stakes for prime-time games
The Giants and Commanders played to a 20-20 tie on Sunday, leaving New York at 7-4-1 and Washington at 7-5-1. The result left the Giants as the NFC’s No. 6 seed in the playoff picture while a win by the Seattle Seahawks later in the day left them at 7-5 and in a position to secure the NFC’s seventh and final playoff spot. The Commanders are the first team outside the NFC playoff bubble. The Week 15 rematch with the Giants could ultimately end up determining a playoff spot. The Commanders have a bye in Week 14, while the Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles.
Meanwhile, the AFC East matchup on Dec. 17 could ultimately determine the division champion. The Bills took sole possession of first place in the AFC East in Week 14 with a Thursday win over the New England Patriots to improve to 9-3. A Dolphins loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday dropped them a game behind at 8-4. Barring a late-season slide, both teams are safely in playoff position. But the Week 15 matchup could decide who gets to play home games in the postseason. The Dolphins won a Week 3 matchup against the Bills and would hold the tiebreaker with a season sweep.