Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned that their Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions would be played on Saturday, December 26. On Monday, the NFL announced that the Buccaneers and Lions would open a slate of three nationally-televised games on that date, all with potential playoff implications.
The Buccaneers and Lions will kick off at 1:00 p.m ET at Ford Field in Detroit. The game will be broadcast by NFL Network and will also be simulcast in the Bay area by WTSP, the local CBS affiliate.
Later, San Francisco will play at Arizona, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET. The trio of Saturday games concludes with Miami at Las Vegas at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Dolphins-Raiders game will also be carried by NFL Network while the 49ers-Cardinals tilt will be broadcast by Amazon/OTT, with both contests also simulcast on local networks.
The first two games of the day will likely factor into the NFC playoff race in the penultimate weekend of the season. After Week 12, the 7-5 Buccaneers and 6-5 Cardinals were in possession of the sixth and seventh spots, respectively, in the NFC postseason field. The 49ers, who improved to 5-6 on Sunday with a win over the Rams, may also still be in contention. The evening contest offers playoff intrigue, too, as the 7-4 Dolphins and 6-5 Raiders are part of a crowded AFC field.