Both Christmas games have major playoff implications

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals
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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.

30 responses to “Both Christmas games have major playoff implications

  1. I really love games like these two, I find myself although I know they pretty much well won’t win but I like the underdogs in these cause anything could happen today.
    My reality check is green bay and indy.

  2. There is no such thing as “first place in the wild card race”, just call it hughest seed or something. First wild card is misleading as it’s at best the 2nd place in the division.

  3. But was has the most implications is when and how severe of a covid outbreak all teams will have. You cant be safe and play at the same time. Unfortunately,even if u feel fine, cant play if test positive.

  4. The Browns could be looking at their quarterback for next year today. I think we all know by now Mayfield is not the answer.

  5. Even if the Packers win today, they face some headwinds as they have to play the Vikings next week, who own them and will no doubt beat the Packers in the wind swept tundra that is Green Bay.

  6. GB by 21 because the league won’t allow anything other than GB as the #1 seed. The zebras have clear instructions, they were told to not make it as obvious as last week though, and to keep one hand on the flag at all times. If Karen’s pass even remotely looks like it will over shoot the WR, that flag gets thrown, especially on 3rd down and out of FG range. The leagues got this.

  7. “they have to play the Vikings next week, who own them and will no doubt beat the Packers”

    While that could very well happen, there is also chance that this game could be the final nail in Zimmerman’s coffin. He wouldn’t be the first coach to be fired after a late season game in Green Bay.

  8. If the Packers win today, which is by NO means a given, even the Browns fans can take heart in knowing we’re one step closer to being able to talk football in a reasonable manner around here.

    After the Rams dismantle the Vikings tomorrow, these last few diehard purples will go into hiding with the others, right up until Minnesota hires yet another “best head coach in the NFL.”

  9. So tired of this “who the league wants to win” nonsense.
    “The refs have their instructions” is insulting.
    Please stop printing idiot’s blathering.
    It’s insulting to us.

  10. Knowing the Packers they’ll probably beat the Browns and Vikings then go lay an egg in Detroit.

  11. Congrats to Green Bay on clinching their inevitable playoff loss…can’t wait to watch which team they collapse against.

  12. I’ll be amazed if Cleveland isn’t squashed today – hope the game is at least entertaining. Merry Christmas to all – even the cheeser trolls Vike fans must endure every day.

  13. But was has the most implications is when and how severe of a covid outbreak all teams will have. You cant be safe and play at the same time. Unfortunately,even if u feel fine, cant play if test positive.

    More evidence of tyrannical compliance. There is absolutely no point to the protocols anymore.

  14. People have such short term memory with the refs & owners. They’re blinded by envy. Your team wins, you forget about the scandals and the nfl wins again

  15. oldleatherlips says:
    December 25, 2021 at 9:12 am
    Even if the Packers win today, they face some headwinds as they have to play the Vikings next week, who own them and will no doubt beat the Packers in the wind swept tundra that is Green Bay.
    —————————
    The Packers lead the all time series 63-55-3. The Vikings do not own the Packers or a Super Bowl trophy!!!

  16. After watching the Cards get embarrassed by Detroit last week how can anyone think they’ll beat the Rams?

  17. I have to give Viking fans credit, since they have upped their game to include “the league” as well as “the refs” for the fact that the Packers are headed to the playoffs. Whoever’s in charge, they have to spend a lot of time on the microchips inside all the footballs, making sure they fly and bounce exactly the right way. It must be fun to live in a constant state of paranoia; you always have someone to blame for random happenings and your own failures.

  18. Indy has three starters out from their O-line: Glowinski, Kelly, Nelson. Defense will have to step up big-time. So will Wentz…if he gets time. Not likely. And I am a Colts fan.

  19. Christmas in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. It’s like a Norman Rockwell painting depicting the very best of Americana.

  20. Packers will be up 35-0. Mayfield will have 3 INTs and come down with another phantom “injury” like his fake knee injury vs the Pats

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