The NFL is starting to turn the annual schedule release into a multi-day event. After previously having learned about the five international games for 2022, the first Thursday Amazon game and the Week 2 Monday night doubleheader, we now also know one of three games scheduled for Christmas: Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos will play Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams, who have opened as 2.5-point favorites.
Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday this season and as part of Week 16. Broncos-Rams will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS and Nickelodeon as the middle game of the holiday triple-header. The early game is will be shown on Fox and the prime-time game will be on NBC. It's the first time that the NFL will play three games on Christmas. There have been 24 NFL games played on the holiday, including two playoff matchups in 1971.
Wilson was traded from Seattle to Denver this offseason so he knows the Rams well. The future Hall-of-Famer is 8-12 in his regular-season career against them, having thrown for 4,304 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 13 picks in that span. Wilson's final playoff game in a Seahawks uniform was following the 2020 season, a 30-20 home upset loss to the Rams in the Wild Card round. Wilson struggled mightily that day, completing 11 of 27 for 174 yards two TDs, a pick-six and five sacks taken.
Denver has played on Christmas three times, all on the road: The Broncos won in 1999 and 2004 at Detroit and Tennessee, respectively, before falling in Kansas City in 2016. It's the first Christmas game for the Rams.
The game also will be available to stream live on Paramount+. In previous years, CBS Sports and Nickelodeon presented the kid-friendly telecast during Wild Card weekend but now it will move to the holiday.
It's within the realm of possibility that the game will serve as a preview of Super Bowl 57. Los Angeles is a +500 third favorite to repeat as NFC champion and Denver is a +850 third favorite in the AFC. The Rams and Broncos last played in 2018. Los Angeles won 23-20 in Denver when Jared Goff and Case Keenum were the respective starting QBs. The teams played in the 2021 preseason in Denver as well.
The full 2022 NFL schedule will be released Thursday.
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