NFL fans will get an extra treat this Christmas Day with two games of major importance when it comes to playoff implications. What better way to spend Christmas Day than with family and friends, a nice meal and some NFL football on in the background? That is music to the ears for millions of NFL fans across the globe!
The NFL Christmas Day schedule will feature a double header of hard-hitting action, and the results should make the AFC bracket a bit more clear by the end of the day.
The first game will see the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the nightcap will feature the defending world champion Denver Broncos traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
According to CBS Sports, for the Steelers it is simple — win and you are the AFC North champs and you are assured at least one home game in the postseason.
A Pittsburgh victory will give the Steelers their seventh AFC North title and help them earn a spot in the playoffs for the third straight year. No matter how many times experts and NFL fans think Pittsburgh is on the decline and Ben Roethlisberger has passed his prime, Pittsburgh proves the doubters wrong! The Steelers know what they need to do Sunday afternoon, and they are ready for the challenge.
“We are excited about this opportunity,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
“When you really think about it, it’s going to be an exciting game for us, an exciting game for them. It’s going to be an exciting game for the fans. You could say that both teams have been fighting and clawing for some period of time to get to this point, to this game, in this stadium, with this amount of significance or what is at stake. From a competitor’s standpoint it’s an awesome thing. It is a snapshot of December football.”
The Ravens, on the other hand, have a bit more of a complicated road. Baltimore needs to beat both Pittsburgh and the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular-season finale to capture their first AFC North division crown since 2012. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 21-14 earlier this season, and if they win today, they will have the inside track over the Steelers because they will have swept Pittsburgh this season.
Kickoff for the today’s Ravens vs. Steelers game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET and will air nationally on the NFL Network.
The second game of the day will feature a struggling Denver team against the Chiefs, who blew a great opportunity to move closer to an AFC West title last weekend.
The Kansas City Chiefs can officially punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. However, the way the Chiefs have played on offense as of late, scoring many points against Denver’s tough defense will not be easy.
The defending Super Bowl champs need to win their final two games and get a bit of help along the way if they are going to make the 2017 NFL postseason, and the way the offense has been playing it won’t be easy.
Denver ranks 24 out of the 32 teams in offensive yards, that’s something Broncos fans are not used to seeing in the Mile High City.
Tonight’s game is basically a playoff game for the Broncos, who need to win or they will be officially eliminated from postseason play.
Tonight’s Broncos vs. Chiefs game will air nationally on NBC starting at 8:20 p.m. ET. Fans can also catch all of the action streaming live online through NBC Sports Extra.
Predictions — Steelers -5.5, Chiefs -3
[Featured Image by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]