Matchup #2: Vikings or Eagles in the 1st round?
Week 17 in the NFL will be a wild one for NFL coaches and fans alike. With different possibilities in seeding based on the outcome of games around the country, there could be a lot of scoreboard watching going down on Sunday.
The Bears/Vikings game got rescheduled to 4:25 pm EST instead of the original 1:00 pm EST start time because of NFL schedule changes. The league “Flexed” the Colts/Titans game from the afternoon slot to a primetime game on Sunday night.
Two teams also playing in the late afternoon slot are the Rams and 49ers. Essentially, the Bears have a strong chance at choosing their opponent in the wild-card round if they look up and see the 49ers getting demolished early.
Bears coach Matt Nagy may not try and know the score of the game in LA if he has a certain strategy going into this game. A Vikings win will secure them a playoff spot, so Nagy may have his primary focus on keeping them out of the postseason.
If Nagy wants to end the Vikings season and continues to scoreboard watch, he can check out the score of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. If the Eagles win and the Vikings lose, it’ll be the Eagles that get the #6 seed in the NFC.
Assuming the Rams and Eagles get a big lead relatively early in their respective games, Nagy could essentially pull all his starters if he prefers a matchup with the Vikings. If he wants the Eagles as a first-round opponent, he could continue trying to beat the Vikings.
It’s a fun scenario that gives the Bears and their staff several options on deciding the lower-seeding of the playoffs.
Had the Bears game stayed in its original timeslot, it’s likely that Nagy would’ve just tried to win the game as the outcome of the Rams game wouldn’t be known at that time.
In my opinion, this is the most likely matchup scenario for the Bears. I doubt the Rams will choke away their season against the lowly 49ers, and the Bears will then have to decide what exactly they want to do while their game is still going on.
There’s still one more matchup scenario left, and it’s a bit scary if I may say so myself.