Saturday will mark the first time this season that ESPN's College GameDay will not be on the air due to the lack of NCAA action taking place. However, the NFL is stepping in and filling the gap with three games that will all have playoff ramifications. The Buffalo Bills will be facing off with the New England Patriots, the Houston Texans visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams. These games all take place on NFL Network and here is when they air.
A battle in Florida kicks off the action as the Texans face off with Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers in the same stadium where Deshaun Watson won a National Championship game to finish his college career. This game between AFC and NFC foes will air on NFL Network at 1 p.m. ET.
Following a game in which the Texans can lock up a spot in the playoffs with a simple win, the attention will shift to the AFC East. The Patriots will be hosting the Bills in a battle of two teams that have already clinched berths in the postseason. This game will take place at 4:30 p.m. ET and will have an impact on the Patriots potentially securing a first-round bye during the playoffs.
Finally, the Saturday NFL action will come to an end with an NFC West battle between the 49ers and the Rams. This game with playoff implications will be played at 8:15 p.m. ET. The San Francisco-based team has already locked up their spot in the playoffs, but they potentially secure a first-round bye with another two wins. The Rams, on the other hand, need to win to keep their very slim playoff hopes alive.
For the first and only time in the 2019 NFL season, there will be three consecutive days of football taking place. This is a rare occurrence due to the college football schedule, but having an open Saturday gives the league an opportunity to expand the NFL action and put more eyes on the product on the field.
Having the games only air on NFL Network does eliminate some viewers that rely on YouTube TV or Hulu Live TV. Those with Sling TV, fuboTV will both have access. Those that still have PlayStation Vue active until its 2020 expiration date can also watch the games on NFL Network. According to NFL.com, the tripleheader will also be available "on phones using cellular connection through the NFL, NFL Fantasy, Yahoo Sports and AOL apps."
Photo Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty