Could Packers-Vikings get flexed out of Sunday Night Football in Week 17?

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have three must-win games to close out the regular season. A Week 17 showdown with the Minnesota Vikings is particularly important.

Green Bay can't afford to lose the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on New Year's Eve to have any realistic shot at the playoffs. According to the New York Times predictor, the Packers would only have a nine percent chance of making the playoffs if they beat the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears but lose to the Vikings.

The Detroit Lions are closing in on their first NFC North title, but the Packers and Vikings remain in the wild-card race, making their Week 17 showdown crucial.

Will Packers matchup with Vikings remain on Sunday Night Football?

The Packers-Vikings game is scheduled for Sunday Night Football on New Year's Eve. It will kick off at 7:20 pm CT.

However, it's not guaranteed to stay in that spot.

According to, the league can move Sunday Night Football games between Weeks 14-17 as late as six days before. That would put a deadline on Monday, December 25.

Last year, only seven days in advance, the NFL announced that the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17 had been flexed out of Sunday Night Football. It kicked off at 3:25 pm CT instead.

If the league moves Packers-Vikings, they will likely announce it before or during this week's Sunday Night Football broadcast.

Which games could the NFL flex into Packers-Vikings slot?

Considering its importance, there's a good chance the NFL will leave the Packers-Vikings game on Sunday Night Football. Not only is it a divisional game, but both teams remain in the wild-card race.

However, there are alternatives they could move to. Here are two notable games scheduled for New Year's Eve:

  • New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

Saints-Bucs is another important divisional game. The two teams are tied atop the NFC South with a 7-7 record. It could even be a division decider. Another rivalry game with huge playoff implications may be enough to move Packers-Vikings out of primetime.

Another game to watch is Dolphins-Ravens, a showdown between two teams battling for the AFC's No. 1 seed. Currently, they are the top two seeds in the conference. Baltimore (11-3) has a one-game lead over Miami (10-4).

They both face tough matchups this week -- Miami hosts Dallas, and Baltimore visits San Francisco -- but there's a good chance the Week 17 matchup will have a lot on the line. The winner would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, potentially determining the top seed.

Green Bay at Minnesota remains an excellent choice, and the NFL may stick with this game. It's a good one. Moving the Packers and their large audience out of a primetime game would take something significant.

However, the NFL has a tough choice with Saints-Bucs and Dolphins-Ravens available to flex.

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