The NFL’s Week 18 schedule has not yet been revealed, but they did announce that the Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders and the AFC South title between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars will take place on Saturday.
This is important if only because Titans-Jaguars seems like a no-brainer decision to be Game 272 on ‘Sunday Night Football’ to end the regular season; the winner is a division champ and the loser is out of the playoffs. Alas, that will be on ESPN on a Saturday instead.
The final NFC wild card spot will be among the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers. Seattle is taking on the Los Angeles Rams, while the Lions and Packers meet at Lambeau Field. It would be logical to assume that the Seahawks and Packers games should be played concurrently, as has been the standard over the past several years.
And yet, Lions-Packers could be the Sunday Night Football game, which has not been announced and doesn’t exactly have many viable options now that Titans-Jaguars is on Saturday. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals could play for the AFC North title, but that is dependent on the Bengals losing to the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, or else Cincy wins the division.
Only the Packers and New England Patriots have a “win-and-in” scenario, and their games are the most obvious candidates for SNF. New England at Buffalo may have meaning for the Bills if they haven’t clinched the #1 seed by then, so we’ll see if the Bengals game impacts anything.
If the Lions-Packers is Game 272, that could really screw over the Seahawks. A Seattle win over the Rams would eliminate the Lions and give them nothing to play for apart from spoiler status, and Detroit would know that result in advance. If the Seahawks lose... then the NFL gets a “win-and-in” out of Lions-Packers and everything would work out.
Week 18 is still TBA from #NFL. Rumors that GB/Detroit would be #SNF which would be a brutal blow for #Seahawks Since IF the Hawks win, Lions are eliminated before they kickoff in Green Bay. Huge advantage for Packers. Only makes sense if you believe league wants GB in playoffs..— Ian Furness (@IanFurnessSea) January 2, 2023
Hopefully these two games are played simultaneously to avoid any headaches.
We will know the full NFL schedule on Monday.