The Bengals are off this weekend after beating the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night. What's the schedule look like for those of us in Cincinnati?
It's like a mini-bye week this weekend.
The Cincinnati Bengals have already played this week, leaving an open Sunday for games to watch, Christmas shopping, projects around the house, it's a day to conduct family activities and prepare for the Holidays (we'll have an open thread going up at noon).
But there's football on and wherever your journey takes you, whenever you step aside for a break, the games will still be played.
If you're in the Cincinnati region, here's your schedule (obviously if you don't have NFL Ticket or the Red Zone Network):
1 PM: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (CBS)
The Colts are looking to raise a little hell in the AFC South, with the series opener against the Texans at Houston. The Texans have already clinched a postseason berth. Whether that's as AFC South Champions or a Wild Card team, that will be determined as these two teams meet over of the course of the next three weeks. If Houston wins on Sunday, they're the division champions.
Yet if the Colts win, Indianapolis clinches a postseason berth, keeping the thread alive as possible division champions (with some help).
Still would have preferred Denver at Baltimore in the region, considering the obvious implications, but this is a fine substitute (at least we don't have Jacksonville at Miami).
1 PM: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (FOX)
The Chicago Bears, having lost four of their last five, trying to hang on by a follicle from a balding head for the NFC North championship. If the Packers win, they claim the division. There's also a series of scenarios that if the game ends in a tie, the Packers can still clinch a postseason berth with a series of scenarios that all involve the Cowboys, Redskins and Vikings losing (or tying).
4:25 PM: Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys (CBS)
Game of the week for us in Cincinnati and Bengals fans around the globe. If the Steelers lose, the Bengals will have a one-game lead heading into the Week 16 showdown in Pittsburgh.
But it's not necessarily that important, considering that both teams could have won/loss, sporting different records and the Week 16 game would have been just as crucial. But it would feel damn good watching the Cowboys beat the Steelers.
8:20 PM: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (NBC)
The Patriots have already clinched the AFC East, but are looking to build on their seeding for a bye week during the Wild Card round. However they can't clinch anything this weekend, only build for the next two weeks.
However the 49ers can.
By the time San Francisco kicks off Sunday Night Football, they'll know if they can clinch the NFC West. If the Buffalo Bills to beat the Seattle Seahawks in Toronto and 49ers win over the Patriots, San Francisco clinches the division title. Yet even if the Seahawks win, the 49ers clinch a postseason berth with a win. And yet again, even if the 49ers lose to the Patriots, they can clinch a postseason berth with losses by the Vikings, Cowboys, Redskins and Seahawks.
The 49ers and Seahawks will face either other on Sunday Night football next week in what could be a major showdown for the division (depending on this weekend).