CLEVELAND — In a game that could possess playoff implications for both teams, the Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas will have the national spotlight to themselves.
On Tuesday, the NFL announced that the Browns' Week 15 matchup with the Raiders at FirstEnergy Stadium will be played at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 18. A date for the game had previously been unannounced, with the league possessing the ability to flex it to a nationally televised matchup, which will air on the NFL Network.
With Cleveland and Las Vegas still in the mix of the AFC playoff picture, the league opted to do just that as the Browns and Raiders will play in one of two NFL games to take place on Dec. 18. On Tuesday, the league also announced that the Week 15 matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots will also be played on Saturday, Dec. 18, while the game between the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers will remain on Sunday, Dec. 19.
It hardly comes as a surprise that the league opted to showcase this year's Browns-Raiders matchup considering the potential postseason implications at stake. Entering Week 12, Cleveland lays claim to a 6-5 record, while Las Vegas moved to 5-5 after suffering a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
With neither the AFC North nor the AFC West possessing a team with a record worse than 5-5 at this point in the season, bot the Browns and Raiders possess multiple potential paths to the playoffs. What's more is that their Week 15 showdown will determine the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams, which could prove pivotal come season's end.