The NFL was lucky in scheduling its two Christmas games because both games (Browns-Packers 4:30 pm ET and Golds-Cardinals 7:15) had major playoff impacts.
The 11-3 Packers are currently leading the way to the No. 1 spot in the NFC, coming with a buy-week and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. If the Packers win the remaining three games, they will be ranked No. 1, but today’s defeat to the Browns will significantly block their chances and open the race for the top spot in the final three weeks of the season. .
The 7-7 Browns are currently watching the AFC playoffs, but with a sigh of relief at Green Bay today, they will suddenly find a clear path to the playoffs, with games remaining against division rivals Steelers and the Bengals. A defeat today would not remove the Browns from the playoffs, but it does make them extremely long shots.
10-4 Cardinals are engaged in a fierce battle with the Rams for the NFC West title. A win today will keep the Cardinals a favorite in their division because they own the Division Achievement tiebreaker over the Rams. But today a loss is likely to push the Rams into the Cardinals division and start the playoffs on the road to Arizona as a wild card.
8-6 Golds must win today Arizona to stay alive in AFC South racing; If the Colts fail, the Titans win the division. If they win today, the Golds will be number one in wild card racing and will almost certainly advance to the Indianapolis playoffs.