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The Packers will play on Sunday in Week 18

Green Bay’s finale against the Chicago Bears will be in the afternoon, announced Sunday Night Football.

NFL: SEP 10 Packers at Bears Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you didn’t stick around for the ending of New Year’s Eve Packers win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Sunday Night Football broadcast did announce Week 18’s schedule before the 2024 sendoff. The Green Bay Packers will not play on Saturday, but they also won’t be featured on Sunday Night Football in back-to-back weeks.

Full Week 18 NFL Schedule

The Saturday games are going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts, matchups where three of the four squads are on the playoff bubble — with the fourth being the AFC’s top-seed Ravens. If you were hoping that the Packers would be playing on their normally scheduled day of the week, you’re in luck.

Instead of Packers-Bears being played on Sunday night, though, the league elected to showcase the Buffalo Bills vs. the Miami Dolphins in that slot, a game that will decide the AFC East. Depending on the action on Saturday and Sunday, the Bills might be in a win-and-in position by the time kickoff rolls around. The Dolphins have already clinched their playoff spot, but they will be playing on the road in the wild card round if they lose to Buffalo.

That leaves the Packers competing against the Bears in the late afternoon slate, as they’ll kick off their matchup at 3:25 PM Central. Six other games will be played in that window: Seattle Seahawks-Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys-Washington Commanders, Denver Broncos-Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Chargers. The Packers’ game and Eagles-Giants and Chiefs-Chargers will be the three contests broadcast on CBS.

According to the New York Times’ playoff machine, the Packers still have a 25 percent chance to make the playoffs even if they lose to the Bears. If they win the game, they’ll clinch a playoff spot without the need for any outside help — following the Seattle Seahawk’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18.

If the Packers lose, they’re going to need some combination of losses by the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final week of the season to advance to the postseason. Several of these “lose and still in” combinations are possible at this point in time.