Chargers vs. Steelers in Week 13, Rams vs. Bears in Week 14 Moved to Prime Time

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with Jesse James #81 after throwing a 75 yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 during the first quarter in the game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on November 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

With the NFL playoff race heating up, marquee matchups featuring the Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears will be played in prime time. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Chargers-Steelers game on Dec. 2 and Rams-Bears game on Dec. 9 both have been moved to NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET. 

The previous schedule had the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks playing on NBC in Week 13, followed by the Oakland Raiders hosting the Steelers in Week 14.

Both of the new prime-time games could have significant playoff implications. The Chargers have the AFC's second-best record at 7-2 but would be the No. 5 seed if the season ended today because the Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) are ahead of them in the AFC West. 

The Steelers are on track to have a first-round bye thanks to their current five-game winning streak that has them sitting at 6-2-1. 

The Rams (9-1) and Bears (6-3) lead their respective divisions. Los Angeles can clinch the NFC West as soon as Monday with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs and a Seattle Seahawks loss to the Green Bay Packers. 

Chicago will start a crucial stretch starting on Sunday in primetime against the Minnesota Vikings with first place in the NFC North on the line. The Bears will follow that with a Thanksgiving Day road game against the Detroit Lions. 

If the Bears want to prove themselves as a legitimate playoff contender, coming out of the string of games that ends with the Rams on Dec. 9 still leading the NFC North will go a long way.