No NFL Thursday Night Football Game as Fans Wait for Christmas Eve

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NFL Week 16 does not kick off until Saturday, December 23.

There is no Thursday Night Football game on December 21st, so you have the evening free for last minute holiday shopping if you were planning on watching the NFL tonight. Fans can still get their football fix thanks to the college football bowl season as Temple squares off with FIU in the Gasparilla Bowl on ESPN at 8 p.m. Eastern.

For the NFL, Week 16 does not get started until Saturday, December 23 with two games kicking off the week. This means you have a few extra days to set your lineup if you are playing in your fantasy football championship. The Colts take on the Ravens at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network. Minnesota squares off with Green Bay at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. The game looked much more intriguing a few weeks ago, but Aaron Rodgers was placed on IR after the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention.

This week, there are four matchups that feature two teams fighting for an NFL playoff spot. The Falcons take on the Saints in a matchup with big NFC South implications. Atlanta won their earlier matchup two weeks ago, but New Orleans still has a game lead on the Falcons in the division. The Titans host the Rams, who sit in a prime position to win the NFC West. Tennessee is holding onto an AFC Wild Card spot, but a loss would shake up the playoff picture.

New England takes on Buffalo, and both teams would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today. The Patriots have already won the AFC East, but are still fighting with the Jaguars and Steelers for the top seed. The Bills sit in the final playoff spot with little margin for error heading into the final two weeks of the season. Finally, the Cowboys host the Seahawks with both teams fighting for an NFC Wild Card position.

This week is an interesting look at what the NFL schedule would look like without Thursday Night Football. Thursday games have been criticized by players for the increased injury risk with the shortened recovery time. It has also been criticized by fans, at times, for the poor quality of play that often occurs.

Here’s a look at the NFL Week 16 schedule which stretches over a three-day period this holiday weekend.


NFL Week 16 Schedule: Saturday, December 23

GAMETIME (ET)/TV CHANNEL
Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens 4:30 p.m./NFL Network
Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers 8:30 p.m./NBC

2017 Christmas Eve NFL Schedule

GAMETIME (ET)/TV CHANNEL
Cleveland Browns vs. Chicago Bears1 p.m./CBS
Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals1 p.m./Fox
L.A. Rams vs. Tennessee Titans1 p.m./Fox
Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs1 p.m./CBS
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots1 p.m./CBS
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints1 p.m./Fox
L.A. Chargers vs. N.Y. Jets1 p.m./CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins1 p.m./CBS
Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Carolina Panthers1 p.m./Fox
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers4:05 p.m./CBS
Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys4:25 p.m./Fox
New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals4:25 p.m./Fox

NFL Christmas Day Schedule

GAMETIME (ET)/TV CHANNEL
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans4:30 p.m./NBC & NFL Network
Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles8:30 p.m./ESPN

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