Why Are There NFL Games on Saturday This Week, and Who’s Playing?
The time of year has come when we’re treated to an extra day of NFL football as the league expands its regularly scheduled programming on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays to include Saturday games.
So why does the NFL wait until mid-December to play games on Saturday? Well, the answer is quite simple. There’s no college football, as its regular season concluded last weekend with the annual Army-Navy game, which Army won in double overtime, by the way.
Sure, lower-level playoffs and bowl games will take place until January, but with less overall competition, the NFL can spread out the schedule a bit. And this is certainly nothing new. With the exception of the 2013 season, there has been at least one Saturday game on the schedule every year since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
This year, three games from the Week 15 schedule will be played on Saturday, all of which will air on the NFL Network.
Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (1:00 p.m. Eastern)
The NFL Saturday slate begins with the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Minnesota Vikings, who have a chance to clinch the NFC North for the third week in a row.
The Colts, who are 4-8-1 but technically still alive for a postseason berth, are coming off a bye week, while the Vikings are looking to bounce back from a 34-23 loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 14.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (4:30 p.m. Eastern)
Saturday’s late-afternoon matchup features the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens visiting the Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens, who have won six of seven, are still without the services of Lamar Jackson but should have backup Tyler Huntley under center as he cleared concussion protocol after leaving last week’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Browns are 1-1 in the Deshaun Watson era and are coming off a 23-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens took the first meeting between the two teams, 23-20, back in Week 7.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (8:15 p.m. Eastern)
The primetime NFL matchup on Saturday night is easily the most intriguing game of the day as the Miami Dolphins visit the Buffalo Bills.
After winning five in a row, the Dolphins have dropped two straight and desperately need a victory to have any chance of taking the AFC East for the first time since 2008.
The Bills, meanwhile, have won four in a row and are currently the top seed in the AFC at 10-3. After avenging their Week 9 loss to the New York Jets this past Sunday with a 20-12 victory, Josh Allen & Co. will look to do the same on Saturday as they dropped their first meeting with the ‘Fins back in Week 3, 21-19.
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