The NFL finally released the schedule for Week 18, setting up a couple of primetime games with big playoff stakes.
For the Detroit Lions, it’s a standard 1 p.m. ET game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, January 7. Both the Lions and Vikings have something to play for, but both require a lot of help to get to where they want to be.
If the Lions want the two seed, they’ll have to beat Minnesota. Then they’ll have to sit, watch, and hope that the Eagles lose to the Giants AND the Cowboys lose to the Commanders. Both of those games occur at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.
For the Vikings, they need a ton of help just to make the playoffs. Here’s their unlikely path to the postseason:
- Vikings beat Lions
- Bears beat Packers
- Cardinals beat Seahawks
- Either Buccaneers (vs. Panthers) or Saints (vs. Falcons ) lose
One big question will be who will start at quarterback for the Vikings. Minnesota moved to Jaren Hall in Week 17, but after a dreadful first half, they went back to Nick Mullens for the end of their blowout loss to the Packers.
As for the primetime games, the Texans and Colts face off on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN/ABC for a key battle in the AFC South/Wild Card race. And the final game of the 2023 regular season will be a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins for the AFC East crown.
Here’s a full look at the Week 18 schedule: