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Each week this season, OutKick has been getting you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. In Week 16, though, the main slate is an NFL Saturday!
And because it’s Christmas Eve, we know you may not have as much time, making Watchability more important than ever!
So, not wanting to disappoint readers, we have the Christmas Eve NFL Watchability Rankings for Week 16.
NFL Saturday Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle
- New York Giants (8-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (11-3), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote a detailed piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.
- Philadelphia (13-1) at Dallas Cowboys (10-4), 4:25pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: So Jalen Hurts isn’t going to play? So what. We’ve got Minshew Mania! This is easily one of the best games on the Christmas Eve NFL Saturday slate with the Eagles having a chance to lock up the #1 seed in the NFC and the Cowboys … trying to secure the right to face Tom Brady in the first round? I know the Bucs stink, but man I can’t imagine wanting to face Brady in the playoffs on the road. Doesn’t seem Dallas has much choice, though.
Interestingly, the last time these two teams played, Cooper Rush started for the Cowboys. So neither matchup between these teams this year featured both starting quarterbacks. Either way, it’s a late-season divisional rivalry between two teams with 10+ wins heading for the playoffs. Sign me up.
Games To Flip To During Commercials Of Better NFL Saturday Games
- Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) at New England Patriots (7-7), 1:00pm (CBS)
- Washington Commanders (7-6-1) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4), 4:05pm (CBS)
Main storyline: I wrote about this game in my weekly betting picks and I think Washington can keep this game close, perhaps even win. Brock Purdy has been a fun story, but he can’t possibly continue to play like a Pro Bowler. He’s due for some regression. Plus, San Francisco really doesn’t have that much to play for.
The 49ers have already won the division and have little chance to get the #1 seed in the NFC, so there’s not much left to do. Meanwhile, the Commanders need to win to maintain their playoff position. Because San Francisco is a much better team that’s much less motivated, I think this has a chance to be a competitive game that makes it worth checking in on when Eagles-Cowboys is in commercial.
I Guess It’s OK If These Games Pop Up On NFL RedZone
- Seattle Seahawks (7-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-3), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: Another game I wrote about this week, a perfect NFL Saturday RedZone game. Is there going to be RedZone on Saturday? I guess I should look into that.
Yes, Kansas City is favored by 10 points and they should cruise. But this game should also feature some POINTS. Both of these teams have good offenses — and the Chiefs offense is GODLY — and below-average defenses — and the Seahawks defense is God … awful. Yeah, you might not want to watch this game from beginning to end, but when the logos pop up on RedZone — which should happen a lot — you know something fun is about to happen.
- Buffalo Bills (11-3) at Chicago Bears (3-11), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: I’m a sucker for a potential snow game, so even though Buffalo is a heavy favorite, I’ll at least enjoy when this one pops up on RedZone. Plus, Justin Fields is a human highlight reel, and the Bills are one of the most fun teams to watch in the league with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. The Bills are trying to maintain the #1 seed in the AFC while the Bears are looking ahead to having January and February off. Still, not a game I’ll be mad to hear Scott Hanson say, “Let’s go to Soldier Field…”
- Detroit Lions (7-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-9), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: It’s actually wild that a Christmas Eve game between the Lions and Panthers has MAJOR playoff implications. Detroit was 1-6 at their low point and the Panthers were 2-7 at theirs. But thanks to a 6-1 stretch by Detroit and Tampa Bay sucking all season, here we are. The Panthers are just one game behind the Bucs for NFC South. Detroit is 1/2 game behind Washington for the #7 seed in the NFC. What a time to be alive.
If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.
- Houston Texans (1-12-1) at Tennessee Titans (7-7), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: I guess this still matters because Tennessee — which was 7-3 — has managed to let the division almost slip through their fingers. On November 18, the Titans had a four-game lead over Jacksonville. That lead is now one game and those teams face each other in Week 18 in what could be a battle for the division. That’s a game worth watching. But this game between Malik Willis and Davis Mills is not.
- New Orleans Saints (5-9) at Cleveland Browns (6-8), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: Another team being kept in the playoff race thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints find themselves just one game out. Deshaun Watson has not been great in his return to the NFL and seeing him face Andy Dalton brings back some … rather mediocre memories. This game is a tough sell even though both teams are still technically alive.
- Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-5), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: Another team being kept in the playoff race thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Falcons find themselves just one game out. Is there an echo in here? Anyways, Tyler Huntley likely gets the start again which means Tyler Huntley vs. Desmond Ridder. Some of these QB matchups around the league, man. ROUGH.
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8), 8:15pm (NFL Network)
Main Storyline: Regular readers of this column know that island games — i.e. games airing when no other game is on — always make the top tier. Why? Because if you want to watch an NFL game from beginning to end, you only have one choice.
However, on this particular NFL Saturday, we have a terrible game airing on Saturday night. Not only is it Saturday night, but it’s Christmas Eve. Part of me feels like the NFL did it on purpose, knowing people enjoy spending Christmas Eve night with their families.
Thus, we get a game that will probably only be watched by Steelers and Raiders fans. Two of the more obnoxious fanbases on the planet. Having a game on at the worst time of year couldn’t have happened to a better group of people. Merry Christmas Steelers and Raiders fans!
If These Games Show Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck
It’s a Christmas miracle! There are no games in the bottom tier; I can find at least one redeeming characteristic in every contest. Plus, what kind of Grinch would I be to put anything down here on a week like this?
Merry Christmas, OutKick readers!
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ