CHICAGO – One interesting variable for the 2022 season schedule was the NFL’s decision to wait to set the time and dates for Week 18 games.
This gave the league the chance to put the best match-ups at certain spots on Saturday, January 7, or Sunday, January 8. Teams would have to wait until the Monday before their final regular season games to find out when exactly they would play.
That included the Bears, who are set to host the Vikings for the regular season finale.
On Monday afternoon, the NFL set the time and date for that contest as the NFC North foes will meet on Sunday at noon at Soldier Field.
It will be the final game of the year for the Bears as they were eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago. At 3-13, the only thing on the line for the hosts is to see where they’ll end up in the NFL Draft order.
They currently sit with the second overall pick in the draft, with the opportunity to finish with the top pick or fall down to the fourth pick based on the Week 18 results.
Meanwhile, the Vikings will have one more game to get ready for the postseason as they’ve already wrapped up a spot in the playoffs with an NFC North division title. At 12-4, the Vikings are currently the third seed in the NFC.
Another game featuring NFC North rivals will air on primetime on Sunday as the Packers host the Lions at 7:20 p.m. with playoff implications for both teams. A Green Bay wins puts them in the playoffs with no help while Detroit needs to win and have the Seahawks lose to the Rams at home to make the postseason.
The Chiefs-Raiders game in Las Vegas was moved to Saturday at 3:30 p.m. central time with the Titans-Jaguars contest in Jacksonville for the AFC South title being played later that night at 7:15 p.m. central time.
Only one game in Week 18, the Bengals-Ravens game in Cincinnati on Sunday, has yet to have a time set. If the Bengals lose to the Bills Monday night, the game will be played at 3:25 p.m. central time. Should Cincinnati win against Buffalo, they’ll face Baltimore at noon central time on Sunday.