clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Week 18 schedule finalized: Playoff picture implications with key games

The NFL has released the Week 18 schedule, moving games with playoff implications around to maximize the drama in the final week of the season.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The NFL has announced the finalized Week 18 schedule. While the matchups for all 16 games have been known all season long, the kickoff day and time have not been scheduled. The league waits until Week 17 is complete - or nearly complete with the Monday Night Football game still the be played this week - to put together the specific start times for Week 18 in an effort to maximize the playoff drama.

While Week 18 features all division rivalry matchups, the league works to put games that impact each other starting at the same time. The league wants to minimize a team coming into the week with a playoff chance knowing their fate before they even kickoff. They also like to put a pseudo-playoff game, with the winning team clinching a berth and the losing team going home, in the primetime/stand-alone slots hoping to draw in viewers.

The league has scheduled two games for Saturday, January 7th, one at 4:30 p.m. ET and one at 8:15 p.m. ET. The majority of the schedule will be played on Sunday in the normal 1 p.m. ET and 4:25 p.m. ET slots, with the season concluding with a Sunday night game at 8:20 p.m. ET.

In this case, the win-or-go-home game in the Saturday night slot is the AFC South matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. The winner in that game will be crowned the division champion, while the team that loses will likely miss the postseason (Jacksonville has a long shot chance to still make the wild card, but needs a lot of help to make it happen).

Sunday Night Football features the Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, which could be a win-or-go-home situation as well.

Here is the full schedule for Week 18:

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023

4:30 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders (ESPN/ABC)

8:15 p.m. ET

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (ESPN/ABC)

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023

1 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (FOX)
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (CBS)
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (CBS)
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (FOX)
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)*

*Note: The Ravens at Bengals game will move to 4:25 p.m. ET if the Bills beat the Bengals in Week 17’s Monday Night Football game.

4:25 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (CBS)
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (CBS)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (FOX)
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders (FOX)

8:20 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (NBC)