GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers will be playing for the No. 2 seed. The Minnesota Vikings will be playing for a wild card berth.
And they’ll be doing it at 3:25 p.m. CST next Sunday from the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The NFL and NBC announced during the fourth quarter of the San Francisco-Seattle game on Sunday Night Football that the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game next Sunday night – essentially the NFC East title game – had been flexed into the prime-time slot on NBC.
In turn, the Packers-Vikings game – presumably the other game under consideration for the prime-time position – was moved from its scheduled noon start to the afternoon game on FOX. The league also moved the New England-Miami game to a late afternoon start on CBS.
Most markets will see four Sunday day games (two on CBS and two on FOX) plus the NBC Sunday night game with the NFL’s Week 17 double doubleheader schedule, which was introduced in 2006.
The NFC North-champion Packers (11-4) control their own destiny in the race for the NFC’s No. 2 seed and the first-round playoff bye that comes with it because of the 49ers’ loss to the Seahawks. San Francisco (10-4-1) plays at home against the Arizona Cardinals next week in a game that will also kick off at 3:25 p.m. CST.
The Atlanta Falcons (13-2) secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC with their victory on Saturday night. The Vikings (9-6) would clinch the NFC’s final wild-card playoff berth with a victory over the Packers, regardless of what the other contending teams (Chicago, the New York Giants) do.
The Vikings could still make the playoffs at 9-7 if the Bears, Cowboys and Giants all lose next weekend.
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There are no games scheduled for today.