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NFL Week 16 Saturday games open thread

Football returns to Saturday as Week 16 kicks off.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

Did you miss Thursday Night Football?

The debut for Week 16 of the NFL season did not come on Thursday as it did in previous weeks. Instead, we get to celebrate a weekend takeover from the NFL. Saturday is finally a day for football, and with it, we get three exciting matches with playoff implications in all of them.

To kick off the week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Houston Texans at 1 p.m. ET. The Buccaneers are eliminated from the playoffs, but the Texans are fighting with the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South division title or potentially a Wild Card spot. The Texans have a game advantage on the Titans, but a win over the battered Bucs is crucial for keeping their lead.

Next up at 4:30 p.m. ET is a battle between the two top AFC East teams. The 11-3 New England Patriots face off against the 10-4 Buffalo Bills. The loser of this game will likely be the top Wild Card team, but a home game in the playoffs — and a chance at a top seed — will make this game extremely important to both teams.

Finally at 8:15 p.m. ET, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers duke it out in an NFC West tilt. The 49ers are comfortably in the playoffs, but being tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the division lead, these final two weeks are going to decide who gets a home date. The Rams, meanwhile, are grasping for a playoff spot. Sitting at 8-6, they will have to push the 10-4 Minnesota Vikings for the final precious Wild Card spot. They cannot afford to slip up, and they have a tough task against San Francisco.

Here’s to an exciting slate of Saturday games.

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