The NFL has made their alterations to the Week 17 schedule and the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Chargers will all be playing at 4:25 p.m. Eastern. Two of the teams will end the day happy and two will start the new year off at home.
Buffalo, Baltimore, and Tennessee were all originally scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Eastern but with playoff spots on the line, the NFL decided it would be best if all four teams were playing at the same time, necessitating the move. The NFL reserves the right to change the Week 17 schedule to better ensure competitiveness and this move looks to be for that reason.
In a somewhat surprising twist, the NFL didn’t flex any game to Sunday night as has been custom. Instead, all the games and playoff spots will be wrapped up by 8:00 p.m.
Currently, the 9-6 Ravens hold the 5th spot while the 8-7 Titans cling to a tiebreaker lead over the Bills and Chargers.
For the Bills, they need to beat the Miami Dolphins then hope for one of two scenarios to happen:
- Baltimore Ravens lose to Cincinnati Bengals
- Tennessee Titans loses/tie to Jacksonville Jaguars + Los Angeles Chargers loses/ties to Oakland Raiders
All of them will be taking place at 4:25 and it will be up to the networks to keep up abreast of all the games at the same time. During the drought, the Bills have never missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. It’s never been that close.
The move will certainly cause some consternation in households around the country as well-planned New Years Eve dinner reservations go up in smoke. Good luck out there.