The NFL on Monday announced it was changing the kickoff time for the Ravens’ game versus the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday from 4:25 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The New Orleans Saints’ home game against the Carolina Panthers was moved from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. Both games will air on Fox.
Both games could have significant playoff implications. After entering Week 13 with the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Ravens (8-7) are now holding on for dear life in a crowded postseason push. They entered Monday with the AFC’s No. 7 seed, despite a four-game losing streak, but just a 35% chance of making the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections. A loss Sunday to the visiting Rams (11-4) would drop those odds to 11%, while a win would bump them up to 64%. But not even a second straight win, at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18, would guarantee a postseason berth.
Meanwhile, a Miami Dolphins win Monday night over the Saints would push Miami into the No. 7 seed, which if the season ended this week would face the second-seeded Tennessee Titans. The Saints (7-7) are battling for a wild-card spot in the NFC and enter Monday night with a 55% chance at making the playoffs. A win over the Dolphins would improve those odds to 74%, while a loss would decrease their chances to 34%. Beating Miami and Carolina next week would give the Saints an 83% chance at a playoff berth.
For the Ravens, the path to an AFC North title isn’t overly complicated. If they beat the visiting Rams on Sunday and the visiting Steelers in Week 18, and if the Cincinnati Bengals loses to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs and to the Browns in Cleveland, the divisional crown would return to Baltimore.