Since the last Sunday night football game also happens to be the final game of the season, the NFL tries to schedule a game that will definitely have playoff implications for one or both of the teams playing. (A team that already made the playoffs might sit their starters, leading to an exceptionally boring game.)
This season, there were no such games that met the NFL’s criteria on the final week’s schedule. The NFL, which hadn’t yet announced which teams would play Sunday night, would have either scheduled a game that had a chance of being a snooze or a game that already had no playoff implications at all.
Instead, there will be seven games scheduled for 1 p.m. and an unusually high nine games scheduled for 4:25 p.m. kickoffs. There won’t be an 8:30 p.m. game this year.