What NFL games are on Christmas in 2021? Times, TV channels, schedule for NFL Week 16

Usually, it’s the NBA that dominates Christmas Day. But in 2021, they will have to compete with an NFL doubleheader.

The NFL doesn’t always schedule games for Christmas, but this year, the holiday falls on a Saturday. The NFL usually hosts Saturday night football games late in the season anyway, so the league figured that it would put a couple of games on the calendar as a result.

This is the league’s first Christmas doubleheader in four years, and there is plenty of playoff-related intrigue surrounding these games. Each team is either contending for a division title or Wild Card spot, and each team will be hoping to bolster its playoff chances with a win on Saturday.

Here’s everything to know about the NFL’s Christmas games in 2021, including which teams are playing and how to watch each game.

MORE: Watch NFL Christmas games live on fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What teams are playing on Christmas 2021?

Game Kickoff time TV channel
Browns at Packers 4:30 p.m. ET Fox/NFL Network
Colts at Cardinals 8:15 p.m. ET NFL Network

The NFL is broadcasting its first Christmas Day doubleheader since 2017. They had one game last season, as the Vikings and the Saints squared off in a game that Alvin Kamara dominated.

This year, the Browns will face the Packers to open up the Christmas action. Later, the Colts and Cardinals will square off in a highly-anticipated night game that will prove critical in deciding the NFC West and AFC South divisional battles.

This will mark the NFL’s first Saturday doubleheader of the year. They were supposed to have one in Week 15 but the Browns had their game against the Raiders pushed back two days to Monday night. As a result, they will be playing on short rest against the Packers.

What channel is Christmas football on?

Browns at Packers

  • Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: Fox | NFL Network
  • Live stream: Amazon Prime | fuboTV

Fox and NFL Network will team up to broadcast the Browns-Packers game. They have done that for most of the season for “Thursday Night Football”, but this week, they opted to have a Christmas game instead of their normal “TNF” broadcast.

The Browns will be battling to stay in the AFC North and AFC Wild Card races in this contest. The AFC North is a logjam right now, but if they can get healthy after a COVID outbreak, they’ll have a chance to win it.

Meanwhile, the Packers are well on their way to an NFC North title but are still battling the Buccaneers, Cardinals and Rams for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. So, Aaron Rodgers will bring his A-game as Green Bay tries to wrap that up.

Colts at Cardinals

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NFL Network
  • Live stream: fuboTV

NFL Network will broadcast the Colts-Cardinals game on its own, so those without the channel will have to turn to streaming alternatives to watch it. One of those options is fuboTV, which comes with a seven-day free trial.

The Colts are coming off a big win against the Patriots and are looking to stay hot, as they have won seven of their last nine games. They are battling the Titans for the top spot in the AFC South and are also fighting to stay ahead in the AFC Wild Card race.

As for the Cardinals, they have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season to the Rams and the Lions. Their latter loss was embarrassing, as the Lions had just one win going into the game, so they will be looking to bounce back from that defeat.

NFL history playing on Christmas

There have been 22 Christmas games in the NFL’s history, including the one between the Vikings and Saints last season. The first NFL Christmas game was played in 1971, per the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it featured the Cowboys and Vikings.

Before last season, the NFL hadn’t played on Christmas since 2017, and the league played just five games on the holiday during the 2010s. They will have played three games in the first two years of the 2020s, provided that there are no COVID-related postponements of this year’s games.

NFL schedule Week 16

Week 16

Game Kickoff time TV channel
49ers at Titans 8:20 p.m. ET NFLN
Game Kickoff time TV channel
Browns at Packers 4:30 p.m. ET Fox/NFL/Amazon
Colts at Cardinals 8:15 p.m. ET NFL Network
Game Kickoff time TV channel
Giants at Eagles 1 p.m. ET Fox
Rams at Vikings 1 p.m. ET Fox
Bills at Patriots 1 p.m. ET CBS
Buccaneers at Panthers 1 p.m. ET Fox
Jaguars at Jets 1 p.m. ET CBS
Lions at Falcons 1 p.m. ET Fox
Chargers at Texans 1 p.m. ET CBS
Ravens at Bengals 1 p.m. ET CBS
Bears at Seahawks 4:05 p.m. ET Fox
Steelers at Chiefs 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
Broncos at Raiders 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
Washington Football Team at Cowboys 8:20 p.m. ET NBC
Game Kickoff time TV channel
Dolphins at Saints 8:15 p.m. ET ESPN