NFL TV Schedule Week 16: Highlighting Most Important Games on the Slate

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 16, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 8:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 8, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Panthers 31-13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Now that Jamaal Charles has eliminated you from your fantasy football playoffs (shut up, Jamaal Charles owners. I don't want to hear from you), you're going to need another reason to glue yourself to the TV on Sunday—and Monday.

Luckily, there are only two weeks left in the real-life regular season, and still 20 NFL teams are mathematically alive in the postseason hunt. 

As such, there's a slew of games on the slate in Week 16 that hold mass importance.

Let's take a look at the ones with the most implications, as well as a gander at the entire schedule, so you can better plan your day of ignoring everyone else around you. 

Week 16 NFL TV Schedule
AwayHomeDateTime (ET)TV
Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsSun, 12/221 p.m.CBS
Minnesota VikingsCincinnati BengalsSun, 12/221 p.m.FOX
Indianapolis ColtsKansas City ChiefsSun, 12/221 p.m.CBS
Tampa Bay BuccaneersSt. Louis RamsSun, 12/221 p.m.FOX
Cleveland BrownsNew York JetsSun, 12/221 p.m.CBS
Dallas CowboysWashington RedskinsSun, 12/221 p.m.FOX
New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersSun, 12/221 p.m.FOX
Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsSun, 12/221 p.m.CBS
Denver BroncosHouston TexansSun, 12/221 p.m.CBS
New York GiantsDetroit LionsSun, 12/224:05 p.m.FOX
Arizona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksSun, 12/224:05 p.m.FOX
Pittsburgh SteelersGreen Bay PackersSun, 12/224:25 p.m.CBS
Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersSun, 12/224:25 p.m.CBS
New England PatriotsBaltimore RavensSun, 12/224:25 p.m.CBS
Chicago BearsPhiladelphia EaglesSun, 12/228:30 p.m.NBC
Atlanta FalconsSan Francisco 49ersMon, 12/238:30 p.m.ESPN

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)

Currently one game behind the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers for a wild-card spot, the Arizona Cardinals are going to need some help in addition to winning out. 

Unfortunately for Bruce Arians' squad, the second part of that equation is going to be excruciatingly difficult, as the Cardinals go into the fortress that is Century Link Field and must beat the 12-2 Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson, who is undefeated at home in his career. 

NFL writer Vincent Frank sums up the irony of the situation:

The Cardinals have exceeded expectations this season, and if they can continue to surprise people on Sunday, the NFC playoff picture is going to get really muddy. 

So, if you're one of these people, you should probably root for the Cardinals and the ensuing chaos. 

 

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 15:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the bench during their game against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It doesn't get any bigger than this in Week 16.

The NFC South rivals are currently tied atop the division at 10-4, and while the Saints hold the tiebreaker thanks to a dominant Week 14 performance, they have been mediocre away from the Superdome in 2013, going 3-4 and losing four of their last five. 

And as Ron Rivera pointed out, via the team's official Twitter feed, the Panthers have gotten terrific support at home:

That has resulted in a 6-1 record at Bank of America Stadium, making them the favorites for Sunday's matchup.

The loser of this one will still very likely be in good shape for the second wild-card spot, but stakes are still undoubtedly highthe winner will control its own fate for the division title, crucial No. 2 seed and first-round playoff bye.

Should the Panthers win, they would just need to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17. A Saints victory would clinch the division for them. 

 

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 15:  Wide receiver Earl Bennett #80 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Sunday Night Football has given us a couple of real snoozers lately, but this matchup should reverse that trend. Even if it doesn't, the sheer amount of playoff implications riding on the game will make up for it. 

The Bears are currently at the top of the NFC North, but if the Detroit Lions win on Monday night, Chicago will drop into second (they would have the same record, but the Lions have won both head-to-head matchups). 

If the Lions lose on Monday, the Bears will have a one-game lead at 8-6. But with the Packers at 7-6-1, it will still be a tight final two weeks. 

As for the Eagles, they lead a faltering Dallas Cowboys squad by one game, and a win on Sunday night could potentially clinch the division depending how Dallas does earlier in the day.