The NFL is playing on Christmas for a third straight season in 2022. And this year, the league is going all out to produce a Christmas spectacular.
The NFL announced during its schedule release Thursday that it will play three games on Christmas this year. The NFL has held Christmas doubleheaders on seven occasions since 1971, but this will be the first time that three games have been played on the holiday.
Below is all the information you need to know about the NFL’s Christmas schedule for 2022, including information about the first Christmas game the NFL played back in 1971.
Christmas football schedule 2022
The NFL has scheduled a tripleheader on Christmas Day for the first time in league history. The Packers and the Dolphins will get things started, followed by a clash between the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams and Russell Wilson’s Broncos that will take place mid-afternoon and air on both CBS and Nickelodeon.
The schedule will be capped off by Tom Brady’s Buccaneers facing Kyler Murray’s Cardinals in the night game. Below is all the information about how to watch the NFL’s three games on Christmas.
|Game||Kickoff time||TV channel|
|Packers at Dolphins||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Broncos at Rams||4:30 p.m. ET||CBS/Nickelodeon|
|Buccaneers at Cardinals||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
Packers at Dolphins
- Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Fox
The Packers and Dolphins will get things started on Christmas. The game won’t be at the potentially snow-covered Lambeau Field, however. The Packers will be making their way down to Hard Rock Stadium for a green Christmas in Miami.
While one might assume that the Packers would enjoy a trip to South Beach to avoid freezing temperatures in Green Bay, the team could have issues there. Aaron Rodgers is just 3-5 during his career when playing in the state of Florida. That includes the Packers’ 38-3 defeat at the hands of the Saints in Week 1 last season when New Orleans had to move its home opener to Jacksonville due to damage from Hurricane Ida.
As such, Rodgers may be a bit leery about playing in such conditions. He’ll need support from Aaron Jones and the Packers’ improving defense as Green Bay will look to take down Tua Tagovailoa and Co.
The Dolphins should be solid test for the Packers. They were a middling team last season but plugged a lot of their holes in free agency and the draft. They made massive upgrades to their offensive line by signing Terron Armstead and Connor Williams, and they traded for Tyreek Hill to give their offense another top-tier weapon.
Tagovailoa is the big wild card. If he can make a leap in Year 3, Miami could have a path to the playoffs late in the season. This contest should be important for both teams, so it should be a perfect way to start the Christmas Day viewing.
Broncos at Rams
- Kickoff time: 4:30 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS | Nickelodeon
The Broncos and Rams will face off in a highly anticipated matchup that some thought would be the season opener.
The Broncos are trying to become the latest team to find success by adding a veteran quarterback to a roster that is ready to win now. They traded for Russell Wilson during the 2022 NFL offseason and instantly became a title contender in the stacked AFC.
The Rams are a great test for the Broncos. They have a strong defense and are fresh off a Super Bowl title of their own during which they employed the import-a-QB strategy. Matthew Stafford panned out for Los Angeles, and he will look to bring them similar success in 2022.
The Wilson vs. Stafford battle will be interesting to watch, but these teams are also stacked with offensive weapons. Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Cam Akers and Tyler Higbee will test the Broncos’ defense while Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick could give the Rams fits if they’re all healthy.
The Rams and Broncos are two of the most complete teams in the NFL. Add in that Nickelodeon will be producing a slime-filled broadcast of the event, and this game could be one of the most entertaining Christmas clashes in recent seasons.
Buccaneers at Cardinals
- Kickoff time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
Christmas will wrap up with a clash between two of the NFC’s top quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Kyler Murray.
The Buccaneers are bringing back most of the team it has had over the past two seasons. They won Super Bowl 55 and nearly pulled off an improbable comeback in the NFC divisional round before losing to the eventual Super Bowl 56 champion Rams.
Brady retired, and then unretired, during the offseason; he is back for what could be his final ride. By Christmastime, he and coach Todd Bowles will be hoping to make playoff plans and seeing what it might take to get through a weakened NFC.
The Cardinals have tended to fade down the stretch under Kliff Kingsbury’s watch. Murray has dealt with injuries late in each of his three seasons as a starter. They may not challenge the Rams for the divisional crown, but they have the talent to make the postseason again as a wild card.
The game could be a playoff preview. It could also present Kingsbury and Murray an opportunity to earn a signature late-season win. That’s something that they haven’t yet done during their three seasons together.
NFL history of playing on Christmas
There have been 24 Christmas games in the NFL’s history, including two in 2021: Browns vs. Packers and Cardinals vs. Colts. Green Bay and Indianapolis emerging victorious.
The first NFL Christmas games were played in 1971, as part of the postseason. They featured a 20-12 Cowboys win over the Vikings and a 27-24 Dolphins double-overtime win over the Chiefs. The NFL didn’t play again on Christmas until 1989.
This marks the third consecutive year that the NFL will be hosting games on Christmas Day. The three contests scheduled for this season will be an NFL Christmas record.