All of the most important games on the NFL’s Week 17 slate – including one featuring the 2018 NFC North champion Chicago Bears – have been bumped into a more prestigious time slot.
The Bears and Vikings Week 17 matchup moving into a 3:25 p.m. CT time slot is one of many schedule shifts announced by the NFL on Sunday. It’s a game with playoff implications for both teams. A Vikings win puts them into the playoffs, but a loss and an Eagles win against Washington pushes them out of the picture. There is a high probability of the Bears playing one of those two teams on Wild-Card Weekend, unless …
Even though the Bears secured a home playoff game at Soldier Field by winning the division, they could avoid Wild-Card Weekend altogether and earn a first-round bye with a win and a loss by the Los Angeles Rams against the San Francisco 49ers. It doesn’t seem likely, but that’s why they play the games on the field … right?
Prior to the scheduling shakeup, Bears-Vikings was going to get started at noon with Rams-49ers set up to start after 3 p.m. CT. So instead of the Rams getting an opportunity to kick back, relax, and wait to see if they needed to play their starters in order to secure the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, they’ll be playing at the same time as the Bears – the one team that could snatch a the bye from their clutches.
So much for an easy day of rest, relaxation, and scoreboard watching for the NFC West champions.
Buckle up, folks. This ride has one more big push before the regular season comes to an end.