NFL flexes Week 17 Saints-Panthers game to late afternoon time slot

John Sigler
·1 min read

The NFL playoff picture is taking shape, but the final seeding positions are still uncertain, so you’d expect some teams to commit to scoreboard-watching in Week 17 to see how other matchups might impact them. To discourage that, the NFL has shuffled the schedule for the final week of the regular season.

It means that the New Orleans Saints will kick off with the Carolina Panthers (on Fox) at 3:25 p.m. CT, having previously been scheduled for a meeting at noon. Their game will run at the same time as games between several playoff competitors:

A Packers loss and Seahawks win (as well as a Saints victory) would trigger a three-way tie for the No. 1 seed, which New Orleans would clinch by virtue of a stronger conference record. But the Cardinals-Rams matchup is worth watching, too; if the Bears lose, they’re out of contention for the No. 7 seed, meaning those two NFC West squads would be competing for the No. 6 and 7 spots.

But no one will go into their games knowing exactly where they’ll be seeded. It’s shaping up for as explosive a Week 17 slate as the NFL could hope for.

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New Orleans Saints know their 2021 opponents, except for one