NFL Week 16 Delivers Christmas Day Extravaganza: A Thrilling Triple-Header for Football Fans!

The holiday season has arrived and for football fans, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: Patrick Mahomes #15 and Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs high five during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

On Monday, a blockbuster Christmas Day triple-header features the No. 1 seeds in each conference. And with the playoffs just around the corner, the stakes are higher than ever.

Here’s what you need to know before tuning in:

Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m. ET

The holiday festivities kick off with an AFC West grudge match between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders.

The defending Super Bowl champions have already punched a ticket to the postseason, but now have their sights set on earning their eighth consecutive divisional crown. Meanwhile, the Raiders are fighting to keep their playoff dreams alive as the season nears its close.

The Chiefs’ dominance over the past decade is obvious. But over the past few weeks, Patrick Mahomes and Co. have not looked like the commanding force of recent memory. Prior to last week’s underwhelming win over the New England Patriots, Kansas City lost back-to-back games against the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers.

Earlier this week, Mahomes expressed his eagerness to get the team back to their winning ways.

“You always want to be playing your best football going into the playoffs,” Mahomes told reporters.

“Let’s put that complete game together. I think if we can do that and start getting better and better these last few games, we can get to the playoffs and be playing our best football, then I think the AFC is wide open and we’ll be able to go out there and try to find a way to get to the Super Bowl.”

Dec 14, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O'Connell (4) throws a pass under pressure from Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas, meanwhile, enters this week’s matchup fresh off their most emphatic victory of the season. They handed a 63-21 drubbing to the Los Angeles Chargers, setting a franchise record for most points scored in a single game.

They’ll look to carry that momentum into their final three games, all against teams ahead of them in the AFC standings (the Chiefs, Colts, and Broncos).

As it stands, the Raiders’ chances of making the postseason are just 2%, and would drop to less than 1% if they lose on Monday. With their season on the line, fans can expect a hard-fought, competitive battle.

“We need to play our best football,” Interim head coach Anthony Pierce said.

“Against this team, you can kick as many field goals as you want, but you have to know Patrick Mahomes is going to get multiple touchdowns. It doesn’t matter who he goes to.”

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles, 4:30 p.m. ET

The late afternoon slate features an NFC East showdown between the Tommy DeVito-led New York Giants and the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles will look to get back in the win column after three consecutive losses, while the Giants will attempt to inch one win closer to a Wild Card bid.

After a 10-1 start to the season, the Eagles have hit a significant rough patch. They enter this week’s matchup fresh off a three-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In the two weeks prior, they dropped back-to-back 20-plus point losses to the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.

Despite the recent struggles, head coach Nick Sirianni remains optimistic.

“I know a lot of our guys have been through a lot of crap and been through some tough times,” Sirianni said. “That’s what life is, and those moments are in life.

“You draw back on those moments and know you have overcome, and you are better off because of it, and that’s been a consistent message there through some of these difficult times that we’re going through right now.”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 18: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter at Lumen Field on December 18, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Eagles have already punched their ticket to the postseason, but the division crown and the NFC’s No. 1 overall seed are still on the table. Philadelphia must win their final three regular season games to edge out the Dallas Cowboys at the top of the NFC East.

To win the conference, they will also need the 49ers to lose at least two of their final three games. If San Francisco wins their final three, they will take control of the conference.

Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Giants are in the midst of a late-season renaissance. After a less than ideal start to the season, New York’s playoff hopes were all but lost.

Then came Tommy DeVito, the Giants’ third-string, undrafted, rookie quarterback. The Italian American New Jersey native injected new life into an insipid Giants squad, winning his first three games as a starter.

Monday’s matchup at Lincoln Financial Field will be the rookie’s first against Philadelphia and in front of their historically rambunctious fanbase. He certainly won’t receive a warm welcome, but both DeVito and his teammates are confident that he can handle the atmosphere.

“I heard it’s a pretty hostile environment,” DeVito said. “I’m looking forward to it. I like to thrive in those environments.”

“He’s got that confidence. He’s going to show up and play well,” offensive lineman Justin Pugh said. “It’s going to be a great environment. It’s exciting for him.

“This is one of the first times going down to Philadelphia, you go play your rivals, you get to go to Dallas, get to go to Philly. All those are intense games.”

At 5-9, the Giants’ chances of actually making the postseason are slim (less than 1%, according to NFL.com). But the dream will stay alive if they beat the Eagles. And if the last three weeks are any indicator of how Monday’s game will go, DeVito could not have faced his rivals at a better time.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 17: Tommy DeVito #15 of the New York Giants carries the ball during the second half of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on December 17, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

While the Eagles of today seem like a more favorable opponent than the Eagles of earlier this season, running back Saquon Barkley warned that a team from Philly should never be underestimated.

“We’re not getting caught up in the losing streak that they are in,” Barkley said. “They’re still Philly. They’re still last year’s (NFC) champions, and still great players all around, so we know it’s going to be a tough matchup and we’ve got to play our best ball if we want to come out of there with a win.”

Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Christmas Day action concludes with a battle between two of the league’s top contenders: the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

The pair will face off at Levi’s Stadium for what could be a potential preview of Super Bowl LVIII.

“You can’t ignore it,” Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton told reporters. “It’s two great teams going at it. We’re on Christmas Day; it’s kind of as big as it gets.”

Entering the matchup, both teams lead their respective conferences and are tied for the best record in the NFL. While both teams are already painted into the postseason picture, there is more to be earned in the final three weeks of the regular season.

Both the NFC’s and AFC’s No. 1 overall seeds are still up for grabs. The No. 1 overall seed in each conference will receive a first-round bye and home field advantage.

San Francisco has already clinched the NFC West and would earn the NFC’s top seed with wins in two of their final three matchups. The Ravens can clinch the AFC North with a win on Monday and a Cleveland Browns loss.

In addition, they will likely need to beat the Miami Dolphins next week to earn the AFC’s No.1 overall seed.

While the playoff implications are obvious, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson prefers to focus on the task at hand.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 17: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

“(The) Super Bowl is in February,” Jackson told reporters. “We’re in December right now. We have to focus on Monday night. I’m not worried about what people are saying.”

San Francisco enters the matchup riding a six-game winning streak. They’ve dominated a handful of formidable opponents, beating both the Cowboys and Eagles by more than 20 points earlier this season.

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan sees another formidable opponent in Baltimore, specifically citing the strengths of the defense.

“The numbers are usually the first thing you see and you see how great their numbers are,” Shanahan said. “Then you turn on the tape and it looks just like their numbers.

“They’re really good against the run, really good against the pass, extremely sound coverages. They know how to get after it with pressures. They know how to get after it with front four.”

The Ravens enter the matchup boasting an identical record to San Francisco and riding a four-game winning streak. However, their schedule has been a bit lighter, making them the underdogs in this week’s matchup.

Monday’s game will be just the second time this season they enter a matchup as the underdogs.

“We feel a little disrespected by that,” Hamilton said. “I feel like we are the best team in the league, and we have an opportunity in front of the country to show it.”

Jackson, however, isn’t phased by the title.

“I don’t want them to pick us,” the MVP-candidate said. “I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we’re doubted and [when] people aren’t choosing us to win the game. I feel like we play better all the time, so just do it all the way to February. That’s all I ask.”

Schedule

Monday 

Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m. ET

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles, 4:30 p.m. ET

Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m. ET

How to watch

Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL+, ESPN

Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS

Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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