Week 18 Raiders vs Chargers flexed to Sunday Night Football

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It’s official: The NFL is saving the best for last. The Raiders vs Chargers season finale has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, making it the game upon which the 2021 NFL regular season will end.

What was originally a 1:25 pm (4:25 pm ET) start time will now kick off at 5:20 pm Pacific time (8:20 pm ET) at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Three games were going to be flexed for the finale — two to Saturday and one to Sunday night — and with the Raiders beating the Colts Sunday, that set the stage for a very possible ‘win and you’re in’ scenario for both the Chargers and the Raiders.

The only way this is not a situation where the winner is in the playoffs and the loser is not is if the Steelers win both of the finale two games — that’s Monday Night against the Browns and next Sunday against the Ravens –and the Colts lose to the Jaguars. In which case both the Chargers and Raiders would be in regardless of the outcome.

But if the Steelers win out or the Colts beat the Jaguars, the final game of the regular season will be a playoff game for both the Raiders and the Chargers. And the NFL is banking on that being the case so as to start the NFL postseason early.