NFL fans will be in for a treat on Christmas weekend. The league announced on Monday changes to the Week 16 schedule, including three games being played on Saturday, Dec. 26. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions game will be played at 1 p.m. ET. The San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET. And the Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders will start at 8:15 p.m ET. The NFL Network will air Bucs at Lions and Dolphins at Raiders. Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream 49ers vs. Cardinals.
The Bucs-Lions game will likely be a big game for both teams as they are fighting for the final three playoff spots in the NFC. The Bucs (7-5) are coming off a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and have not lost their last two games. With four games remaining, it's going to be hard for Tom Brady and company to catch the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead, trailing by two-and-a-half games.
The Lions (4-7) won't win the NFC North but are only two games behind the final spot in the playoffs. If the Lions reach the postseason, they will do it with a new head coach as they fired Matt Patricia after being with the team for three seasons. The team also fired general manager Bob Quinn who has been with the team since 2016.
"I will do everything I can to put a winning team on the field for our fans and the City of Detroit," Lions owner Sheila Hamp said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we haven't won enough over the last three seasons and our efforts to find the right leadership for the Lions begins today."
The 49ers and Cardinals will battle for the second time this year. In the first meeting, the Cardinals (6-5) came away with a 24-20 win and currently hold the seventh and final playoff spot. The 49ers (5-6) are only one game behind the Cardinals, which is an accomplishment considering the injuries the team has suffered the entire year. The Dolphins and Raiders are battling for spots in the playoffs as well. Miami has a 7-4 record and has the No. 6 seed. The Raiders (6-5) are one game behind the Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts for the final two playoff spots.