GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers got all the help they needed Sunday so that all they have to do is win their regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions to make the playoffs. On Monday, they might have gotten one more assist from the NFL.
The league announced that the Packers-Lions game at Lambeau Field will be the final game of the regular season on Sunday night at 8:20 ET.
Both the Packers and Lions are 8-8, but Green Bay needs no other help to clinch the NFL’s final wild-card spot if it wins. However, Detroit needs the Seattle Seahawks (8-8) to lose to the Los Angeles Rams (5-11). Because that game will be played at 4:25 pm ET and will be over before the Packers-Lions kickoff, a Seahawks win would eliminate the Lions, who would then have nothing to play for against the Packers, who would knock out the Seahawks if they beat the Lions.
The league announced the final schedule just as Packers coach Matt LaFleur began his regularly scheduled Monday news conference.
“It really doesn’t matter,” LaFleur said when asked about playing in prime time. “But I do think the environment in Lambeau Field at nighttime is unlike any other place. So hopefully our fans show up and show out for us and support us. And don’t sell your tickets to the Lions fans, please.”
Earlier Monday, Lions coach Dan Campbell said he wasn’t concerned about kickoff times.
“Yeah, I mean, I can’t worry about that,” Campbell said. “We can’t worry about it. For us, it’s got to be a win, win either way. Either we’re playing to get in or we’re playing to be spoiler and that’s it. So, either way we win. “
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also said he wasn’t worried about the order of the games.
“It’s not going to change anything that we’re doing. We’re going for it and then maybe there will be a pretty good party afterwards to watch the next game. But the last thing I would ever worry about is Coach Campbell’s team not getting ready to play regardless of what’s at stake or what’s going on. He’s going to get them fired up and jacked. That’s all he’s ever done, and that’ll be a great match too,” he said.
“We’ve got to take care of business and be focused on our stuff and have a great week, hopefully get a couple guys healthy again and go put a finishing touch on this regular season with some excitement to come.”
An NFL spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the scheduling process.
The final wild-card spot in the AFC will also be determined on Sunday with the three teams vying for the playoff berth — the New England Patriots (8-8), Miami Dolphins (8-8) and Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8 ) — all scheduled to play at 1 pm ET.
The Patriots will clinch the spot with a win at the Buffalo Bills but can also qualify with losses by the Dolphins and Steelers and a victory by the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. If the Patriots lose, the Dolphins will clinch the spot with a win against the New York Jets. The Steelers, meanwhile, would clinch if they defeat the Cleveland Browns and both the Patriots and Dolphins lose.
If the Jaguars lose on Saturday night and the Patriots, Dolphins and Steelers all lose, then Jacksonville would clinch the AFC’s final wild-card spot.
ESPN’s Eric Woodyard and Brady Henderson contributed to this report.