NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has announced there will be no Sunday night game on New Year’s Eve to ensure matchups with playoff implications that impact each other are played at the same time on the final week of the season.
The league said Sunday night all Week 17 games will begin at either 1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. EST. The league moved Cincinnati-Baltimore, Buffalo-Miami, Jacksonville-Tennessee, Carolina-Atlanta and New Orleans-Tampa Bay to the latter time slot.
Every division except the NFC South has already been clinched. Both wild cards in the AFC are up for grabs between Baltimore, Tennessee, the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo, while Atlanta and Seattle are competing for the final NFC wild card.
All of Sunday’s games will be broadcast on CBS or Fox. NBC won’t have a game this coming week, and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to comment about whether the network would be compensated for the lost broadcast. Unlike other weeks of the season, the NFL has the sole discretion about the scheduling of the final Sunday night game of the year.