The NFL announced on Sunday that the Los Angeles Rams-Los Angeles Chargers game that was originally scheduled would no longer be played in favor of a Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game with more significant postseason implications.
While facing rivals who compete in the important Los Angeles media market, the Rams and Chargers game won’t have the same impact. The Rams, who won handily over Denver on Christmas Day, are 5-10 and have already been eliminated from playoff contention despite being the defending Super Bowl winners. The Chargers, however, are 8-6 and can clinch a playoff spot this Monday with a victory on the road in Indianapolis against the Colts during Monday Night Football.
On NBC, the Steelers-Ravens game will tip off on January 1 at 8:20 p.m. ET, featuring two strong rivals still competing for postseason seeding (Baltimore has already secured a spot in the wild-card round). At SoFi Stadium, the Rams-Chargers game will kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT and will broadcast on CBS.
The most-watched program on broadcast television, SNF, can “guarantee great matches” because of the NFL’s flexible scheduling. Between Weeks 5 and 10 of the regular season, Weeks 11 through 17, the playoff berths are decided, and the practice is permitted twice.
This season, the Chargers have been flexed into two SNF slots.
The NFL decided on Sunday, announcing three nationally televised games on Christmas Day during Week 16: the Rams’ 51-14 victory over the Broncos, the Green Bay Packer’s 26-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins to maintain their playoff hopes, and Tammy Bay and Tom Brady’s game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football.