Since we, once again, find ourselves waiting all day for Sunday Night, we once again get an opportunity to make use of the Red Zone Channel to keep track of the day's NFL action leading up to this evening's NFC North title game between the Green Bay Packers and your Minnesota Vikings.
If you don't have access to the Red Zone Channel. . .my condolences. . .here is a listing of all of the games that will be taking place during this final weekend of the NFL regular season.
Early Games on CBS
Early Games on FOX
There isn't a whole lot of drama to the early games, save for the final AFC playoff spot between the Steelers and Jets. The J-E-T-S are in if they win, but if the Jets lose, the Steelers can get in with a victory of their own. That team will be the #6 seed in the AFC. The Patriots will wrap up the #1 overall seed in the AFC with a win in Miami. Houston will win the AFC South unless the Colts beat the Titans and hit what would be a ridiculous parlay of games to sneak past them on strength of victory.
If you want to scout one of the Vikings' potential first round playoff opponents, the Washington/Dallas game is the only early game that involves an NFC playoff team. Washington is locked into the #4 seed in the NFC.
Also, the #1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft will be decided by the end of the early games. If the Titans lose to Indianapolis, they wrap up the #1 pick. If the Titans win and the Browns lose, Cleveland will pick #1. They are the only two teams eligible for the top overall selection.
Now, on to the late games, where most of the real drama lies.
Late Games on CBS
Late Games on FOX
The battle for the top seed in the NFC will be decided by the two NFC games on FOX. If the Panthers defeat the Buccaneers, the Panthers will wrap up the top seed in the NFC. If the Panthers lose and Arizona wins, the Cardinals will be the #1 seed in the conference.
The Seahawks/Cardinals game will also play a role in deciding who the Vikings play on Wild Card Weekend. Here are the three scenarios for that game.
The AFC West title will also be decided in the late games. The Broncos will wrap up a first-round bye with a win over the Chargers, and could move up to #1 if the Patriots lose to the Dolphins in the early games. If the Broncos lose and the Chiefs beat the Raiders, Kansas City jumps to the #3 spot, the Bengals will move up to #2 and get a first-round bye, and Denver will fall into a wild card spot at #5.
If you have any questions about the playoff picture, the folks from PlayoffStatus.com have everything sorted out.
We're about half an hour away from the start of the final weekend of the 2015 NFL regular season, folks. Hang out and watch the games as an appetizer for the main course later on this evening. Enjoy the football!