When it comes to Week 17 of the NFL season, all kickoff times are eligible to be flexed in order to give no team a significant advantage based on the outcome of a prior game. For this reason, the kick off time for the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, December 29 has been changed to 4:25 PM.
In 2018, the Steelers final home game against the Cincinnati Bengals was moved to a 4:25 PM kick off to coincide with the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Cleveland Browns at the same time. With the outcome of one game affecting the other, the NFL kept the team from being able to rest players based on the outcome of earlier games.
For 2019, both the Steelers game against the Ravens and the Tennessee Titans visiting the Houston Texans have been moved to 4:25 PM. In fact, any game with implications of the final seed in the AFC playoffs will kick off at 4:25 PM. This means the game between the Indianapolis Colts visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars along with the Oakland Raiders traveling to the Denver Broncos will kickoff in the afternoon.
The Steelers-Ravens game has been flexed to a 4:25 start time.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) December 23, 2019
The Titans-Texans is also being moved to a 4:25 kickoff. The Colts-Jaguars and Raiders-Broncos game are also 4:25 and all games could have an impact on the Steelers playoff chances.
If either the Steelers or the Titans win their games, both of the Colts and the Raiders games will not factor into the equation. While the Colts game can be important when it comes to a tiebreaker, the Colts themselves cannot move into the sixth seed. The Oakland Raiders still have an outside chance if they can defeat the Denver Broncos as long as the Colts win and both the Steelers and Titans lose.
As for the Steelers, they will need a Titans loss in order for them to not be eliminated from contention. If the Texans are victorious over the Titans, the Steelers will get in with a victory over the Ravens or a loss to the Ravens coupled with a Colts victory and a Raiders loss.
While there are several different scenarios for the Steelers, the most important factor will be for them to win in Baltimore in Week 17. With the Ravens already locking up the top seed in the AFC, several key players may be held out of the game in order to make sure the Ravens enter the postseason fully healthy. As for the Houston Texans, they still have the opportunity to move up to the third seed, so it is uncertain if any of their players will be held out against the Titans.
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