The Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens game won't be televised in most parts of the country this week, but if you live in a city with an AFC playoff team, it's likely the game will be on where you live. Those in Denver, Kansas City and most of New England will see the Bengals on Sunday, as well as those in most of Ohio, Kentucky and of course, Baltimore.
It's pretty interesting that a game that has zero playoff implications will be the most widely televised game by FOX at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. That's the NFC East matchup between the Cowboys and Redskins. The Redskins have already won the division and have no chance of earning anything other than the 4 seed in the NFC. The Cowboys have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for weeks. But, for some reason, TV networks are obsessed with the NFC East.
The Bengals are on FOX this week due to a cross-flex. The NFL wanted to split up the games involving playoff teams as much as possible between FOX and CBS for the last Sunday of the regular season. CBS will show the Jets vs Bills, Steelers vs Browns and Patriots vs Dolphins on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. but FOX's only playoff-related early game on Sunday is the Bengals vs Ravens game, which is why they are now on FOX instead of CBS.
After the Bengals game, FOX will show the Oakland at Kansas City game, for those in the Cincinnati area. The Chiefs can claim the AFC West title with a win and a Broncos loss to the Chargers. If the Bengals lose, fans should be rooting for the Chiefs and Chargers. If the Chiefs and Chargers win, the Bengals will get the #2 seed in the AFC. If the Bengals win and the Chargers beat the Broncos, the Bengals will also win the 2 seed. In all other scenarios, the Bengals will be the 3 seed.
On CBS in the 4:00 hour, nearly the whole country will see the San Diego at Denver game.
The final Sunday Night Football of the regular season features two teams competing for the NFC North crown. That's the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers who will play at frigid Lambeau Field. Both teams will make the playoffs regardless of Sunday's outcome, but the winner will get the 3 seed while the loser will take the 5 seed. Interestingly enough, the 5 seed could be better off. The 6 seed Seahawks will play the winner of Sunday Night Football in Wild Card weekend. The loser of Week 17's Sunday Night Football game will play the Redskins, in Washington during Wild Card weekend.