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NFL Week 16 Saturday tripleheader will help clarify some playoff positioning

The Buccaneers can clinch a playoff spot today while the Cardinals, Dolphins, and Raiders all look to strengthen their position to make the postseason.

NFL: DEC 15 Buccaneers at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

From all of us here at Acme Packing Company, we hope that everyone who celebrates had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With the holidays now in the rear-view mirror and the weekend upon us, we’re bringing our attention back to football a little more closely, and a Saturday tripleheader in the NFL makes that easy to do. Today, three teams currently in playoff position will take the field, with a fourth that is still clinging to some slim postseason hopes also in action.

First up, the Buccaneers get an opportunity to lock up a Wild Card spot as they take on the Detroit Lions — a team that has much of its coaching staff unavailable, having been classified as COVID close contacts. Wide receivers coach Robert Prince will fill in for interim head coach Darrell Bevell, who is unable to take the sidelines for today’s game. Despite the New Orleans Saints locking up the NFC South division title, however, Tampa has plenty to play for. A Buccaneers win clinches their Wild Card playoff berth with a week to go in the season.

In the mid-afternoon game, the Arizona Cardinals — who sit in the seventh and final spot in the NFC’s playoff hunt right now — host the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC West rivalry. The 49ers will play at State Farm Stadium for the third time in the last four games, as that stadium has hosted two 49ers home games due to their normal stadium in Santa Clara being unavailable as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions. Arizona can keep themselves at least a game up on the Chicago Bears in the playoff hunt with a victory today.

Finally, the nightcap features a pair of teams looking to snag one of the AFC’s Wild Card berths. The Miami Dolphins currently hold that final spot thanks to a tiebreaker advantage over Baltimore, but they will need to fight off the Las Vegas Raiders — who remain in the hunt two games back with two to play — to maintain that position. A Dolphins win tonight would eliminate the Raiders from contention, so this contest is truly a must-win for Vegas.

Join us throughout the day to follow along with today’s games and enjoy!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions

1:00 PM Eastern
NFL Network
Ford Field, Detroit, MI

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

4:30 PM Eastern
Amazon Prime & Twitch
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders

8:15 PM Eastern
NFL Network
Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV